Tag Archives: Burgundy

New Burgundy Imports


New Burgundy Imports

Barry Weinman: 23 December 2015

Fluctuations in the Australian dollar have impacted on the price of some imported wines over the last few years. Whilst the big houses’ prices have stayed relatively stable, I have noticed fairly big shifts in the price of some wines, particularly from Burgundy. For a period, there was a flood of great value wines, but as the dollar has fallen, prices have risen accordingly.

Prices today now appear to be back around traditional levels. With this in mind, I was pleased to be able to look through a range of direct import wines brought in by Lamont’s. Whilst the wines are in no way cheap, they do offer a cross-section of styles, often showing excellent typicity and high quality.

My notes below are first impressions. There were over 60 available for tasting, so I did not dwell on any of the wines for long. Also, as the tasting was not a blind tasting, I have not allocated points to any of the wines.


After very good vintages in 2009 and 2010 for both red and white Burgundy, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were more variable.

According to Jancis Robinson (http://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vintages/burgundy-white), in both ‘12 and ‘13 the high quality of white Burgundy proved much better than most expected. The downside was that volumes were much reduced. 2011 was not so lucky.

Reds fared better in some parts in 2011, but again, the ‘12s and ‘13s fared were stronger overall. http://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vintages/burgundy-red

The Wine Enthusiast was more supportive of 2011, as was The Wine Advocate.: https://www.winemag.com/PDFs/Vintage_Chart_2015.pdf

First Impressions

Pernot Belicard – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – 2012. Fairly straightforward, but clear typicity. Minerality and texture over fresh fruit, hints of grapefruit and melon. ($122)

Pernot Belicard – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – Champ Canet – 2013. Fine minerality and fruit, with hints of flint. This is really smart. The palate is bright, textured and long, with a fine finish. ($186).

Pernot Belicard – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – Perrierres – 2013. Bigger, richer and more expressive. Long, powerful palate with stone fruit in the peach spectrum, minerals and melon. Great length to close. ($186).

Pernot Belicard – Chardonnay – Mersault – Perrierres – 2013. Refined and balanced. Less overt power than its sister wine from Puligny, but with lovely grace and balance. Long and fine, with gentle minerality to close. A graceful wine. ($255).

Pierre Morey – Mersault – 1er Cru – Charmes – 2013. Quite generous fruit, yet the acid and minerals add restraint and balance. Long and refined, this is a smart wine with a zesty finish. ($199).Pierre Morey

Jean Monnier et fils – Meursault Genenrieres – 1er Cru – 2013. The potential is there, but this is quite acidic and restrained at present. Hints of smoke to close. Taut and fresh, give it 5 years to show its best. ($98)

Phillippe Livera – Pinot Noir – Gevery Chambertain – Clos Village – 2011. Fragrant cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is light and fresh, the weight matching the gentle fruit. Good length, this wine will suit current drinking. ($104).

Phillippe Livera – Pinot Noir – Gevery Chambertain – Clos Village – 2012. More depth and density compared to the 2011. Cherry fruit and supple spice, with a core of minerality. This finish is defined by fine, drying tannins which frame the fruit perfectly. Long and supple finish. Now – 5 years. ($104).

Phillippe Livera – Pinot Noir – Chapelle Chambertain – Grand Cru – 2010. Feminine, delicate fruit on the nose. The palate has cherry and spice, with cedary oak. The power here really builds, gaining depth and texture. The length is a feature. A spectacular wine with innate power, reflecting the vintage. ($N/A).

Domaine Humbert Freres – Pinot Noir – Gevery Chambertain – 1er Cru – Estrournelles St Jacques – 2012. A lovely purity to the fruit, with power and structure. This is a big wine that needs a few years, but will reward ($255).

Jean-Marc Millot – Pinot Noir – Echezeaux – Grand Cru – 2011. Limpid appearance. This is pretty, refined and elegant. There are cherry fruit notes with subtle spice. Delicate, this is a great effort for the year. ($264).

Pierre Morey – Pinot Noir – Pommard – 1er Cru – Grand Epenots – 2012. Cherry, spice and supple tannins all feature here, with bright acidity driving the finish. Angular, this needs a few years to let the high quality fruit shine. ($192).

Pierre Morey – Pinot Noir – Pommard – 1er Cru – Grand Epenots – 2013. For current drinking, I prefer the balance here. More feminine and refined, with gentle structure. Drink over the next few years while waiting for the 2012 to hit its straps. ($196).

Emilie Geantet – Pinot Noir – Gevery Chambertain – Vieille Vignes – 2013. Grace and power is a feature of all Geantet wines, and this is no exception. Refined, elegant and silky. Souring acidity adds life. Cherry spectrum fruit and a very clean finish. ($125). Emiie Geantet

Emilie Geantet – Pinot Noir – Gevery Chambertain – 1er Cru – Les Champeaux – 2013. Seductive nose, with cherry and anise. The cherry fruit here is breathtaking: intense, yet refined and balanced. The finish is long and supple, with tight knit oak adding depth. Evolves and builds. A superb wine and my pick of the tasting. I might need to have a word to Santa… ($192).


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.


Magnum Lunch

Fraser’s Restaurant

24th May 2013

Eighteen wine enthusiasts, twenty one magnums of outstanding wine and one of Perth’s best chefs recently combined for a truly memorable experience. No occasion was needed to bring a remarkable collection of both wines and people together for the second magnum lunch at Fraser’s Restaurant in Kings Park.

