Sometimes I’ll be cruising along in a blind tasting of red Burgundies and a wine will throw me a curve ball. Aromatically, it is fresh and distinctive, with floral and spice notes (sandalwood comes to mind most often) along with the fruit.
Bernard Dugat is an artist whose medium is wine. Passionate, articulate and down to earth, he doesn’t rely on a lot of technique. Rather, his key to expressing the best from each terroir is old vines, moderate yields and long fermentations with whole clusters.
In Burgundy, the period between the end of the alcoholic fermentation and bottling is called élevage , literally “raising,” as in raising children. Those engaged in buying grapes, must or wine and maturing and bottling it in their cellars are known as a négociant-éleveur.
In most Burgundy domaines' cellars, you begin a tasting with a village appellation, if not a Bourgogne. At Domaine de la Romanée-Conti , except when the premier cru Cuvée Duvault-Blochet is made, it’s all grand cru.
Two stops on this trip, one at a domaine, the other at a négociant, illustrated the purity, complexity and balance of Burgundy's 2005 vintage particularly well. Although all the domaines and houses I visited last week have made excellent and, in some cases potentially magnificent, wines, I was particularly impressed with the clarity and sheer beauty of the wines I tasted at Domaine G.
I just visited Domaine Leroy in Burgundy, one of the highlights of my trip so far. Naturally, I had high expectations of the 2005s there—and I wasn't disappointed. “C’est magnifique,” said Lalou Bize-Leroy of the vintage.
I visited Domaine Jacques Prieur for the first time. There, I tasted a number of very pure, fruit-driven reds and whites. I sometimes found the wines a little oaky when tasted from bottle as new releases in New York, but the 2005s are very well-balanced.
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