All sins were forgiven last night, at Tomer Gal's Meursault tasting.
Meursault is certainly not the grandest of the five marquee-name, white B AOC's (which include, beside itself, Puligny, Chassagne, Corton-Charlemagne and Chablis). The lack of a Grand Cru has long since hipped everyone to that fact. However, it is certainly not without its charms. I have been a fan of Jobard, Roulot and Alix Montille for a while now and Tomer Gal's latest tasting gave me a chance to add Comte Lafon to my trophy chest. Truth be told, Lafon's name on the wine list was what brought me there.
We started off with Lafon's Macon side-show.
Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Macon-Milly-Lamartine, Clos du Four, 2009
This shows the same level of excellent quality as the 2007 and 2008, but this year offers an interesting note of clay. Good acidity. 130 NIS.
Château de Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, 2008
A wine that finds a middle ground between extremes without being dull or mediocre. The nose is buttery, yet also quite minerally. The palate is savory and has a fine cut, yet it is also inoffensively round, smooth and easy to drink. Although not very complex, this is yet the tastiest white wine I've had in a while from Etienne, as opposed to Alix, Montille. 225 NIS.
Roulot, Meursault, 2008
This is better and more interesting than the previous wine, with a tighter structure. The nose seems cooler and more minerally, almost Chablis-like, and the fruit leans towards apples, then picks up accents of citrus and talc. This is still raw and adolescent, so it doesn't quite live up to Roulot's reputation yet, but I find promise in its edgy focus. 320 NIS.
Jobard, Meursault, En la Barre, 2008
This wine has presence, starting with the nose, which is minerally, nutty and herbal. The palate is less complex and harder to approach, yet its savory finish makes it all too easy to drink. 260 NIS is a price I can live with.
Comte Lafon, Meursault, Clos de la Barre, 2007
Very austere at first on the nose, with just a hint of minerals and a strand of lemon/lime. The palate is even more closed and one-dimensional than the En La Barre, yet it is a more elegant wine, and, as it picks up some air, it trumps it by a few whiskers. 370 NIS. A tough call, but I'd go for it.
Domaine Leroy, Aligote, 2007
Joker number 1. A fascinating, unique nose, smoky, almost toasty, at times smelling so much like a roaring car engine that the technical-minded might find it faulty. Savory, and much leaner than any of the Meursaults. 240 NIS.
Maison Leroy, Meursault, 2001
This wine balances its components deftly, with a complexity that blurs the individual components' identity - which is not necessarily a bad thing, certainly not in this case. There's minerals, nuts, meat, with the fruit buried deep in the mix. Obvious signs of hazelnuts and herbs on the palate, which retains the previous wines' youthful vigor while adding mature elegance. Just about justifies its price, which is a rare thing for me to say about anything coming out of Leroy. 530 NIS.
Jobard, Meursault Premier Cru, Poruzots, 2008
The nose is hard to decipher. Smoked white meat, anyone? White fruit, too. The palate is broad, yet focused as well, with lively minerality. This is a more elegant version of the En La Barre and a fine wine which really appeals to me. 350 NIS.
Roulot, Meursault Premier Cru, Porusot, 2008
Some people spell Poruzots like that. The nose is somewhat over the top for me, with mint, ripe apricots and apples. I also find the palate lacking in structure, but these notions would have been treated as heresy round the table, so I keep my thoughts to myself. 620 NIS.
Deux Montilles, Premier Cru, Porusot, 2007
Here comes the missus, and look, they even use the same spelling. This is Joker number 2, and it is classic and restrained, with aromas of minerals, hazelnuts and sweet talc. The palate has sweet fruit, tempered by minerals. Alix has an orderly, yet sensitive mind, and if she's as influenced by husband as is generally accepted, I can't help but think that maybe we just caught his Porusot at an awkward stage. Or else she's even more incredibly talented than he is. 440 NIS.
Comte Lafon, Meursault Premier Cru, Charmes, 2007
Corked. Damn, this is the wine I was looking forward to the most. 580 NIS.
Maison Leroy, Meursault Premier Cru Perrières, 2004
Madame Lalou buys finished wines for the Maison's negociant business and here, I'm afraid, I have to find fault with her selection. Perhaps she was still troubled by the tragic passing away of her husband, but I find this wine sweet, even honeyed, with ripe white fruit. Actually, it's only ripe in relative terms - this is still well in the Old World paradigm - but it comes off to me as one-dimensional and fails to move me. 640 NIS.
Domaine d'Auvenay, Meursault, Chaumes des Perrières, 2004
A day later, I was still flashing back to the killer nose. This is the real deal. You would not believe grapes could produce such aromas, which are, despite being dominated by gunpowder, incredibly complex and nuanced. The palate is like genius level sudoku but twenty minutes in glass bring it to the point of drinkability. This will live for a long time, even though it's only a village wine. 1250 NIS.
Man, when white Burgundies survive premox and over-oaking, they really rock!
All prices are from the special tasting price list, except for the two 'jokers' brought by participants, where I quoted Tomer Gal's site. Except for the jokers, all the wines were opened twelve hours in advance and were not decanted.