High season of tasting events again. This monday was quite typical of the overcrowding of the genre in Paris : at least three major tastings in a single day, each one being relevant enough to deserve a full day, at least on my understanding of such events : you taste, you speak and listen to the vigneron, and this takes time, even if you try to be reasonably efficient and plan your way from stand to stand. The three tastings that we were aware of that day were : the yearly Grands Crus d'Alsace tasting, the Domaines Familiaux de Tradition (Burgundy) and the Jeunes Talents Bourguignons (on a barge near the Eiffel Tower). B. and I decided to skip the Alsace (a great event but there was no way to match it with the others) and go right away to the Bourgogne wines. The Domaines Familiaux de Tradition is an iconic tasting event where the old family estates take part, it's a very restricted-access tasting and as we were offered to be on the list we wouldn't even think to miss it.
The other Burgundy tasting, the one on the barge, was gathering a few dozens of young Burgundy vignerons and we wanted to spare some time for it too. I head voices here and there about these mondays with too many tastings. Monday is the sommeliers' and restaurateurs' off day, so professional tasting are often on mondays, but there could be some sort of mutual consultation to try not to set imoportant tastings on the same day.
I arrived there before B. who finished a job in the morning. I went first to Anne-Claude Leflaive's stand, she was shining and so elegant as usual, I found my way across the buzzing sommeliers to have my first white and wine of the day. It was about noon and the sun was bright over a freezing Paris (minus 2°C at our window earlier that morning).
__ Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Villages 2007. Acidulous notes on the nose, fresh wine. Some wood notes in the mouth. Richness, round wine.
__ Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Clavoillons 2007. A very refined wine. Minerality. Intensity in the mouth. Powerful, B. noted later.
__ Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles. Opulent nose of bloomed flowers. Cristal clear feel in the mouth. Beautiful.
Aubert de Villaine was tasting quietly Raveneau's Chablis by his own when I asked him for a picture (I'm sorry if I dusturbed him but this was for the good cause...). The Domaine De Villaine stand was the next one I went to, Pierre de Benoit was there pouring the wine :
__ Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Bouzeron 2007 (Aligoté). Fresh nose, the acidity jumps at you here. Refreshing wine. B. feels pear notes, she says the mouth is neat without excessive vividness. Pierre de Benoit says that in the past the vineyards in Burgundy were complanted, that is different varieties were grown together, for example there was Aligoté in Montrachet too. Along time, the monks in charge of the wineries and of the vineyards connected the dots between the varieties and the best-suited climats and the terroirs, and Aligoté found its home in Bouzeron.
__ Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Côte Chalonnaise Les Clous 2007. White wine. Nice ripeness aromas. Gourmandise and nice structure. Keeps vibrating in the mouth after you swallow. Quince aromas.
__ Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Rully Les Saint Jacques 2007. White wine. Very flowery, maybe hawthorn flowers. Rich, with a nice viscosity mouthfeel. Very pleasant.
__ Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Côte Chalonnaise La Digoine 2007. My first red of the day. Nice spicy nose. Refined and complexity. Beautiful glycerol legs inside the glass. Maceration and fermentation in large open wooden vats, says Pierre de Benoit. Then the press and free-run juices were separated before being blended later if the tasting is positive. Then they entonnent (commes from tonne or tonneau which means cask), they put the wine in the cask. Some tannins but well integrated.
__ Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Mercurey Les Montots 2007. This is where in addition to just smelling my glass, I openly breath. Beautiful complex nose. Some pepper notes. Relatively clear color. Nice and gourmand.
__ Simon Bize Savigny-Vergelesses 1er Cru 2007. A white, very fresh, coupled with a neat attack and intensity.
__ Simon Bize Savigny les Beaune, Les Grands Liards 2007. Back to the reds. Nice. B. feels cherries, tight mouth.
__ Simon Bize Aloxe Corton Le Suchot 2007. They got the vineyard in 1991. A real pleasure to drink.
__ Simon Bize Latricière-Chambertin Grand Cru 2007. Oh, that's a nice wine. And this lasts in the mouth, with intensity. Beautiful balance. I don't want to know the price but I'd drink that any time. B. noted a very original nose, with cherry (spirit) aromas, also candy (bonbon anglais), the mouth being at the same time supple, full and tannic.
