White Stones

Getting my rocks off
I'm going to talk about two wines from a negociant that doesn't always make it to the short list of Burgundy afficiandos, but which I've been following for several years, Domaine de la Vougeraie. And I'm not even going to write about any major cru, just two village wines from Beaune (a town that, as the Vougeraie site points outwhile quoting the words of the architect Viollet-le-Duc, is the only town in the world where you actually want to fall ill). These wines deserve a post of their own for a simple reason: I just felt like it. They mad me feel happy and content and they're decently priced.

A few words about the the domaine. It's owned by the Boisset family, which has been around for ages, but the domaine itself was created as late as 1999, consolidating and re-branding their holdings. The current winemaker, ever since 2005, is Pierre Vincent and they're bio-dynamic. Damn, summarizing the web sites PR bores me, so let me cut to the chase. The wines are always tasty and savory, with well-delineated, crunchy fruit. I haven't had a major dud yet. And they don't ever impress me as over-hyped bombs.

Domaine de la Vougeraie, Cote de Beaune, Les Pierres Blanches, 2012

Les Pierres Blanches is a perennial favorite for me, but two and a half years post-vintage, the 2012 is the youngest tasting version I've had thus far, and it's not like I ever manage to be patient enough to age the stuff significantly. It's at the stage where good Pinot fruit delivers a very pleasant tartness, and here it frames the juicy red fruit, culminating in savory salinity and complemented by wet earth, forest floor notes, even hints of spices, on the nose. This is very moreish and tasty, and that tartnes -, and those persistent, albeit soft - tannins might be enough to help curb my enthusiasm enough to age this. A bit, at least. (Apr. 16, 2015)

The Domaine also produces a white wine - Chardonnay, needless to say - from the very same parcels, and the 2012 is a beauty of a Village wine. The aromas of marine minerals and fossil that decorate the citrus based fruit might trick you in blind tastings into calling it a Chablis, same for the saline finish. This is a wine that, despite the so-called lowly designation, calls for serious sniffing - asides from the marine stuff, I get clay, flowers and a light toastiness that surely doesn't come from any barrels: Tomer wrote roasted sesame seeds in the catalog, and while I hate to quote an importer, he's a good taster and he got it right. Anyway, 2012 was a disaster in Burgundy as far as quantity is concerned, so this is already sold out, but I definitely need to buy more next time.  (Apr. 17, 2015)

Burgundy Wine Collection, each is 180 NIS.

The Beaune AOC's are among the most confusing in Burgundy. There's the Beaune AOC, which covers the vineyards in Beaune itself. The Cote de Beaune AOC actually covers a somewhat smaller area, as it's limited to the Montagne de Beaune hill above the village -and I expect both to be on the same level of quality. Then there's the Cote de Beaune Villages AOC, which you might expect to be of higher quality, like the Beaujolais-Villages AOC is more highly ranked than simple Bueajolais. But it's not; it's actually a generic designation midway between Bourgogne and Villages level.

And then, there's Savigny-Les-Beaune and Chorey-Les-Beaunes. Goodness gracious me.

You should also be aware that Vougeraie also has a straight Beaune red called Montée, which is priced a little higher at 200 NIS. I liked both the Montée and Pierres Blanches in 2011 and, quite honestly, could not make a clear call which is the better wine. Whatever, I'm going to hold on to the Montée and the remaining bottle of the Pierres Blanches 2012 for a few years. Or try to, I realize I keep making and then breaking these promises.

PS. Besides the Beaune Montée vineyard, which is a Villages and the source of the other wine I mentioned - there's also a Beaune Prenmier Cru Montée. Do these people ever find time to be fruitful and multiply?


Anonymous said…

I fully agree re the red one...

Yesterday, I have opened this one from 2010, and it was very good and developped in the glass during the dinner, which made me feel that I have opened it too early!

My friend told me that he opened 2008 that was splendid.

The only downside, is the price that going up and up every year....