Burgundy 2011 Tasting


Burgundy 2011 Tasting with Jean-Christophe Poizat

Way back in March, I attended this tasting of 2011 Burgundy wines hosted by Regional Wines. It was tutored by the importer and negotiant Jean-Christophe Poizat, out of Auckland.

My knowledge of Burgundian wines lies somewhere between ‘bugger-all’ and ‘non- zero’, so I was very keen to get into this tasting, and educate my palate. I love Pinot Noir, but this love is parochial, and is built on my experience and tasting of only NZ wines. Therefore, I was very interested to see how local wines compare to those from the ‘home block’, so to speak, and the addition of White Burgundy to the tasting only increased the opportunity for learnings make benefit glorious nation of Kazakstan..

Jean-Christophe started off the introduction…the wines presented tonight were not to be viewed as a review of the style of B-2011, but rather an impression of 2011. We are fortunate to be seeing wines from the top 20 appellations from the region this evening…

The wines being shown tonight exhibit ‘charm and purity of expression’ (now that could mean anything). Things to consider when talking of ‘terroir’ in Burgundy is that it is a very sophisticated wine region of France. Parcels are small. The rock limestone is very close to the surface. This can impart tightness and focus to the wines. Whites can be citrusy and forward. Masculinity and austerity can be the result.

2011 was a roller coaster vintage – summer in winter and winter in summer. Ripening was all over the place, and it was a worry that pyrozine characters might be introduced by the maceration of too many ladybirds in the winery…eh? The reds do show some vegetal characters so beware…

White Flight 

Ch de Puligny Montrachet Clos du Chateau – the producer used a bulldozer to change the profile of the terroir and was de-classified down to Bourgogne Blanc for his trouble! I saw a light bouquet, fruity, tight focused and astringent, light straw colour, fresh citrus, minerality. Limestone, huh. 4

Bernard Moreau Chassagne Montrachet – Light yellow gold. Warmer, fleshier bouquet. Tropical nose. Bright fruit in mouth, precise finish, dry, clean, modern, showing delightful transparency. 4+

Sauzet Puligny Montrachet Champs Canet 1er Cru – light gold. Layered beguiling nose. Hint of spicy complexity in glass, herby, leggy. Citrus. In mouth shows austerity, skinny-ness. Old vines 55 yrs. very sophisticated. Needs food to sing. 4+

Boillot Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru – Light gold. Wow. Amazing nose of licorice and Turkish delight. What power in this wine. Big, rich, bracing, clean acids, tropical notes, long finish. Quality. 4++

Red Flight

Camille Giroud Hates-Cote de Beune Au Cretot – 12%. Entry level, simple and pure, nose of sweet red fruit. Cherries primary fruit on palate. Short finish. 3.

Michel Ecard Savigny les Beaune Serpentiers 1er Cru – 13%. Herby nose. Bramble greenness. More greenness in mouth; some fruit; modern, fleshy, opens up in glass to show good extraction. 3+

Arlaud Morey St Denis – nose of sweet vanilla. A pure B. In mouth I see fruit delicacy, softness, with a backbone of tannic support. Lovely primary fruit. Rich and delicious. 4+

Drouhin-Laroze Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru – Savoury, cassis, quality. Cherries in mouth. Delicious fruit, elegant, good concentration, intensity and exuberance. 4+

Well, there you have it. Some very nice wines. Some long finishes and intense mouthfeels. The 2011 whites were good, but the reds were disappointing.

For the $$ being asked for, and the return on investment, I would have to say that kiwi wines deliver better flavour profiles and intensity, and for a much lower price. Old world wines do offer beguiling and unique bouquets and flavours, which I attribute to terroir, but I have to say, once again, that I live in a slice of paradise where I can enjoy the quality of wines we have here without bankrupting myself!





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