TN: Wines at the Bistro de l'Hotel and Ma Cuisine, Beaune


  • 2007 Clotilde Davenne Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses Domaine et Selection - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
    Good light colour. A nose of baking spices, wet river stone, minerals, grapefruit and yellow orchard fruit, with suggestions of salinity and creaminess. No exotic fruit aromas. On palate, the first impression is of the excellent, sparkling 2007 acids. There is good cut and precision and no hint of creaminess. The acidity cut beautifully through the garlic butter on my scallops. The flavour profile is more limes than lemons, with those yellow orchard fruit. There is perhaps a hint of more exotic fruit (passionfruit?). Good fruit weight to match the tension. Quite long, it finishes on chalk and limestone notes. Drinking well now but, ideally, cellar 5+ years.
  • 1997 Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
    Colour good ruby. A complex bouquet of black spices, dirt, red cherry, red currant and rusty iron filings. With time in the glass, the nose moved more rusty. On palate flavours of red cherries, dry underbrush and savoury, earthy, rusty and (dried) herby nuances. Good acidity, structure and dry extract. An excellent accompaniment to my succulent filet de boef with truffles. Drinking beautifully now but not yet very secondary, so it has years to go, I would say.

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I had arranged dinner with Bill Nanson at Ma Cuisine and we were joined by JC and Neville with whom I’d been visiting Burgundy vineyards in the day.

I very much like the menu at Ma Cuisine but it is ultimately just good, basic bistro food. The point of dining at Ma Cuisine is to find something interesting on Pierre’s outstanding wine list …

  • 2007 Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
    2007 is Bill’s and my favourite, recent white Burgundy vintage, so this wine seemed a good place to start … Excellent, bright clean colour. A bouquet of baking spices, limes and other citrus juices and powdery nuances, with flinty minerals. A gorgeous wine in the mouth, citric and spicy with some rocky minerality. The excellent acidity provided precision and focus and cut through the garlic butter on my escargots. Good fruit weight and power. A lovely Puligny, drinking well now, that should have many years in front of it …
  • 1964 Chanson Père et Fils Beaune 1er Cru Bressandes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    A browning, rusty red colour. A clean nose of pipe tobacco, dry underbrush and old plums. With time in the glass the bouquet moved more savoury and richer. ‘Beefy’, said Bill. The entry to the palate was big and round, seeming lower acidity. It was mellow, soft and fully integrated, secondary rather than tertiary in its flavour spectrum. As well as some caramel, there was dried plums, beef stew, old leather couch, dry earth and tobacco leaf on palate, with an attractive savouriness throughout. It paired well with my duck but really began to sing with the Berthaud Époisses, an absolutely beautiful combination. A memorable wine, Bill said it was the best 1964 Burgundy he’d ever had.
  • 2009 Coche-Dury Volnay 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    JC is a Volnay man and Bill likes Coche-Dury’s reds, so JC ordered this wine. In fact, JC asked for the 2005 Volnay 1er Cru but Pierre talked him into the 2009 instead … Beautiful, deep aromatics, expressing the fully ripe fruit. Bouquet of polished cherries, kirsch, raspberries and red plums. ‘Damson gin’ aromas, said Bill. A sweet, unctuous entry to the palate. Ultra-silky tannins and satiny mouthfeel. The first impression was that the wine was relatively accessible and open but then the massive fruit weight hit you … This wine clearly needs time to shed some of its puppy fat. Ripe, very rich and concentrated. The wine really, in my view, also needed more energy and cut. At least it’s not shut down. In fact, I began to wonder if it will ever close? Or perhaps it’ll remain relatively accessible throughout its life? JC, as a guy who likes acidity and is not usually a fan of 2009 red Burgundies, was wondering if he would have been better off with the 2005 … Nonetheless, overall, a good wine that just needs more time I think …

On the way out of Ma Cuisine, Bill and I stopped to say hello to a group of very well behaved Aussies. It turned out that they had been guided around Burgundy by Remington Norman and this was the tour’s farewell dinner. He is such a gentleman. It was very nice to meet him …
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fantastic post howard. Thanks!

Friday’s dinner at Ma Cuisine …

  • 1964 Domaine Jaboulet-Vercherre Beaune 1er Cru Clos de l’Ecu - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru (6/24/2015)
    John and I had had a big day of wine tasting so restricted ourselves to one bottle at dinner at Ma Cuisine in Beaune … Pierre explained that Jaboulet-Vercherre were a negociant in Beaune in those days and that the site here is now owned by Faiveley. The colour was a good red brown for the age. The l’Ecu had a lovely bouquet of old leather, dry brushwood and clay, with a strong tartufo nero note. With time, a cherry liqueur nuance emerged, which John attributed to a hot ferment. On the palate, the wine was very much alive with plenty of relatively bright, red fruit character. The flavour spectrum was secondary, not tertiary. It was a lovely old bottle with plentiful preserved red berries, cigar, dry underbrush and dusty earth flavours, but nothing like mushroomy or vegetal flavours. John detected a pruney character but, as someone who prefers more primary fruit flavours than me, was pleasantly surprised by the fruit (still) evident here. In fact he speculated that it might be possible that some Rhone varieties had added into the wine (given the Beaune train station being on the train line to Lyon)! I was very satisfied with this mellow old bottle, putting it a little behind the 1964 Chanson from a couple of nights before … However, this bottle could have easily gone another 5-10 years in the cellar …

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Very nice read Howard

duplicate post

Charlie and Don, you’re welcome. As time permits I’ll post some of my notes of visits in Burgundy and Piemonte …

Best, Howard

I’m getting hungry looking at those shots Howard.

Question. If my wife doesn’t drink wine. Should I bother going to ma cuisine?

Up to you. As Howard said, the food is the equivalent of good bistrot food. But the winelist is always pretty interesting. As much as I enjoyed what we were drinking when we were there, I think I enjoyed more seeing what everyone else was drinking.

Order the pigeon entree at Ma Cuisine. Once you taste it, you won’t even care that your wife doesn’t drink wine. It’s a stellar dish.

The Epoisses / red burgundy combination has never worked for me. It’s always been downright nasty. If the cheese is ripe, it clobbers the wine. I’m not the only person in my circle of friends to feel this way.

But I know it works for other people. I’ve never figured out why such a difference.

Always great to eat and drink in Beaune, in any case.

Yes, I’d say so.

The food is good if not Michellin starred. Pierre is a knowledgeable guy to have a chat with before he gets too busy. You can just get one really good bottle and perhaps sharing it with other diners is a great way to get talking to others who are passionate about Burgundy.

I haven’t been to Ma Cuisine in many years but recall the wine list as being full of gems that were very, very well priced for the picking… Is it still that way? Food was always good but given the great alternatives for food in Beaune, I really thought of it as a place to go for the wine.

On the other hand, recall the food at Bistro de l’Hotel as being a couple notches above, though the wine pricing was much higher.

No argument here, though the other dishes I might agree are fairly good but not stellar.

Wonderful notes as always, Howard. I think I prefer 2008s for whites, but only by a hair over 2007, which is also a fantastic vintage for my tastes.

I’ve had a Coche red once, years ago in Vancouver. I was very taken by it, though can’t remember exactly which commune it was from…

I do hope you will post on your latest Burgundy visit.

Haere Ra,


I’m surely an outlier, as I’ve never understood the adoration expressed on wine boards for the food at Ma Cuisine; it’s a good bistro and a fun joint. The food is better at l’Hotel and other places mentioned in your Burgundy travel thread.

I prefer white wine with ripe Epoisses (and most cheese, for that matter).

Having said all that, Howard’s report is a very enjoyable read.