>Burgundy Tasting

>This past Friday, got together with local friends in Sonoma to enjoy some high end Burgundy. Some of the tasting group are in the wine business, some not, but all with a strong interest in the wines of Burgundy. As a tasting group, we generally get together about once a month to explore great Burgundy wine.

Brief tasting notes follow. All wines tasted were pop and pour, enjoyed and revisited over the span of about 3 hours. When seriously evaluating a wine, particularly Burgundy, cannot reiterate enough how important it is to revisit the wine over the span of an evening to see how it evolves. So many qualities that initially may make a taster want to disregard it as a bad bottle, often make a big turn around and become far more enjoyable and vice versa.

White WOTN: 2001 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
Red WOTN: 1993 Louis Jadot Corton-Pougets

White Burgundy

2001 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet – Classic Leflaive diesel fuel and match stick nose, with a rich front palate. It was initially a little light on the mid palate and finish. In time, the diesel nose lightened and baked bread qualities increased. Not as complete a wine as the 2004 tasted back in December, but a very strong showing for a great wine.

2001 Ramonet Chassagne Montrachet Les Rouchottes – Nutty, sweet, lemon oil, floral, yeasty, a gorgeous well balanced wine that showed exceptionally well. It had a full coating mouthfeel, and revisiting the wine throughout the evening, it remained relatively consistent. Second best white of the night, and it is aging gracefully.

2002 Coche Dury Bourgogne Aligote – A silky wine with an appealing cotton candy note on the palate, however a little disjointed with pretty strong acidity, particularly on the finish. Revisiting the wine a little later, the acidity became even more predominate. Always have high expectations of Coche given its track record, overall this one was just ok.

2007 Neillon Chassagne Montrachet Champgains – Initial funk in the nose made me wonder if it was a bad bottle, but it blew off in time. Walnut and hardwood components jumped out, burnt oak and pretty high sulfur. For a moment, thought there might be something more to this wine that would reveal itself, but never quite came around. Not a great showing.

Red Burgundy

1993 Louis Jadot Corton-Pougets – A seriously seductive nose, sweet cola, super clean and pure, nice spice on the finish, great balance and structure in an elegant not over the top wine. While there was not a single consensus for red wine of the night, by far, this was mine!

1993 Pierre Gelin Mazis-Chambertin – Some asian spice, plums, initially exotic, but became more pruney in time and ultimately did not show well. One of the few wines on the table that had over half a bottle remaining at the end of the evening.

1997 Domaine Pierre Damoy Clos de Beze – Light body, light acidity and clean drinking with a little greeness up front. Later in the evening, it showed a little better than initial observations, but overall probably characteristic of the vintage, an ok wine.

1999 Alex Gambal Charmes Chambertin – Started out plum nose, stewed fruits and a bit astringent, thought the wine was not very exciting. In time however, it transformed into a rich gorgeous drinking wine. An excellent wine. Several folks thought this was the wine of the night.

2000 Domaine Grivot Clos Vougeot – A ripe, rich, easy drinking wine that reminded me more of a California style Pinot than red Burgundy. First time tasting this producer and thought it was a good showing. Continue to be impressed with the 2000 vintage.

2001 Bouchard Clos de Beze – Youthful, gamey, strawberry, almost barrel sample like, thought this wine also showed very well. In time, it toned down a bit. Like the Grivot, it was a very easy drinking mature wine that was quite enjoyable.

2001 Faiveley Latrices Chambertin – Tannic and tight initially, becoming brighter in time with cherry and celery notes. Another very easy drinking wine. It was enjoyable, not over the top. A consistent good producer, though not as strong as others on the table.

2002 Arlaud Clos de la Roche – Exotic big wine, primary fruits, bright. Tasted near the end of the evening so may have been the alcohol, but wrote in my notes twice, “huge wine.” It was very full bodied and showed very well.

2003 Domaine de Arlot Clos de Forets NSG – Not the best showing for this wine, new cut grass, some clean cola notes, light, and not too inspiring.

2003 Joseph Drouhin Charmes Chambertin – Similar to the Domaine de Arlot, lighter in style, dilluted, celery, another just ok wine.


1993 Williams Selyem Russian River Pinot – Served blind, drank like a young California Pinot, cherry, balanced structure, and quite enjoyable. Never would have guessed 1993.

1994 Rutz Cellars Quail Hill Russian River Pinot – Also served blind, did not take notes on this wine, but recall it showed well. Like the Williams Selyem, surprised how young it drank.

2000 Enotria Neibbiolo Mendocino – The final blind wine tasted, also did not take notes. Several at the table guessed it accurately as a Neibbiolo! Thought it was just ok.

2005 Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir – Extremely ripe next to the Burgundy, sweet raspberry, thick and rich. One of the brighest Marcassin ever tasted.

Cheers to some very good Burgundy!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

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