Burgundy visit: 6 to 9 December 2010

Update 9 December

I have just finished my visit to Burgundy, tasting the 2009s of Louis Jadot with Jacques Lardiere plus a few 2008s and two 2005s – totally closed now. Before that with Philippe Prost of Bouchard Pere & Fils, and before that, Georges Roumier and Jacques Frederic Mugnier among many others. For now, all I can say is that many whites are quite nice, which is somewhat counter-intuitive (one had to pick at the earliest possible date, stressed Philippe), and of course the reds are wonderful. So seductive. Some – like Sylvain Pitiot of Clos de Tart – prefer 2005 to 2009, but others, like Lardiere, feel that 2009 is better overall. In any case, some of the better 2009s I tried will be supreme, including the Musigny I tried at Jadot, at Roumier and at Mugnier. But I also tried affordable wines at Pierre Boisson in Meursault – very lovely whites from the 2008 vintage, as well as Simone Bize. Will be posting detailed notes soon, with photos. Thanks for staying tuned.

Text from 6 December…

I have come to adore the wines of Burgundy for their freshness and finesse, their allegiance to terroir, their cat and mouse character. Last night, I ate at an average Japanese restaurant that was written up in the French magazine Bourgogne, from an edition last year. In between reading an interview with Charles Rousseau of the famous Armand Rousseau domain and the vicarious pleasure of reading about a double vertical of La Tache and Romanee St Vivant, I read about Bissoh, a Japanese restaurant just outside the old town centre. For €100 my partner and I ate well, but not really well. It was a decent Japanese meal, with sushi of course, but I ordered grilled sea bass that came with a cepes (porcini) mushrooms and an all too evident truffle flavor. An overdose of truffle essence. Oh well, it was not bad. The fish was tasty but hardly superlative, hardly super fresh, as if from a great restaurant. For that money, I would go elsewhere. But the wine was good, a Simone Bize Savigny Les Beaune 2007 white, a half bottle for €26. An OK restaurant price, I suppose, but the wine showed off what white Burgundy can be, even from a more humble appellation. It had a certain creamy aspect, vanilla, without ever being overbearing. Red apple and some white flower. Just a smooth white, with crispy acidity that also never overcame you.

Today, visits will include Domaine Dujac, Domaine Francois Lamarche (with the monopole vineyard La Grande Rue), Clos des Lambrays and Pierre Boisson, a lesser known producer who is considered a rising star by Burgundy connoisseurs.

Stay tuned over the next few days with live updates from Burgundy…

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