The lunch was conceived by John Jens, but it was Bob Winterbottom who made the lunch a reality. Bob set the guidelines for what wines could be brought and coordinated selections to ensure that there was a spread of wines from various styles. Once the list was finalised, Bob passed this on to Chris Taylor at Fraser’s. Chris developed a spectacular meal that complemented the wines superbly.

There were so many vinous highlights that it seems unfair to give the wines points. Needless to say that many of the wines would have been awarded gold medals. I will go out on a limb and say that the line-up was one of the best collections of wine that I have tasted in years.

One highlight for me was the bracket of Corton Charlemagne’s from Bonneau du Martray. It was fascinating to see how the style has evolved over the last few years. The 2008 was drinking spectacularly, but the 2010 was, quite possibly, the greatest wine of the tasting.

Another highlight was the three Second Growths from Bordeaux. Whilst the quality of the 2000 vintage was superbly highlighted by the Leoville Barton and the Cos d’Estronnel, the 2001 Leoville Las Cases was also a superstar.

The food that was prepared to accompany the wines was uniformly superb. For me, the highlight was the roast whole pig! A special mention must go to William and Bronwyn from Fraser’s who provided us with superb service throughout the event.

Ultimately though, it was the company of the other 17 wine tragics who attended that made the day so memorable.

How soon can we do it again???


We started the lunch on the restaurant forecourt where Chris shucked Ceduna oysters as we sipped on the four Champagnes. It was a perfect start, the picturesque backdrop only adding to the sense of occasion.

Pol Roger – Champagne – 1996. This wine stood out for its great finesse and balance. Yes, it was fully mature, but there was still life and vitality. A great way to start. (From Magnum).

Krug – Champagne – NV. Remarkably, this had spent 11 years in bottle since it was purchased. Fully mature, complex, rich and finely balanced, this was a great drink and perfectly complemented by the ocean tang of the oysters. (From Magnum).

Dom Perignon – Champagne – 1990. Unfortunately, the cork on this spoiled the party. (From Magnum).

Dom Perignon – Champagne – Oenotheque – 1996. Unbelievably fresh and tight, the lemony citrus characters leading the charge on both the nose and the palate. This needs years to reach its drinking peak but is a superb wine!


The pairing of the Climens and the parfait was an inspired combination. The silky texture of the parfait was the perfect foil to the wines richness.

Chateau Climens – Barsac – 1995. Balanced, precise, rich (though not in any way cloying) and very long. Apricot, almond and marzipan combine with wonderful spice notes on both the nose and the palate. Whilst this is superb now, it will last for many more years.

White Burgundy and Chablis

Given the refinement of the wines in this bracket, I was concerned that the mushroom risotto that accompanied it would overwhelm the fruit. In reality, the risotto was remarkably delicate and refined, adding a lovely backdrop to the whites.

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2004. A very complex wine, the minerals and honey on the nose combined well with the toasty, developed characters on the palate. Powerful, intense and very long, this has developed very nicely. (From Magnum).

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2008. Sublime drinking here. Grapefruit and lemony acid lead onto complex mineral characters, spice and a hint of curry leaf. Outstanding drive and length to a wine that is great now, but will also develop well for a few years. (From Magnum).

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2010.  Precise, focused and tight, this is a restrained and silky wine that flows seamlessly to a very long finish. A stunning wine and one of my favourites for the day. (From Magnum).

Domaine Francois RaveneauChapelot – Chablis – 1er Cru – 2009. Very tight, lean and racy, with lemon, nectarine and citrus rind notes. Outstanding length to a wine that needs 5 years to really start to hit its straps. (From Magnum).

Domaine Baron Thenard – Le Montrachet – Grand Cru – 2007. Opens with really tangy citrus notes. A very powerful wine that has subtle minerals and a very fine texture. Creamy and very long, this is a superb wine of power and restraint. Will age for years, but this is sublime!

Blain Gagnard – Batard Montrachet – Grand Cru – 2006. This is a very powerful wine, though the nose is remarkably tight at present. A big wine that still needs a few years for the powerful fruit to fully integrate with the oak and show its best. (From Magnum).

Red Burgundy

The Burgundies were accompanied by a complex and artistically prepared dish of braised lamb. A delicious dish, with the natural acidity of the wines complementing the richness of the food.

Pousse d’Or  – Volnay – 1er Cru – Caillerets – 1990. This bottle had, perhaps, seen better days as it was very earthy and old fashioned. (From Magnum).

Armand Rousseau – Ruchottes-Chambertin – Grand Cru – Clos des Ruchottes – 2007. Silky, sweet fruit with pepper and lovely spice highlights. The texture, balance and power have all the hallmarks of a great wine! Despite the powerful fruit, this is elegant, refined and very long. A great wine!

Mommessin – Clos de Tart – Grand Cru – 2008. Pepper, spice and cinnamon come to the fore here. Superb length and balance combine with a silky texture to make this a stunning wine. (From Magnum).

Mongeard Mugneret – Clos de Vougeot – Grand Cru – 2005. Leaner and more structured than the Clos de Tart, this is still youthful, long, fine and powerful. There are cherry fruit notes, while the finish fans out like the proverbial peacocks tail. A superb wine that is immensely long. (From Magnum).

Bordeaux and Dry Reds

From a food perspective, the roast pork that accompanied the bigger reds was spectacular. The crispy skin combined beautifully with the succulent meat. There were Asian cues to the preparation with galangal being an integral part of the seasoning.

In many respects, this dish stole the show!

Chateau Léoville Las Cases – St Julien – 2001. A brilliant wine, though the fruit is wrapped up in a very structured cloak. The tannins are firm, though very fine, while the supple oak complements the fruit perfectly. A powerful wine that will last for years, yet is a joy to drink now. (From Magnum).

Chateau Cos d’Estournel – St Julien – 2000. This is a great wine. The fruit is sweeter than the Las Cases (perhaps reflecting the year), though the wine is still very powerful. Wonderful length and texture, the fruit framed by very fine tannins. A complete wine. (From Magnum).

Chateau Leoville Barton – St Julien – 2000. Another stunning effort. This wine is silky and supple, with wonderful tannin and oak management. The most structured of the three St Juliens, this is masculine and very youthful. (From Magnum).

Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard  – Cabernet Sauvignon – 1986. Perhaps more than any wine here, the Phelps polarised the group. Spectacular fruit quality and power, but the wine initially appeared a little rustic and old fashioned courtesy of a touch of Brettanomyces. Certainly evolved in the glass and improved significantly as it opened up. (From Magnum).

J L Chave – Hermitage – 1983. This wine is totally, seductive, elegant and fully mature. The palate is defined by its finesse and length, the acidity providing drive right through to the close. From a drinking point of view, this wine was my favourite of the reds! (From Magnum).


At the end of such a spectacular lunch and with plenty of red wine still on the table, we finished with a selection of cheeses. An excellent way to end a memorable day.

Franck Bonville – Champagne – Blanc de Blanc – 2006. A superb way to end the meal, the freshness, balance and power left the palate refreshed (although it did not really refresh my mind at this point!)


Red Burgundy

Reviewed: 30 November 2011

When I was asked to help out at a Burgundy tasting hosted by Loren White, I was happy to oblige. The fact that I was in Adelaide on the morning of the tasting when I was asked was a minor hurdle, but I made sure that I was back in time. Loren is one of the true intellects of wine. Not only does he have a superb palate, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Burgundy (and wine in general). I would go as far as to say that he is probably the best that I know.

The wines were good to excellent, though ultimately burgundy is never cheap.

Reviewed (in order tasted)

Marchand & Burch – Pinot Noir – Bourgogne – 2009 (17). Plum, cherry, and hints of tar to what is a surprisingly structured nose. The palate is dense, quite structured and long, with chewy tannins to close. Better than the Bourgogne status would indicate.

Louis Latour – Pinot Noir – Bourgogne – 2008 (16.5). Open and round, with simple, sweet fruit. A straightforward wine that is juicy and easy to drink.

Hudelot-Noellat – Pinot Noir – Bourgogne – 2009 (17.2). Fragrant, ripe and seductive, with forward fruit balanced by silky tannins and a touch of oak. Good length and reasonable texture make this an attractive drink.

Marchand & Burch – Pinot Noir – Gevrey Chambertin – 2009 (16.8). Nice nose here that is fragrant and ripe. Not that concentrated, but well made.

Philippe Livera – Pinot Noir – Gevrey Chambertin – Clos Village – 2009 (17.3) This has plenty of up-front fruit, though it is a more muscular style. The palate is firm yet silky, with impressive length. Again, not that dense, but enjoyable.

Jean Marc Millot – Pinot Noir – Cote de Nuits Vilages – 2009 (17.2). A taut and closed wine that will need a year or two to open up.

Domaine De La Vougeraie – Pinot Noir – Gevrey Chambertin – 2009 (17.5+). A more traditional nose that has hints of medicinal notes and a touch of stalkiness that does not detract. The palate leads off with sour cherry fruit and really builds with air. Very good length and texture. Old fashioned? Sure, but this is an enjoyable Burgundy.

Jean Marc Millot – Pinot Noir – Vosne Romanee – 1er Cru – Les Suchots – 2009 (18). A lovely wine that is both complex and seductive. The nose is redolent of cherry, spice, tar and forest floor notes, all over bright red fruit. The palate is chewy and dense, while the fruit is quite closed. I like this.

Louis Latour – Pinot Noir – Nuits-St George – 1er Cru – Les Murgers – 2009 (NR). A bad bottle.

Hudelot-Noellat – Pinot Noir – Nuits-St George – 1er Cru – Les Damodes – 2009 (18+). Another lovely nose here that is seductive and surprisingly feminine. Fresh fruit abounds on a vibrant palate that has lovely souring acidity to complement the cherry fruit. Great length and persistence.

Humbert Freres – Pinot Noir – Gevrey Chambertin – 1er Cru – Poissenots – 2009 (17.5). A wine in two parts. The nose is perfumed and fresh, with cherry, tar and berry notes. The palate is long, though it is quite lean and angular at present. Like many wines from this commune, this should flesh out with time and score higher points when it does.

Marchand & Burch – Pinot Noir – Gevrey Chambertin – 1er Cru – Fonteny – 2009 (18). The nose on this is very closed and hints at earthy notes. The palate however is a revelation. The fruit is fine and refined, though the plentiful (ripe) tannins completely shut down the finish. Needs years to show its best, but may well be a star.

Louis Latour – Pinot Noir – Corton Grancey – Grand Cru – 2009 (18.5). A powerful wine that retains its elegance. Although structured and closed, this is silky, supple and very long. The palate is all about potential. The finish is near seamless, and there is the first signs of the fruit fanning out on a very fine finish.

Jean Marc Millot – Pinot Noir – Echezeaux – Grand Cru – 2009 (18.5). There is a richness to the fruit here that has real appeal. This is very powerful, though there is a freshness to the fruit that imbues life into the wine. Whilst the palate is very closed, the quality is obvious. More delicate than the other two Grand Crus, this is also more delicious now.

Marchand & Burch – Pinot Noir – Chambertin Clos de Beze – Grand Cru – 2009 (18/18.5+). Fruit, oak, winemaking… everything about this wine speaks quality but the wine has not come together yet. Really closed and tight, this may well be the best wine here. It will, however, take 20 years to find out. (I will never know, as this is frightfully expensive).

Red Burgundy 2009

23 October 2011

The purpose of this tasting was to look at some pre-release samples from the excellent 2009 vintage. The challenge here is to look for the potential as many of the wines are quite immature. Thanks to Ross Laurence from Fine Wine Wholesalers for inviting me to be a part of the tasting.


Laurent Chardigny – Bourgogne – 2010 (15.8). Pretty nose of strawberry and cherry. Simple cherry fruit. Souring acidity adds freshness, but lacks vitality.

Danjean-Berthoux – Givry – 2009 (16.5 – 17). Some vanillin oak comes over the top of the red fruits. Plenty of red fruits underneath, but a more “serious” style. The palate is rich, dense and long. The fruit had real depth, and the wine has been made to last a few years. Good length and texture.

Danjean-Berthoux – Givry – 1er Cru – Clos du Cras Long – 2009 (17 – 17.5). Again, sweet fruit and sweet vanillin/coconut oak. Quite immature and awkward. Chewy and textured, this needs time to come together. Will be good though.

Domaine D’Ardhuy – Cote de Beaune Villages – 2009 (NR).

Domaine D’Ardhuy Beaune – Premier Cru – Champs Pimonts – 2009 (15.5). Cherry, but complex earthy notes. Salty/savoury edge to the palate, but again, not me. A rustic style.

Domaine D’Ardhuy – Cote de Nuits – Villages – Clos des Langres – 2009 (16). A touch of pong here. Earthy, leathery notes dominate the nose. The palate is dry and unyielding. Old fashioned wine making that needs time. The rest of the groups favourite.

Domaine D’Ardhuy – Savigny – 1er Cru – Les Peuillets – 2009 (16.5 – 17). Lovely nose here. More in the cherry spectrum, with hints of tar and aniseed. Aniseed and even a hint of pepper to the palate with good texture and intensity. Floral soap.

Domaine D’Ardhuy – Corton Renardes – Grand Cru – 2009 (17.5+). Pretty red fruits. Spicy notes and quality, tight knit oak on the nose. This is an impressive wine of some substance. Real density. Needs years, but a very smart wine. The acidity really builds, so this should age well.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut – Cote de Nuits – Villages – 2009 (17). Better balance here and a lovely nose. Silky red fruits with berries and hints of savour plum. Perhaps a touch of oak on the finish, but this, and the fine fruit tannins make this excellent early consumption.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut Aloxe-Corton – Vieilles – Vignes – 2009 (17 – 17.5). Nice wine this. Feminine and seductive nose. Pretty red fruits on the palate. Not over-encumbered by oak, so easier to approach and understand now. Perfume, cherry and spice. Touch of cedary oak to close.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut – Corton – Grand Cru – Les Hautes Mourottes – 2009 (17.5 – 18). Closed. Has some menthol and spice. This is impressive, but just a baby. Silky, spice. Very elegant and refined, this is very classy. Chewy and savoury fruit to close, with nice balance.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut – Laoix – Clos Royer – 2009 (16.5). Red fruits to the fore. An attractive blend of red fruits and sour cherry. The palate is savoury, though the mouthwatering acidity makes it hard to evaluate.

Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut – Ladoix – 1er Cru – La Corvee – 2009 (17.5+). More of the sour cherry notes. With hints of savoury spice. Understated, but quite complex. The palate is dense and taught with the savoury tannins completely closing down the fruit. Very drying finish. Complex and persistent, this needs years, but is a very smart wine.

Chateau – Genot-Boulanger – Mercury – Premier Cru – 2009 (16.5). Better balance to the oak here. Silky. Supple fruit that has a more savoury edge. Cherry and hints of plum over fine but assertive tannins. Quite light bodied and fine – drink 3 – 5 years.

Chateau – Genot-Boulanger – Pommard – 2009 (17 – 17.5 ). A better blend of fresh fruit and complex, earthy aromas. A touch on the feral side for me, but many will love the leathery/savoury complexity with a touch of stewed rhubarb. Chewy, savoury palate that has some appeal. If you like your wines on the wild side.

Chateau – Genot-Boulanger Aloxe-Corton – 1er Cru – Clos du Chapitre – 2009 (17.5+). Again, a touch of earthiness here. Seductive red fruits and subtle spice to an appealing nose. The palate is flooded by dense, ripe fruit. The tannins are fine and the finish long and fine. Builds intensity. Very smart wine with real depth.

Vaudoisey – Creusefond – Auxey-Duresses Val – 1er Cru – 2009 (16.5 – 17). Unusual style that takes a bit of air to open up. Leathery, savoury notes of dark fruits, but the winemaking is good. Quite long, but rather closed on the palate.

Vaudoisey – Creusefond – Volnay – 2009 (17.5). An elegant wine of some note. Again, closed and shy, but there is a vein of peppery red fruits running through the palate. The tannins a firm but fine and the finish chewy and nicely weighted. Good persistence and length.

Michel Noellat et Fils – Nuits Saint Georges – 2009 (16.5+). Quite closed though there is lovely silky, spicy notes. This is savoury and a touch sappy. Simple fruit, but totally delicious drinking.

Michel Noellat et Fils – Vosne-Romanee – 1er Cru – Les Beaux Monts – 2009 (18+). Pretty wine. This has lovely floral fruit, though the weight on the palate is impressive indeed. Very long, textured and beautifully weighted, this is both feminine and taught. The finish is finally shut down by extraordinarily fine tannins that really build. This is a great each way bet, as it is both delicious now, but has enough structure to age for ten or more years.

Michel Noellat et Fils – Chambolle Musigny – 2009 (17.5+). Lovely nose. More sour cherry than ripe fruit, this is a savoury wine that demands food. The palate is quite seamless, and the balance excellent. It just needs a year or two to open up.

Marchand – Grillot – Morey – Saint – Denis – 2009 (17.5). Cherry and berry fruit on the nose. The palate is where it is all happening. Mouth filling, savoury, supple and spicing. The tannins build on the finish, closing down the dense fruit. Long and fine, this is a classy wine. The texture is excellent and the fruit builds in the mouth. Chocolate to close.

Marchand – Grillot Gevrey – Chambertin – En Songe – 2009 (17). Closed and tight, this has plenty of potential. The palate however gives me a slight shudder as the balance is not there yet. Give it a year.

Vincent Ravaut – Chambolle-Musigny – 1er Cru – Les Baudes – 2009 (17.8 – 18.2). Closed and retiring. This is all potential. Lovely ripe fruits emerge from the structural shadows. The palate is silky and feminine and the intensity of the fruit is better than most here. Excellent length and the fruit builds. Very fine tannins and oak to close. Will be an excellent drink in 5 years.

Burgundy 2008

Boot-Full of Wine

Tasting notes from Italy (and beyond)

March 2011

One of the most important events on the calendar of the Institute of Masters of Wine is the Annual Burgundy tasting. This year, the 2008 vintage was featured, and the tasting was organised in association with Les Domaines Familiaux de Tradition. I was lucky enough to be able to attend.

2008 was a difficult year in Burgundy, and has been christened “the miracle vintage”. The miracle to which they refer is the burst of sunshine the region experienced, accompanied by fresh (and, importantly, drying) northerly winds from the second week of September to the beginning of October.

The cool and humid start to spring was a harbinger of things to come. The whole growing season was wet and cool, with the crop beset by coulure climatique (physiological failure of fruit set) and millerandage (variation in berry size). 2007 was also a cool and wet vintage, but by the end of June, the 2008 vintage was further than three weeks behind where the 2007 grapes were at the same time.

Rot and mildew were a constant threat (those growing organically or biodynamically were particularly challenged), and called for attentive vineyard management. The period of sunshine helped greatly to keep these maladies at bay in the weeks before harvest, but though the sun shone, it was cool, especially at night. Thus the wind concentrated the sugar in the grapes, but full physiological ripeness was difficult to achieve.

The other key to producing good wines in this vintage (other than obsessional vineyard practices) was strict and often laborious sorting. I have heard that some producers rejected up to 40% of their fruit, giving yields as low as 16hl/ha.

As a result, I went to the tasting expecting that acidity levels would be very high (they were – in fact malolactic fermentation took ages to be completed), and that some wines (both red and white) would be a bit lean (indeed some were).

My overall impression was that whites fared better than reds, and that the Cotes de Nuits shaded the Cotes de Beaune (though I enjoyed several of the wines from Corton). I will confess that I am, as Michael Schuster puts it, one who likes my white Burgundy “taut, refreshing, aromatically complex and minerally”. There were no fat white Burgundies here!

But this vintage (though some would argue, every vintage) was more about the producer than the provenance of the wine. Those producers who were fastidious in both the vineyard practices and in their sorting were able to do great things. Below I will highlight a few producers whose wines I thoroughly enjoyed.


Chassagne-Montrachet – Les Chenevottes – 1er Cru (White). Lean and tight, rhubarb and citrus on the nose, good length and depth of palate. 17.5 pts

Beaune – Clos des Féves – 1er Cru (red). Wonderfully complex and balanced, amalgam of fruit and secondary flavours, silky tannins. 18.5 pts

Savigny-lés-Beaune – La Dominode – 1er Cru (red). Bright red translucence, very expressive nose, fruit and savoury elements, elegant and balanced. 18.5 pts


Chambolle Musigny (red). Sulphurous initially, which blew off. A thoroughly well made wine – each element of fruit, tannin and acid playing a part, but not individually intrusive. 17 pts

Morey-Saint-Denis – Clos de la Bussiére – 1er Cru (red). Lifted nose of sweet strawberries and cherries. A leanness to the palate but fruit flavours not unripe. 17 pts

Bonnes-Mares – Grand Cru – (red). When one tastes wines like this one realizes why people just go crazy about red Burgundy. This was a near perfect expression of pinot noir – cherry fruit, silky tannins, austere but with a rustic edge. Controlled power. 18.5 pts


Corton-Charlemagne – Grand Cru (white). Full, rich and powerful, with layers of complexity – palate variegated but integrated. Effects of battonage, MLF and oak evident, good acidity, and very persistent length. 18 pts

Corton – Grand Cru (red). Intense fruit concentration, with ripe tannins. Far too young – has a great future ahead. 18 pts


Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet – Grand Cru (white). A bigger yet balanced expression, stylish, subtle and long palate. High quality oak. 17.5 pts

Gevrey-Chambertin – Les Cazetiers – 1er cru (red). Serious nose gives way to a serious palate – with fruit and savoury flavours, silky mouthfeel, good balance. 17.5 pts

Mazis-Chambertin – Grand Cru (red). After the initial sulphur has blown off, this is the proverbial peacock’s tail. Aromas keep building in the glass, flavours likewise on the palate. 18.5 pts


Chablis – Grand Cru – les Clos. Citrus minerality, austere and lean. Acid levels high. Evidence of oak and malo (not atypical for Grand Cru Chablis) 17.75

Beaune – Clos des Mouches Blanc – 1er Cru (white). Depth to olour and flavour. Wet stone and lychee notes. Elegant mouthfeel. 17.5 pts

Grands Echézeaux – Grand Cru (red). Depth to aroma and palate, cherry and even soy. Again, far too young, (and in this case, a bit cold also – new bottle recently emerged from the cellar and opened ~12 deg C. Showed better when warmed.) 18 pts


Vosne-Romanée – Aux Malconsorts – 1er Cru (red). Hints of coffee on the nose (probably from oak). No lack of phenolic ripeness here – the particular mingling of fruit and tannins and acid suggest long aging potential. 18.5 pts


Latriciéres-Chambertin – Grand Cru (red). Layers of complexity, luscious and classically expressive. 18.5 pts

Ciao for now!

Brendan Jansen

** Chanson is not part of Les Domaines Familiaux de Tradition but is an Institute sponsor

Red Burgundy Master Class

14 April 2010

The last few months have seen our Italian correspondent, Brendan Jansen, back in Perth. To assist with his Master of Wine studies, Brendan has been running a series of tastings aimed at exploring the differences that are experienced across various regions. These have included White Burgundy/Chablis and The Rhone Valley. The last tasting in this series was the Red Wines of Burgundy.

Brendan arranged a cross section of wines from various villages throughout the Cote d’Or. The challenge was to try and identify what characters were synonymous with pinot noir from Burgundy and what characters were unique to specific villages within Burgundy.

An interesting observation was that most of the wines were recommended by Ross Duke. We came to the conclusion that if Ross recommends a Burgundy, then it is most likely to be good. The only caveat would be to choose the better vintages.

Tasted (In Order)

Domaine Du Meix-Foulot – Mercury 1er Cru – Clos du Chateau de Montaigu – 2006 (16.9). Somewhat meaty characters to start, in a solid frame-work. Some lovely cherry fruit leads on the palate, with earthy characters to follow. Not complex on the finish, but very more-ish and good drinking now.

Domaine Marquis D’Angerville – Volnay – 2005 (16.7). Denser colour, and more density to the fruit on the nose. Savoury notes with spice and red (strawberry) fruits on the palate. Souring finish adds interest. Again lacks fruit weight on the finish, but there is enough structure to improve for a few years. Quite linear but not as generous as the Mercury.

Domaine Machard De Gramont – Beune 1er Cru – Aucoucherias – 2005 (17). Cold. Lighter style and quite pretty. The palate builds intensity. Some pepper and spice on the palate. A pretty, even floral, wine that gets better with time. This really improved over the evening.

Albert Morot – Beaune – Cent Vignes 1er Cru – 2004 (17.2). More of the earthy/meaty characters on the nose, but really interesting and succulent. Fruit is more to the plum spectrum with spice. Complex, spice especially cinnamon. Plums and some cedary notes on the palate. Long and savoury finish, but with plenty of grip. Sweet plum fruit. This was delicious with dinner the next night.

Domaine Follin-Arbelet – Aloxe Corton 1er Cru – les Vercots – 2006 (17.4). Quite dumb to start. The palate is fresh and vibrant, silky yet with plenty of structure. The fruit and oak tannins are very fine and tight, but get powdery on the close. This needs quite a few years to open up.

Rapet Pere et Fils – Pernand Verglesses – 2005 (16.5). Fruit tending to the cherry spectrum, with a touch of menthol and medicinal aromas. These continue on the palate. Opens with time, but not my style. (Received stronger support from others.)

Domaine Digioia-Royer – Chambolle Musigny – 2005. (17.5). Earthy, complex nose with dark fruit. The palate is dense, and quite powerful, with good fruit weight. This wine is all about fruit, with minimal new oak influence. Chewy and long, an impressive village wine. Pretty and quite feminine. A mid weight wine.

Earl Domaine Castagnie – Gervrey Chambertin – 2004 (17.3). More developed than the Royer, perhaps reflecting the vintage. Plumy fruit with some cedary oak characters. There is some cooler fruit character on the nose, but this does not detract. Good line and very good length. Does evolve and build spice. Drink in the next few years. (If this has a touch of Volatile Acidity, then it adds complexity).

Domaine Bart – Marsannay – Les Echezois – 2005 (17.8). Balanced and complex nose. This is seductive and ripe. Silky and enticing palate with fruit in the cherry spectrum . Denser fruit than all so far, this is textured and rich. Surprising quality for a village wine, and will improve further.

Bruno Desaunay-Bissey – Vosne Romanee – Villes Vignes 2005. (16). A somewhat meaty wine that is plump and ripe, but perhaps a bit flat. An almost sea-water flavour on the finish. Opens and improves. Firm tannins.

J Cacheux – Vosne Romanee 1er Cru – Les Chalandins – 2006 (18.2). A pretty wine. Feminine and floral, but with spine. Wow, lovely wine with very floral fruit. There is rose water and gentle cinnamon as well as strawberry fruit characters. Very silky, but still with structure. Superior. Interesting to see a fresh sea-water character.

