It’s still January and I may well have already tasted my top three wines of the year. After three days of tasting 2012 Bordeaux I admit that what I most wanted was a cuddle, a lager and some sleep. As it happened, I spent a quite brilliant evening in the company of some serious Burgundy nuts enjoying some quite brilliant wines. Wines that sum up what it’s all about.
Wines like these are why we all do this, why some of us become obsessed, addicted. Notes on 2012 Bordeaux to follow. In the meantime, in no particular order:
2007 Meursault Caillerets, Coche-Dury
Courtesy of Mr Silk, a man with the most extraordinary cellar, and a man of extraordinary generosity when it comes to sharing it. Domaine Coche-Dury has just 0.18 hectares of this little-seen premier cru that sits at the far north of the appellation and, to the eye, is a part of the eponymous Volnay premier cru. Whilst Lafarge’s Volnay Caillerets is one of my favourite wines, I can’t help but wonder that a bit more Chardonnay planted here might be a good thing…
“Flint and lime on the nose. Immediately Coche though there is more vineyard than style here. This is balletic, on a wave. Almost painfully intense yet staggeringly beautiful. A man on a wire way, way up. Breathtaking.”
My note doesn’t do it justice, and by “man on a wire” I suggest that you watch the film.
2007 Nuits St Georges, Les Lavieres & 2007 Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots, Comte Liger-Belair
The Comte Liger-Belair, or the Vicomte as he was then, is responsible for my love of wine or, rather, the depth of that love. One of his wines was my first vinous theophany, and is the subject of the first thing I ever wrote on vinolent.
To say that his 2007s are excellent is a little like saying that Audrey Hepburn was quite pretty. 2007 La Romanée was easily the best wine I drank in 2014, and easily slips into my top five wines ever.
My note on the Lavieres:
“Very punchy on the nose. Creamily crafted and decadent. Velvet cushions. Lift. This is mouth-filling and so seductive that it almost feels wrong – like you shouldn’t be enjoying it. Quite beautifully put together and just perfect now. Lolita.”
And on the Reignots:
“Very tarty, rich nose. And a very classy tart at that. This is very chunky with a great deal of weight though not as openly brazen as the Lavieres. Quite fantastic, with just the right amount of make-up. You can taste the vineyard, and its height on the slope. Brilliant.”
My point on the make-up is this: the Reignots needs less, and has less. Genius winemaking. Both of these wines are sirens; many ships wrecked at their feet.
2007 Vosne-Romanée, Les Malconsorts & 2007 Vosne-Romanée, Les Malconsorts Cuvée Christiane, Domaine de Montillle
I may well have got my glasses mixed up here: the rest of the group were singing the praises of the Cuvée Christiane, whilst I was disarmed by the purity of the “straight” Malconsorts. Etienne de Montille has three parcels of Malconsorts (he apparently got first dibs on which plots he wanted following the sale of the Thomas Moillard vineyards to domaines de Montille and Dujac) and one of them – Christiane – lies at the foot of La Tâche. Etienne will make a pretty good argument that, whilst it’s not really part of La Tâche, it’s something other than plain Malconsorts and, whatever you might think of that, the wine is noticeably richer and lusher than the “straight” cuvee. Nonetheless, it was the purity of the Malconsorts that had me, whilst the rest of the table was seduced by the weight and depth of the Christiane.
My note on the Malconsorts: “Exceptional. Pure and lovely. Perfect. Impossibly pure with a depth like very deep, very clean water. You can see the bottom, almost see the grain of the sea floor, though have no idea how far down it is. Very Vosne, very pure. Perfect”
And on the Cuvée Christiane: “This has more weight, more breadth than the Malconsorts though maybe lacks that laser-sharp precision today. Not quite flamboyant, and maybe there is more to come from this cuvée. Both are brilliant; I would take the straight Malconsorts today. Pure and quite lovely again.”
I thank everyone who contributed to this, and our impeccable hosts. A brilliant evening.