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Tim York

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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Tim York » Sat May 15, 2010 8:32 am

A lot of attractive and more reasonably priced Chardonnay derived white Burgundies are now coming from the Mâconnais in the south of Burgundy towards Lyon. Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran are quite well known but excellent wines are also available in more humble appellations. They tend to be less luscious and polished than the wines from the Côte d’Or and less stylish, bracing and mineral than those from Chablis but the best show plenty of lively generous fruit, acidity and minerality without rusticity.

My ardour for this subject was somewhat damped down by a recent bottle of Viré-Clessé spoilt by a plastic Nomacorc but was rekindled by last night’s bottle.

Mâcon-Lugny Terroir de Bissy “Les Crays vers Vaux” Vieilles Vignes 2007 – Rijckaert – Alc. 13% - (€15) - natural cork (not that horrible Nomacorc) - showed refreshing aromas of flowers and stony minerals, medium/light body with well focussed white fruit, squeezes of citrus, minerals, a dab of cream, lively/crisp acidity, decent length and backbone with a saline touch. A very nice wine and good pairing with monkfish in a very light curry sauce; 16/20.

And here are some fairly recent TNs of other wines from the Mâconnais illustrating some of the quality and diversity available.


Mar 2010

Mâcon-Villages Quintaine 2007 – Pierrette et Marc Guillemot Michel – Alc.14% - (€14), tank matured.
I admired the 2006 version of this for its complex honeyed white fruit, minerality, richness, roundness and caressing mouth feel but found a slight acidity deficit which lead to the wine’s being difficult to match with food because of an overall slightly candied impression in spite of negligible RS. This 2007 has the same complex qualities allied to much more lively acidity and backbone making it an excellent food wine for rich dishes. A remarkably fine effort for the Mâconnais and a demonstration that wood is not necessary to bring interest to Chardonnay; 16.5/20++ QPR!!.

Feb 2010

Saint-Véran “En Faux” Vieilles Vignes 2006 – Vinifié, élevé et mis en bouteille par Rijckaert, négociant – Viticulteur Jean-Paul Voluet – Alc. 13% - (€14,25). We were looking for a wine to pair with both oysters and Norwegian cod. An impossible task, I think; this one was great with the cod in its shrimp sauce but was too soft and ingratiating for the oysters. On the nose the aromas showed fine white fruit and minerals with touches of herbs, flowers and cream. It was medium in body and flavour intensity, quite soft and caressing in mouth-feel and quite long with its acidity smoother than a year ago and its focus of fruit, minerals and aromas slightly less bright and the overall impression less dry with its Chardonnay signature dab of cream slightly more pronounced. Still delicious but I marginally preferred it in the brighter mode; 16/20+.

2008

Pouilly-Fuissé AOC – Alliance V. 2004 – Daniel Barraud – Alc. 13% - (Approx € 17)

One of the nice things about this board is that one learns about new wines and producers. In the recent “great P-F” thread, several people praised Barraud so I did a Google search and found this wine and an excellent wine shop in Brussels which was not previously on my radar screen.

C: Light yellow with green tints.
N: White fruit and flowers with burnished notes and hints of yeast and toasting bread.
P: Medium bodied with lively acidity and full of attractive mineral notes on entry and mid-palate, it became richer and quite burnished towards the finish but thankfully avoided the chardonnay stereotypical buttery and caramelised after-tastes. So this is full of good things but not as integrated and polished as the Cordier on which I wrote a WTN a week or so ago; 15.5/20.

There are several lieux-dits cuvées in the Barraud range so of which are much higher priced than this one. I would have provided a website link but for a solemn warning “may try to steal your information” from McAfee when I tried to access it.


Pouilly-Fuissé AOC – “Vieilles Vignes” – 2005 – Domaine Cordier Père et Fils – Alc. 13.5%.
Some people complain of lavish oaking by this estate but I find nothing to distress me here. I don’t think that this cuvée stands particularly high in the Cordier P-F hierarchy (there are several bottlings from individual lieux-dits) but it is delicious.

C: Medium/deep yellow.
N: Yeast and burnished creamy vanilla at first, making me fear obtrusive wood, but white fruit with citrus elements and flinty minerals quickly came up and pushing the wood into the background.
P: There is a lovely combination of suavity with bright mineral acidity, discreet fruit and good “gras” on a classically structured and long palate. The wood ageing which undoubtedly contributes to the suavity has been very deftly handled and gives scarcely perceptible flavours except for a delicate creaminess. An elegant wine and an excellent partner to sole and then goat cheeses; 16/20 ++.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by JC (NC) » Mon May 17, 2010 6:18 pm

2006 Alex Gambal Bourgogne-Chardonnay Cuvee Prestige. $30 before tax at Bond Street Imports, Charlotte.
13% abv
I had the 2007 vintage at a tasting in Raleigh May 11th. This was waiting in the cooler at home. More pale gold than straw in color with clarity and transparency. Exhibits purity and balanced minerality. The oak seemed a bit more noticeable in the 2006 vintage than in the 2007, especially on the second day where some coconut and vanillin played on the palate. I prefered the 2007 version. Alex said the 2007 saw 20% new oak barrels--probably a similar treatment for the 2006. In the 2007 vintage 50% of the grapes were from Alex's vineyard in Volnay and others were purchased grapes from lieu dits in Meursault, Puligny, and Savigny Les Beaune. I don't know if the same is true of the grapes in the 2006 vintage.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by ChaimShraga » Tue May 18, 2010 5:24 pm

A. Et P. De Villaine, Rully, Les St. Jacques, 2006

Text-book Bourgogne with its mineral and dry grass nose and savory palate. Yummy. The nose might have the edge over the palate but this is still very precocious wine.

Costs about 35 USD in Israel.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Cor Balfoort » Tue May 18, 2010 6:59 pm

Tim York wrote:Meursault 1996 – J-F Coche-Dury – Alc.12.5%. This is a simple village appellation; the wine seemed remarkably young showing full/medium body, density, crisp acidity, backbone, length and depth coupled with complex aromas and flavours including white and citrus fruit, nuts and abundant stony minerals. Not a trace of oxidation on this robust and stimulating bottle of Meursault; 17/20.


Tim,

I still have a couple of bottles of this one in my cellar as well, and I kept them for academic reasons because I've always found this holding up superbly, and indeed without any trace of the troublesome oxidation issues so often found in the 96's. My impressions largely concur with yours. I have put a bottle or two of this in blind tastings too, where they invariably were thought to be way above villages-level. One of my friends actually 'nailed' one of them as a bienvenues-batard :)

Hope you're doing well by the way!

Best from Holland,

Cor
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Tim York » Wed May 19, 2010 3:31 am

Great to hear from you again, Cor! I hope that you are keeping well.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Bonnie in Holland » Fri May 21, 2010 5:35 am

Hooray!! White Burgundy is one of my favorites. Here are some recent tasting notes:
Vire-Clesse 2007, Collin Bourisset, 13% abv, tasted May 4, 2010, 13.25 euros
This wine has a medium gold core, with a narrow watery rim, and not a great deal of viscosity (surprisingly so given the alcohol percentage). The nose was clean, giving an aged bouquet with a medium intense character of ripe apples, gentle oak, toast, and wasn't terribly complex. On the palate, the wine was dry with crisp acids nicely in balance with both fruit and oak, buttery mouthfeel, soft toasty oak mixed with chalk and apples. The length was medium, with toast and fruit. For the quality, I would say that this is of average quality, nicely balanced and ready to drink now and over the coming 6 months to a year. It's not complex -- just very pleasant to drink.
Les Champs-Lins Pouilly-Fuisse 2007, Vincent Girardin, 13% abv, tasted May 17, 2010, 17.95 euros
This was my first Girardin wine, so I was pretty excited to taste it. (We just started carrying this and his Mersault 2007 and Puligny-Montrachet 2007, which are also waiting in the cellar to try.) This wine has a pale gold core, wide watery rim, and long syrupy legs (very different from the Vire-Clesse from the same year!). On the nose, it has very intense youthful aromas, light oak, lots of lemon citrus freshness, minerals, and freshly-cut tart apple. It clearly has farther to go than the V-C, judging by the nose. This wine has only medium acids, thus less than the V-C, balanced with nicely-drying tannins. The toasty oak is present but not over-bearing. The alcohol seems to me to be high for the wine, because it is very hot in the finish, which is of medium length. This wine is much lighter in body than the Mersault or Chassagne-Montrachet to follow. This wine is of average quality, lacking enough acids and has too much alcohol for what it can support. Drink over the coming two years.
Chateau Perruchot, S.C.E. Prieur, Mersault 1er Cru Charmes 2002, 13.5% abv, tasted May 13, 2010, price around 32 euros
This wine has a medium gold core (deeper than the Vire-Clesse) with long enthusiastic legs. The nose shows a clean condition, an aged bouquet of smokey oak, sweet apple and some white fruit (peach). There's no hint of oxidation (sherry on the nose or otherwise). The wine has a pronounced, intense character of roasted nuts (almonds), toasty oak and some apple. There's a very buttery mouthfeel, with a fuller body than either the Pouilly-Fuisse or Vire-Clesse. The length is extremely long, with a finish of roasted nuts, oak and heat. This is a good quality wine, though the alcohol is too heavy for the balance. Drink now and over the coming year.
Chateau Perruchot, Prieur, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embazees 2003, 13.5% abv, tasted May 14, 2010, price around 20 euros (I pulled this out of the rack with left-over or over-the-top wines, but it shouldn't have been there, I learned later. That's why the low price.)
What a difference a year and a different area of Burgundy make!! This wine has a deep golden color and deep legs to match. The nose is clean, but the wine is showing a slight oxidation (sherry-like) aromas that passes as the wine sits in the glass. Clearly this wine is more advanced in development than the Mersault. There is an aged bouquet of caramel, vanilla, small amount of oak without the toast or smokiness of the Mersault, cooked apple, and slightly spice. On the palate, the wine shows medium acids (more than the 2002 Mersault), very soft tannins and alcohol well in balance with the wine (finally!). There's slight toast, peach and apple. The length is very very long with the finish carrying all the complexity of the wine. This is an outstanding wine, well balanced and drinking wonderfully. Drink this year.

