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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A Rare White from Burgundy's Côte de Nuits

Domaine Marc Roy Marsannay blanc Les Champs Perdrix 2006

Thomas Matthews
Posted: January 6, 2009

I recently had an excellent dinner at New York's Eleven Madison Park. It's a beautiful room with huge windows overlooking Madison Square. Chef Daniel Humm's food is focused and flavorful.

The 1,525-selection wine list holds our Best of Award of Excellence; it covers the world but has special strength in Burgundy. And within Burgundy, it has an unusual and alluring offering of white wines from the Côtes de Nuits.

Our sommelier, Nathan Rawlinson, recommended a Marsanny blanc ($70 on the list). The wine was full-bodied, with a firm, waxy texture, yet remained crisp, bright with flavors of pear, almond and vanilla. I rated it 89 points (non-blind and therefore unofficially), but it tasted even better matched with Hawaiian prawns in a shellfish jus, and moist confit of suckling pig with roasted onions.

Domaine Roy is run by Alexandrine Roy, the fourth generation at her small, family domaine. Their Chardonnay vines grow on shale and limestone; the grapes are fermented in stainless steel and do not go through malolactic fermentation; little new oak is used in barrel aging. Marsannay, at the northern end of the Côte de Nuits, is mostly known for red wines (and rosés). But this white was delicious, and truly Burgundian in character.

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