Bourgogne trip notes part 3: Buisson-Charles, Meursault long over due 2010's

…We continued the afternoon with a brace of 2010’s, which had been bottled about ten days beforehand. All were disjointed to various degrees –which is reflected in the notes and scores– but the reds suffered worse than the whites and are therefore not judged here. I also largely refrained from offering descriptions of colour, as we moved to the old part of the cellars for the latter part of the tasting, where the light is as dim as to make it near impossible to judge it; especially for a short-sighted old bat such as myself!

Bourgogne Aligoté 2010
Our first taste of this coveted vintage on the Côtes is seemingly devoid of colour and has a medium-minus intense, but pleasantly refreshing nose of typical high-toned citrus, some lifted green herbs and perhaps a hint of saline minerals.
This little wine is medium bodied on the attack and its pronounced acidity is somehow adequately buffered on the well-extracted mid-palate. The medium intense flavours of grapefruit are delivered on a deeper base of sweeter fruit and here too, a saline mineral edge adds interest while the finish preserves its balance for 15-20 seconds. As they come, this is a very good and pleasantly approachable Aligoté that deserves 84 points and will keep for at least five years, if one feels so inclined. It has to be noted that this wine seemed to be the first to recover from its bottle-shock.

Meursault VV 2010
This sample had been opened 10 days earlier and can therefore not be regarded as representative. It still had some lightly intense impressions of citrus fruits on the nose and was still quite drinkable, despite the fact that the acidity tasted less than fresh. For what it’s worth, the net yields were 22HL/HA in 2010…

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clos St. Jean” 2010
This cuvee ferments on 50% new oak pièces, which is perceptible on the medium-minus intense nose but not obtrusively so. Further complexity is present in the form of high-toned green fruits and carnations. Good extract contributes to medium-plus bodied flavours of white peach and dried spice over a subtle base of minerally infused fatty clay, reminiscent of northern shore Chablis. There is however, also some oaky phenolic residue present that slightly detracts from the otherwise medium-plus intense –presently somewhat muddled– vinous flavours. The medium-plus acidic spine seems perfectly sound and when the finish hangs on for 20-25 seconds, this Chassagne seems mostly in need of 3-5 years in the cellar to sort itself out. For now, I’ll give 82 points but there may well be as much as high eighties potential.

Meursault 1er Cu “Charmes” 2010
Only medium-minus intense on the nose, but there is no denying the inherent richness of this cru. Lush notes of ripe honeyed orchard fruits, a non-obtrusive hint of vanilla and exotic spices tickle the nostrils. The attack however, reveals an only slightly more than medium body paired to not quite pronounced acidity. The latter is very well-buffered by extracted –yet curiously no more than medium intense– minerally infused passion fruit and citrus flavours. While coming across as somewhat closed on the mid-palate, there is a chlorine quality to the mineral content that seems to give extra lift and the finish too, preserves this balance for 25-30 understated seconds. This wine seems to hold a lot in reserve and while scoring it now seems pointless (to paraphrase myself) given its current state, I suspect that a minimum of five years bottle aging could unleash potential amounting to a score somewhere in the 91-93 point region.

Meursault 1er Cu “Bouches Chères” 2010
More giving and precise on the nose than the Charmes is this underrated 1er Cru, which offers up medium intense and more precise notes of mentholated apricot, spiced pear and citrus fruits framed by a pebbly mineral streak.
The reverse is the case in the mouth. The attack reveals a medium body, followed by somewhat coiled-up mid-palate impression of medium-minus intense citrus rind and positively saline mineral flavours. That sounds inadequate to balance the pronounced acidity, but this wine pulls it off regardless thanks to the buffering effect of its truly exceptional extraction levels. Moreover, it leaves an impression of purity I really like and when some seemingly weightless back-end intensity develops and lingers for 40 seconds-plus on the finish, it makes me want to go out on a limb and award 89 points for this showing, with a minimum of three points potential. If you are lucky enough to have procured some, then do yourself the favour of leaving this wine in the cellar for as long as you dare…

Meursault 1er Cu “Goutte d’Or” 2010
Medium intense notes of citrus rind, lemon grass, verbena, fresh green herbs and pebbles whet the appetite. Again medium-bodied, this wine confirms the sleek house style despite vintage-derived impressive dry matter. Its pronounced acidity remains largely hidden under lean but extracted, medium intense flavours of peach and pear overlaying pebbly minerals. Finesse has to be sought in its glycerine enhanced texture at the moment and while the finish doesn’t add intensity or complexity, it does stage a sneaky comeback halfway through its 35-40 seconds of effortless balance.
I suspect we have another winner here and while only skirting 90 –so 89 points– at present, I would hate to have to pick the winner between these last two wines in the fullness of time.

Meursault “Tessons” 2010
This was opened on the spot as an afterthought, because Patrick forgot to do so earlier. Medium-minus intense notes of white flowers and cretaceous minerals on the nose are followed by a medium body on the attack. Despite “only” having medium-plus acidity, this too is a lean and sinewy –but well-stuffed– number. Again, this wine somehow manages to remain pleasant in the mouth despite being rather closed at the moment, but is hard to judge in its present state. In short, good material which one would expect to blossom into a high eighties wine in the due course. For now, judgement reserved.

Up next: Hubert & Laurent Lignier - Morey-Saint-Denis

Thanks Mike. I have wondered about this Domaine since Mr. Meadows scores for this domaine have dramatically improved over the past couple of vintages.

Historically, this was a producer whose style I just did not like – generally fat, ripe Meursault that was the antithesis of the style I preferred. The Burghound review suggested a big change in style but I also took the better scores with a pinch of salt since Allen’s scores seem to be suffering from grade inflation of late.

Reading between the lines from your reviews it sounds like he’s still trying to produce very ripe wines but to get higher acidity where possible (which would not have been difficult in 2007, 2008 or 2010.) You know my palate pretty well, are these wines I’m likely to be impressed with, or disappointed in?

Thanks Mike
Great notes


Yes, Patrick Essa did indeed mention that he chooses to harvest a little earlier to preserve acidities if needed, now that Michel Buisson is around less than in the recent past. If I recall my notes on the 2009’s (still to be worked out somewhere in the future, I hope), those wines were definitely on the riper side but still with a modicum of freshness.
While definitely no Roulot or Coche -to name two stars on opposite ends of the stylistic spectrum- the whites are uniformly good across the board with the Goutte d’Or and Bouches Chères a notch above the rest. If you can get still grab some 2010’s, I think you’d be quite pleased; especially at that price point. Of course, I have no idea how much the local rendition of the three-tier system will will take you for, but ex-cellar those wines are dirt cheap.

A good indication of a stylistic shift is perhaps the 2011 -by all means a softer vintage than 2010, 2008 or 2007- Goutte d’Or, which is lean, nervously styled and has excellent mineral expression.

edited out typos

Hi Mike, look forward to our next tasting in a few weeks, we will taste the 2010 Buisson-Charles Meursault Les Tessons next to the 2010 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir. I think a good opportunity to compare different styles of winemaking.

Hi Barry,

Yes, I’m really looking forward to returning to all that hard work after the summer holidays! [wink.gif].

Mike, you just need to go through the following palate-pleasing wines from :

Domaine de Chassorney, Buisson-Charles, Domaine Roulot, Vincent Dauvissat, Domaine Marc Morey & Fils, Domaine d’Auvenay, Frederic Cossard, Maison Ilan, Domaine G. Roumier, Domaine Fourrier, Domaine Ponsot and more ….

It’s truly hard work to taste and make notes and keep it all together wine after wine after wine, but somebody has to do it!