|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 ()