BURGUNDY & RHÔNE-tasting in Graz/Austria

BURGUNDY & RHÔNE-tasting in Graz/Austria

Last weekend I organized a tasting of 12 red Burgundies and 12 red Rhônes each. The idea was to taste „comparable“ wines (whatever that is) of the same or similar vintages … I also found it interesting to see how easy it is to spot the origin and age of the particular wines … and eventually whether Burgs or Rhones were „better“ (or at least the favorites among the group, most of them experienced tasters).
The were 19 tasters (incl. 5 couples sharing glasses).
After each flight we voted for the best wine (2 points) and the 2nd best wine (1 point) – the added points (not to be confused with points/100) are given in the order of the wines.
In between an excellent 4 course menu was served … at Restaurant LAUFKE in Graz (heavily recommended).
My notes are necessarily quite short.
The wines have been opened 5-6 h in advance (except one wine: 11 hours)… and decanted 10-15 minutes before serving. Vintages 1988-2011.

1st flight:
1) 2005 Dom. ARNOUX(-LACHAUX): Nuits-St-Georges „Les Poisets“ (Village):
dark ruby, fragrant nose, still a bit structured, accessable, plummy
2) 2008 Domaine CHARVIN: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
medium full, good grip, mouthfilling, very nice for the vintage
3) 2008 Dom. Reyane & Pascal BOULEY: Volnay „Champans“ 1er Cru:
bright ruby, acidity showing, but quite balanced, fine, but a bit light
3) 2004 Clos SAIN-JEAN: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
fullest colour, in the nose lots of raspberries, modern, but lively and satisfying

group´s voting: 16/14/3/18, so Clos St.Jean, then Arnoux - my fav. was 2), then 1)

1st course: confitted paprika, citrus mayonnaise, char caviar, salad

2nd flight:
5) 1995 Domaine CLOS DES PAPES: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
full bright red, sweet mature fruit, long and persistent
6) 1995 Dom. MONTILLE: Volnay „Mitans“ 1er Cru:
brighter, but still structured, masculine and still a bit tannic, dry edge
7) 1988 Domaine Philippe LECLERC: Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru „Combe aux Moines“:
eventually kind of mature, leathery, good inner core, long
8) 1988 Maison VIDAL-FLEURY (Ampuis): Côte-Rôtie:
bright transparent, lively acidity, spicy, excellent with the food, but might have been better a few years ago

group´s voting: 21/3/17/11, so Clos des Papes, then Leclerc - my fav. were also 5), then 7)

2nd course: carp from Domaine Dornau, celery, apple, buttermilk

3rd flight:
9) 2010 Dom. Sylvain CATHIARD (VR): Vosne-Romanée (Village):
medium ruby, quite soft, a bit lactic, good acidity, balanced
10) 2011 Dom. CONFURON-GINDRE (VR): Echezeaux Grand Cru:
quite dark and full, sweet tannins, tight, slightly dry finish, too young
11) 2010 Domaine René ROSTAING (Ampuis): Côte-Rôtie „Ampodium“:
full medium red, spicy, meaty, long and elegant
12) 2011 Domaine BARROCHE: Châteauneuf-du-Pape „PURE“ (100% Grenache):
very full and dark, velvety, sweet Grenache fruit, yes: modern, but great and very satifying

group´s voting: 18/20/3/16, so Confuron-Gindre, then Cathiard - my fav. was 12), then 11) … the Rostaing got beaten below its value

4th flight:
13) 1997 Dom. Georges MUGNERET(-GIBOURG) (VR): Clos Vougeot Grand Cru:
full red with orange rim, nose first a bit neutral, strong palate, expansive, but not really „singing“
14) 2001 Domaine de MARCOUX: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
full with sweet fruit, a bit animalic, complex, elegant, chewy
15) 1997 Domaine J.L.Chave (Mauves): Hermitage:
the 1st bottle was heavily corked, I opened another one (my last), fully mature, developed further with air, great inner core, very elegant and complex
16) 2001 Domaine MAGNIEN (MSD): Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru:
medium dark red, sour cherries, strong and long, early maturity, minerally,

group´s voting: 14/20/6/15, so Marcoux, then Magnien - my favorite was clearly Chave, which needed time due to taken freshly from a case), then Magnien … a pity that the 1st bottle of Chave was off. 10 minutes later several preferred the Chave.

3rd course: saddle of deer from Western Styria, potatoes, long Neapolitan pumkin, juniper (a pic of this course follows later)

5th flight:
17) 1993 Maison MOILLARD (NSG): Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru:
the first opened Moillard/Corton Clos du Roi 1993 was corked, this substitute was really old school „fine“, fully mature, but slightly dry in the finish
18) 1993 Dom. Jean-Marc BOILLOT: Pommard „Rugiens“ 1er Cru:
quite full, the typical 1993s narrowness in the expression, not enormously complex, but very good
19) 1998 Domaine Michel & Stephane OGIER (Ampuis): Côte-Rôtie:
very lively and elegant, earthy with hints of black olives, very interesting both in the nose and on the palate, a treat
20) 1993 Domaine Jean-Paul VERSINO/Bois de Boursan: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
the darkest, still saturated, positively traditional, excellent bite, tight, sweet, long

group´s voting: 4/17/20/11, so Ogier, then Boillot - my fav. was Ogier, then Versino (which is labelled as „Bois de Boursan“ in the export market, different labels, the same wine)

6th flight:
21) 2004 Dom. Jacques-Frederic MUGNIER: Nuits-St-Georges „Clos de la Marechale“ 1er Cru (Monopole):
bright red with hints of brown and orange, fully mature (looked some years older), the green meanies have been almost fully integrated, this was very nice to drink, if not really outstanding
22) 2005 Domaine Clos du MONT-OLVET: Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
full but transparent colour, nice grip, one of the most elegant CdPs, nice balance, long
23) 2003 Dom. Jean-Jacques CONFURON (NSG): Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru:
still dark ruby, nothing „hot“ about it, plummy, but elegant and very accessable, still with potential, really fine
24) 2004 Château DES TOURS (Sarrans): Vacqueyras:
(open 11 h), full orange red, sweet forthcoming cherry fruit with orange peel, tight and long, complex and mouthfilling, not only a slight resemblance to Rayas

group´s voting: 6/5/30/16, so Confuron, then Vacqueyras - my fav. was the Vacqueyras, then Confuron, but I also loved the Mont-Olivet – and Mugnier was not bad either.

7th) dessert wines (3 brought by participants, one by me):
25) 2015 Riesling Kabinett Marienburg – Clemens Busch/Mosel (Germany) 7.5% :
typical Mosel Kabinett, nice, went well with the dessert

26) 2017 Welschriesling Beerenauslese (BA) – Weingut Tschida/Angerhof (Neusiedlersee/Austria) 8% :
sweet, but quite bright and light, might improve with time

27) 2007 Welschriesling Beerenauslese (BA) – Weingut Just/Rust (Neusiedlersee/Austria) 12.5% :
deeper and more interesting, not too sticky, perfect with the dessert

28) 1991 Banyuls L´Etoile – Cave Coop Banyuls (France):
fully mature „rusty“ colour, raisiny, very nice and really complex, but not ideal with the dessert

dessert course: Litchi/Matcha cream/buckwheat/ginger

Feel free to comment … (coming later a few pics … and a resumé …)


I have never seen a tasting when Burgundy was in the same flights as CdP. What was the idea behind? Wasn´t it difficult for the Burgundies when compared to the bigger CdP?


That was exactly the reason … rarely done …
and no, the “bigger” CdPs were not a problem, see flights 1, 3, 6 …


This sounds like a really fun event. Thanks for taking the time to post. I’m pleasantly surprised to hear about the 98 Ogier CR. Upon release, I (and a number of friends) loved this wine and I stocked up on it. I’ve had a couple over the recent years and they all feel a bit muddy, especially when tasted head to head with another CR from the same vintage. I have a bunch left, so I may have to crack one soon.

I believe that I have a few 95 and 98 Mont Olivet CdP’s laying around. I’m definitely going to open one of those soon too.

Quick question…are you doing anything to prevent the sediment from these old rhones from getting in the glass. I admit to being very, very lazy about these things, and tend to just leave that bottom finger or two of wine in the bottle, but still end up with sediment in my glass. Had the 2000 Beaucastel recently…Poured the last half of the bottle through a coffee filter and was really pleased with the result.

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Yes, it was really fun – certainly the „most enjoyable“ (not the best) tasting for a longer period … as people said
Reg. the Ogier … remember that my bottles was stored in my cellar (45-54°F) for 22 years … the fill was 1 cm below cork …
Both Mont-Olivets should be fine … I would open them well in advance …

All my bottles (except the 2 substitutes for the corkers) stood up for weeks …
Then I decant about 90% by hand … and filter the rest through a cheap odourless paper-tissue …
works perfectly. With 14-16 glasses to fill I cannot afford to leave 2 fingers of sediment in the bottle …

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The main course:

The dessert:

Some older bottles:

6th flight:

Sorry, I was very busy … no time to shoot everything …

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It would not have occurred to me to do this as a theme but it absolutely sounds like fun, rather more than two dozen of one or the other. :cheers:

Gerhard I bought some 2010 Arnoux NSG Poisets after seeing a note from you then that it took a lot of time to show its stuff. Still too early to try one it looks like :slight_smile:.

The '97 Chave has been a favorite, more than the few big vintages I’ve tried, if maybe not as long-lived in the end, only '91 better.

Thanks for the notes and the idea for a tasting.

even Arnoux Poisets (Village) needs time if you want to experience kind of tertiaer notes (and not only primary fruit) … 15+ years … except vintages like 2007 …

I also love ´97 Chave, but this bottle suffered a bit from having been freshly stood up (after the 1st corked bottle) - although it had been open for a good 5 hours - it developed clearly in the glass after 20 min.

it was not always easy and clear for the group to recognize the origin of the wines (as one might have thought): I would say roughly 70-75% were assigned correctly - at least to Burgundy/Rhone valley, but a good third not, and even more not to North/South Rhone.

I´m not a blind disciple of group votings (actually my own votes were partially different), but in the six flights (group voting) the 1st places were taken 4 : 2 by Rhone wines, and the 2nd places were 5 : 1 to Burgundies … whatever that means.

Personally I would say that I would be happy to drink each and every single of the 24 wines in a restaurant for dinner :cheers: … sure some were great … and some good to very good or better … but no really bad or weak wine was on the table. If points/100 were given I would say the range was between 88 and 97 points …

Not surprizingly the market value of the Burgundies was more than two times of the Rhône wines.
Lesson for the Burgundy-only freaks: Burgundies aren’t always the better wines - nor are they always clearly recognizable. :rofl:

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seems like a hugely educational tasting. great combinations.
I wonder if the power of the Rhones won over the Burgundies, or if the complexity and finesse of the Burgundies has beaten the Rhones sometimes?

Either/or … or both …
There were complex Rhone wines with a lot of finesse … as well as strong Burgundies …
and often it was not easy to tell what was what …
Although my personal ratings sometimes differ from the group´s … my feeling is that those wines where everything was right in balance, all components fit together - were the most convincing eventually.
That´s a definition for a fine wine, right?