We started our tasting in Gevrey-Chambertin where we always do, at Dm Drouhin-Laroze; 20, rue du Gaizot; T 03 80 34 31 49. The ’08 village was not yet released so we reserved a dozen (€21). Tasted 2 ’08 negociant wines, made by their daughter; purchased the single vineyard version Les Grandes Rayes, also (€21). Previously we have bought their grand cru wines and found them to be excellent. When it comes to these pricey wines we only buy from the best rated vintages.
Dm Harmand-Geoffroy; 1, Place de Lois; T 03 80 34 10 65 is another grower that we buy from every visit. He makes an excellent Bourgogne Rouge (€10) and very fine 1er and grand crus. We buy the cheaper wines as a form of cost averaging to compensate for the higher price of the more expensive wines that we all like from time to time. This year we bought a lot of the ’06 Bourgogne Rouge and his ’05 village Vielles Vignes (€25) and a lightish, fragrant (or what he refers to as more feminine) 1er cru La Bossiere ’05 (€29).
We then moved on to Jane et Sylvian; 9, rue du Chene; T 03 80 34 16 83 whose premises are not as imposing but who make great wine. We tasted their ’07s but in common with other ’07s that we had tasted were not impressed. Purchased Les Fontenys 1er cru, 2006 (€25).
Going organic or biodynamique is becoming increasingly prevalent in the vineyards of France. Burgundy perhaps poses the greatest challenge because of how split up the vineyards are. Sometimes people only own a small number of vines, let alone rows of vines. The most obvious indicator that organic or biodynamique is being practiced is the ground cover in the vineyards as shown in the picture above on the right.
Lunch for us is invariably a baguette and cold meats and cheeses from the local supermarket eaten in the vineyards. There are generally fabulous views and the wine growers don’t seem to mind and in fact are quite friendly when passing by. But then we don’t go tramping through their vineyards and take our rubbish away with us.
Nuits St Georges
The wines of Nuits St Georges are pretty pricey so we only visit growers there when they are selling the best vintages. Most wine available has been ’07 and we haven’t been to impressed. So we passed them by and went to the next village which still bottles under the Nuits St Georges label. Dm Daniel Rion; Premeaux-Prissey; T 03 80 62 31 28 is on the main road. We Tasted 07s but did not buy any; we purchased their Nuits Saint George Les Lavieres 2006 (€20). We also visited Dm Dubois et Fils; Premeaux-Prissey; T 03 80 62 30 61. Tried ’08s; 2 bourgogne rouge, Cote de Nuits Villages and villages wines. Bought the more complex old vines bourgogne rouge (€7.50).
Dm Michel Voarick; Sur la place du village; T 03 80 26 48 82 is always worth a visit. Tasted full range of reds and whites including grand crus Clos du Roi, Renardes and Charlemagne. Purchased Pernand Vergelesses red ’06 and white ’07 and ’08 white Corton Charlamagne.
Just on the outskirts of Aloxe-Corton is one of the iconic Burgundy houses where Ch de Corton Andre; T 03 80 26 44 25 have their tasting rooms. Tasted an ’07 white Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru, and ’08 reds 1er Aloxe Corton and grand cru Corton Chaumes. The latter is from a small vineyard just below the road from Aloxe-Corton to Pernand-Vergelesses (about one third down the hill in the photo of Corton Charlamagne at the start of this note). Purchased the Chaumes (€40).
In this steep-hillside village we visited our two firm favourites.
Delarche; T 03 80 21 57 70. Tasted ’08 whites and ’07 reds. Bought village ’08 white (€12) and ’07 red (€9).
Dubreil-Fontaine; Rue Rameau-Lamarosse; T 03 80 21 55 43. Tasted several ’08s and ’07s. Purchased Pernand Vergelesses blanc 2007 (€13).
Jean-Jacques Girard; 16 rue de Citeaux; T 03 80 21 56 15 certainly supports our view that if the place looks good and well cared for then the wines are likely to be good. Good village and 1er cru 2008. Bought white Savigny les Baune (€13) and red Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru les Serpentieres.
It is difficult to find vignerons who are open in this village. So a real gem is Jean-Louis Chavy; 27, rue de Bois; T 03 80 21 38 85. Tasted the village and several 1er crus and the Bourgogne rouge and the red Beaune 1er cru. Bought 1er cru Les Clavoillons (€25.20), the village (€16.20) and the Beaune les Cent Vignes (€12.50).
Another house that is usually open is Jean Charton; T 03 80 21 99 19. Their wines are however pricey. Tasted the village and several 1er crus – 2008. Purchased a premier cru (€49).
Gilles Bouton; 24, rue Fontenotte; Gamay; T 03 80 21 32 63 is a real find as he has good value wines from St Aubin and the Montrachets. Tasted ’06 and ’08 reds – Bourgogne, Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet – and ’08 whites – Bourgogne, Saint-Aubin, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. All pretty good. Purchased ’08s; Chassagne red (€10), St Aubin blanc (€8.30), St Aubin 1er cru les Champlots blanc (€12.50) and Chassagne blanc (€16).
From St Aubin we went to Chablis with an overnight detour to Sancerre and Menetou-Salon in the upper Loire Valley. By the time we had finished there we did not have much time in Chablis. So first things first and off to one of our favourites, William Fevre; Shop at 10 rue Jules Rathier; T 03 86 42 12 06. Here we tasted a range of village, premier and grand crus. We bought the Chablis (domaine not negotiant) 2008 (€10), Montee de Tonneaire (€23.80) and les Preuses (€36.20). We have their basic Chablis here.
We also went to Regnard; T 03 86 42 10 45. Tasted Chablis Saint Pierre 2008 (€12), 2008 1er cru Montee de Tonneaire (€19.40) and grand cru Valmur 1999 which reminded me to drink up all my old grand crus. Bought 1er cru.