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DOMAINE DES MARRONNIERS Return to top of page
Bernard Legland is one of the best winemakers of Chablis, and one of the most modest. His wines are classics - at 12 or more years of age they can be extraordinary. Fermented and aged in traditional Chablis style (i.e. all stainless, with no wood aging) they show the terroir of the region and the character of each vintage perfectly. This one is still very youg, just now starting to be ready to drink. It will keep, however for at least 5 years, improving as it goes, and if you can hang on to any for 8 years or more you'll get the rewards.
Now tasting heavily on the mineral & citrus, it does well to air for a while (even decant it) to let the flavors round out. Very crisp and clean with good acid, it will last for a long time.
& Francois JOUARD Return to top of
CHASSAGNE-MT 1ER CRU BLANC MORGEOTS 1999
Great "new" producer who has only been bottling his own wines for a couple of years. I visited and tasted with him in October; these are my notes on this wine:
Nose: Closed at first but then opens up with a lot of richness
Mouth: Very lively, full body. Spicy, with citrus and touches of grapefruit. Deep and powerful. Long finish of lemon/lime. Very drinkable but probably will age well and improve for a good few years.
DOMAINE RAPET PERE ET FILS Return to top of page
Vincent and his dad produce some of the best value wines of the Cote de Nuits. I've known them for a couple of years now and have consistently been impressed - they were introduced to me by a group I had from the New York chapter of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, who buy wines from them every year.
CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 99
This wine needs to age. Right now it's chalky, mineral and tight, but it shows great promise to be a wonderful complex wine when it starts to develop. Taste one now (give it a good hour or more in a carafe) to see what it's like, but then try to keep a few bottles to see how a great white Burgundy develops.
This was one of my favorites when tasted there in October.
From the red part of the Corton vineyard, this is very approachable. My notes
are brief, but it got my 2-star rating:
Nose: Spicy, warm with a "sweet" feel to it.
Mouth: Big, full body. Tons of cassis & black cherry. Touches of blackberry and blueberry. Easy to enjoy now, and no reason why it shouldn't get better with time.
PERNAND VERGELESSE 1ER CRU BLANC 1998
This is a great value, "little cousin" of the famous Corton-Charlemagne vineyard around the hill. The 99 is still tasting very young, but the 98 is ready to drink. Good acid keeps it fresh, with plenty of richness and complexity, especially at this price.
1ER CRU ROUGE ILE DES VERGELESSE 1999
Another great value, this one is still very young and should really be kept for at least a year or two. The fruit is there now, but is still rather hidden behind a big, tannic structure that needs time to soften. If drunk now it needs some serious air time - at least an hour or two in a decanter. Probably will be at it's best in a year or two from now, but has potential to age a lot longer also.
Maison Louis JADOT Return to top of page
NUITS ST GEORGES 1ER CRU BOUDOTS 1995
I never have time to write notes when I taste at Jadot, as it's always a marathon, tasting 30+ wines and listening to the winemaker at the same time is all I can manage! However, I picked this one because it's an approachable Nuits red, and a year that is starting to show a bit more maturity. Moving off the fresh fruit and into more "cooked" flavors, but not yet to the stinky stage that we Brits like! The 95 vintage was very ripe and fleshy, and this wine will soften more quickly than, say the 96 vintage.
Tasted at their cellars in Beaune in October 2001. There was not a wine I didn’t like, however most of the wines after the 88 vintage were far from “ready” to drink for my Burgundy taste. The wines are as “old-fashioned” as the winemakers and their equipment – like their recently-acquired 1910 vintage mechanical press – but if you can wait for them, they are real classics. This vertical tasting was just from a selection of their Beaune vineyards. Vertical tasting is very appropriate here, as their wines typically take so long to mature.
Very pretty, good soft tannins & plenty of fruit, crème caramel.
Big & tannic, but nice velvety fruit.
Myrtle & liquorice. Tannic but not hard. Very concentrated fruit – dark, “woodsy” fruit, not bright red fruit.
Touch of jammy fruitiness, but less so than many 97’s. “Not a Giroud vintage” according to them. Bernard says “balanced, but not big enough all round”. Which means a very nice, balanced 97 with the body of most other people’s 96!
Lots & lots – and lots – of body! Really lovely wine. Bags of fruit, with solid but soft tannins. Sweet plums & dates, sweet spices. Brilliant – much more to it than I have written here.
N: Dry, burnt sticks
M: Eucalyptus & pine, black raspberry. Black figs & plum. Big tannins. Nice pepper spice finish. Bernard says of the vintage “over-ripe with plenty of rot”!
A bit tough, but still some fruit. Maybe with another few years it will start to degenerate & get nice and smelly. Shorter in mouth than 95 & 96, but still quite well balanced, but not with fresh fruit. Maybe needs to get to it’s tertiary stage to be enjoyable.
Fairly lean but fine, ripe fruit. Just not the same body as other vintages. Still quite tannic. Cherry, mint, cinnamon & sweet spices.
Nice myrtle, sage, lavender & rosemary. Good structure but less rustic than 94 Reversees, for example. Less tannins. Still very fresh in mouth. Very nice, lingering, elegant finish.
First wine that the nose was beginning to come out; all the others were very closed.
Beautiful wine on the palate. Delicious fruit, raspberry millefeuille. Nicely softened and ready to drink. (As a “young” wine!)
N: Plums & cherries
M: Deep, rich, cooked prunes. Quite cooked character. Bernard says “vintage too hot”. Very seductive & voluptuous, tending almost to Cote Rotie in character. Tannins softening, but years ahead of it like most of the others tasted.
Great big fruit. Red plums. Still very fresh in mouth. Better acid than 90. Tannins form but softening. Bernard: “very much a Pinot year rather than a terroir year”. Very pretty finish. Lovely wine to drink, with mile of future potential.
N: Starting to show just the first signs of age.
M: Fruit no longer bright, but more cooked. Like pain d’epice tart with plum jam. Just starting to get some nice maturity. Bernard: “very ripe year, with almost no acid. Lots of sun at end of season gave a sur-maturity that Pinot doesn’t like too much. Fermentation was hard to control.”
N: Starting to get some underwoods tones.
M: Very elegant and sophisticated. Starting to get pain d’epices – ginger & soft spices. Still big structure. Finish shows signs of degradation, but only just. Very drinkable. Soft Caribbean spices on finish, with just a touch of black pepper.
N: Finally got to a “mature” wine, with mushrooms & underwood fully developed.
M: Still tremendously fresh fruit. Tannins evolved, but structure still holding up with great strength. Crushed berries, juicy fruit. Getting there, but still incredibly young for it’s age.