WanderCurtis Wine

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Rediscovering Burgundy, June 20th to 23rd 2019

A lot of pre-planning goes into our wine trips. The final decision is the result of many discussions about the pros and cons of each region.
We try to somehow pull ourselves away from the obvious joys of Italy, only because we’d  never venture elsewhere!
Maybe Spain? Spanish wines these days are so varied, well made, good value and the weather in Spain more predictable.
Or should we cycle by the Danube in the Wachau, immersing ourselves in crisp fresh Gruner Veltliner?
The decision was Burgundy. We had been before, a decade ago and when we first started  Wandercurtis.
We wanted to experience again the long winding, gently undulating cycle route through the Cote de Nuits to the North and the Cote de Beaune to the South.
The wines here magically take on their sense of place with a history of wine making dating back thousands of years to Roman times.The craziness of the division of the land is arresting. More than 30 owners can share a few acres of earth often Grand Cru site only  possessing a few rows of vines.
The prices reflect this, and the demand in the market for Burgundy has rocketed making many of the wines oppressively expensive.

We made some great discoveries:

  • A champion of Aligoté in Marsannay,
  • Back vintages from the 1800’s at Chateau de Beaune including a Romanée st vivant 1865.
  • The cathedral like modern state of the art winery at Louis Jadot.
  • We revisited old friends at Olivier Leflaive and indulged again in the voluminous wine list at Ma Cuisine.
The Magnificent Chateau de Beaune

The Magnificent Chateau de Beaune


Tasting at Chateau de Beaune, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils June 21st 2019

Founded in 1731 by Michel Bouchard, located in the magnificent Chateau de Beaune since 1820.

Philippe Prost, part of the furniture here, took us on a grand  tour of their huge  cellars, under the 15th century fortress, which house some of the best back vintages in Burgundy dating back to 1845.

They own 130 hectares of vineyards across Burgundy, of which 12 hectares (30 acres) are Grand Cru and 74ha Premier cru. In 1995 the Bouchard family sold to Champagne House Joseph Henriot, they have since  acquired Chateau De Ponce in Fleurie and William Fevre in Chablis.

Wines Tasted -Red Crus

Fleurie le Pré Roi 2017

Initially cranberry and bright red fruits and later red plum 6 to 8 months in barrels bright acidity, chalky

Monthelie 2017

Classic Pinot nose with red fruits earth and game lovely length of fresh strawberries


Gevrey-Chambertin 2017

Closed and reductive at this stage

Beaune du Château 2017

Blend of 17 premier crus
Lovely perfumed nose of wild strawberries and loganberries with a subtle violet aftertaste and nice soft tannins delicious!
Highly recommended

Beaune Grèves Vigne de L’enfant Jesus 2017

Another classic well made Pinot Noir
red floral fruits and red and dark plums earth spice silky tannins long length beautiful balanced wine

Volant Les Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot 2017

Blueberry red plum, brooding tense wine power underneath, complex holding back at the moment great potential

Le Corton 2017

Lighter colour impressive earthy nose and game lovely balance

Wines tasted White Crus

Pouilly Fuisse 2017

5,000 cases apples pears honeydew melon

Meursault Les Clous 2017

Butter green apples lemon curd melon sl grapefruit on the finish

Meursault Geneveieres 2017

White wine of the day complex lemon smokiness cream butter melon ripe apples pear and minerality really delicious

Corton Charlemagne 2017

sweet apple butter viscosity soft round mouthfeel

Chablis Montmains 2017 Domaine William Fevre

Lemon crisp apple lees good acidity

Chablis Bougros 2017 Domaine William Fevre

Crisp fresh lemon apples


Above photos in the Cellars during our visit to Maison Louis Jadot. We were lucky enough to observe barrel transfers by candlelight.

Clos Vougeot

Wines Tasted
Bourg les setilles –  Served at the wedding of Prince Harry & Megan. Fresh crisp
Montagny – Mineral, chewy long quite big.
Puligny les Meix- Nice toasty citrus slightly closed nose slightly vanilla intense. Nice texture
Auxes Duresses la Macabre- Floral vanilla ripe golden delicious softer rounder vanilla lemon pith long
Puligny Referts  Lemon oil hint of citronella! Intense, pear pinapple great body fresh. Tingling finish. Sherbet dip!
Abbey Morgeot Chassgne Wider, not as intense slightly less ripe as pulignys, citrus