Going on to a few random comments from other bits in this thread...
About Olivier Leflaive (not his cousin at Domaine Leflaive), I really like his wines and think they're pretty well-made -- and find that they seem to develop rather quicker than expected. Doing the big tasting over lunch at his restaurant in Puligny was a huge pleasure!
I don't understand Premature Oxidation very well in terms of a specific definition -- I know oxidation, but is there any definition there regarding area or quality level and when the oxidation is premature? I've truthfully run into relatively few white Burgundy's that have been oxidized (and I drink a lot of it) though I know this is a well-known problem.
Finally, Cor, great to see you back!! I am the little shrimp from Arnhem who was going for the WSET Diploma (finally succeeded!) and met you at an Henri Bloem tasting once. Are you still working toward the Master of Wine qualification? Good luck in your endeavors!
cheers, Bonnie
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Tim York » Fri May 21, 2010 12:41 pm

Nice notes, Bonnie.

Chablis are perhaps my favourite white Burgundies and here are notes on on three at different ages showing varied facets.

Last night
Chablis 1er cru Fourchame 2002 – Daniel Dampt – Alc.13%, tank matured. This was the last of three bottles but the first to be singing harmoniously. Colour was still pale straw and the aromas on the nose showed white flowers, citrus fruit and flinty minerals. The body was light/medium, shape was linear but with a certain roundness and fat, the fruit was tender with a hint of cream but offset by decent acidity and there were flinty minerals laced with a touch of acacia honey which I like but some consider a fault. The overall effect was of a stylish and elegant; 16/20.

As a contrast here are some older notes, one of a 16 year old bottle and the other of a 2 year old beauty.

Dec 2006
CHABLIS 1er Cru FOURCHAUME 1990 - CAVES DUPLESSIS – Gérard Duplessis

When a bottle of mature Chablis is good, it is very very good.

The nose was quite subdued but complex with floral and creamy notes. However the wine opened up on the palate in a way that its nose did not presage. Aromas were of white fruit, nuts and minerals on a medium weight quite fleshy body filling out towards the finish with a delightful honeyed and mineral fragrance. Any typically Chablis flintiness and steeliness has long since been absorbed, if indeed they were ever very present in this warm year but there was plenty of delicious acidity to provide freshness. A lovely wine (or should I say bottle?). (Not scored then but sounds like 17.5/20)

When mature Chablis (and other white burgundy) shows like this, it is a wine experience not to be missed. Young Chablis is often delicious too but ageing can bring about an enormous increase in complexity and depth without eliminating freshness. Sadly this lot was plagued by bottle variation, although none suffered overtly from TCA. So far only three out of five bottles have been good. When the increasing risks of premature oxidisation from vintages since 1995 is added to this already poor batting average, it require great faith and a deep pocket to buy these wines and let them age so as to achieve such a celestial transformation in a hopefully reasonable proportion of the bottles.

Dec 2009
When I tasted it in the growers cellars, I was very impressed by Chablis 1er cru Montmains 2007- Denis Race (€9,80) which showed plenty of crisp minerality, backbone and length; I would add after last Wednesday’s dinner juicy white and citrus fruit and real class making for an absolutely delicious drink; 17/20QPR!!. Ten plus year old Chablis can acquire wonderful complexity but this is so delicious now that I doubt if I can keep my hands off it, especially with the Pox unconquered.
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WTN: Louis Jadot 2007 Bourgogne Chardonnay

by Robin Garr » Fri May 21, 2010 2:14 pm

Louis Jadot 2007 Bourgogne Chardonnay ($15.99)

Transparent straw color. Fresh apples and pineapple and a distinct back note of butter, bearing enough resemblance to a California Chardonnay to make me wonder if it's designed for U.S. export. It's more Old World on the palate, though, medium-bodied and tart, simple white fruit and fresh acidity in a good, firm structure that makes it a useful table wine. U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., NYC. (June 15, 2010)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with chicken, seafood, pork and ripe cheeses. It was an excellent match with a pan-seared, oven-finished natural locavore pork chop with garlic and fresh sage.

VALUE: Retail prices around the U.S. range from $13 to $18 on Wine-Searcher.com, so it's worth shopping around. Certainly the middle teens is a fair neighborhood for this wine.

PRONUNCIATION: Bourgogne = "Boor-gon-yuh"

WEB LINK: In the winery Website's English language pages,
http://www.louisjadot.com/en/index.php
click "Wine Notes," then find "Bourgogne Chardonnay" or other wines of interest in the "wine list" index on the left.
Here's a fact sheet about Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay on the importer's Web page.
http://www.kobrandwineandspirits.com/pr ... p?l=ljb126

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: Find vendors and compare prices for Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay on Wine-Searcher.com.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Jadot ... g_site=WLP
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Bonnie in Holland » Fri May 21, 2010 2:27 pm

Golly, seeing this about Louis Jadot Chardonnay takes me waaaay back. When I was a silly college person, my dorm roomate and I would mostly drink Gallo Hearty Burgundy around the fire in the big living area (think: dorm and living areas, a long time ago, and when Gallo Hearty Burgundy was actually pretty good). But she was a very sophisticated girl from San Francisco, who had a dad who ordered paper from Paris and was the son of a literary person...that kind of thing...so for birthday, she gave me a Jadot Chardonnay. I was stupid then, but never forgot it. cheers, Bonnie
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Robin Garr » Fri May 21, 2010 2:35 pm

Bonnie in Holland wrote:Golly, seeing this about Louis Jadot Chardonnay takes me waaaay back.

Fun story, Bonnie!

Although I know Jadot is a big negociant, I've always found their offerings to be solid from the low end to the high, and it is widely distributed around the US through Kobrand, so it's a good brand for online tasting events where people need to buy it all over.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by James Dietz » Fri May 21, 2010 2:52 pm

@ Tim York.. not to mention that many Chablis are available at screamingly good prices....
Cheers, Jim
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by JC (NC) » Sat May 22, 2010 7:12 pm

Great notes, Bonnie and Tim. Congratualtions Bonnie on passing the WSET. I sometimes (but not always) get the suggestion of nuts in Meursaults which is supposed to be rather typical of that appellation.
Last edited by JC (NC) on Mon May 24, 2010 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Warren T » Sat May 22, 2010 9:39 pm

We've been ravaging the White Burgundy corner of our cellar, both out of love and out of premox fear. We drink them much younger than in the past. Here are some selected tasting notes. Interesting that my favorite thus far was an unkown Premier, not a GC. The Dampt Côte de Léchet literally screamed Chablis.

  • 2005 La Chablisienne Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (5/19/2010)
    Grand Cru density, but remarkably deft. Limestone and sea breeze on the nose, with white fruit, green apple and citrus. Steely, long finish. I've read some mildly disparaging references to the cooperative, but this Preuses and a recent Grenouilles were outstanding. (93 pts.)
  • 2007 Domaine Daniel Dampt et Fils Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru (2/27/2010)
    One of my favorite 1er's ever. The nose is classic, almost exaggerated Chablis. Rocks and minerals, sea breeze, crushed shells, iodine, lemon. Fresh and crisp, yet surprisingly viscous despite the sensation of drinking liquid rocks. My P/Q of the year thus far. (94 pts.)
  • 2004 Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (2/20/2010)
    Quite viscous with lemon and white fruit, great minerality. Long dense finish, with acidic grip keeping it in balance. The oak has nearly integrated; it seemed a spice, a minor component in this complex wine.
    Within a couple of years of release, Girardin Corton Charlies are a fun drink with nice fruit but a bit of oak. They quickly shut down and show almost nothing but oak in middle age, then quickly re-emerge with complexity, extraction, balance and minerality. They are incredible P/Q's, and I haven't had one p'oxed yet. (93 pts.)
  • 2002 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (2/13/2010)
    This first bottle was poxed. Luckily, this one was not. Light yellow, great salinity, dense but light on its feet. Good cut to foil the citrus and white fruit. (92 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Warren T » Sat May 22, 2010 9:46 pm

