White Burgundy Tasting – LeRoy, Ramonet, Bonneau du Matray and more

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Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chablis, Chardonnay, Chassagne-Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne, France, Puligny-Montrachet, White Wine

WHITE BURGUNDY TASTING – LEROY, RAMONET, BONNEAU DU MATRAY AND MORE – (6/14/2009)
Our monthly wine salon organized by Austin collector Brian Owens was hosted at Austin’s Aquarelle restaurant yesterday afternoon. We tasted through 23 wines in almost exactly 4 hours. Yesterday’s theme was white burgundy, so we tasted through a good number of the important villages/communes to get a feel for each, as well as the styles within. Before I get to the notes I took, I will take a moment and say that the number of oxidized bottles was absolutely shocking…and that’s after the host had already opened and tasted, and subsequently replaced damaged and oxidized bottres. After tasting through the wines yesterday, I am resolved to drink white burgundy in its youth. Going beyond 10 years seems to be a crapshoot. Alas, here are the notes.

Entry Level and Pouilly-Fuisse White Burgundy

  • 2007 Cave de Lugny Mâcon-Lugny Les Charmes – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Lugny
    First wine of the afternoon. Pale yellow to white color. Crushed rocks, zippy acidity, lemon juice, light custard, and white flowers. Very steely. At $10 per bottle, this is a nice wine for the price.

    Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches Blanc

    • 1999 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
      Sulfur smell. Reductive. Very fresh, seashells, curing smoke, some toasty oak. Only deduction was the high glycerin texture. Someone mentioned it had a significant saline note.

      Chablis and Meursault

      • 2007 Laurent Tribut Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
        One of my favorite young wines at this tasting. Cut grass, lemon juice, high acidity, slightly salty note. A lean, mean, mineral rich wine that’s bone dry and in need of a couple of years in the cellar to soften up.

      • 2000 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
        Very good Chablis with some age on it. Still fresh, lively, vibrant wine that’s all liquid stones, but also a deep wine with layers of fruit and a softness that the previous wine lacked due to its youth. A little short on the finish for me. Very good, but not great. I would vebture to guess that the laurent tribut will be better than this at the same age.

        Corton-Charlemagne

        • 2001 Rapet Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
          My WOTN. This brought it all together. Peach, pear, round flavors, lots of minerality, a touch of cold smoke, but still bright, and young and full of promise. Loved this one.

        • 1997 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
          Oxidized. All butterscotch, round and soft texture, and high toast oak. Some said this is the house style, but something tells me that they don’t intend to make their wine like this.

        • 1998 Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
          Beginning to oxidize. This one fit stylistically right in between the Rapet and Bonneau du Martray. It had great balance and was probably the best wine to drink now. Great food match to crab bisque. Needs to be consumed immediately though. This bottle was on the downslope.

          Chassagne-Montrachet

          • 1996 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
            Slightly oxidized. Extremely intense wine that has a wild and almost rustic palate of lemon zest, minerals, curing smoke and nuts. I liked this better than most, but again, this needs to be consumed asap.

          • 1996 Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Boudriotte – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
            First bottle badly corked. Second bottle oxidized. Still drinkable but not very fun. Deep gold color and the smokey nutty, lemony flavors one would expect, plus, unfortunately some cider, caramel apple and butterscotch. I can see how this may have been really good at some point.

            Puligny-Montrachet

            • 1999 Maison Leroy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
              To me, this was the most controversial wine on the table. Everyone seemed to love it, but I didn’t. The good news is that it was definitely not oxidized, and it looked like an amazingly fresh and young wine. Pale color in comparison to all the other serious wines, and it just seemed pleasant and flat to me. No excitement factor. I thought the Genot was significantly better. No flaws I could detect.
            • 2004 Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
              Youngest wine in the lineup. Showed well and is richer in style than all but the Sauzet Pulignys. Light gold color and more tropical fruit. Smoke and a touch of oak. After tasting some of the other wines, this probably didn’t stand out for me, but it was drinking good.

            And for those of you who know your music, here’s a goodie:

              Thanks to Brian for organizing and thanks to the owners of Aquarelle for allowing us to do this tasting on their premises on their day off. Special thanks to John GL for the stunning Crab bisque. Amazing course with the Corton Charlemagnes. A truly amazing treat.

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              Posted by

              I am not a professional wine taster, nor do I have any professional training in the wine trade. I am a wine enthusiast who has spent countless hours tasting wines of many different styles. My palate is not aligned with a single wine critic, and I call all wines "as I taste them". My site is a source of tasting notes and wine recommendations as well as warnings without conflict of interest. You'll just have to figure out how your palate aligns with mine. My palate generally tends to veer towards Old-World wines that put a premium on terroir and lovely balance and finesse, rather than raw power...please keep that in mind as you read my notes.

              2 thoughts on “White Burgundy Tasting – LeRoy, Ramonet, Bonneau du Matray and more”

              1. Good afternoon Mr. Pelz!

                I just wanted to thank you for your complements on the crab bisque and for your contributions to the salon. It is always a pleasure to see you and I am sad we didn't really get a chance to catch up.

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              2. JGL. Same here. Sorry we didn't get to catch up. Too little time to taste 23 wines, separate tables, and having to cook for the family afterwards made it difficult to catch up with anyone. Hopefully we'll see each other in a less structured setting soon. And the complements on the bisque are well earned. That was something else.

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