November 15th 2018
Last night we had a delicious dinner at Le Bistro des Cocottes, I am feeling rotund, but managed to get out early this morning for a little jog around the périphérique, yes, miracles do happen!
It is 8:54 and I have just arrived at Comte Armand where our tasting is hosted by Paul Zinetti in his very stylish tasting/entertaining room.
We begin with a brace of Auxey Duresses, the village and 1er Cru both wines are bright, so fresh and have delicate red fruit profile, although the 1er Cru is meatier with slightly darker fruit (20% new oak), silky texture, I really like this.
We get very little of Paul’s delicious Volnay village, it sells in minutes, such a crowd pleaser, bright cherry fruits, so pretty, silky and refined with superb energy, this represents brilliantly the style of the 2017 vintage.
His Volnay Fremiets 1er Cru (on the border with Pommard), from old vines (85 yr old) was very concentrated with a red fruit profile, the tannins are soyeux, wonderful harmony and balance, the oak is evident on the palate but this just adds character to this superb cuvée, the finish is long.
We tasted two cuvées from the Clos des Épeneaux, the 1st from two parcels within the Clos from 36 and 55 yr old vines, spicy notes are evident, the balance is impeccable, the tannins are fine. The 2nd cuvée from two parcels, from 65 to 98 year old vines. 30% new oak, much darker, more complex, spicy notes, the structure is evident, tannins more granular, the energy in this wine is so impressive. It is a joy to taste and will become something very special.
We end on a flight of 2015, 2014 and 1998 Clos……which really shows how brilliantly this wine can age.
Next up to Chorey-Lès-Beaune to taste with Nathalie Tollot of Domaine Tollot-Beaut.
The Chorey-Lès-Beaune Piece du Chapitre is a real crowd pleaser this vintage. It is more on the darker fruits, with wonderful sweetness, silky tannins, utterly delicious and great value.
Next up Savigny 1er Cru Les Lavieres is wilder, more sauvage on the nose, I love the seductive fruit profile, pretty and velvety. JL buy this year.
The two Beaune 1er Crus are delicious, both vineyards protected from the wind by the Montagne de Beaune, the Clos du Roi is so fine and elegant, with beautifully sweet and soft tannins. The Grèves is darker, wilder, very juicy on the palate.
Next up is a cuvée I adore, the Aloxe-Corton 1er Les Vercots, liquid cranberries, fabulous freshness and purity, so pretty, the tannins are gentle, but there is no mistaking we are in Aloxe. This wonderful cuvée is singing today.
Corton Bressandes Grand Cru is wonderfully elegant for a Corton, lots of sweet red and dark fruits, gentle tannic structure that is perfectly integrated, the finish is long with a delicious earthy note on the finish. I really like this. It isn’t going to make old bones, but it is incredibly seductive.
Lunch in Corpeau at the Auberge de Vigneron, but just before we do so I wanted to share a little note on an utterly brilliant tasting at Bonneau du Martray.
As many are aware this is a biodynamic domaine that specialises in minimal intervention. 9 different types of soil on the hill and 3 different climates, so lots of blending takes place in the winery before one encounters the final blend. We tasted the 3 blocks of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru which will form the final blend, 3 very different wines.
Upper block: cool, sees less sun, very poor soil, limestone, very close to the bedrock. This is the backbone of the wine, lots of acidity with fabulous tension.
Middle block: more texture, more layers, more mouth filling, such wonderful salinity, broader and more flavour. Very long.
Lower block: The soil is deeper and richer with more iron and also more sunshine! This plot gives the fleshiness to the wine. Still so tense and taught, but with more body and a creaminess.
Final blend: Smokey, peachy, apricots, yellow stone fruits, such brightness and clarity. I love the balance, creamy texture and fabulous minerality, still very reserved at the moment on the palate, so fresh and long on the finish. This will gain a lot of power. Utterly delicious.