One in our series of vintage focused Burgundy dinners, where each one of us brings one or two bottles from a single year.
I have always found these dinners to a be wonderful window to understanding more about different Burgundy vintages at a particular period in their evolution, and this dinner really helped to opened my eyes to the joys of the 2014 vintage.
The whites of 2014 have always been lauded, from barrel to bottle, and they continue to show beautiful promise now, a few years into their lives. These wines have everything you would want from a great white Burg vintage - power, depth, but above all transparency and tension. More together than the 2010s, fruitier than the 2008s (which could be a little lean when young), and as well cut as the 2007s, but with more flesh and friendliness, this is a tremendous vintage for white Burgundy lovers.
The reds on the other hand have really surprised on the upside. There were worries over the depth and length of the wines early on, but this has really developed into a “drinkers vintage”, really enjoyable wines that showed both pure, transparent that show really good terroir typicity. Like some 2001s and 2008s in their early days, there were little shades of bittersweet mineral and bramble at the finish on some of the wines. Other than that, they were generally elegantly textured, with a more classical shape to them compared to wines from warmer, deeper-fruited vintages of say 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015. These are not facile wines either, with the best marrying a pristine clarity to a sharper sense of structure than say the 2011 or 2013 wines, which bodes well for their aging. I really enjoyed the reds - a lot more so than I thought I would.
2014 Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
This was quite brilliant - showing off how good 2014 was as a white Burg vintage. The nose was just lovely - classic Corton-Charlie, with notes of butter and cream, a bite of white chocolate, some white meat and button mushrooms, all these floating around a core of rich white fruited aromas, and then just a little lick of oak and mineral. A brilliant nose. The palate was very fine indeed, with plenty of power and depth wed to a real sense of clarity and elegance showing through its white fruited flavours on the attack. Another touch of white chocolate, and some savoury white meat and earth notes, and a little hit of citrus, then made up a midpalate with a lot of flesh and intensity. Great long finish too, juicy clinging on to the backpalate with tons of strength and length, with just a twist of bittersweet minerality to it. Clearly a Grand Cru even when tasted blind, and a good one at that. This will age well for many, many years yet, but it was really good even at this young age. (94 pts.)
2014 Domaine de la Bongran (Thevenet) Viré-Clessé Cuvée E. J. Thevenet - France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Viré-Clessé
A neat little Macon - this was fairly simple, but was really tasty and well-balanced. The nose was pure Macon - sweet and sunny, with tropical shades of candied pineapples, honey and cream. The palate felt a bit backwards and malic at first, with a slightly fizzy note to it. A bit sulphur floating around too, but that blew away with time, Otherwise, it was very yummy. Creamily textured, yet with lots of energy and a nice linear focus, this unfolded in the mouth with fruity notes of pineapples and lemons riding on a nice mineral base. There was a good richness to it, with a surprising length as well, all showing a good density and some alcohol weight, yet also always having a sense of definition and balance throughout. The purity and mineral of the 2014 vintage wedding well to the plump, sunny Macon character of the wine. (92 pts.)
2014 Domaine Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
Good, but definitely a bit too primary and backward to fully enjoy on the night. It was very Meursault on the nose, with notes of butter and cream swirling sweet tones of melons and red apples seasoned with a touch of spice. The palate came across as really rather sweet and rich, with ripe yellow and a dance of flowers riding alongside some buttery strokes. There was a nice depth to this, and a really nice sense of energy, with everything infused with a bright, juicy, lemony acidity that kept the wine balanced and vibrant in spite of its weight and ripeness. Still very primary and fruit-driven though. This needs time yet. I would lay it aside for easily another 4-5 years before trying again. (91 pts.)
2015 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
Absolutely gorgeous - this was a joyful wine. It had a wonderful bouquet - really deep, with notes of cream and apples, chalk and bramble, just fringed with little hints of sweet oak. Gorgeous. The palate was just lovely. Generous yet controlled, a bit wilder than the usually uber-linear and laser-like wines of Anne-Claude maybe, but with a lovely pristine freshness and definition showing in its notes of apples and cream, sweet praline, and a nice bit of spice moving into a super long finish. Just absolutely delicious - a wine of emotion and character. Already drinking fairly well now, but this will keep very well for the mid to longterm. (94 pts.)