We arrived at Domaine Sylvain Pataille the far north of Cote d’Or towards Dijon. We were kept waiting for a length of time, before being greeted by the young, dynamic, bearded
Sylvain fresh from work in his vineyards. He welcomed us into his very compact cellar via a metal door off the small street next to his families’ house. We had no idea what to expect,  initially conversing with us in French.
It became clear this is a man of great passion and vision, using organic and biodynamic methods and some whole bunch, indigenous yeast and low sulphur. We discovered he is very much a champion of Aligote. We were in for a few pleasant surprises and a very long tasting!
Wines Tasted with Sylvain
Borgogne Aligote organic 50-50 barrel tank fresh slightly smoky flinty cumin zest. Lemon pith.
Borgogne les Mechalot. Smokey nose cloves orange, citrus, mineral. Sherbet finish.
Marrsannay  More classic nose wood more orange grapefruit more creamy.No sulphur,Only 1g sO2
Chardonnay Rose old mutation wood ripe citrus, floral smoke Lovely fuller mouth feel. Slight nice vegetal note
Aligote Les Champ ForeyStones Clove slightly bitter notes, Aligote ages more linear catches more smokey notes.
Aligote La Charmes Aux  Pretres  should be 1er cru Charm chaum chaume means field flatishLemon, pith, less clove long
Aligote Clos du Roy Floral citrus peel. In mouth ripe pear, lees, prickle, almond. Needs a couple of years.
Bourgogne Le chapitre Long extraction low sulphur but not young, Slightly funky nose, Lovely length body complex – ***
Marsannay La charmes Aux Pretres chardonnay, Smokey creamy elegant nose, Fabulous intense elegant full v long slightly saline finish
Marsannay Rose Fleur de Pinot Saignee skin contact,strawberry bit of smoke. Wow delicious with structure
Red Wines
Borgogne rouge Strawb jam and leaves, Lovely sweet fruit, fresh , balanced slight edge. VG
Marsannay RougeFruit, animal note, slight leafyNice rounded sweet fruit, balanced with savoury notes excellent complex
Marsannay La Montagne Strawberies and cream on nose.Gorgeous complex
Marsannay Les Longeroies V nice nose strawberry leaf cream Amazing vivid fruit complex intense
Marsannay Clos du RoyDeeper bit of blood, clove mineral balanced fruit savoury very long
Bourgogne le Chapitre  Chalk board, Lovely slightly more funky mineral. Some kirsh
Clos du Roy 2018 barrel sample Volcanic nose yeast reduction,  fruit, savoury stalks

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It was great to be back in Burgundy for may reasons, quiet dedicated cycle routes through the vineyards, the history, exquisite cuisine, excellent wines, friendly locals and as ever the joys of meeting like minded passionate wine folk.

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Louis Jadot Wine Dinner at Patron Restaurant April 24th 2018

Maison Louis Jadot is a family owned business based in Beaune, Burgundy  established in 1859. They also have substantial vineyard holdings throughout the Cote d’Or as well as the Maconnais as well as producing  wine from a number of other appellations throughout Burgundy.

The winemaker, Jacques Lardière, has been with the company for over 30 years and together with Pierre-Henry Gagey and his father André before him, has built the company to be one of the finest in Burgundy.


We  hosted at the excellent French  Patron Restaurant in Kentish Town with Maison Louis Jadot’s  Export Director Sigfried Pic.

A three course dinner was matched with some of the finest Burgundies from the Louis Jadot range.


Aperitif, we compared Chablis and Saint-Véran.

The Chablis was a favourite with lees ageing adding to texture and complexity with a lovely mineral/oyster shell note typical of Chablis grown on  kimmeridgean soils

First course: Foie Gras with brioche served with Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée 2013 – beautiful rich textured lovely vanilla from oak ageing nicely balanced with ripe stone fruit

Main course : Duck confit and Gratin Duaphinoise served with Beaune 1er Cru Theurons 2009

Dessert a selection of artisanal cheese  served with Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers 2007 and served blind the  Moulin-à-Vent La Roche 2007 in magnum

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Burgundy 2016 en primeur Tasting Notes

We are delighted to announce that Stuart Grostern has joined our team at WanderCurtis.

Stuart has an exceptional palate to match his cellar. His excellent tasting notes  and recommendations spanning 15 years can be found on the Wine Spectator Forum under BirDungy. Below is his valuable insight into Burgundy en primeur 2016.

