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Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Time: 6 PM
Price: Members: $76
41 Willcocks Street
M5S 1C7 - Map
- Friday May 13, 2011
- Sunday May 15, 2011
The landlocked vineyards of Burgundy have been revered since the Middle Ages. Today, the area is recognized for some of the world's finest wines. The region is a collection of five areas, each with a localized variation on a continental climate and limestone-rich soils. Burgundy is approximately one-fifth the size of fellow French wine producing region, Bordeaux. However, unlike the larger Bordeaux, wines of Burgundy are single varietals with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producing the best white and red wines, respectively. Also, unlike Bordeaux, Burgundies are described by their place of origin. This traceability is reinforced by a hierarchy that classifies vineyards as regional, communal Premier Cru, or Grand cru (J. Gordon, Opus Vino).
While most people automatically think red when they think Burgundy, Chardonnay produced in the area ranks in the world's top tier and deserves equal attention. White wines from Burgundy are unquestionably unique, with the best wines coming from Chablis in the north, and the Côte de Beaune in the heart of Burgundy. Unlike buttery and oaky New World Chardonnays, white Burgundies are generally crisp and acidic, and those aged in oak show only a subtle touch of the wood. Chardonnay is a late-ripening variety that loves the sun and therefore can struggle on the sheltered slopes of the region. However, thanks to the long, slow growing season, the wines develop into a paradoxical combination of subtlety and complexity.
White Burgundies produced in 2004 are considered a not-to-be-missed vintage. In 2004 many producers opted not to produce any reds; however the same producers are raving about their whites. 2004 was an excellent year across Burgundy for whites. According to Michael Apstein, "Unlike 2003 and other warm years when the heat over-ripened grapes and consequently blurred the lines separating appellations, the 2004 white Burgundies reflect and express their origins. Chablis tastes like Chablis. Wines from Meursault are distinct from those of Puligny-Montrachet."
In May, the Toronto Vintners Club has the unique opportunity to taste eight fantastic, rare 2004 white Burgundies from the Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis and St. Aubin communes and from some of the greatest producers in the region. Some highlights include: Domaine Latour-Giraud, with its rich history dating back centuries, using a lot of bâtonnage (stirring the lees in the barrels) for body, texture and a rich, nutty taste; Domaine Henri Boillot, which produces mainly premier crus on its 13 acres estate and is considered one of the best sources of fine wine in the Cote D'Or; and Domaine Leflaive, run by Anne-Claude Laflaive, a visionary character, renowned in Puligny and considered among the best in the regions. Join us for this wonderful and unique opportunity to imbibe such fine wines.
2004 Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Les Clos $48
Chablis wines have mouthwatering acidity, almost saline in nature, and can age extremely well. "Jean-Marc Brocard eschews oak aging to make focused Chablis that reflects the location of the vineyard. He says he 'doesn't want to lose the typicity of Chablis.' His Les Clos is a nicely textured wine with appealing smokiness and terrific length. It's a true grand cru and will be even better with a year or two of additional age." 92 pts. Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online.
2004 Henri Boillot, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru $110
Meursault's high water table allows its residents to carve deep, cold cellars "perfect for the production of wine" into the chalky, stony soil. . . . What makes Meursault so special? The most common descriptors attached to Meursault are hazelnuts, honey and vanilla for its aromas and creamy for its texture. However, this simplifies things quite a bit. In most cases, Meursault despite an almost olive-oil texture, is countered by a precise mineral character, stoniness and a more refined overall palate than, for instance, Chassagne-Montrachet. It's the unique stony/mineral character that often gets lost when tasting Meursault, as many concentrate on the ripe, hedonistic primary flavors and aromas. It's the bipolarity of the wine, the interplay of both factors, that makes Meursault one of the most sought after white wines in the world. (www.burgundywinecompany.com/)
"Pure aromas of lemon and flowers. Quite tightly wound, if not a bit youthfully hard-edged, with citrus and oak flavors. The wine's firm acids have not yet harmonized. A tougher style of Meursault, from vines harvested late, with 12.8% natural alcohol." 87-90pts. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar.
2004 Latour-Giraud, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru $99
"Reticent, subtle, pure aromas of soft citrus fruits, oatmeal and hazelnut; very Charmes. Sweet on entry, then perfumed, spicy and concentrated in the middle, with strong acids framing the flavors of menthol, minerals and spicy oak. Very pure, firm wine with excellent building persistence." 90pts. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, July 2006.
2004 Theirry et Pascal Matrot, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru $79
"Bright aromas of peach, orange, lemon and vanilla. Creamier on the attack than the Blagny, then lush, concentrated and fine-grained in the middle, with lively lemon and mineral flavors. Structured but not hard. Finishes firm and persistent, with a brisk, lingering grapefruit flavor. This offers lovely purity and balance. 90pts. "Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sept/Oct 2006. Wine Spectator: 90 pts
2004 Domaine LeFlaive, Puligny-Montrachet, Clavoillon, 1er Cru $65
What makes Puligny-Montrachet so special? More than anything else it is the balance and harmony. The result is a finesse and breed that sets Puligny-Montrachet apart. In addition, Pulignys are noted for having a steely, vibrant core in the very center of their flavors. When young, they are lean and hard, but the balance of elements allows aging (6 to 8+ years for a 1er Cru) and consequently the wines develop great complexity.
"A mildly reduced nose features honeysuckle and acacia blossom notes introduces sweet, rich and beautifully complex flavors of impressive purity and vibrancy with brilliant length. A terrific effort that has the hallmark softness of Pucelles while retaining a firm and tangy, indeed almost linear finish that displays more minerality than usual." 93pts.
2004 Jean Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet, Perrieres, 1er Cru $119
"A completely different aromatic expression with high-toned floral and peach aromas that complement perfectly the intense, precise and transparent flavors that exude an almost pungent minerality on the beautifully long finish." 90 pts. Burghound, July 2006.
2004 Marc Colin, St Aubin, En Remilly, 1er Cru $68
The whites of Saint-Aubin have a fine depth of fruit with a mineral, stony quality. Those from around the village tend to be more elegant, while those nearer Puligny and Chassagne (e.g., En Remilly and Chateniere vineyards) are richer and fatter. (www.burgundywinecompany.com/) "As it usually is, this offers a big step up in elegance with airy white flower, honeysuckle, spice and the barest hint of pain grillé leading to stony and wonderfully precise middle weight flavors that finish very dry and with impressive intensity. I very much like the balance here and while this will be approachable young, it will age." 89pts. Burghound, July 2006.
2004 Michel Coutoux, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru $84
Pale yellow color. Sexy aromas of very ripe peach and citrus and toasted baguette; not a minerally style of Charmes. Fat, soft and a bit oily, with impressive volume and a silky texture. The fullest of these wines to this point. Finishes broad and fat, with subtle persistence. 88-90pts. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sept-Oct 2005.
Please check back after the tasting for the results.
|Name of Wine (in order poured)||Group Ranking||Guest Ranking|
A -Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Les Clos
B -Marc Colin, St Aubin, En Remilly, 1er Cru
C -Theirry et Pascal Matrot, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru
D -Michel Coutoux, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru
E -Latour-Giraud, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru
F -Henri Boillot, Meursault, Charmes, 1er Cru
G -Domaine LeFlaive, Puligny-Montrachet, Clavoillon, 1er Cru
H -Jean Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet, Perrieres, 1er Cru