J Cacheux – Vosne Romanee 1er Cru – Les Chalandins – 2005 (18). More structured than the 2006. Similar fruit characters, (i.e. pretty fruit), but more structured and a touch of pepper. The tannins are palpable on the finish. Smart, but will need more time to start drinking well. More masculine, and will score higher in time.

Caves de Pommard – Clos Vougeot – Grand Cru – 2005 (17.5). More weighty, but with poise and balance. Warmer and with some oak influence that is obvious. Dense fruit that is really long and fine. This is a powerful wine but not as identifiably burgundian. Some unusual, almost cooked characters. I was the only one that did not rate this very highly.

Scorpo – Pinot Noir – 2005 (17.9). Has the same spectrum of characters as the burgundies, but everything is turbo charged. Meaty/earthy characters dominate the nose. The palate is a flood of ripe fruit in the cherry spectrum. This is really long and really dense. The ripeness and density of the fruit is reflected in the (slightly) higher alcohol. One for lovers of shiraz, but very good all the same. Tangy acid to close. Interestingly, this evolved into a more feminine wine with airing.

Carrick – Pinot Noir – 2006 (18). Much closer in style to the burgundies, but still with new world fruit characters. Very nice wine with cherries and gentle spice. This is delicate but long and fine. Good length.

Burgundy Masterclass – Hosted by Philip Rich

Reviewed 28 August 2011


Dr Brendan Jansen

Philip Rich is a specialist wine importer and highly knowledgeable wine columnist with the Australian Financial Review. So when news of this tasting masterclass reached me, I was keen to attend.

Philip is indeed a European, and Burgundian in particular, wine aficionado. In the tasting he presented three brackets of Burgundy (2 of white, and 1 of red, all from the 2009 vintage) and a bracket of Barolos from the 2007 vintage in Piedmont, Italy (an appropriate accompaniment to Burgundy, as he described Piedmont as the Burgundy of Italy).

Here is a list of the wines:

Bracket 1 (White)

  • Jean-Marc Pillot – Chassagne Montrachet – 2009
  • Jean-Marc Pillot – Chassagne Montrachet – Baudines – 2009
  • Jean-Marc Pillot – Chassagne Montrachet – Vergers – 2009
  • Jean-Marc Pillot – Chassagne Montrachet – Morgeots – 2009

Bracket 2 (White)

  • Henri Boillot – Bourgogne Blanc – 2009
  • Henri Boillot – Meursault – 2009
  • Henri Boillot – Meursault – Charmes – 2009
  • Henri Boillot – Corton Charlemagne – 2009

Bracket 3 (Red)

  • Hudelot Noellat – Bourgogne – Rouge – 2009
  • Hudelot Noellat – Chambolle Musigny – 2009
  • Hudelot Noellat – Nuits St Georges – Murgers – 2009
  • Hudelot Noellat – Clos de Vougeot – 2009

Bracket 4 (Barolo)

  • Mauro Veglio – Barolo – DOCG – 2007
  • Mauro Veglio – Barolo – Arborina – DOCG – 2007
  • Mauro Veglio – Barolo – Castelletto – DOCG – 2007
  • Mauro Veglio – Barolo – Rocche dell’ Annunziata – DOCG – 2007

Without going into detailed tasting notes of each wine, I will leave you with my general impressions of the tasting, and highlight a couple of the wines which were particularly impressive, for quality and/or value for money.

Firstly, the rise in quality as we moved from Village to Premier Cru to Grand Cru was quite apparent, manifest especially by both greater palate persistence and intensity.

Secondly, the whites in particular were all in a linear, more angular style. I for one prefer my white Burgundy in this style – no excessive oaking or buttery malolactic and leesy characters. In fact the 2 Meursault wines, though with more sinew and body than the Chassagne Montrachets, were nowhere near the plump examples I have tasted before, and I may have found it difficult to pick them as Meursaults in a blind line-up. Though partly a feature of the 2009 vintage, I suspect Philip has sourced wines with a more slender and elegant expression of white Burgundy – for which I am personally grateful!

My favourite of the first bracket was the Baudines (18 pts), which had a lovely texture and mouthfeel to accompany its superb acid. In the second bracket, the Corton Charlemegne (18.5 pts), though still young and closed, spoke of richness and balance on the palate, guaranteeing it a long life ahead.

Of the Red Burgundies, the Hudelot Chambolle Musigny (17.25 pts) displayed more funky, feral and undergrowth characters than the other wines – which I usually enjoy, but in this case possibly indicated some premature aging – it just tasted older than it should. The Nuits St Georges Murgers (18.25 pts) was cleaner and “purer’ with tight tannic structure and backbone. The Clos Vougeot was very young, and its scents had to be coaxed from within the glass. Nonetheless the palate already shows amazing depth, length, and complexity (including cherry fruit, liquorice and clove) (18.75 pts)

The Barolos, bar the first bottle (which I thought had too much volatility to represent a non-faulty bottle), were exemplars of the tar and roses/violets and ripe tannins of the appellation. The fourth (Roche dell’Annunziata – 18.5 pts) was my favourite, and even had some Barbaresco-esque spicy complexity.

To end, a special mention of the Vilmart Champagne, described by Tom Stevenson MW as being the ‘greatest grower Champagne I know’, which was served at he beginning of the tasting. This was a superb, perfumed, elegant and complete NV Champagne, and set the tone for a great tasting! (18.5 pts)

Ciao for now!