After having to miss the entire 2015 vintage tasting due to unreasonable work responsibilities, I have rebounded to attend the annual Berry Bros and Rudd Burgundy en primeur tasting. I was fortunate to have arrived early enough to taste some but not all of the greatest wines there, notes below on approx 40 wines.

To start, I think everyone has heard that 2016 was a year badly affected by frost which drastically reduced crop size in some vineyards by as much as 90%. The wines are, therefore, harder to get good allocations of and up (again, especially coupled with Brexit GBP devaluation vs. EUR) in price. However, many of the wines I tasted were beautiful and highly expressive of their place, open to taste, and showing very well during the tasting. Against this, given the ever changing complexion of the region, many new makers are on the rise, with many established makers extending their reach beyond their typical villages. This is not always a good thing, as I found a real mix of newer names, some excellent, and some not so, to be evident from this tasting.

Reds were, in general, open for tasting, fruit driven and well-balanced. I found quite a lot of barrel influence in evidence, even at the villages levels, with some clumsy efforts made especially in those makers who either picked later or tried too hard to find an expression for their wines that didn’t always match the appellation. Some of the villages wines were excellent, and definitely represent the best value IMO. A big shout goes for Ghislaine Barthod’s Chambolle Musigny villages, easily one of the top 3 wines of the night. Morey St Denis also did well and was not very affected by frost. Clos Vougeot in the grands crus stood out. The up and coming winemaker from this tasting for me was Jerome Castagnier, whose wines were all beautiful and full of life.

I have bought across the Cote de Nuits apart from NSG (no real reason), and have not focused on whites because I just have too much white Burgundy and do feel now that some of the newer world chards from NZ (esp) and cooler climate Aussie whites are so close in quality at a fraction of the price that I just couldn’t bear adding any more.

I only tasted a handful of whites, so I don’t have a lot to say here. Colleagues of mine did taste more and liked the vintage, which is reputed to have produced good quality whites across the spectrum, more akin to the 2014 vintage.

Here are the notes:


Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux, 1er cru

Concentrated purple fruit nose, emitting strong dark grape essence. In the mouth, medium bodied, more purple concentrated fruit, grapey, with fantastic balance of fruit, acidity and tannins. Very long finish. Excellent wine, seem to have hit the nail on the head with this wine.


Santenay, Clos Rousseau 1er cru

Red fruit nose of raspberry, dried roses, and a bit of smoke. Very balanced mouthfeel, giving a real sense of elegance matching the nose. This wine is pure and honest, is what it is and represents excellent value at approx. £38/btl all in. One of my favourite wines of the tasting.

Charmes Chambertin grand cru

Beautiful light red fruit nose, powdery, perfumed with sweet flowers with an underlying concentration of fruit belying some power. A wonderful balance of fruit, tannin and acidity, with a hint of animal savoury flavour. This wine has perfect balance, and its name is apt for its charm. Excellent.


Chassagne Montrachet, Embazees 1er cru

Very strong ripe fruit nose, with vanilla essence. Very honeyed in the mouth, showing the pear and pineapple fruita but perhaps too much. I think this is overripe for my taste. Not sure how well this will age.

Meursault Genevrieres 1er cru

Very strong vanilla influence on the nose, overpowering. IN the mouth, overpowered by the vanilla essence, leaving an overly sweet cloying flavour. Again, not to my taste and not clear how well this will age.

Volnay Clos de la Cave des Ducs 1er cru

Darker fruit nose with caramel and vanilla. In the mouth, tart fruit with good concentration and acidity. Very elegant, and nicely balanced. A beautiful wine, very very good.

Pommard Rugiens-Haut 1er cru

A darker Pommard character shines out, slightly animal with purple fruit nose. The palate is lighter initially and then gives way to concentrated fruit, followed by bigger hit of acidity than the Volnay. A drying finish, and then a touch of ox that perhaps gives the sense of over enthusiasm with barrels.


Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot 1er cru (white)

Slightly charred nose, but giving the essence of chardonnay. Sweet tart fruit, wonderful depth and concentration, perfect balance of acidity and fruit, an absolutely stunning wine. Outstanding.

Gevrey Chambertin Les Evocelles

Slightly ox’d nose, cloves, a little cloying. Good fruit concentration, drying tannins. This wine needs more time.

Clos de Vougeot grand cru

Very smokey nose, slightly animal, dark fruit with some perfume showing but quite closed for the vintage. Silky tannin mouth, wonderful on the palate with a good slug of wood offsetting the clearly ripe tart fruit and the acidity, leaving a very well balanced wine. Finishes with darker fruit. Very Very good.


Chambolle Musigny Les Cras

Very pale in colour compared to most other wines. Gamey with red cranberry juice, strawberry jam and cinnamon – almost not a wine nose but something from my pantry. Strawberry jam flavour, with good acidity against the fruit, but not a lot else. Not very complex. Good

Nuits St Georges Clos des Argillieres 1er cru

A bit of horseradish, vanilla, strawberry jam, with a slightly smokey edge nose. Good tart fruit, nicely balanced strawberry and cherry with some spices and tea. Mid weight on the palate, long finish, and well balanced. Very very good.


Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er cru

Strong fruit nose, grape koolaid or juice, and very purple. Tart fruit set against good acidity with very drying tannins. Very well balanced fruit and acidity, leaving this feeling effortless. Long finish. Very very good – this wine is often impossible to taste at this stage, quite sulfuric, and needing more bottle time so quite a good showing for a long sleeper.


Vosne Romanee

Typical Vosne nose hits you straight out of the glass, cherry, tea, vanilla, earth, animal. Ripe dark fruit, a bit sherbety with real concentration and power. Chewy tannins balanced by the fruit and acidity. A very lovely wine, very very good.\

Vosne Romanee Aux Malsoncourts 1er cru

More closed than the villages with subtle cherry, roses and tea leaves. A riper fruit palate, sweet cherry with some fat, and strong concentration of sherbet powder on the very long finish. Excellent.


Vosne Romanee

Cherry candy nose with a whiff of animal. Concentrated raspberry with a strong taste presence, finishing slightly bitter with mid length – typical Grivot young wine. Very good.

Nuits St Georges, Les Pruliers 1er cru

Darker roaster nose of cassis. Taut palate with very concentrated dark fruit – a driven wine with strong acidity and a long finish. Very very good.

Clos de Vougeot grand cru

Voluptuos nose of fruit and flowers, complex bouquet of flowers and vanilla. Strong cherry fruit with some animal essence, spices, cassis, dark cherry, just bags of fruit here. A strong barrel influence for this young wine, tannins in force but well balanced, with a slightly drying bitter finish. A beautiful sweet long finish screams balance. Wonderful.


Vosne Romanee

Cough medicine and sour cherry nose, smells like it’s slightly oxidised. Same in the mouth. Bleh.


Chambolle Musigny

Sappy fruit, violets, and raspberry, with purple fruit in the nose. A darker wine than usual. Very concentrated but supple fruit, with an underlying power that finishes super long. Just a beautiful make you want to cry wine. Excellent.

Chambolle Musigny Les Baudes 1er cru

There is an extra dimension of florality on this compared to the villages that is in addition to everything the villages has, including a bit more vanilla. This is such an elegant wine, precise, long – a real wow wine with a slightly hot finish. Wow.


Gevrey Chambertin

Grape bubblegum nose, essence of grape Koolaid. Taste is similar, with concentrate grape jelly, but much weight in the mid-palate, which doesn’t live up to what the nose tells me I will get. Sweet and tart fruit, very nice balance but is this really from Gevrey?? Tastes more like Volnay to me

Gevrey Chambertin Les Evocelles

Similar nose but wutg more concentration. More fruit in the mouth, with good acidity balanced against the tannins with a bit more weight and length than the villages. Good but again, not really GC to me.


Charmes Chambertin grand cru

Very ripe raspberry and cherry nose, with flowers and earth. A beautiful nose with hints of tea. Sweet ripe cherry fruit, with strong acidity balancing it out, and tannins just so. A beautifully balanced wine. Excellent.

Clos de Vougeot grand cru

A subdued nose with a bit of horse hair, purple fruit like cassis. Super concentrated ripe fruit, tart acidity. Medium bodied, very precise and long. The tannins are chewy and balance well against the fruit and acidity. A super wine. Excellent


Morey St Denis Vieilles Vignes

Purple fruit with some animal, really sexy nose. Concentrated tart fruit, with good acidity and beautiful tannins. A really well balanced wine with a linear fruit taste profile. Very very good.

