Friday, 16 January 2015

A Trip To The Not So Distant Past - Burgundy 2013 Part 2

In part one I looked at the whites, so I guess we should have a look at the red's. These were much more of a mixed bag, the entry wines had loads of red berry fruit with plenty of fine tannins, these will settle down in a few months and leave you with a very enjoyable glass of wine but not particularly complex.

The mid range again had red berry fruit but much more tannins with hints of spice and smoke coming through, the winemakers of obviously over compensated with lots of oak for the lack of depth from the fruit, again these will take some time to integrate. Some winemakers had done a better job than others so I'd definitely recommend you take care when making your purchases to avoid d


Moving on to the Premier (1er) and Grand cru wines, these showed great depth of flavour, with good use of oak to help add complexity you got some really interesting wines. These however, were not cheap or had been produced in any great quantity, they will also require a couple of years for everything to integrate and the tannins to soften out, which should leave you with some stunning wines, if you can get your hands on any of them.

There were two producers who really stood out for me, they were Domaine Henri Gouge and Domaine Hudelot-Noellat;

Domaine Henri Gouge

Now under stewardship of Gregory Gouge, who took over in 2007 coinciding with the completion of the new state of the art cuverie, this domaine has gone from strength to strength in recent years. There has been a concerted effort to produce more elegant tannins which results in more aromatics in the wines.

His Nuits-St-Georges had some lovely red red fruit combined with some spice and a touch of smoke, it had a touch of acidity with plenty of soft and silky tannins. This over the next couple of years is going to age beautifully. I then moved onto the 1er Cru Clos des Porrets St Georges and the 1er Cru Les Pruliers, these each moved up a notch respectively as you would expect, they showed great depth of flavour and complexity with this lovely perfumed character them, they are not cheap but they were stunning and will only get better with age.

They also produce a white Nuits-St-Georges, the 1er Cru La Perriere which is produced from a mutated Pinot Noir vine that was discovered by Henri before the war, this had some lovely fruit to it with hints of vanilla and a full, rich mouthfeel. I would definitely recommend you try this if you ever get the opportunity it was stunning and will develop over the coming years into an amazing wine.

Domaine Hudelot-Noellat

This was the first time I'd had the chance to taste the wines from this Domaine, Charles Van Canneyt has consistently produced great wines vintage after vintage resulting in them being one of the most sought after domaines, which unfortunately reflects very much in the price of his wines.

He produces a Vosne-Romanee, Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Les Beaumonts, Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Murgers and a Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru. When you pour these wines the first thing you notice is how pale they are, however lacking in colour they may be they certainly are not lacking in flavour, depth and complexity. These wines all have lovely red berry fruit with smoke and spice intertwined in there, a touch of acidity and plenty of beautifully silky tannins, they also have a savoury/meaty character to them which works magnificently. They truly are magnificent wines, which over the coming decade are going to age beautifully

Friday, 9 January 2015

A Trip To The Not So Distant Past - Burgundy 2013 Part 1

I've been involved with Burgundy En Primeur campaigns for the last couple of years now, and have seen the difficulties the vignerons and wine makers have had to face, with poor harvests due to some absolutely devastating weather conditions. With the tiny harvest of 2012 I spoke to several vignerons with regard to 2013 to see what their expectations were, and many said that they were concerned that while the harvest was again going to be small due the hail storms, the large deluge of rain they had had, meant they were also very concerned for the quality, as the grapes were fat with water. Not many people were expecting 2013 to deliver much if anything at all, many were expecting to be putting the vast majority of their fruit into making their most basic village wines, not their Premier or Grand Cru wines.

So for the first tasting of 2015 I headed into central London and dropped into Flint Wines 2013 Burgundy En Primeur tasting at Il Bottaccio, this is the first opportunity that most of the UK trade and press have had to taste these wines, so I was really looking forward to seeing what they had managed to produce from the 2013 vintage.

The whites were difficult, many of the entry wines had plenty of green apple fruit but not much else flavour wise, they did have a real steely minerality to them that made them very austere, most had quite a soft acidity which helped to soften out the minerality a little, but not much. In the middle you had a lot of good wine with a little more depth of fruit, the wines that had spent some time in oak were starting show small signs of development and complexity in them, but their was nothing that really bowled you over, of course many of them need a little more time before they will fulfil their potential, but from what I tasted this is going to a small window and I don't think you'd be particularly bowled over by them.

Moving on to the Premier and Grand Cru wines, these were pleasantly surprising, there was some lovely green fruit that was starting to signs of development and going towards more baked than fresh in character. The oak was starting to integrate beautifully with one or two showing a real toasty side, with this you also got hints of the sweet spice Vanilla, combine these with a bountiful but soft acidity, due to the Malolactic fermentation they had gone through, and you were starting to see the signs of where these wines were going.

There was one producer who really stood out for me on the whites, and that was Domaine Ballot-Millot, this is a family estate based just outside the village of Meursault,they were showing 4 wines, a Bourgogne Blanc, a single vineyard and two Premier Cru Meursault. It was these three Meursault's that really stood out from the rest for me. The 'Les Narvaux' had a lovely yellow/gold colour to it, with some lovely fruit to it that was starting to head towards baked, it had a lovely minerality to it with hints of vanilla coming through very gently and a wonderfully soft acidity just brought it all together. The two Premier Cru, 'Charmes' and 'Perrieres' both really took this up a notch with much greater depth and richness, while they were lovely today they are only going to get better and better with age, for me there wasn't much between these, but I did prefer the 'Charmes' though.

Red's to follow next week....