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Posts Tagged ‘Beaune’

Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine Père & Fils “Montrevenots” Beaune Premier Cru 2006
Tasting Notes : 100% pinot noir, avg. 30-year-old vines, pigeage twice daily during fermentation, 15-day maceration, aged 15 months in oak, 15% new oak, 13% vol., less than 2,000 bottles produced. Crystal clear, light ruby red in the glass, classic Burgundy hue. Elegant, sweet and expressive nose with aromas of mild spice and herbs, wintergreen, and fresh red berries. There are lots of red fruits and black cherries in the mouth, accompanied by cupboard spice, a tart and refreshing acidity, a good balance, medium tannins and a well-structured body. Match this beautifully with any classic and hearty French meal of beef, duck or roasted chicken.
Rating : 16/20 (91/100)
Price : ~$50USD @ Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine Père & Fils

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As with my last review this one was also a positive externality resulting from The Grand Crew’s Gary Vaynerchuk Tasting in December.  Did I just use the words “positive externality”?  Man, I can’t wait for May when I’ll finally graduate from the Master of Public Affairs!

Owner and Winemaker, Christine Gruere-Dubreuil, was the second of about four interested female vintners that I had to sadly turn down for the Wine Library TV tasting, since we were already booked solid.  But as with Alexandrine Roy from Domaine Marc Roy, Christine also stepped up to the plate, providing me a sample of her wine for review.  And also as with Alexandrine, Christine is a member of the women winemaker’s association of Burgundy, Femmes & Vins de Bourgogne. (more…)

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Last night Miki-san and I attended the Semester 2 kick off of In Vino Veritas.  Phil and Guillaume Desport, a young winemaker from Bordeaux, coordinated the tasting.  The theme was an introductory course on wine tasting, formatted as a blind tasting of two whites and two reds, all representative of their particular region.  Most of the bottles were good, standard and affordable wines, with the exception of the Bouchard Père & Fils, which is a very reputable domaine out of Bourgogne with a long history of quality and numerous grand crus and premier crus bottlings.

Another great tasting but just one grievance (sorry Phil), which drives me crazy everytime I run into it… OVERLY-CHILLED WINE!  In this case the two whites were way too cold.  Many within the wine industry are jumping onto the bandwagon of drinking all wine (white and red alike) at room temperature, around 65 degrees Farhenheit or 18 degrees Celcius.  I’m a big advocate of this, although I can certainly understand slightly chilled whites and of course even more chilled dessert wines and sparkling wines.  Some sommeliers will even preach to you for hours about the precise temperature at which each particular wine should be drunk.  But for a professional tasting, especially a blind tasting, and when selecting wines for purchase, the wine should NEVER be chilled.  It’s simply not possible to fully evaluate a wine below room temperature.  The acidity is exaggerated, as are any tannins.  Moreover the flavors and aromas will be closed and not able to fully express themselves.  It’s simple chemistry.  It’s like comparing a tango to a slow waltz.  Both can be beautiful dances but which one is more lively and expressive?  The same is true with the dance that goes on between the molecules that interact within the glass.  Thus, the colder the wine, the slower and less 2007 Domaine de la Moussièreexpressive the dance.  Again this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  Everyone has their own taste and I always preach for people to drink what they like, not what experts tell them is good.  But for the purpose of evaluation, please always stick to room temperature.

2007 “La Moussière” Domaine de la Moussière (Alphonse Mellot)
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Sancerre, Loire Valley
Price: 12€
Tasting Notes: Straw yellow in the glass.  A green nose with aromas of green apple, grass, and flowers.  A dry, medium-bodied, very acidic, and vibrant palate.  There are flavors of still ripening mandarin orange, a background of dried apricot and a citric finish, all accompanied by a smooth, light texture.
Rating: 12/20 (WS 88)

2007 Reserve Willm

Blind Notes: I narrowed it down to Loire or Bordeaux and knew it was a sauvignon blanc.

2007 “Reserve” Willm
Varietal: Gewurztraminer
Appellation: Alsace
Price: 8€
Tasting Notes: Lightly burnt straw yellow in the glass.  A very floral nose with aromas of honey, peach, tropical fruits and in particular lychee.  This wine is very fruity, dry to off-dry and full-bodied with a syrupy texture.  There are flavors of white peach and lychee.
Rating: 14/20 (WS 88)
Blind Notes: I nailed this one dead on.

2001 “Haut de Poujeaux” Chateau Poujeaux (Philippe Cuvelier)
Blend: 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux
Price: 11€
Tasting Notes: Mahagony, reddish-brown, clouded by light sediment in the glass.  An alcoholic nose with aromas of black fruit, blackberry, vanilla, light hints of barnyard, and a 2001 Chateau Poujeauxlittle spice and leather.  A dry, very acidic, slightly unbalanced wine with bitter tannins and a medium body.  In the mouth there are flavors of dark chocolate, mushrooms and black fruit.
Rating: 14/20
Blind Notes: I narrowed it down to Bordeaux or Rhone and pinpointed the cabernet sauvignon, but wasn’t sure if the second grape was merlot or grenache.

2005 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils2005 “Beaune du Chateau” Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Beaune Premier Cru, Cotes d’Or, Bourgogne
Price: 12€
Tasting Notes: Light ruby red and clear in the glass.  Alcoholic aromas of spice, mild pepper, raspberry, flowers and pronounced cherries.  A dry, balanced, tannic wine with a smooth and silky texture.  The palate in dominated by strawberry and black cherries.
Rating: 15/20 (WS 89)
Blind Notes: I nailed it.

