The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 116 of 124

FRANCE Undiscovered Burgundy The V by Deborah Parker Wong isually, Burgundy isn't a particularly mysterious place; the low-growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines hunker over the earth in their search for heat. From a vantage point to the east of Chablis, you can survey the gentle landscape and precious grand cru sites in a sweep- ing glance, but the wines themselves continue to remain a mystery—one that we ponder with each passing vintage. During the week-long parade of trade tastings known fittingly as Les Grands Jours, it seemed as if no stone had been left unturned by importers in their efforts to demystify the wines. Tastings that began in Chablis and stretched to the far reaches of the Mâconnais revealed that, while importers have been astute in seeking out quality, there are new discoveries to be made in Burgundy. Primarily in the form of young produc- ers who have branched out, after years of mentoring, to start their own labels and less-visible sub-regions whose wine quality is pushing forward by leaps and bounds. At this bi-annual celebration, Burgundy's grand cru vine- yards sustain the most scrutiny, and at the elegant "Nobility of Clos Vougeot" tasting at Château du Clos de Vougeot, more than 50 producers presented wines from the fabled site. With smaller producers pouring side by side with some of the region's most recognizable names—Drouhin, Faiveley, Jadot, Latour, Prieur—equal consideration is seemingly given to everyone. Similar tastings "From Chambolle to Morey" and "The Maranges to Montrachet Going Though Santenay and Saint-Aubin)" included both grand cru producers and their neighbors, creating a truly exciting dynamic. Mining in Mercurey Working north to the premiers crus village of Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise for the "Heart of Burgundy" tasting, producers here make both red and white wines, though few excel at both. Overall, the 2010 whites showed simpler and softer, with ripe, fleshy tropical fruit and a crisp finish with better examples from Domaine du Clos Salamon including a 2010 Givry 1er Cru Blanc La Grande Berge with plenty of dry extract and more complex fruit, and a 2010 Mercurey Blanc Les Ormeaux from Domaine du Château d'Etroyes that was floral and crisp. Notable reds included Louis Max of Domaine La Marche, who makes an entry-level Domaine Louis Max Mercurey Les Vasées. Bourgogne Côte-Chalonnaise Rouge 2009 that is floral with tasty, lush fruit and a rich, savory and structured 2010 1er Les Vasées. Baptiste Lumpp of Domaine Vincent Lumpp makes only premier cru wines with a Givry Clos Jus 2009 easily one of the best red wines of the tasting, along with an equally compelling Le Vigron 2009, both being aromatic with good structure and spicy fruit. At Domaine Philippe Garrey, a 2010 Mercurey 1er Cru La Chassière also had structure with clean, savory typicity. At a "Salon for Young Talents" held in Beaune, Mercurey producer Loïc de Suremain of Domaine de Suremain poured an impressive lineup of premier cru single vineyard wines. The estate's 2009 Les Criochots and La Bondue were superlative and derive their rich fruit and expressive mid palates from clay sites. REVELATIONS FROM A DYNAMIC WEEK OF TASTINGS 116 / the tasting panel / june 2012 PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - June 2012