2014 La Chablisienne Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
A lovely drop, but way too young - this was one of the more backward of the 2014 whites on the night. It had a beautifully perfumed nose even now though, with a hint of sweet red raspberries hovering around a citrus core of lemons and spice, these riding alongside classic aromas chalk and saline mineral. Lovely stuff - characteristically Chablis, with a bit of a ripe touch to it. That ripeness carried on to the palate as well, It was noticeably rich and sweet for a Les Preuses, with notes of pineapples and those little red berries again, but these were underlined with tons of bright, juicy acidity and a muscular seam of chalk minerality - all these coming together to give the wine a really nice shape and profile. It had maybe less intensity than one would expect from a top-notch Chablis Grand Cru from 2014, but there was certainly no lack of depth and breadth here. There was a lovely sense of definition and focus too, all the way into a finish of wonderfully effortless length, where Chablis’ chalky minerality came to the fore again. A really nice drop, but all still rather tight at the moment, with some elements still hovering around in the background needing time to coax them out. I would love to try this in again when it really hits it slide, probably sometime between 2025-2028. (93 pts.)
2014 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
A smashing wine. The cut and drive of the 2014 white vintage really married beautifully well with the traditional power and fullness of Bdm’s Corton-Charlemagnes in this bottle to make a beautiful white Burgundy, bursting with future potential. The nose was sweetly perfumed, with white fruit, mingling with riper pineapple and tropical fruit shades, and then some characteristic white chocolate notes, all these underlined by streaks of chalky mineral and flint. Very attractive. There were some reductive matchstick tones at the start, but these blew off pretty quickly. The palate was equally impressive - full and powerful, with a deep well of white fruit, but also with a spine of bright lemony acidity and saline mineral that gave it an almost Chablis-like snap of freshness and definition. Great finish too - with a great trail minerally flint and chalk. Very impressive - a big, powerful wine, yet nicely controlled and defined with all that acidity and mineral racing through it. This is one for aging though - I would lay it aside for easily a decade or two. (94 pts.)
2014 Paul Pernot et ses Fils Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
An excellent old-school Grand Cru white Burg. This was beautifully aromatic from the get-go, with lovely smells of fresh pears, white peach, and almond cream. A really fresh and giving bouquet - so pretty too! The palate Was really solid - not as broadly expressive as nose, nor quite refined as the bouquet suggested, but this was very nice in a old-fashioned way, with lots of batonnage showing in its creamy notes of salted butter, almonds and white fruit. Apart from a slight hint of hollowness on the midpalate, this was quite a full expression of BBM; but I think it also showed some of the finesse and tension of the 2014 vintage, with a fresh purity and a nice mineral spine that stretched all the way into a decently long, savoury finish. I liked the fact that this was conspicuously light on oak too. Old-school Grand Cru - unfussy and delicious, and very good indeed. (94 pts.)
2014 Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Roncières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
A really nice NSG 1er Cru. This had an attractive nose, with fragrant wafts of dark cherries and a lilt of florals floating alongside some savoury notes of earth and meat, and then a little hint of spice. Very nice. The palate was still marked by some fine but tight tannins, but also showed a really nice clarity and balance, with a good sense of acidity enlivening a whole mouthful of wood spice - this drifting in and around a depth of dark cherries, and then into a chewy, meaty midpalate. It had a nice, full finish as well, with a little bit of bittersweet bramble and mineral. This lacked a touch of midpalate weight and intensity, which prevented it from pushing on to greatness, but this was a very accomplished 1er Cru indeed. Just beginning to shut down maybe, but this has great bones and should age effortlessly for decades. (93 pts.)
2014 Benjamin Leroux Mazoyères-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru
This was a real charmer. It started with a lovely nose - extremely perfumed, really floral, with notes of red fruit, alongside bits of savoury meat, and some wet stony mineral tones. The palate had a lovely clarity and transparency about it, with red fruit a the fore, and then tons of that wet stony minerality picked up on the nose. It was light and airy, but not insubstantial on the midpalate, with some floral notes coming up. On the backplate, some fine but firm tannins gave the wine some chew, leading to nice lengthy finish that ended with a little kiss of spice. Still a tad on the simple side, but this will not doubt pick up complexity as it ages. Nice. While no harm drinking now, it will clearly reward another 5-6 years in the cellar. (93 pts.)
