Burgundy: the land of the country-Gentleman wine maker, mosaic of climats and arguably some of the most beautiful (and difficult to obtain) wines in the world. To welcome in the 2012 vintage, Goedhuis hosted its 2012 En Primeur tasting at Gallery Philip Mould in London on Monday.
With a backdrop of rare portraits, some dating back to the 14th century, we had the opportunity to welcome producers, wine journalists and a select group of Goedhuis clients. Dukes and kings watched steadily from their canvases as negotiations over how many bottles one could get their hands on were whispered around the gallery.
As we tasted the wines we knew we were in the presence of greatness. The whites tasted beautifully, as David Roberts said, ‘There is an air of flamboyance to them, reminiscent of the 2010s’. Not surprisingly perhaps, I overheard exclamations about the Puligny Montrachets in particular throughout the day.
(that is Tim Atkin MW waving at us in the background)
Production is down in 2012, as Patrick Javillier of Domaine Javillier explained, “it is a miracle that we managed to come up with wines of this quality (referring to the wines in the room) considering that it was a challenge at every step of the way.” He went on to rearrange the order of the bottles and as we tasted through the flight told me about how much wine making has changed since he studied oenology 40 years ago. “The modern approach is about observation. We are no longer over treating the vines systematically, instead evaluating the vines to ensure their health for the long term. For us, wine is made in the vineyard so we focus on the quality of the grapes.”
Which apparently was a challenge in 2012, with troubled bud formation, hail and even foxes coming into the vineyards and eating the grapes! Patrick said it was wisdom and experience as a wine maker, as well as the slow decent of temperatures into the autumn that saved the vintage. “Small but exceptional”, he concluded as we tasted the last of his flight, Meursault Les Clousots.
On the main table, a very long row of what Bertrand Verduzier (Domaine Charles Audoin) simply called ‘les grands‘ represented their famous appelations and climats faithfully. Domaine Jean-Marie Fourrier, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Jean Grivot among many others showed in the glass an expression of their noble roots.