White Burgundy. If you include Chablis then I would be perfectly happy if this was the only still white wine that I would ever drink again. I’m drinking 06 Bourgogne Blanc, Arnaud Ente as I write and, well, it’s just what white wine is all about.
Very few growers produce what I would call “real” white Burgundy these days, which is to say wine that can age, and that develops well. And, with the curse of “premox” (unending debate here) this is a tricky subject. All bets are off. Well, almost all.
Three domaines that make “proper” white Burgundy spring to mind. Lafon, Jobard and Gagnard. These three have made my white wines of the year of 2008: 2001 Meursault Perrieres, Lafon; 1990 Meursault, Les Charmes, Jobard and 1996 Batard-Montrachet, Gagnard (from jero, which means a 300cl bottle in Burgundy or Champagne, as opposed to a 450cl or 500cl bottle in Bordeaux).
We had two Batards from Gagnard on Friday. The 1995 & 1996. Both from jeroboam. The 1995 was excellent: taut, edgy, classy, youthful, brilliant. The 1996 was something else entirely. I didn’t take notes on these and regret it. The colour of the 96 indicated an older wine than the 95, which had the clear and clean brightness of youth. If I’m honest, the darker, more developed colour of the 96 worried me. But FMD it was wonderful (or UFB, as a few friends would say). The edginess, the class, the brilliance of the 95 but with such depth. A smoky minerality. A perfection. Muscle. A nervous richesse. Just perfect.
The point here? None really. Drink white Burgundy. Don’t be afraid to cellar it for a while. You might end up with a few bottles that look like tea and smell of Sherry, but you might just meet your maker along the way.