So last Sunday/Monday, with two colleagues, I made a bit of a “dash in, dash out” visit to Burgundy. Strictly that’s not true as Guido stayed there all week. But it is amazing what you can get to taste in 20 hours in the Cote!
We arrived and about 3 minutes later had supper in Puligny. The three bottles in the picture.
Puligny-Montrachet 2012 from Francois Carillon was drinking deliciously, just PnP and crack on, good intensity. The Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2012 from Domaine Ramonet is clearly less ready, more focussed, tighter and may be leaner but classy, I didn’t really have a favourite right now. Hand carrying a bottle of Bordeaux – Roc de Cambes 2009 – to Burgundy may seen a little odd but actually there are very few occasion when Roc isn’t a good idea. The 2009 shows all the promise of never closing down (the 2005 though did)…what’s not to like, our guest certainly loved it.
Up at the “crack of sparrows” and down to breakfast in the hotel in Puligny at 7am, first tasting, for which we were 1 minute early was 8am at Bonneau du Martray with the ever charming and often slightly mischievous Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Moriniere. We chatted and then went downstairs to the tasting room which is new since I was last there back in 2009. I’ll never leave it this long again!
It is lovely to visit this Domaine, almost unique in producing solely Grand Cru wine – even Domaine de la Romanee-Conti sometime does a 1er Cru!! Having just two wines to concentrate on is a blessing when at some producers it can be tens of wines. Red then white (leaves you better placed for the next tasting from a practical standpoint) as the locals prefer.
Corton Grand Cru 2015 – Good colour, bright and translucent. Very primary and airy on the nose, good wine, nice crunchy fruit and a proper backbone. A good mineral aspect, cherry fruits and a little black fruit but behind the red. Vibrant, freshness. 17-18 out of 20 Drink 2022-2032+ (40% new wood).
Then a chance to re-taste the bottled (end of March 2016) 2014 vintage. This was the first certified organic vintage for the estate.
Corton Grand Cru 2014 – Nicely complete, melds together well. Some sweetness to the attack, then structure. A little leaner than sometimes, good structure and a cool fruit character which adds to the crunchy fruit expression. 17 out of 20 Drink 2020-2026+
FYI – Jean-Charles likes to always wait 8-10 years before opening the red. About the only exception I have found was the 2007.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 – In many ways this is the crucial wine of the visit. Bonneau du Matray is comfortably the largest landowner in Corton-Charlemagne. Lovely bright colour, waxy with some unctuousness, generous for the wines of this estate but some of that will be the ripeness of youth. A little grapefruit and great depth. Lemons and pears on the finish. This will tighten up and is very promising indeed. 18-18.5 out of 20 Drink 2019-2027
Then the 2014 which I have had in London a couple of times.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2014 – A good whiff of subtle reduction. A little prickle of spice, such supreme tension, this is the archetypal “coiled spring” but not to the degree that means you can’t see how good it is now…you can! Savoury, intense, moreish and very long…18.5-19 out of 20 Drink 2020-2030+
A few words about the savageness of the production in 2016 here…well not as bad as many places is the answer. The 2016 Corton-Charlemagne is 40% down, the Corton is 66% down (usually 24 barrels, just 8 in 2016).