Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009 – Domaine G. Roumier
Also doubly decanted at 08.30hrs and hitting the 8-hour mark when we get around to tasting it. Quit dense, medium intense bright ruby at the core. The nose is medium-plus intense and offers a veritable cocktail of blueberry and red cherry notes on an earthy base, with hints of game and violets. Evidence of the ripeness of the vintage is expressed by a slight candied edge to the fruit, not unlike I often discover in wines from Volnay.
This non-chaptalized wine pairs a medium body to 12,5% alcohol. On the mid-palate, a little over medium intense cranberry & blackberry flavours are carried by medium-plus acidity with a nicely refreshing kick, which latter is enhanced by a whiff of black pepper. The medium-minus tannins are ripe enough to have to be sought out for determination and on the whole I dare say that this is an elegant Bourgogne Rouge; indeed even a nervously styled one. The finish keeps its own for 20-25 balanced seconds and my final verdict is that this little wine drinks effortlessly, although a pop & pour might be a different story.
I can’t give anything less than 87 points and I suspect that three years in the cellar may even unlock further complexity and integration, resulting in one more point.
Chambolle-Musigny “Les Cabottes” 2010 – Cecile Tremblay
Opened and checked at 08.30hrs., but not decanted. Medium intense ruby at the translucent core. The nose is medium intense, but there is easily perceptible depth to the notes of blackberry, mint leaf and smoky game against a ferrous mineral backdrop.
The medium body (13% alcohol) gets substantial lift from this village’s pronounced acidity, while balance is maintained on the mid-palate despite no more than medium intense blackberry and cranberry flavours. Its medium-minus tannins still possess a modicum of grippiness, but have sufficient quality to render this young wine a very pleasant –balanced and elegant– drink at this early showing.
The mineral expression on the mid-palate would have had me think Gevrey rather than Chambolle in a blind setting, but who cares? The only part which is not completely in full swing (yet) is the finish, which maintains balance for ”only” 15-20 seconds. So, 88 points it is and 3-6 years in the cellar might see this impressive village broach the 90-point barrier.
Chambolle-Musigny 2010 – Digoya-Royer
Medium intense and bright translucent ruby at the core. The nose offers up medium-minus intense notes of candied red cherries with a slight edge of cretaceous mineral matter. Despite a no more than medium body, the attack comes across as somewhat coarse. The slightly unpolished character of the tannins is exacerbated by pronounced acidity and insufficient buffering thereof by medium intense red cherry flavours on the mid-palate. On the plus side however, there is good expression of cretaceous mineral matter.
Although a minimum of four years in the cellar may improve its general balance, I doubt whether this wine will ever be refined. In that sense, it probably suffered from being served after the Tremblay. I’ll give 81 points for now and this wine may improve as much as three, provided it is given aforementioned slumber.
Morey St. Denis 1er Cru “Les Chaffots 2010” – Maison Ilan
This wine also got the aeration regime of a double decant at 08.30 hrs. It is medium-minus intense, fully translucent ruby at the core. The nose is quite smoky and gamey, which is born out of some SO2 of seemingly volcanic origins. However, some petits fruits rouge are already peeking through.
The attack features a small sweet element, which most of my fellow tasters objected to in no uncertain terms. The wine is medium-bodied and reasonably elegant for a non-Grand Cru Morey, while its light tannins still possess a modicum of grip. Its medium-plus acidity renders this wine quite accessible –even pleasant at this early stage– and keeps the medium intense fruit flavours firmly in the red end of the spectrum. The decently textured finish maintains its balance for 20-25 seconds, but does not yield any new insights.
I have to conclude that this is a perfectly serviceable wine, but I find it somewhat lacking in typicity and character at this point. 83 points seem about right, but for this to climb to the high eighties –where it belongs in view of its pedigree– after a half decade of cellar time, I would need to see some more matière.
Morey St. Denis 1er Cru “Les Monts Luisants” 2010 – Frederic Cossard
Identically aerated, the musty nose has me suspecting TCA immediately… or does this note originate in the stems??? Extended time in the glass does however cause this element to turn more manure-like (not uncommon in Burgundy) and I detect some reticent black fruits on the otherwise medium intense sulphury nose, which offers up more barnyard and even outright SO2.
