There’s no substitute for tasting. That’s why I go to Burgundy so often.
The first reports about 2006 claimed that the whites were great and the red grapes suffered. The reality is much to the contrary. The whites look rich and heavy and a bit fat, whereas the reds (from Côte de Nuits) are delicate, aromatic and taste like the site where they were grown.
The acidity of the white wines is lower than in 2004 and 2005; they seem a bit like the 1992s or some great 1997s. Some producers saw a similarity with 1999. It is hard to tell, but I am sure that the whites will liven up after racking.
The red wines are very impressive. The wines have good ripeness and a firm backbone of acidity. They seem like the 2001 or 2004 wines with more weight. I think it will be a great vintage for the true Burgundy aficionados.
We also had a chance to taste quite a few 2005s in bottle. Wow, this is a great vintage! The reds are full, juicy and have plenty of tannins to allow them to live a long time. The whites seemed fresher than in barrel last year, but they all still have that element of sweetness that makes me believe that they will not age as long as the 2004s.
My top 10 wines from 2005 wines were: J.F. Mugnier Musigny, Liger-Belair La Romanée, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti, DRC La Tâche, Roumier Musigny, Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin, Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux, Domaine Dujac Clos St.-Denis, Dujac Romanée St.-Vivant and Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée St.-Vivant Cuvée Christine.
Overall, the best 2005 whites we tasted were from Domaine Roulot. They were clean and focused and are probably the most intellectual wines in all of Burgundy. After tasting the young wines, we all participated in a round of blind tasting. The wines we tasted were:
• Meursault Les Tessons Clos de Mon Plasir 2004 (Jim Clendenen identified it right away),
• Meursault Meix Chavaux 2000 (we identified the flavors of this north-facing vineyard, but because of its firm texture, thought it was a 1999),
• Meursault Perrières premier cru 1999 (the wine was closed and loaded with minerality. We guessed it as Perrières, but thought it was 2002),
• Meursault Les Luchets 1992 (this was the easiest to nail, a classic creamy texture with lots of fruit),
• Meursault Charmes 1990 (most of us thought this was older. As like most 1990s, this was big, bold and mature),
• Bourgogne Blanc 1982 (I guessed this as a 1983 Charmes. We could not believe it was only a Bourgogne Blanc) and
• Meursault Meix Chavaux 1983 (I guessed this as a 1986 or 1983 premier cru. A wine made by Ted Lemon. Still fresh and profound).
One highlight was a visit with Noël Ramonet. After tasting all his 2006s and 2005s, we had a chance to enjoy the Bâtard-Montrachet 1995, 2002 and 2004, Bienvenues-Montrachet 2003 and Montrachet 1997 and 1999.
Among the other great tastings were Paul Pillot in Chassagne-Montrachet, Marquis d’Angerville in Volnay, Domaine Dujac (which produced some amazing 2006s), Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Rousseau and Joseph Roty. At Domaine G. Roumier, the wines seemed great, but were hard to taste because they were still going through malolactic fermentation. Comte du Liger Belair is in my mind the best new producer for reds in Burgundy, and I think J.F. Mugnier is one of the top producers in Burgundy today. Nicholas Potel, a very serious négociant, is going to debut his Domaine Potel in 2007.
On my last day in Burgundy, I could think of only one thing: the massive change in weather patterns Burgundy seems to be experiencing.
Temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit are pleasant when you are on vacation, but grape growers have a different outlook. History has shown us that the grapes in Burgundy are harvested at the end of September, but things are changing. This year, as in other recent years, the maturation of the grapes is fully one month ahead of normal. Most winemakers are preparing to harvest in the middle of August, though some say they would like to wait until September.
Many producers are more prepared than in 2003, the last scorching vintage. The only difference (between 2003 and 2007) is that they have already had 40 millimeters of rain in the last few weeks. What is going on here? Is it the result of global warming or just some freak vintages?
I will be back in Burgundy in July to taste a few more 2005s (in bottle) and 2006s in barrel. I will let you know more about their progress.
Bobby Chandra — London — June 14, 2007 3:22am ET
John Osgood — New York, NY — June 14, 2007 9:16am ET
Rajat — June 16, 2007 12:27pm ET
Travis G Snyder — Salt Lake City — June 16, 2007 6:09pm ET
Rajat — June 18, 2007 5:48pm ET
John Osgood — New York, NY — June 19, 2007 3:51pm ET
John Osgood — New York, NY — June 19, 2007 3:53pm ET
Rajat — June 19, 2007 7:46pm ET
Rajat — June 19, 2007 7:59pm ET
David Nerland — Scottsdale — June 20, 2007 12:03am ET
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — June 20, 2007 4:23pm ET
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — June 20, 2007 4:32pm ET
Rajat — June 20, 2007 7:58pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions