Grand Cru Burgundies
Notes from an interesting dinner tasting of Grand Cru Burgundies.
1999 Delamotte Brut Champagne – young, lots of spritz, good acidity,
clean and tasty, too young to have developed any secondary interest
2000 Henri Boillot Corton Charlemagne – the two whites were very
different wine, each excellent in their way. This one had some sulfur
in the nose, but below my personal rejection limit and it abated with
time in the glass. Once you got past that, there was some nice vanilla
and hints of pear, and in the mouth excellent fruit and acidity. Very
1991 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne – the nose on this one
wasn’t nearly as forthcoming nor interesting as the previous wine,
showing only a bit of lime and maybe a hint of toffee, but we forgave
it (I did anyway) when you got it in your mouth. Lush tropical fruit
on palate and more body, finishing well with good acidity and length.
1998 Groffier Bonnes Mares – the first staff screw up was this pair
where they got the person presenting it wrong, so we ended up thinking
this was either a rather weak DRC or one of the best Grofiers we’d
tasted. Medium body and colour, excellent cherry fruit, soft tannin
and a very slitht astringency in the finish. Good.
1993 DRC Echezaux – darker wine with a very decent nose with vanilla
and red fruit, marred only by a slight volatile acidity that somewhat
abated with air, at which point some Asian spice kicked in and made
itself known. In the mouth medium body, excellent concentration and
rounder and fuller than I usually expect from this vintage with very
1999 Girardin Corton Clos du Roi – darker wine with an excellent nose
of earth, mushroom and raspberry, with a funkiness at first that
passed with air. In the mouth, tons of acidity, bordering on the
brink of excess, moderate tannin, some warmth and sweet fruit. nice
and still on the way up.
2001 Jadot Corton-Pougets – this was the one I’d told them would be
lighter and to serve it early. Unfortunately, it also turned out to be
bizarre. The nose was very stewy/swampy, but that did go away with
air. Unfortunately what it left behind wasn’t what one would look for
- light fruit on palate, elegant but lacking concentration, and
someone suggested (and I couldn’t disagree) a very faint hint of TCA.
I buy this wine because it is the least known of Jadots Grand Crus and
often offers good value, but there was something wrong with this
bottle. Not clearly corked (though it probably was, mildly) and
otherwise just downright odd. Hadn’t tasted it before, but had checked
up on good reviews by others, so must conclude that this bottle was a
2004 Jean Michel Guillon Mazis Chambertin – another middling vintage,
but a wine that showed well. Dark, excellent red fruit nose, sweet in
the mouth, good with and very well balanced.
2005 Nicholas Potel Ruchets Chambertin – very good vintage but sadly a
less convincing wine, for me. Lighter in colour, with a nice briary
fruit component to the nose, but on palate I thought it a bit light in
fruit and a bit simple. Pleasant, but I was surprised to learn the
The restaurant was a mixed success. The food was excellent (I only
took issue with a sweetbread course, where they had over floured/
breaded the sweetbreads, making them a tad doughy. I flour them and
get a nice crisp outside with a nice soft inside that does them better
The wine service was a bit of a joke. Fortunately the person that
organized the event insisted on proper Burgundy glasses. We brought
our wines, as usual, in brown bags with our name on them and gave any
instructions we thought would enhance the order of service. The staff
listened, and then totally disregarded all they had been told,
throwing out the bags and not keeping track of whose wine was which.
The also ignored advice (I had indicated that my Corton would be a
lighter wine and should come early in the dinner) and simply put wines
of like origin together regardless of weight or advice. I give them a
9/10 for food and a 4/10 for paying attention to the customers wishes.
Good event, thanks to the organizer.