A Taste of Burgundy – February 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015 9:51 PM

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2012 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Frétille Domaine Rapet Père et Fils

Domaine Rapet is fairly well known among insiders in and around the Côte d’Or. They produce great wines for their price-points, and their appearance on the wine lists of bistros and restos in the area is numerous. Even while visiting Vincent Rapet, we are constantly interrupted by individuals wanting to purchase his wines for their own consumption. The domaine’s holdings are in excess of 20 hectares, about half planted with Chardonnay. 2012 was very difficult for Burgundian vignerons, as the weather was challenging from early spring through mid August. Production was way down, though the finished wines are of high quality. The healthy fruit that was harvested had relatively thick skins and less juice, contributing to sturdy concentration. The wines have expressive aromas and flavors, and bright acidity. Rapet’s 2012 Sous Frétille exhibits soft fleshy fruit in a medium bodied package, laced by its traditional mineral presence, which continues through the crisp, lifting finish. This will drink well from 2018-2028.

2012 Beaune 1er Cru Les Vignes Franches Domaine Michel Bouzereau

Jean-Baptiste Bouzereau described 2012 as a vintage where quantities were down around 50% of normal, though that number varies from plot to plot. However, just as with the Chardonnays, the miniscule quantity of Pinot Noir that was harvested is of fine quality. In the mold of the 2009 vintage, the wines are full of expression, and they possess plenty of concentration. The Premier Cru Les Vignes Franchesvineyard borders Les Pertuisots due west of the town of Beaune. Jean-Baptiste’s 2012 Beaune Les Vignes Franchesimmediately grabs the taster with its pretty berry fruit aromas. There is plenty of concentration on the palate; it’s all about the pure dark red fruit expression that latch onto the round tannins before the fresh, balanced finish. As we continue to discover, Burgundy’s 2012’s deliver big time. As Clive Coates MW reminds us, “There are some who regard the potential of 2012 reds as superior to anything recent, and that includes 2010, 2009, and 2005.” Decant if drinking young, this wine will shine from 2019-2029 and beyond. –Peter Zavialoff

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Bouzereau’s 2011 Bourgogne Blanc is a sensational deal. How often can you drink white Burgundy priced at $24.95 per bottle and get this level of complexity? Sadly, not too often these days. That said, it is our unending quest to keep searching the Côte D’Or for hidden gems to import at affordable prices. Though Bouzereau no longer can be considered a “hidden gem”, as the domaine is becoming well recognized for making exceptional Meursaults, Puligny-Montrachets and Volnays,it is their Bourgogne Blanc that gives us mere mortals with aspirations of drinking more white Burgundy more often the possibility to pull the cork even on casual occasions.

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My neighbor across the street has a son-in-law who is an avid amateur fisherman and, lucky for me, can’t seem to consume all the crab he brings her. So she shares it with my family. Two things I don’t tire of is fresh Dungeness crab and white Burgundy, separately or together. It bears mentioning here, that I have gone on record many times with saying that if I could, I would drink white Burgundy every day. Knowing I had crab marinated in parsley, Meyer lemon and olive oil waiting for me last night, I fretted all during the day deciding what I wanted to drink with it. Often I go with something light and crisp, but this time I wanted richness, something luxurious and layered to accompany the crab. White Burgundy, that’s what I wanted. Not Chablis, not some crisp Macon, something with more heft and flesh. Heading into the gift-buying season, I had to be budget conscious too. Bouzereau Bourgogne Blanc: the clear and obvious answer.

 

 

 
 
Bouzereau’s Bourgogne Blanc comes from 3 parcels, including one from Meursault and one from Puligny-Montrachet. The oldest vines were planted in 1957.Aged in barrel, this is no ordinary Bourgogne Blanc. It is much, much more and quite frankly, easily mistaken for a village or Premier Cru level wine. Yes, it gives you that much to appreciate. The nose is boisterous with notes of anise and hazelnut creme, minty even. The flavors on the palate are textured and lengthy, with beautifully integrated fruit and oak notes. This is darn good Chardonnay!
 
