My task for our Burgundy tasting last week was to set up room 5 of Saatchi Gallery. They currently have an exhibition of Modern Indian Art and I was greeted by an advancing army of light robots and a large Arabic wall hanging declaring “Allahu Akbar” in what appeared to be Christmas decorations. I have no idea if the artist just simply liked the colours red and green or is currently sharing a flat with Salman Rushdie.
Anyway within an hour we had our rooms prepared and once again the Saatchi’s amazing space and Goedhuis wines married to make a sensational evening. In my room, I was entrusted with the wines from Tollot Beaut, Hudelot Noellot, Joseph Voillot and Jean-Marc Boillot.
Hudelot Noellet generously provided a vertical of their celebrated Grand Cru – Romanee St Vivant 2002, 1999, 1995, 1989. To my personal taste I preferred the two younger wines, as my palate leans towards younger Burgundy and both the 1999 and 2002 had remarkable depth of luscious fruit and were very decadent wines.
Tollot Beaut has long been one of my favourite producers and Nathalie’s Wines are one of the few Burgundies that one can have complete confidence in that they will deliver. Her 1985 Corton Bressandes still remains one of the most enjoyable bottles of wine I have ever drunk. On the night we drank a vertical of her Savigny Les Beaune Les Lavieres 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008. As a wine, it is always a silky textured medium bodied Pinot with a black fruit core and the ability to age for 10 years. My favourite of the evening was the 2006, which did not surprise me, as her tremendous success in this vintage offer some of the best Burgundies you can buy.
The crowds around Jean-Marc Boillots table made it difficult to do the whole flight of his Pommard Jarolieres in a single visit. Pommard is a appellation whose star has rather unfairly fallen in recent years and as a reputation of tough wines that take many years to develop . Jean-Marc Boillot transcends this reputation and is without doubt the finest producer in the region. With his Jarolieres he has created a wine that reminds people why Pommard was once the most sought after of the all Cotes de Beaune wines. His flight of 1990, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008 captured the essence of each vintage with tremendous clarity. 2000 has long been one of my favourite vintages and his was reminiscent of liquid blackberries, a wine of outstanding depth, purity, and detail.
On the final table Jean-Pierre Charlot of Joseph Voillot from Volnay was showing 3 vintages of his Champans 2008, 2005, 1999. Champans is a vineyard that is renowned to be the Volnay to lay down. I have no doubt that his 2005 was my wine of the evening. Made from 50 year old vines, this wine has remarkable potential. There is a lightness of touch with remarkable concentration which is always the sign of a special Burgundy. Unfortunately, I was not alone in my view and there has been a waiting list for this wine since the tasting.
It was a tremendous evening which had the buzz and vibrancy that makes one proud to be a part of Goedhuis. I confirmed to myself that Burgundy is the greatest and most diverse of all France’s growing regions and never to get stuck behind a Modern Indian artist with a suitcase at Customs.