With his daughter doing brightly her job, Hubert de Montille could enjoy the moment and relax. You may wonder which wine he chose to drink on this picture ? I asked him, don't worry, this was his own Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens 2007 (great choice, I'll realize later).
Alix was pouring and answering questions at a brisk pace and as I neared the table, I catched a remark by her saying that she wished she had time to go taste some wines at other stands, so I offered her to bring her back a glass of something she might want. She said, yes ! thanks a lot, she wanted a Glass of Chambertin by Rousseau, and I brought it back right away...I'd realize later that we should have got some of it at the same occasion because there was no more of this particular wine when we went to this stand...Here at Montille, we bypassed Les Aigrots 1er Cru, Puligny Le Cailleret 1er Cru and Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru.
__ Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Sizies 2007. Red (I stay mostly on reds now). Nice. Balanced.
__ Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Grèves 2007. This is the right order, says Alix, the booklet didn't have the right order printed. Lots of nicely tight spicy aromas, pepper.
__ Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans 2007. Lots of class, here in the mouth. Intense and refined. B. feels a reserved (discreet) nose and a nice saline side in the mouth.
__ Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2007. There's no spit bucket here, so good excuse to swallow (if you walk away to the spit bucket in the middle of the passage 3 meters away, you loose your vantage point at the table). Still a clear color. Fresh, aromas of different fruits.
__ Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens 2007. Well that's very nice, very refined, complex and aerial too. "Silk paper" is a term that springs to my mind. I understand why Hubert de Montille had this wine in his glass...
__ Domaine Dujac Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru Les Monts Luisants 2007. Back to a white, you need to sometimes... White flower on the nose. Neat, precise mouth. B. feels roasted hazelnut and notes its fine texture.
__ Domaine Dujac Morey Saint Denis Village. No more of it (arrived to late at this table).
__ Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2007. No more of it again...
At some point, I stopped at Domaine joseph Drouin.
__ Domaine Joseph Drouin Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2007. Lots of acidity. Honey aromas. First nose feels SO2 but I'm not sure.
__ Domaine Joseph Drouin Beaune 1er Cru Blanc Clos des Mouches 2007. Again this SO2 feel, too bad B. was not at my side at this table, I would have asked here if she felt the same. The mouth is precise and intense with a soft sandpaper feel.
__ Domaine Joseph Drouin Beaune 1er Cru Rouge (red) Clos des Mouches 2007. Beautiful mature aromas, nice color too. Viscosity in the mouth.
__ Domaine Joseph Drouin Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru les Procès 2007. Reduction notes on the nose. Pleasant sucrosity in the mouth, with also a saline side.
Later, B. recognized Bernard Plageoles who was visiting the event with his wife Myriam (picture on right). The Domaine Plageoles is the man behind the rebirth of the Mauzac variety and the Gaillac wines, and this renaissance has been conducted with a natural-wine approach. Samely sympathetic people with lots to say about their very particular region. He was accompanied by a young guy, Laurent Cazottes, an artisan distiller who makes spirits locally with fruits and flowers picked in the region. Plageoles, Cazottes and a few others set up recently by the way a natural-wine restaurant in Gaillac named Vigne en Foule.
Let's taste Frédéric Mugnier wines :
__ Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 2007.. This Pinot Noir offers spicy, peppery notes on the nose. Exquisite mouth with something close to chocolate. Very nice wine. B. notes its complexity, aromas of jammy vegetable, spices and roasted notes.
__ Frédéric Mugnier Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale 2007. Well constructed. B. notes its density and its tight tannins.
