Berry Bros & Rudd Ltd – bouchonné ?
Nothing to do with today’s tasting but passed the window on my back from the two tastings below and couldn’t resist.
For the UK wine trade the second week of January belongs to Burgundy. The week is packed with en primeur tastings and merchants’ offers for the latest available Burgundian vintage. This tasting week also attracts our distinguished colleague – Michel Bettane to the UK’s capital city.
January 2016 means that it is the turn of the 2014 vintage, so yesterday saw me at two tastings – those of Goedhuis and Lea & Sandeman. Unlike Bordeaux these wines have never been tasted blind, so there is a case for Bordeaux being unfairly getting flak for no longer offering journalists the opportunity to taste their en primeur blind.
The rush to taste the Bordeaux en primeurs is a far more pertinent criticism that can be levelled at Bordeaux. In contrast to Burgundy where the wines are around fifteen months old when tasted, Bordeaux insists that en primeur has to be tasted when the wines are usually a little under six months old. Arguably Bordeaux en primeurs are presented far too young for them to be properly assessed. Let alone to expect consumers to pay for wines that they will not receive until two years later. There is, of course, little chance that the Bordelais will push back their en primeur dates anytime soon as they are too addicted to the early rush of cash that premature en primeur offers provide.
I suspect the Bordelais will only make significant changes if their en primeur offers continue to be met by increasing indifference by wine lovers. We will have to wait to see whether the Bordeaux hype machine can work its magic and persuade consumers that they need to buy the 2015s before they have been bottled.
Enough of Bordeaux what about 2014 Burgundy? Fortunately unlike some of my colleagues I don’t have to attend all or most of the many tasting events packed into this week as I don’t produce detailed reports on Burgundy. I am able to pick and choose – just attending a few carefully chosen events.
There were certainly some attractive wines – both whites and reds. Chablis is standout with attractive fruit but also lovely austerity in the finish. Classic?!
There were also some excellent reds, although some I felt lacked freshness. The ones I preferred had delicacy and freshness in the finish.
Some 2014 favourites – prices in bond:
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, Domaine Jean-Paul Droin £210 per 6
Blend of complexity and austerity
Meursault Le Meix sous le Château, Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet
– £298 per 12
Attractive concentration and length – tight finish
Corton Charlemagne, Domaine Patrick Javillier – £395 per 6
Concentration, complexity and length
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru En Remilly, Domaine Colin-Deleger
£490 per 6
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Demoiselles, Domaine Colin-Deleger
£470 per 6
St Aubin 1er Cru Clos de la Chatenière VV, Hubert Lamy – £290 per 12
Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod -£180 per 12
Sweet sexy fruit at an affordable price
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras,Domaine Ghislaine Barthod – £355 per 6
Nuits St Georges Aux Lavières, Domaine Jean Grivot £380 per 12
Lovely sweet fruit
Vosne Romanée, Domaine Sylvain Cathiard – POA
Sweet ripe, flattering fruit and structure
Chambertin Grand Cru, Maison Roche de Bellene – £895 per 6
Silky length and finesse – should make fine mid-week drinking…
Lea & Sandeman
Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Domaine Adhémar et François Boudin
£110 per 12
Charming texture and weight
The whites here were considerably warmer than at the Goedhuis tasting
and consequently more flattering
L’Homme Mort, Chablis 1er CruDomaine Adhémar et François Boudin
£130 per 12
I also enjoyed the Chablis, especially Les Vaillons (£160 per 12) from Domaine Moreau-Naudet
Pouilly-Fuissé sur la Roche, Daniel et Julien Barraud
£180 per 12
length and potential
Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Rémi Jobard – £140 per 12
good texture, weight and length – affordable
Mercurey, Vieilles Vignes, François Raquillet –
Juicy attractive, affordable fruit – £160 per 12
Givry 1er Cru Clos Jus, Domaine François Lumpp – £195 per 12
Marsannay Domaine Huguenot £125 per 12
Gevrey-Chambertin, Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot – £190 per 6
lovely sweet silky fruit, delicacy, charm and length
Nuits St Georges Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot – £195 per 6
Charmes Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot
£825 per 6
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Thibault Liger-Belair
£525 per 6
Silky texture, delicacy and length