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In a review of the 2011 Bourgogne Blanc from Bouzereau,critic Allen Meadows of Burghound ended with “One to buy by the case” – no kidding!

 

 

 
Take his word, take my word, you will want to drink this over and over again and at $24.95 per bottle you can do so without feeling any pangs of guilt.
 
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A Taste Of Burgundy – October 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:24 PM

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Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please notify us in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.


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2012 Meursault Les Grands Charrons Domaine Michel Bouzereau

It is Michel Bouzereau’s son, Jean-Baptiste who now makes the wine at this prestigious domaine in Meursault. The Les Grands Charrons vineyard is a lieu-dit along the same ridge just further north of the esteemed Les Charmes and Les Genèvrieres vineyards just to name a couple. 2012 was a tricky vintage in Burgundy for both the red and the white wines. Cold, wet conditions were the norm all spring, causing problems in the vineyards and delaying flowering. Alas, what little fruit there was benefited from a perfect July, August, and September. As the harvest approached, the evenings grew quite cool, preserving the acidity levels of the fruit. Outside of the reduced quantity of the 2012 vintage, Jean-Baptiste is quite pleased by the quality of his wines.Burghound’s Allen Meadows had this to say about Bouzereau’s 2012 Les Grands Charrons, “There is good precision and punch to the slightly bigger and richer middle weight flavors that terminate in a saline-inflected and agreeably dry finish.” We recommend drinking this from 2015-2025.

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Château de la Maltroye

Château de la Maltroye’s Jean-Pierre Cornut calls 2012, “excellent, but tiny.” He says his wines are exceptionally fresh and well-balanced plus the terroir definition is superb. The Clos du Château vineyard is nestled up to the southern part of the village of Chassagne, with the château just above it. Burgundy authority, Clive Coates MW reports there are some who consider the potential of the 2012 reds to be superior to anything recent. That includes 2010, 2009, and 2005! It is just going to be a difficult task finding the wines, considering the tiny production. The normally conservative Allen Meadows gushed with praise of this wine, “There is a lovely sense of underlying tension to the detailed yet impressively rich medium weight flavors that possess plenty of tannin-buffering dry extract before culminating in a dusty and seriously complex finish. The balance is impeccable and there is so much mid-palate concentration that this will be approachable young, yet should amply reward up to a decade of cellaring.” Drink 2017-2027. – Peter Zavialoff

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2011 Domaine Michel Bouzereau Bourgogne Blanc: The Secret

Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:22 AM

Fresh off the heels of a visit by negociante Jeanne-Marie De Champs, TWH staff is abuzz with recent memories of tasting Burgundy. That’s right, Burgundy. Red and white. We get excited about stuff like this because Jeanne-Marie doesn’t visit often. Make that often enough. At the end of the day, when we divvy up the samples, it’s always refreshing knowing that even if one doesn’t have the first or second pick, there will still be Burgundy on the dinner table that night. Yesterday was one of those rare days when all of us were here in the shop (maybe we were all secretly thinking that there would be more Burgundy to taste) and the post-Burgundy banter was constant. Stefan came up with an idea to feature a six bottle sampler, or one staff pick from each of us. As this idea was in its infancy, Chris immediately seized the opportunity to exclaim, “Bourgogne Blanc from Bouzereau. That’s my pick.” Truth be told, that is everyone’s pick. The generic moniker “Bourgogne” says little about what is inside a bottle of 2011 Domaine Michel Bouzereau et Fils Bourgogne Blanc! 

 

 

It has been reported here a few times that Domaine Michel Bouzereau et Fils is located in Meursault. David had been tasting (now) winemaker Jean-Baptiste Bouzereau’s wines for several vintages before finally pulling the trigger on the entire line from the 2008 vintage. No doubt, Jean-Baptiste’s Premier Crus and village wines are special treats, but it’s his Bourgogne that has been consistently turning the heads and wagging the tails of our staff. The 2009 version was included in our Top Ten Wines of 2011! Every year it delivers and delivers, yet doesn’t take and take from your wallet. Chris declared it his staff pick most likely because he thought if he didn’t speak up at that moment, someone else would attach their name to the 2011 Bourgogne Blanc. I once overheard a well seasoned wine professional say to another that Chris’ palate “is on par with the upper half of San Francisco somms.” Ultimately, because it is everyone’s pick, nobody got to put their name on it, and the inspiration for this write-up was born.

