And pigs…Coche and cochon…

QPR vs Crystal Palace was rained off a month or so ago.  Not such a bad thing: we stayed a little longer in what we now call the Coche Pub, enjoyed our pork boards and white Burgundy, then went home.  It also gave us the opportunity to revisit the Coche Pub again last night for the rescheduled match (which wasn’t bad).  We had a different match at the pub:  2006 Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru, Les Enseigneres vs 2006 Corton-Charlemagne, both from the legendary Coche-Dury.

A post on label-drinking will follow in good time.  What I’ve been thinking about over the past day is these two wines, both of which are amongst the rarest in the world and the most expensive (a case of the Corton-Charlie is worth more than my car), and particularly the vintage.

With growers of this calibre, vintages aren’t good or bad, they’re just different.  I liked 2006 white Burgundies very much when I first tasted them in late 2007: they were open, balanced, clean wines.  I preferred them to the 2005s, which were a little too “fat” for me at the time.  A couple of years on and the 2006s now seem a little top heavy, a little too opulent.  The “fat” 2005s have grown up a little and the fat has turned to muscle.  We also have the brilliant, pin-sharp and focussed 2007s.

Of the two, I preferred the Puligny, which was a little more forward, showed more definition, focus.  The Corton-Charlemagne was richer, fatter, definitely had more to it but seemed like a dancer whose shoes were too heavy – it was struggling to show how good it was.

Fine wine, serious wine, can be compared with humans.  Young wines can be simple but show immense potential.  Old wines can be delicate but show immense complexity.  Crowd-pleasing wines can please crowds but are rarely the best.  I could go on.

My point being that in suggesting that a 2006 grand cru white Burgundy, from a premier, no, champions league producer lacks a bit of edge at three years old is a bit like scolding a three year old child for not being able to quote Sartres.  What we did see in both of these barely-born vinous nippers, was immense class, immense potential.  These were both bouncing blue-eyed babies.  The vintage?  I guess it’s like where you’re born: Beckenham or Belgravia?  Sydenham or Sloane Street.  You’re always going to have an accent but class will out.

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