Virtual Tasting: Classic Burgundies 2017
Tonight's tasting set out to answer an age-old question. And a question I have often asked about Burgundy in particular: when is the perfect time to drink such high-quality wines? Can you drink them young and still enjoy them, or do they all have to be cellared for years and years to get the full expression of Burgundy? And of course the answer is "it depends", but it is also deeply subjective. So tonight we were tutored in tasting 8 young burgundies from Premier Cru estates to test our palates and make up our own minds on this question.
The volunteer directors had more than 70 sets of tasting kits to deliver across the GTA today, leaving on porches and at front steps in readiness for this evening:
Our guest speaker this evening was Peter Wearing, Diploma Coordinator for the Independent Wine Education Guild (IWEG) and co-founder of The Small Winemakers Collection. Peter expertly guided us through each of the wines from the Premier Cru appellations of Savigny Les Beaune, Les Cent Vignes, and Volnay - all beautiful landscapes situated along the southeast-facing limestone ridges of the Cote de Beaune region in Burgundy.
Burgundy is a complex region for wine and has such a rich history of terroir and the differences in taste from vineyards just 100s of yards apart. Peter visually showed us just how close these vineyards are in geography and how the slopes above Beaune predict the appellations of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Villages wines. And through the tasting showed us just how distinctive the differences of a few hectares are on the palate.
2017 created a very distinctive vintage, especially considering that the weather had not been kind to this region in recent years. From hailstorms in 2012 to 2014, to extreme frosts in early 2016, Burgundy has struggled with inconsistent growth, untimely harvests, and reduced yields. But 2017 turned into an abundant year of flowers and fruit, creating its own challenges to winemakers, but paved the way for many beautiful, good-value, Burgundian classics. And we got to taste and compare 8 of them!
Here were the scores for the night from our Guest Peter Wearing, and the Group:
Peter's recommendations for this vintage tonight were: Wine A (Domaine de Bellene Hommage) as an example of Burgundy wine-making at its best. Wine D (Domaine Jessiaume) as a great example of the Pinot Noir grape. And Wine E (Domaine Albert Morot Marconnets) as great wine-making but yet to reach its full potential - one for cellaring.
Thank you Peter for your expert guidance!
See the original notice for the tasting notes for each of the wines: