Miki 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
1999 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)…
2004 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)…
2007 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.