Tasting Burgundy 2018 | Leroux, Roche de Bellene, AF Gros & Bernstein

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November 5th 2019

The Goedhuis team is in Burgundy for two weeks tasting the 2018 vintage across the Côte-d’Or. After Buying Director, David Roberts MW’s terrific trip last month tasting the whites of Chablis and the Côte de Beaune, we have high expectations and our itinerary is jam-packed with some fantastic tastings lined up.

Here are my first impressions after our first day.

The growers are very pleased with the volume of the 2018 vintage, it is the first sizeable vintage they have had for a long time and the cellars are looking rather full. In contrast, the 2019 harvest was much smaller and production will be limited.

On day one, our visists were in and around Beaune. We started the day tasting with the talented winemaker Benjamin Leroux. He told us that 2018 was the warmest year on record and prior to that it was 2017.  However 2019 broke the record again so it certainly looks like temperatures are changing!

Benjamin-Leroux
Benjamin Leroux

We then headed over to Nicolas Potel where we tasted through the whole range including his domaine wines. He is delighted with the vintage and thinks it is the best since he started making wines in 1987. Weather conditions were brilliant and the quality of the fruit was excellent with no dramas on the sorting table! Domaine de Bellene has produced a really delicious Nuits Saint Georges Vieilles Vignes and some fantastic Beaune wines, we all agreed that this appellation is somewhat under the radar. Maison Roche de Bellene has also made lots of interesting wines, the Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru Aux Boudots and Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru Lavaux St. Jacques were very good indeed, but the Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses took it to another level. As for the Grands Crus the Corton Rognet was lovely and the Romane Saint Vivant was epic!

Nicolas kindly laid on a very relaxed informal lunch where we were treated to some delicious Scottish salmon which had been smoked by his friend in Beaune. He also spoiled us with some fantastic bottles which included a 1969 Meursault which had incredible aromas of cut mushrooms, very complex and interesting.

Nicolas-Potel
Nicolas Potel

Our next visit was to AF Gros which never disappoints. There was a stunning line up of wines with all the usual suspects: Vosne Romanée, Chambolle Musigny, Beaune and of course the top Grands Crus. We also tasted their new cuvée Nuits St. George Premier Cru Clos St. Georges, this wine really did make you sit up. It’s an absolute beauty, very elegant with seamless, enticing red fruit. This is certainly a Domaine to watch.

AF-Gros-2
Caroline and Mathias Parent-Gros with David Roberts MW

Finally, we paid a visit to Olivier Bernstein. This is a much talked about producer who is making wines of the very highest quality. The attention to detail here is second to none. All the wines have an extraordinary purity of fruit and are extremely composed. There were a couple of wines that absolutely blew me away: the Clos de la Roche, a real show-stopper with beautiful fruit,  and the Chambertin, which was mind-numbingly good. What a great way to finish off our day, more will be revealed as the week goes on.

Olivier-Bernstein
Olivier Bernstein
Goedhuis-team
Goedhuis Team: James Low, Tom Stopford Sackville and Jamie Strutt