>Burgundy Wines in Sonoma

>This past Friday, tasted a broad selection of great drinking Burgundy in downtown Sonoma. Surrounded by world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma, find it interesting to drink Burgundy and internally compare and contrast the age worthiness, distinct style, and wine making approach differences that separate the two regions.

While no attempt is made to define the relative merits of each region, find both produce a broad range of exceptional wine that satisfy in their own unique way, and as is so often the case, it boils down to stylistic preference and the wine that best fits the occasion. On this occasion, many fine Burgundy wines were opened by folks passionate about Burgundy. Brief tasting notes follow.

White WOTN:
1999 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenue Batard Montrachet

1998 Robert Arnoux Romanee St Vivant

White Burgundy

1992 Remoissenet Montrachet – Initially showed some bacterial funk on the nose that blew off in about a half hour. Deep yellow in color, the wine had an interesting mix of caramel, dry wheat and straw in a gorgeous full bodied wine. Noted a touch of sweetness and subtle acidity. This was an excellent wine that drank consistent over the span of two hours. The majority considered it the white wine of the night.

1996 Domaine Leflaive Clavoillon – A late maturity, medium bodied wine that showed vanilla and sherry notes more than anything else. Did not pickup any of the classic diesel we have come to expect with Domaine Leflaive. Overall, did not think the wine showed very well, partly because it was in tough company, but more so, just outside its optimum drinking window.

1999 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenue Batard Montrachet – My white wine of the night, immediately on opening, got a huge nose of diesel in a very young drinking wine. It was highly elegant and nuanced with a clean, pure and crisp palate of citrus and tropical fruits. After about 2 hours revisiting the wine, the diesel subsided and the wine balanced out. This wine will age considerably longer and was simply awesome!

2004 Domaine Leflaive Folatieres – Similar to the Domaine Leflaive BBM, had a strong appealing diesel on the nose, with lemon on the palate and firm acidity. In the span of about two hours revisiting the wine frequently, it opened up only slightly. Overall, an excellent young great drinking wine that should be aged considerably longer.

2005 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne – Surprisingly ready to go immediately on opening, the wine was creamy and sweet, with green apple and citrus notes. It had a lighter mid palate than expected, but become more well rounded in time. Bouchard does such an excellent job with its white wines, and this one was no exception, complex and highly enjoyable.

Red Burgundy

1990 Michel Lafarge Volnay – A young wine that immediately showed predominately blue fruits. In time, it became more leathery and meaty with asian spice and darker black fruits. A very strong showing by an excellent drinking wine. Best of the three 1990 wines opened.

1990 Prince Florent de Merode Corton – Showed game, tart raspberry fruit and white pepper in a clean smooth easy drinking wine. Thought it not as enjoyable as the Lafarge Volnay and better than the Jadot. A good drinking wine.

1990 Jadot Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques – Not a great showing for the Jadot. Enjoyed this wine on a prior occasion, this time, showed more barrel sample like qualities with some cola and barnyard notes, also, some harsh acidity.

1972 Jaboulet Vercherre Musigny – Some exotic spices initially, dry tea leaves and oregano, the wine was enjoyable and leathery at first, in a short period of time, lost some of its character and became just an ok wine. Not a very good showing overall.

1993 Laurent Savigny Les Beaune – A lot of oak, cedar, pepper and spice was present in the Laurent. Acid was firm, but the oak ultimately over powered the wine. Did not show well next to the 93 Corton or 98 Leclerc.

1993 Prince Florent de Merode Corton – Initially a sappy wine with a compelling molasses component. Changed for the better in time becoming slightly sweeter with a cake like mouthfeel. A good drinking wine.

1998 Rene Leclerc Griotte Chambertin – Young, bright black cherry fruit in a clean, easy drinking wine. A good drinking wine. So many 1998’s tasted recently are in a real sweet spot.

1979 Pierre Damoy Clos de Beze – A lighter bodied wine, was spicy and clean. Not highly complex, but very enjoyable. Had a similar style to the 89 Remoissonet Clos de Beze, just far more restrained.

1989 Remoissonet Clos de Beze – A dark berry, minty wine that was powerful and perfectly balanced. An amazing wine! Shared a similar spice component to the Damoy and considered it a close second for red wine of the night.

1998 Robert Arnoux Romanee St Vivant – My red wine of the night, an elegant, great drinking wine that was ripe with clean blue fruits. Acidity was low, and had a long pure finish. In perfect balance, the wine was a pleasure to drink! Another excellent 1998.

2002 Hudelot Noellat Clos de Vougeot – Relatively light bodied wine with notable cherry fruit. Overall, not very distinct and just an ok wine overall.

2003 Vincent Girardin Chambertin – Tasted later in the evening, recollect a light wine with pretty high acidity. Did not stand out similar to the Hudelot Clos de Vougeot.

2007 Cuvee de Mon Aieul Chateauneuf du Pape – Tasted later in the evening, do not recall a great deal about the wine as well other than it was very young, and did not care for the wine.

Mystery Wines

As is sometimes the case, a few “mystery wines” are opened. The first mystery wine, a 1993 Calera Central Coast Reserve Pinot was opened blind, and did not stay in anyones glass for long. The second mystery wine, a 1995 Dujac Les Beaux Monts showed very grassy and simple. Did not revisit the wine later in the evening to see how it developed, which could have made all the difference, Dujac is certainly a world class producer.

While the two mystery wines did not show very well, over the span of about a year drinking with the Sonoma Burg Team, it is remarkable how few corked bottles of wine we have opened. Some have not tasted that great for various reasons, but relatively few examples of corked wine!

Cheers to another great evening of Burgundy!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

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