Brendan Jansen

Editors Note

Lamont’s – Direct Imports

12 September 2010

Lamont’s in Cottesloe has received another shipment of imported wines. Apparently they are importing the wines direct from Europe, thus cutting out the middle-men. The prices range from good to excellent for the given quality, with the Italian selection being particularly good value.

Wines from Burgundy have become so expensive in general, that even at these ex-ship prices, they are quite pricey, though there is still some value to be found.

My picks include the Bonon – Meursalt, Arpatin – Barbera d’Alba, Araldica – Barbera d’Ast and the Arpatin – Barolo.

This was not a blind tasting, so I have tried not to be too generous with my points. With the reds, I could have been more generous with my points, but because we were only trying one or two wines from each style, I was conscious of the lack of perspective. Be assured that these are good wines.


White Burgundy

Domaine Bernard Bonin – Meursalt – Les Tillets – 2008 (17.8). Minerals to the fore, with complex almond meal, cashew nut and lemony oak. The palate is very rich and textured, with slightly honeyed fruit. The length is a highlight and the oak is not obtrusive. (Chardonnay).

Domaine Darvoit Perrin – Meursalt – Clos de la Velle – 2006 (17.9). Much finer and closed compared to the Bonin. Develops nutty fruit and minerals with air. In the mouth, this is creamy, seamless, textured and very fine indeed. The fruit is subdued. One for the purists! (Chardonnay).

Domaine Darvoit Perrin – Chassagne Montrachet – Blanchots 1er Cru – 2006 (18.3). Lovely refined nose, with minerally, textural components overlaying curry leaf and creamy oak. The palate really builds in the mouth, but this remains very elegant and fine. (Chardonnay).

Domaine Bernard Bonin – Meursalt – Charmes 1er Cru – 2007 (17.4). Interestingly, this has all the components of a good white burgundy, yet I preferred the Les Tillets! (Chardonnay).

Domaine Phillippe Chavy – Puligny Montrachet – Les Pucelles 1er Cru – 2008 (18.5+). Classic nose. Complex, yet refined, this is more restrained than some here. There is almond and apricot fruit notes intertwined with creamy textural components. The power on the palate is a revelation, yet this remains very fine and seamless. Superb wine! (Chardonnay).

Domaine Bernard Bonin – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2004 (18). From one of my favourite appellations. More peachy fruit on the nose, this is all about refinement. There is a minerality to the palate, with excellent balance and length. This is a very subtle wine. (Chardonnay).

Red Burgundy

Domaine Jean Marc Millot – Cotes de Nuits Villages – Aux Faulques – 2008 (16.8). A good entry level burgundy, with simple fruit characters. The mouth-feel, fruit and texture are all good.

Domaine Philippe Livera – Gevery Chambertain – Clos Village – 2007 (17.9). More complex nose displaying plum, blueberry and earthy notes that combine well. Lovely fruit on the palate, and real depth. This is quite seamless, long and taught. A lovely example.

Domaine Humbert Freres – Gevery Chambertain – Poissenot 1er Cru – 2007 (18.2). Complex, but quite closed. Develops lovely perfumed fruit, reminiscent of violets. The palate is closed and tight, yet delicate and very fine. Superb length and texture, the refinement is the key.

Domaine Jean Marc Millot – Vosne Romanee – Les Suchots 1er Cru – 2008 (18.5+). Complex and earthy, this has licorice, tar, cinnamon, spice and raspberry fruit. The fruit characters are more pronounced on the palate, with incredibly fine tannins. The oak has been absorbed by the fruit. This has superb length and depth, and the finish fans out across the palate beautifully.


Arpatin – Barbera d’Alba – Superiore – 2008 (17). Lovely cherry fruit with tar and licorice on the nose. This is a fruit driven wine that is fresh, vibrant, juicy, soft and thoroughly refreshing. A modern style and great value.

Poderi Alasia – Barbera d’Asti – Rive (Il Cascinone) – 2007 (17.3). More savoury and earthy, with licorice, spice and lots of pepper. The palate is reminiscent of cool climate shiraz, with peppery fruit, that is long, textured and structured. There is leathery fruit to close.

Frascole – Chianti Rufina – 2007 (17.4). Cherry fruit to open, but briary and dense, with leather and spice. The palate is dominated by spicy fruit and drying tannins. A good example, and organic to boot!

Selvapiana – Chianti Rufina – 2007 (17.8). More complex, with more fruit weight than the Frascole. This is very textured and structured in a traditional style where the fresh fruit notes are exchanged for mouth-feel and structure. Another organic wine, but this is crying out for food. Good value!

– d’Annona – Barbera d’Asti- 2007 (17.8). Wow – this has an exciting nose displaying cherry, tobacco, plums, cedar and anise. This keeps evolving. This is a powerful wine where fruit, oak and tannins combine to coat the palate with an amalgam of flavours and textures. Will be even better in a year or two.

Arpatin – Barbaresco – 2006 (17.5). More savoury, with real density. There is licorice all sorts on the nose. Typical of the style, this is textured and has really chewy tannins. Whist the tannins are fine, they are formidable. 10 years +.

Arpatin – Barolo – 2005 (17.8). Savoury, with dark fruits, cherry, coffee and tar. The palate is really dense and chewy. The tannins are finer than the Barbaresco. This is great value, but needs at least 10 years to show its best.

Gianni Voerzio – Barolo – La Serra – 2005 (18+). Closed. Pristine fruit, silky tannins and excellent texture. Superb mouth-feel and tremendous depth, this is fine and dense. (Not cheap though).