Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tasting Bourgogne with the Dynamic Duo (Mar. 31, 2015)


Eldad Levy and Daniel Lifshitz have teamed up to position Daniel's Bourgogne Crown imports under Eldad's patronage and partnership. I'm still trying to figure out which of the two is the sidekick, but it's great to have these two great minds cohorting and scheming.

Formally, the subject of the tasting was the latest property Daniel managed to charm his way into, Pierre Duroche, but we also tasted a couple of other properties the two have lined up, an old favorite from the Bourgogne Crown portfolio - and to round the evening off, a great Champagne from a local and personal favorite.

Domaine Pierre Duroche, Bourgogne, Blanc, 2013

Lightly tropical and floral, yet restrained fruit. 100% Gevrey fruit, with a veneer of minerals that starts to assert itself. A classical, restrained cut, different yet a little plain.

Francois Carillon, Bourgogne Aligote, 2013

A rebranching/rebranding of the original Louis Carillon estate. This is typical Aligote with electric acidity and a dirty nose, with floral trappings.

Francois Carillon, Bourgogne, 2013

The sentimentalist in me wants to prefer the Aligote, but this is the better wine for my tastes. The acidity might be slightly tamer, but there is greater purity and complexity. A mini-village.

Pierre Duroche, Gevrey-Chambertin, Le Clos, 2013

There is a lot of pure, nubile red fruit here, very fresh, floral with a touch of minerals. I like it, but it's for the hardcore purists who don't need immediate gratifications. Daniel says it will develop and the fruit certainly seems to be made of fine cloth, despite the youth of the vines in the Duroche Clos holdings.

Pierre Duroche, Gevrey-Chambertin, Le Champ, 2013

This, on the other hand, is a much more immediately impressive and typically powerful expression of Gevrey sauvage, with similarly fresh fruit in the background. acidity driven to the point where the tannins are subtly hidden.

Pierre Duroche, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Lavaut St. Jacques, 2013

The beast unleashed. Intense animalism, intense minerality: blood and rock. Here the acidity can't quite hide the tannins. Great power tempered with ease by the balance.

Pierre Duroche, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2013

Here there's a hint of tobacco leaf green morphing into forest floor. Blind, you'd think the Lavaut was the Grand Cru, if your comparison of the two was based on power only, but this is surely the more elegant wine. If you can only afford one bottle of the two, buy the Lavaut. If you can buy just three bottles, purchase two of the Lavaut, and one Charmes. If your budget allows only two bottles, well, it'd break my heart having to choose between one of each over two bottles of the Lavaut.

Domaine Georges Noellat, Vosne Romanee Premier Cru, Petit Monts, 2012

Minerals and gently exotic spices. Breadth and balance. Really lovely, the kind of Burgundy that elicits a gasp and a moan. Tied for wine of the night with the Lavaut.

Domaine Buisson-Charles, Meursault Premier Cru, Guettes d'Or, 2011

Incredibly funky, dirty, beautiful aromas, and the palate follows suit. Factoring the depth, complexity and the offhand precision, even the slight fat and sweetness is offset to the point where it's downright moving.

Gimonnet, Oenophile, 2005

The last Oenophile I tasted, the 2000, was almost challengingly dry, but this borders on lush, with intense fruit creating a sweet impression - despite the zero dosage - and an incredibly intense concoction of nuts and apricot pie on the nose. Yet the final effect is of fine elegance, the lushness somehow cloaked in old school Gaul reserve.

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