Here's a great link to a film showing Chablis and its vineyards:

http://lachablisienne.net/new_film/index_us.php
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Jenise » Sun May 23, 2010 4:25 pm

Warren, that's a great little presentation about Chablis. It's especially fascinating to those of us uninclined to look at the world in paleontologic terms, to learn that Chablis vineyards contain oyster shells dating from the Jurrassic period. Interesting to contemplate that this could be the source of the sea-spray/oyster shell thing we all have noted in Chablis. Thanks!
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Warren T » Sun May 23, 2010 8:50 pm

I agree. Chablis seems some of the strongest evidence in support of the terrior theory.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Rauno [NZ] » Mon May 24, 2010 5:33 pm

Had two Batards a week ago:

Blain-Gagnard Bâtard-Montrachet 1996
Very healthy colour, light, bright gold. And, not surprisingly, part of the reason (a generous dollop of sulphites) is immediately apparent on the nose. This creates quite a dirty, funky impression at first, but clears quite quickly to reveal gentle (for Batard) grilled, honeyed nuts and honeysuckle. There, that’s a double dose of honey ;) – not in any botrytised sense though. In the mouth the wine feels sweet also, moreish, pretty decent length. Not a power Batard at all, very well integrated to drink now I think. 12

Vincent Girardin Bâtard-Montrachet 2004
Brighter, with an almost greenish tinge to the gold. Strong, clean Batard nose. More pear and white flowers than nuts. Crisp, well structured in the mouth. While this has considerable size, it knows how to use this elegantly rather than boisterously. Very pure, slightly spicy flavours, supported by a mineral streak. This is very good already – a nice testament to ’04 – and will no doubt hold for quite a while. 13

SCORING:
1 – 5 points: bad wine
6 – 10 points: good wine
11 – 15 points: excellent wine
16 – 20 points: spectacularly fantastic wine
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Shabby Chablis

by Oswaldo Costa » Thu May 27, 2010 7:40 am

2004 Domaine Laroche Chablis 12.5%
Bottled under screwcap, fresh as a daisy, no sign of reduction. White flower aromas smothered by oak. Touch of citrus, honeyed sweetness (no like), insufficient acid, would not have guessed chablis. Modern and unbalanced, only positives are moderate alcohol and good mouth density. Was hoping this might be decent so I could age some without cork worries, but no.
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Re: Shabby Chablis

by Dale Williams » Thu May 27, 2010 10:04 am

Oswaldo Costa wrote:2004 Domaine Laroche Chablis 12.5% smothered by oak..

Very surprised by this, though I don't think I've tasted Laroche since 2002 vintage
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Dan Donahue » Sat May 29, 2010 2:46 pm

I brought the '04 Bouchard Les Perrieres as a starter white for a pinot off-line last night and it may have been WOTN for me. Unfortunately I only got one glass, but this wine is really strutting right now.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Sat May 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Best to drink the White Burgs young, so good that it was showing well.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by Dan Donahue » Sun May 30, 2010 11:07 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Best to drink the White Burgs young, so good that it was showing well.


Agreed. I have a few '02s to finish off, but I try to stay ahead of the pox. Sadly even if the problem is fixed we won't know for years (and I've seen notes claiming premature oxidation for some '06s) so a ton of great wine will not reach its full potential.
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Re: May Wine Focus: White Burgundy!

by JC (NC) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:48 am

A couple late notes on white Burgundies:

2008 Domaine Frederic Trouillet Macon Solutre. 13.5% alcohol. Usually found for under $20. Purchased at The Wine Market, Baltimore. Straw color with clarity and transparency. Nicely acerbic and minerally. Green apple faintly discernible as a flavor element. An attractive and food-friendly wine at a modest cost. My guess would be that it is held in a stainless steel or cement receptor rather than in oak barrels.

2008 Domaine Billard Pere et Fils Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Beaune, "La Justice" 12.5% alcohol
Imported by Wine Traditions Ltd., Falls Church, Va and purchased at The Wine Merchant, Raleigh for $19.99 plus tax.
Very pleasant non-oaky Chard. I tried this from a wine dispensing machine and decided it would be a nice summer wine. It enhanced a quick meal of Stouffer's Turkey Tettrazini and a salad of green beans and grape tomatoes in a flavored vinaigrette. It's non-assertive but balanced and quite refreshing. At $15-$20 I think it's decent value and would purchase again. (The domaine also lists an aligote so I hope the bottle I had was a Chard.)
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