Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wines of Burgundy, in review

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The Wines of Burgundy tasting was a wonderful event. Venue was great - who knew hosting a wine event at the Art Gallery of Ontario would turn out even better than at the Four Seasons?

The wines. Yes, let's talk about the wines. The tasting was organized by producer, with each showing a range of their '07, '08 and '09's. If I were to make a general comment . . . I really loved the 2007's. High acid vintage, linear, and showing great terroir imprint. The whites showing particularly well for this vintage, really looking forward to seeing how these wines are going to age. Virtually the entire 2007 Chablis lineup was delicious. The 2009's also showed well, with lots of ripe character. Reds more successful in this case.

One thing I found a bit unfortunate with the tasting was how many of the white wines were showing, particularly Meursault. These wines show so much new oak aromas when they're young that attempting to taste them at this stage is pointless. A few of the representatives pouring agreed with me - a refreshingly candid observation, but I was warned not to publish any names. A shame. Why would you pay over $70 for a bottle of white Burgundy tasting of nothing but creamy oak, and why, for that matter, would you allow people to taste them at this stage? Of course, this is all pre-supposing that such a massive use of new oak is appropriate, but that's an entirely different issue now is it.

Another problem? So many of the red wines showed a macerated, candied fruit character. A bit issue for pinot noir especially - fruit that's softened into submission like this reeks of the producer taking shortcuts. Aromas more closely associated with cheap Beaujolais have no place in fine Burgundy of this calibre (and price). A shame that no Chambolle-Musigny was poured. As well, only two Volnay wines were shown - for some inexplicable reason, I missed the second one, but the one I did get to taste, the 2008 Bouchard Volnay Caillerets Carnots was simply sublime and my favourite wine of the tasting.

A very interesting tasting all around, ran into some familiar faces, and met a few new ones as well. Connecting over fabulous Burgundy, nothing better.

DF

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