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.
- 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.
- 2007 Joseph Drouhin St. Véran – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, St. Véran
Pale color, crushed rock, seashells, softer than the Macon that preceded it. Lemon, stony, and egg white flavors. At $13 per bottle, this, too, is a good QPR.
- 1994 J. A. Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé Tournant de Pouilly – Hors classe – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
Oxidized. Gold color. Cider, caramel apple, butterscotch, popcorn, toasted nuts, honey. Good finish. Definitely past its prime.
- 1993 Domaine Valette Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Reyssié – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
Slightly oxidated. Minerals, sherry notes, fresh, zingy with lemon and minimal oak.
- 1997 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
Oxidized. Cider, apple, lemon zest, beeswax. Fresh and broad.
- 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.
- 2002 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
By far my favorite in this flight. Bright, grassy, white flower blossoms, citrus, but also good roundness. This one had it all.
- 2000 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
Bright color and palate. Honeywater, hey, straw and citrus. Somewhat non-descript character.
- 2001 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
Slightly oxidized. Slight reduction, very sweet fruit, cut grass, fatter than the 2002. Good but in need of speedy consumption.
- 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.
- 2003 Thierry et Pascale Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Charmes – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
Toasty oak, thin, watery, flat, flabby. Short finish and utterly forgettable.
- 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.
- 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.
- 2005 Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle Domaine du Duc de Magenta – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
Jeckyll and Hyde wine. The nose smelled of plastic and rubber and nothing else, but the palate was really nice. tasty, fresh, zingy, and with good length and great purity. Bizarre showing.
- 2003 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Hameau de Blagny – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
Creme brulee and egg yolk. Some smoke and oak and noticeable crushed limestone. A bit short for my preferences. A drink now wine, but it was not oxidized.
- 2001 Château Génot-Boulanger Puligny-Montrachet Nosroyes – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet
Excellent Puligny. Although a bit of oak on the entry, this actually shows lean with zingy lemon, smoke, and some custard. My favorite Puligny in the lineup.
- 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.