Bourgogne: Tour De Terroir tasting at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Fest

March 30, 2009 08:04:21
Posted By Wine With Karl

Friday evening was a “tour” across Burgundy. We tasted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. Luckily only 9 wines this evening compared to 15 wines the previous evening.

First wine was Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurora Rose Brut, a cremant de Bourgogne. Cremant is a sparkling wine made in France outside of Champagne. 100% pinot noir. Light salmon colour, strawberry aroma and flavour. Cremant is usually less expensive than Champagne but uses the same methods so try some cremant.

Next was Domaine Christian Moreau Pere & Fils Chablis Grand Cru Les Los 2005. This is chardonnay from the northern Chablis region. Chablis is known for being steely and mineral, but with age comes complexity. This one had lemon, spice and mineral aroma. Light oak, apple, citrus flavour, and had a soft mouthfeel.

Chateau de Cordon Andre Pouilly Fuisse Les Vielle Pierres 2004. Pouilly Fuisse is the region just on the northern border of Beaujolais. The grapes for this wine are also chardonnay. Being further south, the grapes get more sun and heat and have more flavour and creaminess. Unfortunately the wine I had came from a tainted bottle so I can’t tell you about it. Approximately 1 in 12 bottles suffer cork taint world-wide.

Our fourth wine was the Bouchard Pere & Fils Mersault 2006. More chardonnay, this time from the Cote d’Or, the main part of Burgundy. I marked this wine as a star. Fermented in barrel, this wine was full bodied, rich, with apple, spice, citrus and hazelnut flavours with a toasty finish. Pair with lobster.

The fifth wine was the George Dubeouf Beaujolais Villages 2007. A “village” wine is a step up from a simple Beaujolais. It typically has riper fruit and at least 0.5% more alcohol. Gamay is the red grape in Beaujolais. This wine had cherry and banana aromas. Cherry and juicy fruit gum, flavours. The banana aroma and juicy fruit gum flavours come from the carbonic maceration fermentation (i’ll blog on that separately).

Next, the sixth wine was the Domaine Piron Chenas Quartz 2007. Chenas is the smallest Cru within Beaujolais, and has produced an excellent quality wine. This was medium reddish purple. Cherry aroma. Big cherry fruit flavour, a good level of acidity and medium tannins. A star for this one.

Our seventh wine was the Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 2006. Pinot noir here. The vineyard was once owned by nuns, thus the origin of the “Baby Jesus” name. The vineyard is in Beaune, which is the main city in Burgundy. This wine had beautiful cherry blossom aroma. Soft mouthfeel, cherries and strawberry flavours. Very well balanced. My OVERALL favorite of the tasting.

The eighth wine was the Olivier Leflaive Wines Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens 2005. Remember, Pommard produces masculine wines. This vineyard grows on iron rich soil, giving the wine more body and firm tannins. Garnet colour and big legs (high alcohol). Cherry and strawberry flavour. Full bodied, firm tannins, cherry flavour.

Our final wine was the Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin Bel Air 2006. I do love the wines from the Gevrey-Chambertin appelation. This wine had beautiful cherry and vanilla/oak aroma. Good acid, cherry flavour, medium body.Tour de terroir

Enjoy!

Marche aux Vins in Beaune

There is a lot of wine to taste in Burgundy. Besides driving through the wonderful vineyards and stopping and wine makers’ doors, there are wine merchants. One is the Marche Aux Vins, which is across the street from the amazing Hospices de Beaune, Hotel Dieu, a hospital built in the mid 1400’s to take care of the sick people regardless of their wealth. At the Marche aux Vins you get to travel through their underground cellars and try wines from 16 crus. Covering Chablis to the Maconnais, through Cote de Beaune, Cote de Nuits and the Cote Chalonnaise. Upon entering and paying your 10 Euro entrance fee, you are given your own tastivin (little metal cup you sometimes see on tv shows with very erudite people pontificating about wine) to sample the wines. The wines ranged in price from 14 – 39 Euros. There were 3 white wines to taste. There was a Marsannay, Pouilly-Fuisse, and a Mersault. All were light bodied with citrus, oak, and apple flavours. The red wines were more exciting. A lower priced red I enjoyed was the Beaune Hospices de Dijon, 1999, for 22 Euros. It had a nice vanilla, cherry nose. It was very fruity, with low tannins. A bit more expensive bottle as from Pommard. Pommard is traditionally a more firm (masculine) wine than from other parts of Burgundy. It had meaty, earthy aromas. Good red fruit flavours with low-medium tannins. The top end red wine of the tasting was the Corton Les Languettes Grand Cru 2000 for 39 Euros. It had cherry and sausage aromas. The cherry and sausage continued on the palate. It had medium tannins, good acidity and a long finish. Very impressive. That is all from Burgundy. Salut!

A Beaune to pick

On Thursday and Friday this week, I spent driving the Route des Grand Vins in search of a bottle of Burgundian pinot noir to bring back to Canada. On Thursday, we did the Cote de Nuits and Friday, the Cote de Beaune. In Cote de Nuits, our primary stop was in Gevrey-Chambertin. The pinot noir wines of this area are viewed as being feminine in style, while those from Pommard as being very masculine in style. In Gevrey-Chambertin, I visited several small producers, in particular Gerard Quivy and Philippe Leclerc. I particularly enjoyed the wines from Philippe Leclerc. I was able to enjoy the 2003 and 2005 vintage of the Premier Cru les Cazetiers, and the 2003 vintage of the Premier Cru la Combe aux Moines. The 2003 les Cazetiers came from a very hot year making a wine with exceptionally ripe fruit flavours. The 2005 les Cazetiers was not yet ready for drinking, but amazingly had the same flavour characteristics, which Leclerc attributes to the soil / terroir of the vineyard plot used for this wine. The la Combe aux Moines had a leather and cherry nose. It had good black fruit flavour and medium tannins. The finish was very long. I’d say this wine needs 2-3 years more aging before drinking to smooth out the tannins a bit.

Friday was the drive through the Cote de Beaune. Most visits were to some wine shops that offered several wines from the region for tasting. To walk into these shops and see the famous names, such as Montrachet, Pommard, Mersault, surrounding you is truly inspiring and humbling. Thinking how long these wines have been produced and how they have refined the production to small plots of land with it’s particular terroir, and how far we have yet to go in Canada. To avoid boring you with all the wines I tried i thought I would just tell you about my favorite wine for this day. The wine of the day was the 2006 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “les Champs Gains” from Michel Bouzereau. This wine was straw coloured with a light oak and stone fruit aromas. The oak continued on the palette along with apple flavour. It had light acidity and was light bodied. If you want to purchase it, one bottle costs 47 Euros, plus shipping and taxes of course. Salut!