Morey St Denis Les Faconnieres

Just like the VV but with more animal essence in the nose, just a lovely wine to breathe. Dark syrupy fruit of cherry and raspberry, very concentrated with a bit of fat sweetness and a good finish. Wonderful wine. Excellent


Morey St Denis

Lifted nose of fruit, flowers and vanilla essence, concentrated grape juice and cinnamon. A beautiful fruit expression of concentrated grape juice like the nose. Strong acidity is well balanced by the tannins. A great wine. Excellent

Clos des Lambrays grand cru

Nose much more closed, with some hints of the MSD. A super charged concentrated wine, perfectly balanced between ripe tart fruit, silky tannins, and acidity, finishing slightly hot. Amazing. Excellent


Gevrey Chambertin Symphonie

Raisined nose characteristic, still a bit sulfury and a bit dirty on the nose. Concentrated drier fruit of prunes and raisins with good acidity and tannins. Was this picked too late?? Ok

Gevrey Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes

Nose of dried fruits, cloves, raisins, with some horse hair and earth. Concentrated sweet and tart fruit, with a better palate than nose, showing cloves and spices. Very good balance and long finish. Very very good.


Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes

Overty oaky nose, over dominates the rest. Clumsy oaky wine with drying tannins that really needs a lot more time in bottle. Not knit. Clumsy.

Chapelle Chambertin grand cru

Charred smokey nose, with cherries and flowers, very pretty. Sweet ripe fruit, vanilla and spices but a bit lightweight in body. Nice concentration of fruit but more pretty than substantial. Drying finish. Very good.

Chambertin grand cru

Charred smokey nose, lots of barrel, with horse/manure, animal, earth and cloves hiding the fruit in the nose. Sweet fat fruit, fresh raspberry and cherry with good acidity enclosing the fruit. Strong tannins with a slightly hot finish,. Good balance and very long. Very very good.

Hope you enjoyed these.

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Burgundy en primeur 2013 Berry Brothers & Rudd Tasting

En primeur season is upon us again. BBR host one of the most comprehensive Burgundy tastings which I recently attended with wine brother & Burg aficionado Stuart Grostern.  Stuart’s palate & knowledge of the region is fine & deep so we are delighted to share his detailed tasting notes here as contributing editor. Burgundy Harvest

Tasting notes from the Burgundy 2013 en primeur hosted by Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR), held at One Great George last week Tuesday Jan 13th.

Quite a range of wines on taste, and I arrived early enough to partake in many of the grand cru reds. In summary, the tasting really turned out to be very pleasant, maybe it was a fruit day in the biodynamic calendar, or maybe these wines are just tasting great at this stage. Either way, the vintage is very beautiful and characteristic of place.

For the reds, wines showed beautiful perfume that took you quite immediately to their places of origin. Tannins were fine, with great acidity, ripe fruits, few green flavours and little over extraction. Most of the wines were mid to lighter weight in the villages and premier crus, and concentration is good in places. The Grand Crus showed even more character but in line with expectation, were a little more closed and less forthcoming.

In white, more powerful ripe and concentrated wines have been made, and they felt more like 2010 whereas reds reminded me more of 2007 but with greater fruit. Everything I tasted in white had ripe fruit, strong acidity and varying degrees of concentration that became more pronounced the better the site. On the whole, the whites take this vintage over the reds for depth, concentration and probably relative ageability (meaning the whites will age longer for whites than the reds) but for pure charm and for medium term drinkability, the reds are lovely and many will reward 5 years in cellar. Vosne and Chambolle are the standout appelations in the Cote de Nuits for me. DSC00980

My one complaint is prices but then again, this was not a big vintage. However, despite a strengthening GBP against the Euro, prices are up in the premier and grand cru wines. Villages wines are on par if slightly down year on year. You have to wonder why you would want to buy this vintage in any quantity at the premiers and GC levels given average landed price to consumers for minimum 6 bottles is £50-£70 per bottle for premiers and anything from £80 upwards for GCs?

Here’s the list of wines tasted on the night (42 in total). Generally, my ratings describe nose in first sentence, followed by taste starting with fruit, acidity, tannins, balance, and length. I have arranged by appellation below, (generally) north to south for white, and south to north for reds. Ratings are Good (G), Very Good (VG), Very Very Good (VVG) and Excellent (E) – not very scientific but reflect the overall experience of each from a small tasting pour (with a couple of exceptions where I poured myself). Tasting conducted over the course of 2.5 hours.


