Burgundy Tasting (Mar. 15, 2008)

I hope this turns into a regular gig. Hagit and Noam Koren invited me and the others in our wine tasting circle to a BYO Burgundy tasting at their home, about a year after the previous such tasting. Except for the starter, the wines were Premier Cru and up and included vineyards and producers I'd been eager to taste (in retrospect that is, the wines were of course served blind). What's more, all the wines were in fine drinking shape.

I'd like to thank Hagit and Noam for their warm and generous and the rest of the participants (Oron, Ran, Michal and David) for the great wines.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Bouzeron, 2005

This Aligote has softened since my first taste a year ago, but I don't think it's ready yet as the fruit is very backwards , but its crispy minerality is very lovely right now. Served as an appertif but it is really a food wine. 88-89

Domaine Cauvard, Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, 1998

It's hard to believe this is the same producer that Shimon Lasry imports with such if-fy results. It has a lovely, complex nose where age has rendered the fruits somewhat muted in the sense that it's hard to identify them but that is more than made up for by a stone-y minerality - you know, not the pungency of flint or chalk but something that Ran Shapira aptly described as crushed stones - and notes of mustard that reminded me of Sauternes. Long and flavorsome, with great balance between fruit, acid and wood. It will hold for a few years but I don't think it will improve. 91

Not imported, price unknown.

Domaine Jacques Prieur, Beaune Premier Cru, Greves, 2002

Aromas of red fruit, leather, sweat and I spotted some chocolate as well. It's tannier and chewier than most expected from Beaune without the grace and balance of the wines we were to drink later, but I like its personality. It's at the start of its window, at the stage where it won't get any more complex but I think the tannins could still use a couple of years to soften. 90

Imported by WineRoute for about 170 NIS at the time, but the price for the 2005 has jumped to 220 NIS.

Domaine Robert Chevillon, Nuits-Saint-George Premier Cru, Les Roncieres, 1995

A complex nose of red fruit and herbal, underbrush notes. There was a bit of debate about this wine as most prefered its palate over its nose while I loved the nose but thought it could use a bit more body as the acidity seemed a bit shrill to me - and I don't normally have any problem with high acidity. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, but despite the great appeal of drinking a mature Bourgogne, I expected more from the nose, the year, the name. 90

Lucine Le Moine, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses, 1999

Not very complex at first, it takes its sweet time to open and close until it finally reaches a plateau of spicy red fruits. It's a forward rendition of Pinot, but you have to be a very tight assed conservative to overlook its charms and balance. 91

Imported these days by Private Wine Collection, price unknown.

Rene Engel, Vosne Romanee Premier Cru, Les Brulées, 2002

So ripe, a touch of black and even blue fruit combine with red on the nose, but so very elegant despite the ripeness. This is a different type of young wine than the Greves: it's already very silky and integrated and the fruit seems near-sweet, albeit without the brute force, sweet attack of a modern blockbuster. The tannins are buried inside and the overall impression is of embryonic, primal fruit. I'm really not an expert but if I would start drinking it in 2012. 92-93

Imported by Tomer Gal but sold through Hinawi and I'm not sure about the current price.