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0810bourgogne_dijon_trip-148Miki San and I just spent a very relaxing and wine-filled weekend in Bourgogne, travelling around and tasting wines between Dijon and Beaune, including the villages of Nuits-St.-Georges and Premeaux.  I have to say that we weren’t fortunate enough to have tasted anything unforgettable; however, the trip was absolutely beautiful and certainly we drank many wonderful wines.

The number one lesson learned for Bourgogne Part Deux is definitely to rent a car.  Taxis just will not cut it when there are so many historic and enchanting villages and vineyards to visit.

Domaine Bernard Delagrange et Fils wine shop tasting (Beaune)…
1996 Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru, Volnay, red: barnyard, earth, leather
2005 Vieilles Vignes, Pommard, red: tannic, berries, cranberries
2002 Boucherottes 1er Cru, Beaune, red: spicy, cranberries
2006 Vieilles Vignes, Meursault, white: apricot, light
Conclusion: Overall good tasting.  Nothing compelling.  The Volnay was my fav.

Anecdote: This was not exactly what I had in mind, when planning my Bourgogne trip.  This tasting was in the middle of the town, at the Domaine’s wine shop.  Beaune was a cute little town.

Marché aux Vins personal tour and tasting (Beaune)…
2004 Marsannay, white: mineral
2004 Pouilly-Fuissé, white: creamy, tropical
1999 Meursault, white: mineral, tropical
2004 Chorey Les Beaune, red: fresh, cherries
2005 Santenay, red: spice, cherries
0810bourgogne_dijon_trip-1091999 Hospices de Dijon Beaune, red: fresh, cherries
1999 Savigny Les Beaune, red: fresh, cherries
2001 Monthelie, red: fruit forward, berries
2004 Aloxe Corton, red: refreshing, cherries
2004 Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru, red: cherries
2000 Pommard, red: floral, plum
2004 Gevrey-Chambertin, red: vegetal, earth, red raspberries
2004 Volnay 1er Cru, red: spice, blackberry, tar
2000 Beaune 1er Cru, red: plum, mushroom
2002 Corton Grand Cru, red: earth, plum, raspberry, boysenberry
Conclusion: A perfect introduction to Bourgogne wine.  The Gevrey-Chambertin stole the show with it’s earthy charm.  Naturally the Corton Grand Cru was amazingly complex as well.  Unquestionably I lean more toward the earthy barnyard bourgognes vs. the less ripe acidic cherry bombs, although still quite nice in their own right.

Anecdote: We met Julie during the tour, a 30-something oenology and viticulture student (professional who recently went back to school) from San Francisco.  She’s studying at Livermore Community College in Las Positas and plans to transfer to UC Davis eventually.  Her presence really added to the tour as she was very friendly and very into the tasting.  She arrived in Bourgogne from Montalcino and Montepulciano, Italy and will spend a total of one month, tasting the wines of Europe.  CAN YOU IMAGINE!  She’s coming to Paris in 2 weeks, so we’ll see if she drops us a line.

Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils private tour and tasting (Premeaux)…
0810bourgogne_dijon_trip-0912004 Le Vaucrain Côtes de Nuits Villages, red: bitter, spice, unripe cherries
2002 Grandes Vignes Nuits-St.-Georges, red: earth, ripe cherries, oak
2001 Les Vignes Rondes Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru, red: barnyard, blackberry, floral
Conclusion: The two Nuits-St.-George were both nice bottles, but the 1er Cru was the all out winner.  Again I was drawn into the barnyard.  The earthy connectedness is quintessential for a top notch Bourgogne, at least for my current immature palate.

Anecdote: Haruka and I both purchased a bottle of the 1er Cru.  This tasting was the best experience of the entire trip, no doubt.  We were greeted upon arrival by the wife of the wine maker, who was the granddaughter (or great granddaughter) of Daniel Rion.  She was very friendly and led us into the cuverie (fermenting room) for a quick tour, where we met her husband and son and other family members.  This is definitely what wine is all about, a deep interconnectedness between family and terroir.

Domaine Morin Père & Fils personal tour and tasting (Nuits-St.-Georges)…
0810bourgogne_dijon_trip-1432007 Hautes Cotes de Nuits, white: light, apple
2005 Savigny Les Beaune, red: barnyard, unripe cherries
2005 Santenay 1er Cru, red: spice, earth
2006 Aligoté Bourgogne, white: off-dry
Marc Morin Egrappé Bourgogne, liquor: very smooth and aromatic
Crème de Cassis Bourgogne: syrupy
Conclusion: The tasting was very dry as the lady had no personality; however, the wine was good.  The highlight was the diversity in the tasting of the Aligoté, Crème de Cassis and Egrappé liquor.

Anecdote: Haruka got scared by the end of the cellar visit.  It appeared more and more like a possible scene from a Friday the 13th movie.  I loved it!  So old and musky and mildewy.

All of Sunday was assisted by a very nice taxi driver old lady who drove us to the two Domaines, the family-owned restaurant where we had an excellent lunch (Coq au Vin and Langue de Boeuf), and the vineyards of Vosne-Romanée (including Romanée Conti!), and the Chateau Clos de Vougeot.  She was very friendly and very proud of her son who is a local wine proprietor and vintner.  He was featured in a Japanese magazine that the lady had permanently at her disposal to show off to her clients.

0810bourgogne_dijon_trip-043

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