Dominique Lafon, Bourgogne Blanc Smoky, not showing a lot of fruit. Nothing special. G  

Jean-Phillippe Fichet, Bourgogne Blance Vielles Vignes Heard a lot of people talking about Fichet wines well before I got there. I found out why. Smoky, lemony nose. Super concentrated fruit with honey and mineral notes. Great concentration and depth. VVG

Sylvain Loichet, Ladoix, Les Grechons 1er Cru Apple and mandarin nose, unusual. Good lemon fruit attack and big acidity, medium concentration. VG

Dominique Lafon, Meursault Smoky, sweet lemon nose. Medium weight, good intensity of lemony fruit and high acidity. Very persistent. VG

Jean-Yves Devevey, Meursault Les Vireuils Chalky sweet lemon nose. Sweet fruit, mid weight. Good concentration balanced by acidity. Good length. VG

Bouchard Pere et fils Meursault Les Perrieres 1er cru Green apple, but otherwise closed nose. Intense lemon and mineral with great acidity, concentrated sweet fruit and finish, just hinting about what’s underneath. Very impressive. E     (I bought 6)

Jean-Phillippe Fichet, Meursault Les Gruyaches Super smoky nose, a little unyielding. Very tight, great acidity, very concentrated but hard to taste. Very very long. Wow but not very pleasurable. On feeling, this is VVG.

Jean-Phillippe Fichet Meursault Les Tessons Sulfuric and woody and mineral nose, very intense, a bit gluey and quite typical from the many times I’ve tasted Tessons from other makers. Reassuring. Super concentrated fruit, ripe apples, mineral with a very very long finish. Very impressive. E  

Michel Bouzereau &fils Meursault Les Perrieres 1er cru Lovely nose, light yet concentrated. Acidity very apparent, good concentration but not intense. Very balanced. VG

Patrick Javillier Meursault Les Tillets Subdued nose of lemon and apples. Good acidity and intensity, very nice balance. Good depth and concentration with mineral finish. VVG

Patrick Javillier Meursault Tete de Murger Closed nose, unyielding. Concentrated full mouthful with puckering level of acidity, hints of honey. A full plush, silky wine, very balanced and very long. E

Antoine Jobard Meursault Les Poruzots 1er Cru Big smoky charred nose with lifted white flowers. Very tart acidity dominated at this stage so impossible to taste. VG or better?

Jean-Yves Devevey, Chassagne Montrachet Richer fatter fruit nose, lemon and honey. Tart lemon, high acidity but not very sweet and a little hot. Lingering finish. G

Jean-Noel Gagnard, Chassagne Montrachet le Cailleret 1er cru Pretty white flowers and stone fruit, vanilla and light passion fruit nose. Great fruit concentration, mandarin, apply. Really long. VVG

Chateau de Puligny Montrachet Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er cru Sweet lemon, pure mineral and whiteflower nose. Intense linear lemon fruit, concentrated, great acidity and balance, great elegance. E

Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er cru Lemony fruity nose with mineral. Very intense, tart apple and lemon, mineral and very concentrated. VVG

Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos Blanc de Vougeot 1er cr An unusual offering which I’ve tried in the past, a white from the Cote de Nuits made from very old vines. Sweet fruit, lemon and mineral nose. Wonderful concentrated fruit, very deep but also achieving great balance and a lightness. VVG


Comte Armand, Volnay Intense floral nose, reminiscent of Barolo including roses and violets. Wonderful balance, mid weight with dark fruit character and good length. VVG

Domaine de Montille, Volnay Taillepieds 1er cru Repressed fruit, cinnamon and pepper nose. Slightly harsh tannins masking fruit. Hard to taste. Not sure.

Benjamin Leroux Volnay Clos de la Cave des Ducs 1er cru Interesting nose, definitely Volnay perfume with Pommard fruit and some animal essence. Mid weight palate, black fruit, taut acidity and good concentration. Good length. VG  

Comte Armand, Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er cru Dark fruit nose, violets, animal. Strong dark fruit intensity but quite closed. Dryish tannins but good intensity and concentration accompanying the tannins. Long. VVG

Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits St Georges Clos de Thorey 1er cru Animal, strawberries, spices, vanilla, slightly confected. Lovely lifted fresh sweet cherry fruit, not overly complex but good balance and length. VG JF

Mugnier, Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er cru Strong black liquorice and vanilla nose. Dark fruit showing, slightly overripe, or maybe overextracted. Tannins rough. Very concentrated. OK but not to my taste at this stage.

Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits St Georges Les Pruliers 1er cru Lovely perfumed nose of strawberry and roses. Very tannic, slightly harsh but then softened. Good core of fruit, with a medium finish. VG

Domaine AF Gros Vosne Romanee Aux Reas Great perfume, very Vosne with tea, rose, and spices. Very characteristic. Sweet lifted fruit. Mid weight. Lovely and complex already. Beautiful. VVG

Domaine AF Gros Vosne Romanee Maizieres Darker fruit here, savoury, with tea, almost bloody. Tart dark cherry fruit. Good persistence with tannins in check. Very long. E

Jean-Luc & Eric Burguet Vosne Romanee Les Rouges 1er cru Ripe dark fruit, a little jammy and spice nose. Dark, tart but ripe fruit. Refined tannins. Super concentrated, nice persistence and medium length. VG

Domaine Lamarche Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes 1er cru Slight cola, spice, vivid cherry nose. Sweet fruit, vanilla, with intense acidity and very tough tannins. Very intense wine with sour cherry dominant. A lot there. Good length. VVG

Domaine Lamarche Echezeaux grand cru Majestic nose of dark fruit, perfumed roses and plums, tending to black currant. Dark fruit with high acidity, tannins already integrated. Growing intensity in this wine, very balanced with excellent concentration. VVG

Maison Roche de Bellene, Echezeaux grand cru Concentrated grape juice nose, perfumed blackberry and darker alcoholic fruit in abundance. Very balanced, fruit overwhelming acidity but mid palate a little hollow. Medium bodied and length. VG

Domaine Lamarche La Grand Rue grand cru Beguiling nose, super perfumed, the essence of beauty and elegance defined. Very ripe fruit (too ripe?) with blackcurrants and dark cherry. Great balance. Very long and persistent. Very special. E

Domaine Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot grand cru Dark fruit nose with animal scents. Cherry fruit, with a good core of concentrated materials, quite deep with a long finish. VG

Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot grand cru Very sulfuric nose, with dark cherry and kirsch nose. Sweet brambly fruit but quite closed. Some banana too. Dryish tannins with a darker fruit finish. Good length. VG

Domaine AF Gros Chambolle Musigny Quite dark for a Chambolle. Sulfur and sweet confected strawberry nose, a lovely perfume. Sweet ripe lifted fruit. Very balanced. VVG  

Domaine Michele and Patrice Rion Chambolle Musigny Les Cras 1er cru Beautiful floral nose, light strawberry essence. Sweet cherry, good persistence without heaviness leaving a slight bitter aftertaste. Lovely overall and quite complex. VVG  

Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny Exotic nose with spices and perfume. Slightly sour cherry, Asian spice, some peel character, light ethereal body with a medium finish. VVG  

Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny Les Baudes 1er cru Initial hint of horseradish (I’ve experienced this in her 2004 Chatelots), strawberry but not giving away much. Sweet strawberry fruit with raspberry. Intensely fresh with beaming acidity and integrated tannins. Quite intense wine. VVG  

Louis Boillot Gevrey Chambertin Assembled from 7 different parcels with average vine age of 60 years. Lovely dark cherry aromas, fresh and perfumed. Sweet cherry, almost lavish with very refined tannins, good acidity and balance. VVG

Louis Boillot Gevrey Chambertin Les Evocelles Dark and meaty with sandalwood nose. Cherry fruit, tart acidity, giving the cherry a sour edge. Bracing acidity, tannins good, a real mouthful. VG

 Dujac Fils & Pere Gevrey Chambertin Red cherry and cinnamon, with sandalwood nose. Cherry fruit, but woody. Mid weight with good concentration and medium length. G  

Jean-Luc & Eric Burguet Gevrey Chambertin Mes Favorites Lovely mid cherry and strawberry with great perfumed rich nose. Great nose. Fantastic balance of fruit, acidity and tannins. Quite closed but very good persistence into back of throat indicating there is a lot of matter here. Very good length. E  

Benjamin Leroux Gevrey Chamertin Les Champeaux Very perfumed for a Gevrey. Quite closed but dark fruit and grapey character. Tannins ripe and mid weight as well as concentration. Is this Gevrey? G

Stuart posts on the Wine Spectator forum as BirDungy

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Grand Cru and Premier Cru Burgundy tasting

Winter warmer burgundy and boeuf bourgignon. A fantastic evening hosted by Stuart Grostern.

Round 1:

  • Jean Chauvenet Nuits St Georges Les Damodes 1er Cru 2001
  • Jean Chauvenet Nuits St Georges Les Damodes 1er Cru 2002

The 2001 was a little oxidised, either a faulty bottle or past its best, the 2002 fresher.

