A Bright Night For Burgundy

Written By

September 1st 2011

I was organising an educational evening for a major corporation – so what could be a better theme than talking about Burgundy? Such a tiny part of the world, yet one of the most complex and mysterious wine regions…

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Well, we started the event with one of the greatest examples of what Chardonnay is all about…. Puligny Montrachet, Louis Carillon, 2008… As some of us know, Puligny is arguably the region which produces the highest quality wine in Burgundy. With a strong level of village wines and fantastic 1er Crus (les Perrieres, les Referts, les Pucelles) Puligny also has Grand Crus such as Chevalier Montrachet and Bienvenue Batard Montrachet…. also sharing with Chassagne Le Montrachet.

Enough geekyness, back to the wines: brilliant! 2008 is such a great vintage to drink now surprisingly, it had a superb length and beautiful freshness. Very light tropical fruit and a great, ample body… real Chardonnay would love it…. I did :).

Now red burgundies are also quite tricky to explain and to demonstrate the difference between them. People think that such a small region could not have that much difference in the wine characteristics. Well, the first red was Volnay 1er Cru, Carelle-sous-Chapelle, Domaine JM Boillot, 2006. JM Boillot is simply a genius in my eyes and his wines are always a great expression of Terroir- Volnay always velvety with red fruits, great minerality with an elegant finish. We actually did a food and wine pairing with over-riped strawberries.

The second wine was a step up in power made by another genius…. Morey St Denis 1er Cru, Les Millandes, Domaine Serafin, 2001. Domaine Serafin produces a classic burgundy style, elegance first! This wine was typically Burgundian. Savory, leather, horse saddle, cigar leaf….. farm yard and such great length! The wine opened more and more: delicious! Morey is a great middle man, not as light and delicate as Gevrey or Volnay and as powerful as Bonnes Mares, Pommard, Nuits Saint Georges.

Last but definitely not least…. far from it! Nuits St Georges 1er Cru, Clos de L’Arlot, Dom Arlot, 2002. It was robust, meaty, black fruits all over: the heavy weight of Burgundy with velvet gloves indeed! Really opulent and an amazing long finish.

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People really understood the wide range of choice within the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy. From the delicate Volnay to the fleshy Nuits Saints George…. mission complete!