__ Frédéric Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru 2007. Very complex wine, prune notes, cooked morello cherries. B. feels raspberry notes, refineness and a lasting mouthfeel. Very nice wine indeed.
__ Domaine Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Forêt 2007. Honey aromas, something acidulous too. Precise, chiseled mouth. B. notes the vividness, the aromatic nose with hazelnut hints.
__ Domaine Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux 2007. Vineyards on marnes (clay) with limestone. Mouth much more mineral, smells clearcut rock. Nose less expressive. B. notes it is a bit closed, feels minerality plus hints of lemon and bergamot.
Domaine Comtes Lafon :
__ Domaine Comte Lafon Meursault Village 2007.
__ Domaine Comte Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2007. A bit powerful. Oaky.
__ Domaine Comte Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Charmes. I feel the wood too. B. notes the flowery nose with toasted notes and the tender, vivid mouth.
__ Domaine Comte Lafon Volnay 1er Cru Santenots du Milieu. Back again to a red. Gourmandise, intensity, with this beautiful feel of thin sandpaper in the mouth.
Domaine Pierre Morey. Pierre Morey (pictured on right) pours the wines himself :
__ Domaine Pierre Morey Monthelie 2007. I just tasted this red here for some reason. My tasting booklet says that he had also Aligoté, Meursault Les Terres Blanches and Meursault Les Tessons, sorry for missing them. The Pinot Noir has an engaging clear color. I wrote that I liked this wine but that's all...
Domaine Georges Roumier :
__ Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny Village 2007. Nice nose with complexity. Richness in the mouth. B. says it is juicy and pleasant to drink.
__ Domaine Georges Roumier Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru Clos de la Bussière 2007. Doesn't speak to me. B. notes it is also pleasantly juicy with tannins.
__ Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru les Cras 2007. Very beautiful feel, intense and concentrated. Some sucrosity. B. notes this wine has sap and character.
__ Domaine Georges Roumier Bonnes Mares 2007. I just noted good while B. noted moyen (mixed feeling).
Then we went to the Domaine Jean Grivot. For the anecdote, Etienne Grivot's wife, Marielle, is Patrick Bize's sister. Etienne holds the reins of this family winery since 1990. Maybe for this reason their table was next to the Bize's.
__ Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne Romanée les Bossières 2007. Spicy nose, very well-balanced mouth. B. finds little expression in the nose and a sappy mouth.
__ Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru les Boudots 2007. Nice pleasant mouth. Some tannins.
__ Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne Romanée 1er Cru les Beaux Monts 2007. I really like this one, an elegant wine with strength and complexity. B. feels griottes (morello cherries) on the nose and a refined mouth with thin and tight tannins.
__ Domaine Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot Grand cru 2007. Tannins are more marqued here. Very very beautiful wine to swallow. B. points rightly to something more ample and more silky and velvety. Here again, I prefer not to know the price...
I have noted on my tasting booklet on the Méo-Camuzet page that at this stage of the tasting I begin to saturate. Yes, I know, it's because I drink solme of the wine, still, we went several times to the buffet to help ourselves with the great cheese and delicious fresh bread. I can't imagine how I would have fared without this...
__ Domaine Méo-Camuzet Nuits Saint Georges 2007. Nice wine, concentrated, sucrosity feel.
__ Domaine Méo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2007. Refined wine. Very nice balance. B. likes it too, a full wine.
__ Domaine Méo-Camuzet Corton Grand Cru 2007. Beatiful, gourmand. Nice structure, B. says, adding corsé.
The Domaine de Suremain. Eric de Suremain was there with his wife pouring (generous pour btw, the tasting ends soon) and answering questions.
__ Domaine de Suremain Rully 1er Cru 2007. Back to a white. Floral notes, white flowers I would say. B. notes the intense flower/fruit aromas : peony, Bigarreau cherries. In the mouth I feel honey notes, acidity.