Round 2:

The hearty bourgignon was served with a Louis Jadot premier cru Savigny les beaune les vergelesses. I’ve tried this yearly since what I thought was a disappointing start. This was beginning to open up and reveal the benefits of being patient, something I don’t possess in abundance, as Kiran kept reminding me!

Round 3:

  • AC Bourgogne Olivier Leflaive with a premier and grand cru
  • Drouhin-Laroze Chappelle Chambertins Grand Cru 2002
  • Nicolas Potel, Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru 2003
  • Hubert de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles 1er Cru 2003
  • Ghislaine Barthod Chambolles Musigny les Chatelots 1er Cru 2004.

For me, this evening demonstrated the unpredictability of burgundy. You may have something knockout with an animalistic almost hormonal quality you can’t put in words. It may be fresh, fruity, raspberry, black cherry. It may be pure horseradish or tinned asparagus. Mushrooms/earth,compost, wet mouldy cloths, moss.

I suppose that’s the beauty of it .

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Farr Vintners Christmas tasting

Held at the rather grand Vintners Hall on Upper Thames St, this was a great tasting with over 80 wines on show being served by some great winemakers, including Antony Barton of Leoville Barton and Jean-Charles Cazes of Lynch Bages.

Best wine of the evening was either Krug 1998 (not usually a big champagne fan, but this is extraordinarily complex and delicious), or Lynch Bages 2000, which had a heady nose of wood, bakery and sweet fruit, and followed through with a concentrated, complexity and real lasting depth (sadly £1250 IB).

Disappointments for me were Palmer twofold, as the Alter Ego 2007 and 2002 were light and thin, and not nearly as good as the 2008s I tried at the April UCG tasting, where they so impressed me. And by the time I got to the table someone had nicked the last bottle of 1996, which others said was great!

Also the Pichon Lalande 2005, 2004 and 2001 were all a bit insubstantial (thin according to the lady I was standing next to). The 2001 was best, so perhaps they need time to develop?

All the Leoville Barton and Langoa Barton impressed me, including both 2007s at £340 and £280 in bond (IB) respectively, confirming the oft repeated statement that Mr. Barton manages fantastically high consistent quality. I would go for the 2001 Langoa at £275 IB, which was earthy and mushroomy with plenty of fruit and tannin, or the 2004 Leoville at £395 IB, which was tight, lots of cassis and should develop over many years.

Not only was the Lynch Bages great, but so was the Les Ormes de Pez 2003 and 2005 at £220 and £240. I overheard a group of gents busy telling Jean Charles what great value his wines were and had to step in and put a stop to it.

The CNDP Dom de Senechaux 2007 they own was also lovely, full of sweet sticky figs and long, delicious. But a slight fear it might be a bit one-dimensional, or perhaps just young from a great vintage.

I was impressed by the Verget white burgundies, having recently had a great trip there sampling lots of good wine. I have been feeling a bit stung by the general level of prices and the generally poor 2007 reds.

The various Chablis 1er Crus from £135-£195 were all of great quality, tight minerally and with depth. For me ‘Vaillons’ and Fourchaume VV de Vaulorens’ were the most tasty. But I would and may go for the Meursault ‘Tillets’ at £210 IB, which was tight, fresh, stone fruits with a light woody touch and core of minerals. I’d be interested to find out how it might age.

Top value for early drinking (this time confirming Adam’s general view) were the new world wines:

Kumeu River Estate and Hunting Hill Chardonnays at £130 and £150. Made to develop over 2-6 years. Exciting, oaky but totally balanced, and simply delicious.

Craggy Range, the Merlot Cab Te Kahu at £120 IB was gorgeous and will apparently age well (no chance of that at my house as it will be polished off pronto). The Merlot Cab Franc Sophia at £190 was also ***+ wine, and the Syrah Le Sol at £295 IB (so a £30 a bottle wine) was so refined and balanced that it concealed its 14% alcohol completely. It’s the heaviness of a lot of NW wines that I find hard to enjoy.

The mystery wine a Phelan Segur 2005 at £300 as case was also very good indeed.

More info from Farr Vintners.

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Burgundy trip September 2009

Recovered from fantastic tour of Burgundy. Highlights were:

  • last day of the harvest
  • great parties in the vineyards
  • Domaines Varoilles older wines in Gevrey Chambertin
  • lovely sensuous wines of Oliver Leflaive in Puligny Montrachet
  • food (not service) at Ma Cuisine