It was not until I started to put together the presentation for last night’s tasting and jumped into my folders that I realised I’ve been presenting our Pinot Noir club at Victoria Park for 10 years. A thought that quickly escaped my mind, as it only served to make me feel older than I’m sure I am.
A great night last night, exploring the villages of Burgundy. Well that’s what the night set out to do, though what was uncovered was much more than that. The wines showed us the different ageing capacity of Village, 1er Cru and Grand Cru wines, the Domaine Lamarche Grand Cru looking super young in comparison to other wines in the line-up. The importance of Producer, it’s really the key to buying Burgundy, find a producer you like, stick with them, explore the villages and vintages, all whilst knowing the style of the winemaking is one you enjoy. There was a fair few surprises in the line-up, making it clear that purchasing Burgundy with price as a guide won’t be of any assistance. So, to the wines and how they looked;
Our first flight started in Cote de Beaune, with a Pommard and Volnay before heading to Côte de Nuits.
Domaine Parent Pommard 1er Cru Les Chaponnieres 2013
A great wine to start on, the showed all the power and precision of Pommard, a very concentrated wine, with a long finish. With 5 years ageing already, this showed little sign of it in terms of colour or fruit, there’s a long life ahead of this in the cellar.
Domaine Bellene Volnay Les Grands Poisots 2010
Interestingly, this had the most evolution of colour in the first flight, despite not being the oldest wine there. When you add to the mix that this is from the excellent 2010 vintage, certainly not what was expected. In saying that, it did show that Village wines tend to mature around 8 – 10 years. This is a superb glass of wine right now.
Gros Michel Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru 2008
Fascinating to have this after the Bellene as blind it looked much younger, showing the pedigree of this particular 1er Cru. This was one of the surprises for me on the night, a wine I liked very much. The freshness and vibrant acidity all very classic Nuit-St-Georges.
Gros Frere Vosne-Romanee 2015
This was exceptional, the collective view in the room was that this was the top wine of the first flight. Luscious, fruity forward and very elegant, despite being very young, a wine that can be approached now. This is an excellent wine for those new to Burgundy, a great stepping stone from the new world.
The second flight started in style with a Grand Cru, before making its way through a fair few more surprises.
Domaine Lamarche Grand Cru Clos De Vougeot 2012
Whilst I do very much prefer the style and direction this Domaine has taken post this vintage, this wine did show the class and precision that you’d expect in a Grand Cru. Looking very youthful despite the 6 years in bottle, a wine that will stand the test of time in the cellar.
Gros Anne Chambolle-Musigny D’Orveau 2011
This was the wine that I wanted to take home and enjoy right there and then, a beautifully crafted wine that with 7 year’s age on it is perfect. This shows all the ethereal characters and charm of old Burgundy, but without the price tag you’d expect.
Domaine Jessiaume Morey-St-Denis Les Herbuottes 2008
Morey St Denis is a village that is not well known for its ability to age, this wine did demonstrate that and was a stark contrast to the 2008 in the first flight.
Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Champeaux 2014
A wonderful wine to finish the night on, showing all the savoury game character you’d expect with Gevrey as well as a lovely dense core of red fruit.
All in all an excellent night, such wonderful feedback at the end and a delight to present. The next Pinot Noir club tasting in Auckland is on the 13th June at Victoria Park, for this we’ll be looking at Australian Pinot Noir. As I said last night, put all previous views of Australian Pinot Noir aside, this is a tasting you definitely want to be at.