New Release Imports

Reviewed: 30 January 2013

An interesting point came up for discussion during the tasting came when one panellist berated me for not giving the white Burgundies higher points. He pointed out that the wines had only recently landed and will undoubtedly be better in a month or two’s time when they have settled.

The problem with this view is that I can only assess what is in my glass and compare that to my personal frame of reference. Perhaps my points are a little low, but this is better than having them too high.

Another point was made in regards to the points that are given to Australian wines. It was suggested that these wines were significantly better than many Australian wines and therefore should get higher points. I would counter with the view that the wines are different. A $30 Australian chardonnay scoring 17.5pts is, in my mind at least, the equal of a Burgundy scoring 17.5pts. That the wines are stylistically different does not diminish my enjoyment for both.

Indeed, I would suggest that for the average consumer who does not try many French wines, the Australian wine will be more enjoyable. We are naturally influenced by our past experiences and what we are familiar with.

This is the beauty of wine; it can be all things to all people!

A fascinating tasting of high quality wines.

White Burgundy

Domaine Jean Monnier & Fils – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – 2008 (17.8). Restrained and tight, this is a lovely wine with really potential. There are hints of pineapple, grapefruit and pineapple on the nose in quite a modern style. Very long, slightly viscous, yet not cloying, with a lovely minerality to the fruit on the palate. The acid and oak are well judged and the oak is high quality.

Thiery et Pascale Matrot – Chardonnay – 1er Cru – Meursault-Charmes – 2010 (17.8). Minerals and curry leaf over peach, nectarine, cashew nut and citrus fruit characters. The palate matches the nose perfectly, with intense, yet refined fruit matched to high quality oak. Seamless and creamy, the finish is a treat.

Thiery et Pascale Matrot – Chardonnay – Meursault – La Barre – 2010 (17.7). Restrained on the nose compared to the Puligny. This is an elegant wine of some charm. The fruit is remarkably long and is carried by grapefruit like acidity. The length here is outstanding as is the mouth-feel and texture. The fruit builds and evolves and there are minerals and nutty fruit on the finish. A few years would only help this wine.

Thiery et Pascale Matrot – Chardonnay – 1er Cru – Puligny Montrachet – Les Chalumeaux – 2010 (17.5+). Lean and angular, this is a wine for another day. It really needs time to fill out and expand on both the nose and the palate. Perhaps from a cooler year, the structure and acidity are excellent. In terms of descriptors, the wine shows lemony fruit and acid, stonefruit, grapefruit, melon and mealy complexity.

Thiery et Pascale Matrot – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – 2008 (17.5+). Quite forward fruit on the nose combined with strong minerality, curry leaf and almond meal. The palate is very rich and round, showing more of the mineral characters, lemon zest, almond meal and complex, struck match and flint highlights. Not for the faint hearted, this is a rich white Burgundy.

Domaine Jean Monnier & Fils – Chardonnay – 1er Cru – Meursault – Genevrieres – 2010 (17.5) Creamy fruit on the nose, with minerals and spice. Somewhat developed and honeyed, but the acid is still fresh and keeps the palate alive. Long and succulent, this is a good wine that opens and evolves. There is a touch of vanillin oak to close. A Subtle, yet abundant wine with excellent length.

Assorted Red Wines

Emilie Geantet – Pinot Noir – Gevrey-Chambertin – 1er Cru – Cherbaudes – 2010 (17.8+). More density here. Powerful, spicy fruit with hints of licorice, clove and even star anise. Long and savoury, this is a step up in terms of fruit density and quality. Textured, long and almost chewy, this is a quality wine. Needs time.

Emilie Geantet – Pinot Noir – Fixin – 2010 (17.8). Lovely nose showing ripe, fragrant fruit. The palate is more about structure and spice than ripe fruit. There is excellent length and depth to the quality fruit and the texture really fleshes out with air. An excellent Fixin from a producer to watch out for.

Domaine Thenard – Pinot Noir – 1er Cru – Givry – Clos Saint Pierre 2009 (17.3). Initially tight and restrained, this opens to show perfumed fruit on the nose and palate, with spice, cherry and plum over cedar. The fruit is not overly dense, but it is ripe and the wine is well made.

Domaine Des Combiers – Gamay – Fleurie – La Cadole – 2011 (17 – 17.5). Fragrant and lively fruit on the nose, with red berries and gentle spice. The palate is fresh, light, succulent and juicy. There are savoury hints to close on an easy drinking and quite delicious red wine. This may have seen some carbonic maceration to add more life to the fruit.

Domaine La Cabotte – Cotes du Rhone – 2008 (17). Clean and fresh, with dense dark fruits. Think licorice, spice, cinnamon and cherry. The palate is textured and spicy , with little oak influence, but really deap tasting fruit. Smart wine.