2015 White Burgundy & 2008 Red Burgundy Tasting 

I seem to find myself at Noize restaurant more and more – there’s good reason. The food is great the service excellent but friendly and not remotely over the top. They love wine and know exactly what to do with it – the list is great too. This gathering was the latest rendition of a series of (well spread and slightly random) Burgundy tastings with a group from the trade and a couple of large private customers who probably drink these wines more than the rest of us. Previous editions are below.

2001 (GC) and 2003 (1er Cru) Red Burgundies, 2004 Burgundy 10 years on2008 Whites & 2010 Whites

This time around, as the heading suggests, we tasted and drank White Burgundy 2015s and Red Burgundy 2008s. There was no specific brief other than that the reds had to be Cote de Nuits. I think it is fair to say that the perception of both vintages for their colours is that they are thought of as 4 star. There was a slight tweak to the format as we tasted all the wines (9 of each) in six flights of three before the food came – a good idea. So off and running, in a semi-blind fashion as we knew the title of each flight (exactly as written below). The numbers in brackets are the number of us who voted for each wine in the flight – we were allowed one vote for our preferred bottle – the one we would most like to own.

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White Flight 1 Chablis & Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru

Chablis 2015, Raveneau (2) – This was fairly clearly a Chablis (it helps when you know one of the flight has to be!). Really quite muted and tight but with no sign of oak at all. Taut and tightly wound but with class. Nice length, well balanced.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Combettes 2015, Domaine Jacques Prieur (1) – A few folk though this might be another Chablis as it is fairly low in new oak (only 25%). I really liked it, it was might vote. Had some nice depth and texture to the palate but without being over the top. More to come for sure.

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchere 2015, Henri Boillot (6) – A bit of saline oyster shell to the nose here. This had me thinking it might have been Chablis 1er of GC. Slightly confusing on the nose as there was a slightly beary, sweaty side but the fruit was good. It just seemed to need a bit of air. nice precision under it.

A good start to proceedings.

White Flight 2 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Caillerets 2015, Bernard Moreau (2) – Lemon and lime here for me and very “Chassagne” in character. It became a shade lactic with lots of air but I really liked the moreishness and it got my vote in this flight.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Cailleret 2015, Lucien Le Moine (5) – Sexier nose, less “Chassagne” but clearly very good white Burg in style. A more modern approach to oak, a good bit of smoke and bacon fat. Enjoyable and flattering.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Blanchots Dessus 2015, Darviot-Perrin (2) – This was either over-sulphured or very reduced or possibly both. It had a little bit of a seaweed tang but with some vigorous shaking (especially from Woo) it released a nice lime palate. A full decant recommended.

White Flight 3 Meursault 1er Cru

Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres 2015, Henri Boillot (3) – For me this was quite steely on the nose, the palate was more appropriately proportioned for this commune. Good purity and a nice wine.

Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres 2015, Lucien Le Moine (6) – Much more what one expects from Meursault (although finds more and more rarely these days). Bacon fat (something of a house style judging by this and the above from Le Moine) and richness, extrovert by nature but kept in check. Nice wine and got my vote.

Meursault 1er Cru Caillerets 2015, Coche Dury – corked, so sad.

Reds

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Red Flight 1 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru and Grand Cru

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cazetiers 2008, Faiveley (7) – I think it is fair to say that this was the over-performer of the entire evening. A few of us shared “this is Rousseau” glances across the table. It was delicious, soft, elegant and did that great trick of having succulently soft almost degraded fruit at the same time as freshness. Delicious now. My vote.

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008, Perrot-Minot – Despite excellent provenance this was just not right, soupy, heavy and lacking any lift. A mystery.

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008, Claude Dugat (2) – Lovely fruit, slightly sour in a moreish way, tight and quite classic. A good bottle and one I would love to own. Just a shame for it that it “ran into” the Faiveley.

Red Flight 2 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru and Grand Cru

The Clos St.Jacques was markedly warmer/less cool than the other two (as it arrived directly) so we did not vote as it wasn’t quite like-for-like. 

Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008, Maume – Refined, a nice nice wine. A touch of that orange rind character, nicely precise with good acidity. Good.

Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru Clos des Ruchottes 2008, Domaine Rousseau – Also a little orange-rind but a lovely texture and slightly more relaxed fruit character. Almost the forgotten Rousseau to many people. A good portrayal of the vintage as it is mellow and not heavy.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 2008, Domaine Rousseau – A little warmer as mentioned above, this was quite bold in fruit weight, a little less ready than the Ruchottes but very very promising. Probably the flight winner had we voted.

Red Flight 3 Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru and Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru and Grand Cru

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Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Reignots 2008, Sylvain Cathiard (3) – Initially quite brooding but this quickly opened out and became more subtle, I often think of Cathiard as glossy with oak but there was no sign of that here. A well integrated and very enjoyable bottle.

Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Amoureuses 2008, Roumier (0) – This is certainly in 1er Cru royalty and was a generous “bring”. It got better over the evening but just didn’t have the lift in the tasting phase to draw attention to itself. The red fruit was sweet but the floral dimension wasn’t there.

Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2008, Comte Georges de Vogue (6) – Some nice spice here, very 2008 in not being heavy, a grainy tannin that is in the wine and leaves the fruit showing nicely. Elegant, has mellowed nicely (and slightly surprisingly). A pretty clear winner of the last flight.

One more wine as it was July 4th and we had an American with us – Calera 2010 from Jensen Vineyard. Not a wine I know remotely well, a different texture but lovely fruit, youthful and fun as a counterpoint.

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Conclusion?

This is not a massive sample from which to judge but I think it is fair to say that both vintages are good (4 star is appropriate), both have their character and are therefore open for producer to have got them wrong. With the White 2015s the ripeness was clearly not an issue as long as the wines are not over-oaked or clunky this should mean you can drink them all from now on, I see it being a mid-range vintage in terms of cellaring. For the red 2008s – there is a lovely proper, tender pinot balance to the wines, there would have been no point trying to make a full bodied dark wine. I think that the ageing profile is again in the mid-range, I can’t image many 2008s will be wasted if opened now. No rush but they have a moreish balance.

Thanks to Jimmy for his organisation and to everyone for their bottles.

The Menu – (Which was absolutely delicious)

Gougeres and Cheddar

Salmon tartar, pickled Kohlrabi, lovage and horseradish

Veal cheek Raviolo, fresh peas, broad beans, tarragon consomme

Roasted Duck Brest, truffle pomme puree, green pepper sauce

Cheese

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Salmon tartar, pickled Kohlrabi, lovage and horseradish
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Veal cheek Raviolo, fresh peas, broad beans, tarragon consomme
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Roasted Duck Brest, truffle pomme puree, green pepper sauce