 

So here we were; the work day was nearing an end, and there was Jeanne-Marie and 10 or so open bottles. While tasting through the range, Jeanne-Marie regaled us with information about the producers, the vineyards, and vintages. In regard to the Bouzereau Bourgogne Blanc, Jeanne-Marie informed us that the fruit came from vineyards in and around Meursault. This caused Anya to speak up. “When I taste this wine, I feel like I’m tasting a secret. Seriously, it says ‘Bourgogne’, but it tastes like something more fancy. Dare I say like Meursault?” To reiterate, for a Bourgogne, this IS fancy. It shows dazzling aromas of citrus blossom, mineral, and just a hint of spice. The palate is fresh and vibrant, with lively acidity propping up the complex flavor profile. All this is delivered home with a long, crisp finish; citrus, minerals, and spice.

Allen Meadows of Burghound had this to say, “An exceptionally fresh and pretty nose features notes of fennel, white flowers and citrus. There is a fine sense of energy and detail to the delicious middle weight flavors that possess good cut and fine drive on the saline-infused finish. This is an excellent example of the appellation that could be enjoyed now or aged for a few years to good effect. One to buy by the case.”

So it was Burgundy that was in the air this week here at TWH. We haven’t forgotten about our petits chateau or “value Bordeaux” selections. In fact, a little birdie tells me you will be hearing about another one soon. In the mean time, if you love Chardonnay, yet find Village White Burgundy too pricey, you owe it to yourself to give the 2011 Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Michel Bouzereau a shot. What, with crab season on the horizon, this wine is a no brainer. We bought a good chunk of it from 2011, so it’s not going to sell out this week, but don’t wait too long, because it will. It always does. – Peter Zavialoff

* Above photo of Jeanne-Marie and Jean Baptiste from University Wines (uwineseattle.com)

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A TASTE OF BURGUNDY OCTOBER 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:03 PM

A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and(even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles. Sign up now!

 

Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.

 

Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well. 

 

2011 Meursault Les Grands Charrons Domaine Michel Bouzereau 
Now run by Michel’s son Jean-Baptiste, Domaine Michel Bouzereau has garnered the praise of Clive Coates MW, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Burgundy. Coates called it “The best of the Bouzereau cellars” (there are several), and declared it “A domaine to watch.” As evidenced by our direct importation of said wines, we agree wholeheartedly! The growing season began early, and ultimately Jean-Baptiste began the harvest in late August, assuring that the fruit was not overripe and had the proper acidity. He calls 2011 “A very pretty vintage that should age well.” The Grands Charrons vineyard is a large one, just west of the village. This wine has excellent aromas of citrus blossoms and minerals. Allen Meadows of Burghound said, “There is fine volume to the sappy and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that also possess good cut on the balanced finish.” If you’re planning on opening it soon, we suggest you decant, otherwise enjoy from 2015 on.

 

2010 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Aux Champs-Perdrix
 Domaine Alain Michelot 

The tiny Premier Cru Champs-Perdrix vineyard is roughly .75 of a hectare! Domaine Alain Michelot’s vines comprise half of it, planted in 1937. The vineyard sits above the Premier Cru Chaignots on the Vosne-Romanée side of the village. Alain’s daughter Élodie has been in charge of the day to day operation of the domaine for several vintages now, and what fortunate timing for her to be at the helm for the two blockbuster vintages of 2009 and 2010. Just like her father Alain, she makes wine in the old school style with minimal racking and deft use of new barrel. Taking the family style into consideration, Élodie’s 2010 is a mere infant, made without compromise, suggesting a long life with proper cellaring. The wine possesses generous expressions of concentrated fruit, violets, and earthy minerals with a firm structure. Patience is the key here. This wine is best to be cellared and checked upon, maybe, in a decade. For the impatient: We suggest you decant it for at least 3 hours. – Peter Zavialoff

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