Beaune and Beyond

Hosted by Phillip Rich at Lamont’s in Cottesloe

Reviewed: 3rd June 2013

I must admit that I had reservations about attending this tasting as I had spent the day working in Sydney and had flown in just in time to attend. The thought of a hot shower and warm bed was very appealing. I am so glad that I did attend though as it was a fantastic evening.

Phillip Rich was in town to showcase a range of wines that he imports in to Australia. Two things made the night so enjoyable. Firstly, the wines ranged from very good to spectacular. The red Burgundies from Hudelot Noellat in particular were nothing short of spectacular.

The other factor that made the night so enjoyable was our host. Phillip is a warm and engaging speaker. He shared his great knowledge with us in such a way that it felt like catching up with an old friend.

If you get the chance to attend one of his tastings in the future, jump at it. I am sure you will enjoy the experience as much as I did.

NB. This tasting comes with the usual caveats. It was not a blind tasting (and I had a lot of fun), so please use my points as a guide only. Wines are available in limited quantities from Lamont’s and other select independent retailers.

  • Tasted:        16
  • Reviewed:   11


Pierre Peters – Champagne – Chetillons – 2005 (18 – 18.5). A very impressive wine that balances delicate floral notes with complex autolysis characters (brioche, bread dough etc.). The palate is very subtle, showing balance and poise. Youthful and quite lean, this needs time in the bottle to really open up.  To get the most out of this wine now, try letting it warm up in the glass a little as this lets the pristine chardonnay fruit really shine.

Copain – Chardonnay – Tous Ensemble – 2011 (17 – 17.5). Delicate lemony fruit that is quite taut and linear at first. An elegant, modern style that opens up to show grapefruit and nectarine characters. The finish is elegant and quite seamless. Don’t serve to cold.

Copain – Chardonnay – Laureles – 2011 (17.5 – 18). Compared to the Tous Ensemble, there is a real step up in richness here. There is still the grapefruit and citrus notes, however the mouth-feel and texture are the real highlights. Finishes with lemon pith and precise minerals. A lovely drink.

Copain – Pinot Noir – Tous Ensemble – 2010 (17.5+). A lighter hue here. Lovely red fruits to the fore, with red cherries and lifted perfume. The palate is very pretty and has good texture and structure. Good length and intensity on the finish rounds out the package. A wine to enjoy now and, as such, represents quite good value

Copain – Pinot Noir – Kiser En Haut  – 2010 (18+). This wine still has the lovely perfume of the Tous Ensemble, though there is more depth and structure to the fruit and the mouth-feel is more textural. Whilst this is a lighter style compared to a NZ pinot, there is superb intensity, density and an elegant structure to the palate. A balanced and youthful wine that has intrinsic fruit power and is very age-worthy.

Copain – Pinot Noir – Kiser En Bas  – 2010 (18 – 18.5). This is a compelling wine that blends many of the characteristics of the previous two wines from Copain. Both the nose and palate display lovely perfumed fruit, silky mouth-feel, cherry fruit notes and fine oak handling/ lovely souring acid. A wine that balances fruit and structure expertly. A wine that can be drunk now or in 5 years.

Felton Road – Pinot Noir – Cornish Point – 2010 (18.5). Gorgeous nose that has sweet fruit that is balanced by complex cherry and spice aromas.  Real density and serious fruit weight is apparent on the palate. The oak is evident now, but complements the fruit very well. A delicious wine that offers a degree of generosity that only the new world seems to achieve. Put in to the tasting as a yardstick, and very nearly stole the show.

Hudelot Noëllat – Pinot Noir – Vosne Romanee – 2011 (18). In the glass, this wine has a lovely, vibrant colour. The nose is dense, earthy and weighty, yet retains a lovely perfumed character. The palate is supple, fragrant and spicy, the depth of the fruit evident in the texture and mouth-feel. With excellent length and wonderful balance, this wine actually represents good value at around $90!

Hudelot Noëllat – Pinot Noir – Beaumonts – 1er Cru – 2011(18.5+). This has a classic Burgundian nose that, like the Vosne, has fragrant, perfumed characters sitting atop the dense fruit. Opens up to show sappy sour cherry, spice and earthy notes. The palate here is spectacular, with superb fruit that is balanced, very long and near seamless. The structured nature of the finish suggests that this should continue to develop well in the bottle. Brilliant wine.

Hudelot Noëllat – Pinot Noir – Clos de Vougeot – Grand Cru – 2011 (18.7). Even more density to the colour here and the fruit is much more closed than the Les Beaumonts. Whilst this is fresh and supple, with almost new world richness to the fruit, the wine is dense, structured, powerful and tannic. A truly great wine, but one that needs 5 – 10 years in the cellar to start to express itself.