__ Domaine de Suremain Rully 1er Cru Préaux 2007, a red. Nose is complex and full of charm. Intense mouth.
__ Domaine de Suremain Chateau de Monthelie 2007, a red. Expressive nose, pepper.
__ Domaine de Suremain Chateau de Monthelie 1er Cru Sur la Velle 2007. Very nice wine, even (I noted it) if I begin to have difficulties comparing the wines at this stage. Acidity. B. says that there's a refined structure here, the wine is still on the reserve but it should open well in the coming years. She adds : suave, sappy and good length. Thin, tight tannins.
The last but not the least : the Domaine Rousseau. We got to visit even if shortly the other Burgundy tasting of the day, on the barge near the Eiffel Tower. We'll have missed several tables here by lack of time : Marquis d'Angerville, Bonneau du Martray, Chandon de Briailles, Bruno Clair, Faiveley, Gaunoux, Chateau de Chorey, Henri Gouges, Labet-Chateau de La Tour, Lafarge, Tollot-Beaut and Trapet (shame on us...). At Rousseau, the Chambertin of which I brought a glass for Alix de Montille had runned out alas.
__ Domaine Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin 2007. A visually-sparkling Pinot Noir with intensity. Silky, adds B.
__ Domaine Rousseau Clos Saint Jacques 1er Cru 2007. What a nose ! Another wine that you breath fully. Incredible refined tannic structure, says B. She says the nose smalls peony on a very refined way. Lovely wine. At this stage, the owners leave to catch their TGV back to Burgundy I guess, leaving us with three mostly full bottles on the table. We help ourselves.
__ Domaine Rousseau Ruchottes Chambertin Grand Cru, Clos des Ruchottes 2007. This very last wine that we drink here is superb. Really a great way to finish this Domaines Familiaux tasting.
After walking all along the barge looking at the estates' names without clues I must recognize, we stopped at a young woman's stand, Julie Belland (pictured on right) from Domaine Roger Belland in Santenay. She had no less than 14 wines to taste, spread between regional, villages, 1er Cru & Grand Cru Appellations, but we just tasted three (that's rude from us, I hope to have other opportunities to taste her wines) :
__ Roger Belland Chassagne Montrachet "Morgeot Clos Pitois" 2007 white. A Monopole. No notes, sorry.
__ Roger Belland Santenay Beauregard 2008 (red). Pleasant mouth. This wine is the main production wine at the estate.
__ Roger Belland Chassagne Montrachet "Morgeot Clos Pitois 2008 red. A bit warmful but interesting.
The next table we stopped at was one that had bottles with different looking labels. I don't bank all my assets on labels but you find hints there sometimes. After looking closer I saw that these were Irancy wines which was another attention-grabbing thing : These minor Appellations of Burgundy are unchartered territory where I dream of finding little gems.
The young man here, who goes by the name of Renaud David had by contrast just 4 wines to taste but we chose to stay on the Irancy :
__ Renaud David Irancy 2007. This is Pinot Noir, like reds in Burgundy. Interesting wine, nice mouth. Some suavity and refineness. Elevage in stainless vats. 7,7 €. Nice wine for this price.
