Puligne-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres, Bouchard Pere
Rich, citrusy and minerally, somewhat closed on the nose. Some oak. Butterscotch, yellow tropical fruits (lyche – is that an fruit known in English?). Fine length, very good acidity, fine structure. Very good wine, needs time to integrate.
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Grande Ruchotte, Paul Pillot
Spicy, flinty, some sweetness on the nose. Quite accessible. Good, steely acidity, not quite as long aftertaste as the Puligny. Some grapefruit on the aftertaste. Well made, good wine, not as fine as the Puligny (but at approx ½ the price of the Puligny, probably on a better QPR level). I hope Chassagne continues to be underappreciated compared to Puligny.
Beaune-Greve 1er Cru, Jadot
Tropical fruit, honeysuckle, in general somewhat floral on the nose. Nicely oaked. Round and well balanced taste with a full texture. Less acidity than the afore mentioned wines, quite typical Beaune style. Good length. More fruit and less terroir. In general Jadot was very successfull in 96 with both red and whites, though his red Beaune Clos des Ursules seems extremely overoaked, almost Rioja-like, at this time. I think it will come round.
Corton-Charlemagne, Boneau de Martray
«Youngest» of the four whites. Incredible concentration, fat, spicy and long. Minerally, seabed, even a hint of crabs. Does anyone share my feeling that white Corton in some ways achieves a synthesis of some aspects of Puligny and Chassagne? Jean-Charles la Gault de la Moriniere is a very dedicated and uncompromising winemaker who made a very strong impression when I visited him this spring. Superb.
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot, Dom Ramonet
I was told that this was a special cuvee made for the «caveau» in Chassagne with 200% new oak. Normally not my kind of thing, but this is a very concentrated wine which handles this treatment surprisingly well. Lots of cassis and dark berries (I dont know the English term for them), lightly toasted. Very dry on the finish, interesting choice with food. Interesting and quite complex. Well integrated taste, cheap (120 FF, about 20 USD, in Chassagne)
Beaune-Greve 1er Cru, Lafarge
Strawberries and red currant. Very slim, elegant nose, low on the oak. Light color, light style, some bitterness in the finish. Disappointing concentration, probably not a keeper. Not up to the expected standard.
Volnay 1er Cru Fremiets, Comte Armand
Sweet-and-sour, cherry kernels, rhubarb. Dark, a little smoke, oak. Complex. Tightly knit structure, but still a soft «mouthfeel», fine tannins and good length. Impressive.
Pommard 1er Cru Epenots, Comte Armand
Hints of toffee on the nose, and again the sweet-and-sour, concentrated style. Elegant, with very good length. Well integrated oak. Somewhat more rustic than the Volnay, but also a complex and fine wine. Fine tannins in the finish. Superb wines both.
Corton «Le Corton, Bouchard Pere
Open, classical Pinot with touches of oak and juniper, some pepper and liquorice. Quite accessible to taste, but still acidic and tannic in the aftertaste. Somewhat suspicious combination of overextraction and light color (yeah, I know). Is this what red Corton is supposed to be?
Nuits St George 1er Cru Les Saint Georges, H Gouges
Cherries, tar, dark and closed. Full, but still closed and somewhat bitter. Not your typical Pinot, but still very impressive. Lightly oxydised? Very noticeable tannins, extreme extraction. Tar on the taste. Long. Not the first Gouge that impresses me a lot (a note on a 92 below), but leaves me wondering if this is what these wines are supposed to be about.
Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers 92 – H Gouge (tasted in May 99)
Extreme extraction for the vintage. Dark color, dark nose, earthy, some cherries with tar.
Concentrated taste, with a hint of mature Pinot Noir. Fine mouthfeel with good length and fine acidity. Well balanced, I’ve never tasted a 92 so intense (not even d’Angerville, who certainly made very fine wines in 92). Also keep in mind that Les Pruliers is in a somewhat lighter style than the Les Saint Georges (at least they were so in the 97 and 98 vintages at Gouge).
Vosne Romane, M. Gros (formerly Jean Gros)
Sweet-and-sour, fruit driven nose (typical of the house style). Good mouthfeel, nice length, cherries on the aftertaste. Not very complex, but some Vosne minerals in the taste. Refreshing and accessible.
Chambolle Musigny, de Vogue
Strawberries, complex and superbly elegant nose. Upfront. Elegant, finely structured acidity. Long. Light style. Hints of cinnamon and liquorice. Typical Chambolle, perhaps my favorite red Burgundy style. Best of the village wines in this tasting, with a 1er Cru price, it never the less stood very well up to the 1 er Crus (nevertheless, with a significant amount of young Musigny vines this should perhaps be expected). Traditionally this wine keeps very well.
Morey St Denis En rue de la Vergy (lieu-dit), B Clair
Berries, liquorice and smoke on the nose. Sweet-and-sour taste, good length. Well integrated, good wine.
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jaques, Dom Maume
Supremely elegant, lightly sweet nose, with spices, sweet cherries, liquorice. Very full, well extracted wine with good length. Ingratiating in the mouth with a well structured finish.
Clos Vougeot, M Gros
Spice and herbs (sage), somewhat earthy nose. Slim elegant wine with spicy taste, fine structure. Typical though perhaps more elegant than expected Vougeot style (they have one of the highest plots on the Grqand Cru). 100% new oak which this wine handles quite easily. Sweet-and-sour, typical of the house style (I was lucky enough to taste all their 96s earlier this year). Well concentrated fruit, with some warmth (hope you see what I mean), lightly minerally taste. Very fine.