January 18, 2011

Corney & Barrow’s Burgundy 09 Tasting at the Tower

Last Thursday saw the 5th C&B Burgundy tasting – not quite sure where the time has gone but the 2005 was a good vintage to start on. Nearly 300 customers managed to make it along to the Tower to taste – our largest tasting ever. I think people sometime have a fear about these young wine/barrel tastings but in a joyously good vintage like 2009 it is not a tricky job. The wines were open and are easily understood now even if they are years from being ready. To take you on a brief tour of the tasting, you would start in Northern Burgundy with Chablis and for C&B that means one man – Vincent Dampt. Vincent’s wines, which he started making in 2004, are always a great place to get going, with real precision and class; the 2009’s are generous, the Côte de Léchet was my pick but I’ll buy the Vaillons as I always do.

Next up was Olivier Cyrot & Marc-Emmanuel Cyrot from their family estate of Cyrot-Buthiau, these wines are a new(ish) addition to the range but sit very well; the Bourgogne rouge is a classical easy drinking style and then you go up to the Santenay which was the star for me.  Nicolas & Florence Rossignol of the rising star, Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, were next as we moved to Gevrey; these wines were strikingly generous. The Beaune is a beautiful wine, followed by the renowned Gevrey based wines – a very impressive showing. Still from Gevrey we then had Vincent & Delphine Hammel from Domaine des Varoilles, a style that complements our other wines in the village, polished and feminine they show very well. Jean-Louis Trapet was next on the tour and finished our Gevrey producers;  Jean-Louis, as with other producers, is very generous in showing Grand Crus – a highlight for many in the room.

François & Myriam Labet were due to be next but sadly François, who has never missed our tasting, was ill. The wines – both under the Labet label and the Clos Vougeot from Château de la Tour – showed very well. The Clos Vougeots were power packed and intense but easily appreciated. François’ skill as a white wine maker showed though well too with the Meursault Tillets prominent. Nuits-St-Georges was next and that means Olivier Leriche (Domaine de l’Arlot), whose wines are always a highlight. See the video below:

Gilles Jourdan sadly couldn’t be with us but his Côte de Nuits La Robignotte  has been in hot demand since the tasting. François Duvivier of Domaine Marquis d’Angerville was next and, it has to be said, was kept a busy man throughout it. Personally, I love Volnay so I am delighted to see this. From Volnay to Meursault with Catherine Javillier representing the family Domaine – the natural richness of Patrick Javillier’s wines is kept well in check; they showed very well and were classically Meursault. This worked well as Henri Darnat and then the Matrot Clan were next. Henri is a real thinker, his wines see very little oak, in common with Matrot and were on great form; a new discovery for many.

The Matrot range warranted the whole family as representatives – Thierry, Pascale & Elsa – as it is a comprehensive range which gives a great opportunity to taste the different communes.  The Matrot talent for white wine making often means the reds do not get the attention they deserve – they are elegant and delicious. So, last (and therefore most southerly) but by no means least, was Pierre de Benoît of Domaine A&P de Villaine; Aubert de Villaine’s personal vineyard. The wines all showed very well, including the only Aligoté in the room. Mercurey was a “value” star.

Many wines from the offer have sold out but what is great with Burgundy 2009, as it was with Bordeaux, is that below the star studded Grand Crus, there is an abundance of wines that will drink brilliantly – and I am not saying this because I am a wine merchant! They will repay cellaring but they don’t NEED it, tuck in!

Many thanks to all those who attended the tasting – both Suppliers and Customers alike – Feedback always welcomed.

View also David Way’s “2009 Meursault Masters” blogpost on Winefriend.

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