2014 Maison Albert Bichot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts Domaine du Clos Frantin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
I have had a few of the recent vintages of the Clos Frantin Malconsorts recently, and they have really impressed me. Not quite approaching the absolutely top-rung of producers, but they have come a really long way in terms of quality over the years. This bottle, served blind amidst some serious company, was a case in point. It had a really pretty nose - rather blue fruited, with sweet berries, some brambly violets, and then a touch of earth and some new oak notes. The palate felt very fine, with light, lithe dance of blue fruit over wet stone, and more floral accents - roses this time. This was mid-bodied rather than full, but still showed a good persistency on a neat finish that showed a bit of earthiness and a fine . What really stood out for me with the lovely purity of the wine though - with gentle acidity and velvety tannins framing a really transparent core. Not a blockbuster then, but this was very fine, rather restrained, and really pleasurable drinking in its relative youth. (93 pts.)
2014 Jean-Marc Millot Grands-Echezeaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru
This was absolutely superb - my red wine of the night by some distance. What a beautiful nose it had - seductive and alluring, with a thick bouquet of red cherries infused with exotic spice and perfumy rose petals, a bit of bramble, and just a shade of new oak still. An amazing nose; super expressive. What a beautiful palate too - best of the evening’s reds by far. This was just so complete, with a muscular strength showing in its deep, powerful notes of earth, meat and stone running through a lovely depth lush red fruit - all cherries and red berries - and then another seasoning of spice, and a hint of bittersweet, earthy mineral towards its long finish. Delicious, deep and full, yet so transparent and focused throughout that this really felt like a wine of effortless, unforced finesse. Beautiful stuff; drinking so nicely in its youth, yet with its best years ahead of it still. I would love to drink this again in 5, 10, 15 years’ time. (95 pts.)
2014 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru
Very good, if showing a touch on the modern side tonight. It had a lovely nose - lush and generous, with dark cherries and ripe wild berries, earth and mineral, and then a lovely spiciness and a bit of new oak rounding it off. There was just a touch too much oak aroma in there in its youth, but otherwise really nice. The palate was just lovely, showing pure, lush flavours of black cherries and berries, lined with a nice but of mineral and earth - all these framed by a fine structure of firm tannins and bright acidity. There was platy of muscle and strength on this, all the way though into a long finish with a hint of bittersweet black tea. This was perhaps a bit modern in its polished thickness and obviously more extracted style, compared to say the elegant 2014 JM Millot Grands-Echezeaux a couple of flights back, but there was nevertheless a beautiful purity and transparency to the wine throughout. Very good indeed, but this needs plenty of time before its peak. The other bottles will remain cellared for another 6-8 years before I come back to them. (94 pts.)
2014 Domaine Bertheau (Pierre et François) Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
A blend from 4 separate 1er Cru plots in Chambolle, this is usually a reliable bottle chez Bertheau which, in the right vintages can be very nice indeed. This 2014 was good, but not brilliant. The nose was probably the most advanced on the night, with aromas of red fruits shading into raisins, a waft of perfumed florals, some spice, and then a hint of earth. Unusually raisiny for such a young wine, but attractive nonetheless. The palate was similarly drinking in quite an advanced fashioned, showing nicely opened flavours of raisins and plums garlanded by a toss of violets. Very fruit-forward for a Burgundy, but there was still a chew of fine juicy acidity that gave it the sense of transparent purity that I like about Bertheau’s wine. All in all, a decently good wine. Tannins were nice and silky too. For all its forwardness though, I suspect that a little bit more time in the bottle for this to integrate and put on some complexity will do this some good. (91 pts.)
2014 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru En Orveaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Delicious - this was very nice indeed, and drinking well even at its young age. It had a great nose - earth, meat and sous bois drifting around plush aromas of dark cherry fruit, maybe some sour plum, all these seasoned with lots of fragrant Vosne spice. A lush, voluptuous and inviting bouquet. It was surprisingly open and advanced on the palate as well - with dark cherries, plums and menthol notes wrapped in a cloak of still firm, chewy tannins and really nice acidity. The finish had a charming flush of dusty earthiness to it, along with a lilt of florals and, again, lot and lots of warm spicy notes. Delicious stuff that spoke of its terroir eloquently - this was such a nice one. While drinking nicely in its youth it certainly has the chops to age effortlessly as well. (93 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker