The last day of the week started off with one of our favourite tastings – our very dear friend Jean-Philippe Fichet in Meursault. It is always a joy to see him – we have been working together for nearly thirty years, and when he described us as family it didn’t feel like an overstatement. His cellars are always pristine, and happily full in 2017. He described the vintage as “très beau, sérieux, bien équilibré”.
An incredibly consistent range – as we tasted through the ranks his Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes (made from 45-65 year old vines) was an impeccable example of its category – fine and fresh but with a lovely weight of fruit. His Meursault village is a paradigm of the appellation, and at the top end the Chevalières was in fabulous form, as it so often is in drier years.
Jean-Philippe Fichet, David Roberts MW & Catherine Petrie MW
Next stop Bruno Colin in Chassagne Montrachet – and another virtuoso display of just how good this vintage is for white wines. There is a transparency to the wines, they are really singing the character of their individual origins. Chaumées was opulent, Vergers was taut and focussed, Chenevottes was archetypical Chassagne with stunning length. The tasting continued with more superlatives, and the whites finished on an astonishing high with Bruno’s Chevalier Montrachet. Bravo Bruno!
Our final pre-lunch stop was Justin Girardin in Santenay. A relative newcomer to the Goedhuis portfolio, we have been buying his white and red Santenay and a Chassagne 1er Cru for a couple of years. Another excellent tasting – his Santenay Terrasses de Bievaux is just delightful and will be ready to drink almost immediately. His other wines were also very successful, capturing the bright, luminous fruit of the vintage.
A delicious, if rather hurried, lunch at Aupres du Clocher in Pommard (highly recommended) and our last stop is Benjamin Leroux in Beaune. Time was not on our side as we simply could not miss our train in Dijon and Eurostar connection in Paris, so we raced through eleven wines in record time. A very consummate set of wines – all of his village wines were knockout, particularly the Vougeot Clos du Village, and his Grands Crus were sublime.
Tom Stopford Sackville, Benjamin Leroux
All in all a wonderful week of tasting: 27 domaines visited, 369 wines tasted, including 75 Grands Crus. Another set of reports will follow next week as more domaines are visited by another team of Goedhuis tasters, but for the moment we return to London, tired but extremely content, and looking forward to the release of these excellent wines in January.