Over the last two days, David and I descended into the Côte Challonaise and the Maconnais. Our first noteworthy stop was with the colourful and charming Jean-Pierre Charton of Mercurey.
An honest and sincere winemaker, he is also a fascinating story teller, and we learned a bit more about his father’s experience as a winemaker and the Mercurey region of yesteryear. His 2009s were just spectacular – such sweet fruit and velvety tannins – and we’re looking to offer his 1er Crus in our En Primeur catalogue this year.
We started Thursday morning with a bang, tasting Stéphane Aladame’s 09s which offered lots of flavour yet retained their wonderful freshness. We followed the 2009 trail continuing further south with Marcel Couturier’s delicious Macon-Loché and Pouilly-Loché and Croix de Senaillet’s rich yet focused and mineral St Veran’s.
After days of eating poorly (Givry delivered us one of our worst meals ever with frozen and microwaved ‘plats du jour’ – or in David’s case, a ‘stone cold’ main dish), we finally had a very tasty meal at Le Fin Bec in Leynes where ‘La Vieille France’ opened its doors welcomingly with flvoursome escargots, the best frog legs we’ve ever eaten, supposedly delicious andouillettes (David and I have our limits) and a wonderful main course of confit beef cheeks. The wine list was seriously lacking but our tummies were smiling widely.
Our next stop is Beaujolais, where our Burgundy adventure will come to a gentle halt with fruity and succulent Gamays…