__ Renaud David Irancy 2007. Same name including on the label but this wine got a small percentage of César, a now-rare variety that you find in a few places in Burgundy. The Pinot Noir here grows on a climat named Vaupessiot, one of the best terroirs from Irancy. Speaking of the César variety, it's name may come from Caesar who's troops and civilizational influence came here very early, the Romans having given a deep imprint to the region then. It seems that the first known vineyards were planted by the monks of the Saint-Germain-d'Auxerre abbey. For the anecdote, here is the text in Latin dating from AD 861 where the King confirms the donation of a vineyard to the monks in Vaupaissant (Vallis-pascentis in Latin) in the Vincelles district (source of the document) :
In nomine sanctæ et individuæ trinitatis, Karolus gratia Dei rex. Si enim ecclesiarum Dei utilitatibus, sanctorumque fratrum ibidem Domini obsequiis inservientium justis ac rationabilibus petitionibus dignanter consulimus, piorum regum morem exercere videmur, ac per hoc non solum id nobis ad præsentis vitæ subsidium, verum etiam ad perhennis remunerationis augmentum profuturum esse credimus. Igitur noverit omnium sanctæ Dei ecclesiæ fidelium tam præsentium quam futurorum sollertia, quia venientes quidam sancti fratres ex monasterio beatissimi Germani pontificis Autisiodorensis, suppliciter innotuerunt magnitudini nostræ qualiter quandam vineolam per largitionem sui abbatis ad proprios usus hactenus tenuissent. Ex quo humiliter supplicantes precati sunt quatinus eandem, ad supplendos scilicet suorum necessarios usus, auctoritatis nostræ præcepto æternalitater habendam sibi confirmare dignaremur: siquidem ipsa vinea noscitur esse ex ratione ipsius abbatiæ, sitaque in pago Autissiodorensi, infra fines Vincellenses, in loco qui dicitur Vallis-pascentis. Quorum preces libenter suscipientes, quia rationabiles et salutiferæ nobis visæ sunt, hoc celsitudinis nostræ præceptum jam dictis sanctis fratribus fieri, darique jussimus, ob remedium scilicet animæ nostræ, et æternorum remunerationem præmiorum, per quod decernimus, ac delegando confirmamus præfixam vineam usibus sanctorum fratrum præfati cœnobii æternaliter mancipandam, et perhenniter famulandam, ac perpetuo jure nemine refragante excolendam: ita ut ab hinc in reliquum sub eorum ordinatione, prout eis libuerit consistens, nulla præsularis sive abbatialis potestas, nec etiam quorumlibet ministerialium, ex eadem vinea quippiam usurpare, vel de eorum usibus subtrahere præsumat. Ut autem hoc nostræ præcellentiæ ac magnificentiæ præceptum validiorem per supervenientia tempora obtineat firmitatis vigorem, anuli nostri impressione subter illud insigniri sigillando decrevimus. Datum XVIII kal. octob., indictione IX, anno XXII regnante Karolo gloriosissimo rege. Actum Autisiodoro civitate, in Dei nomine feliciter. Amen.
A Latin document in a wine blog, that must be a first (I'm pretty proud, I found this historical archive by myself)...By reading a few lines of this Latin document, I feel vague impressions of this long-gone era resurfacing (and it's not that I understand Latin, I forgot most of what I learned of it in school).
Pablo looks very young but he is very passionate about his winemaking job and eager to speak about it. The winery is located at the southern tip of the Côtes de Beaune in Cheilly les Maranges and makes 15 different Appellations. Its surface is 20 hectares, all farmed organic. They had 12 different wines to taste that day, plus another one which was not on the list (the last)
__ Domaine Chevrot Crémant de Bourgogne blanc. That's why we stopped at this table, there were a few Burgundy sparklings. This particular cuvée is made with 90% Pinot Noir, the rest split between Aligoté and Chardonnay. Quite sugary.
__ Domaine Chevrot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé. Villages Appellation vineyards. 100% Pinot Noir here. No notes, sorry. Costs 9,3 €.
__ Domaine Chevrot Bourgogne rosé (pink) Sakura. A rosé Primeur, 70-80% being exported to Japan. A rosé with character, nice to drink.
__ Domaine Chevrot Maranges blanc (white) 2008. Not easy after the rosé. That's the one that was on the cover page. Again, no notes, what did I do, just chat ? Costs 13,5 €.
__ Domaine Chevrot Santenay 1er Cru Rouge (red) Clos Rousseau 2008. Bottled one month ago.Floral notes. Refined nose, beautiful. Some tannins. Part of the grapes wholeclustered, depends of the year. He does it when the start of the potential in acidity is high. Costs 15 €.
__ Domaine Chevrot Maranges 1er Cru le Croix Moines 2008. From a one-hectare vineyard. Refined and complex nose. Nice wine indeed. 25 €.