This Morey is medium-plus bodied and the stems have added a slightly raw edge to the tannins, which makes one wonder. There really was no need for unripe materials in 2010; or so it seems to me. The acidity is little short of pronounced and overwhelms the medium intense blueberry flavours on the mid-palate somewhat. A cretaceous mineral backdrop adds interest, but can’t quite save the day as the finish limps to the 10 second post and then packs it in altogether.
If this was a representative bottle –which I still am not sure about– this wine really needs at least five years for the structure to melt and the rusticity to subside. It is not enjoyable now, so a score would not end up in the low to mid seventies, but I’d have to taste again to be sure.
Mystery Wine 2
This wine was deemed reduced and poured into a carafe at 13.00hrs, but two and a half hours later the H2S was still clearly present.
The wine is medium intense opaque-ish ruby at the core. Some medium intense red fruits peak through a rubbery screen of reduction. The reduction is noticeable in the mouth as well, but I can still make out that this wine is nervously styled and quite elegant, with good quality tannins and refined acidity. I guessed Chambolle, but it turned out to be Vosne-Romanée “les Reas” 2010 – Hervé Bizot. When I re-tasted this near the end of the evening, it had gotten even more refined despite being quite big for a village. Good quality then –I would expect nothing less at those prices– but I’ll reserve judgment for now.
Mystery Wine 3
The next wine was opened and doubly decanted at 13.00hrs. and sports a medium intense translucent, sombre ruby core. The nose is utterly refined –if only slightly more than medium intense– and showcases notes of red cherry, quite pungent red flowers, stemmy pain d’épice and a hint of wood smoke.
This wine is not quite medium-plus bodied, while medium-plus acidity pairs well-integrated medium, ripe and velvety tannins. This contributes to a well-balanced mid-palate presence where the glycerine enhanced, well textured flavours of candied red cherries buffer the structure impeccably. I could point at slightly lacking mineral expression and other complexity, but there’s no lack of finesse here; nor on the also medium intense 20-25 second finish.
All and all I really liked this wine and its candied quality on the mid-palate made me suspect 2009 for a vintage, which turned out to be correct. I first guessed the south-end of Chambolle but changed my mind to Romanée-Saint-Vivant, which was close as it turned out to be Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru “Suchots” 2009 – Jerôme Chezeaux. I suspect this will be drinking really well by 2016 and will give 90 points for this showing
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Charmes” 2009 – Domaine Ponsot
…and we’re back to the wines that were doubly decanted at 08.30hrs. This one is medium intense, somewhat translucent ruby at the core. The nose starts us off at medium intensity and offers up refined notes of candied red fruits, sweet soy sauce and a hint of game.
I’ve tasted examples of this vineyard from a handful of domaines, but the nose wasn’t very typical at this showing.
Not quite medium-plus bodied on the attack, some positively silky, high-quality medium tannins and medium-plus acidity are somehow buffered completely by at most medium intense strawberry and cherry flavours, which receive added complexity on the mid-palate from a liquorice-like mineral edge. The finish continues in the same vein for 25-30 seconds.
While this is by no means a bad wine and the matière seems first rate, I would have expected more from this famous domaine. So, 89 points for this showing and I expect that to rise to the low nineties in five years from now.
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Combes aux Moines” VV 2009 – Domaine Fourrier
Last but not least, I am greeted by a medium intense & fully translucent, sombre ruby core. Medium intense notes of sweet, mineral iron-laced strawberries are livened up by an unexpected floral topnote, which was lacking in other places on this day.
Interestingly enough, this usually broad-shouldered wine has a no more than medium body, pronounced acidity and slightly grippy medium-minus tannins of good quality. They support almost pronouncedly intense flavours of red cherry and strawberry, which are woven around an iron mineral spine. There is a certain tanginess to these flavours on the otherwise plushly textured mid-palate, but even in this vintage and from this reputedly rugged terroir there is no lack of finesse. The 30-35 second finish adds whiffs of game and dried herbs before slowly fading. This was as excellent as any young Fourrier CAM I have tasted since 1999, so I’ll give 90 points and would expect serious upside in 5 to 10 years from now.