Potpourri of Wines from an Autumn Trip to France

Paris, Lyon, Beaune, Reims

Tasted October 9, 2018 - October 24, 2018 by drwine2001 with 121 views

Flight 1 (53 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut France, Champagne
Yellow apple on the entry with moderate dosage, then more Granny Smith and soil lead into a short, harsh finish. Not very pleasing.
White
2017 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
Pale, light, crisp, citrus-driven, and just delicious.
White
2010 Albert Boxler Riesling Brand K France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
Fairly deep yellow, but no aromas suggesting it is fatigued or oxidized. Classic tea tones, not so classic quince rather than stone fruit. Medium weight, barely off dry, fantastic acidity and minerality. I'm skeptical about holding this much longer, but it is outstanding right now. A little less strict than, say, Trimbach, but definitely in a drier, classical style.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Roland Lavantureux Chablis Vauprin France, Burgundy, Chablis
Magnum. Medium yellow. A fine basic Chablis with a lively mix of orange peel, sea breeze, and soil. Very well done at this level.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine Marchand-Grillot Gevrey-Chambertin Au Velle France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
Moderately deep ruby. Nose dominated by piney green oak and some cherry in the background. Sweet, ripe red fruit entry and then the astringent wood grabs you by the throat and takes over. Clumsy wine doing its best impression of New World Pinot.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod / Barthod-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
Deep ruby-hard to believe it is a 13 year old village wine. Some ripe cherry, herb, and early secondary high tones. Denser and more concentrated than usual. Right out of the bottle, prototypical tart red fruit, fantastic acidity, a strong thread of soil, and substantial ripe tannins. With air, it lost any tartness as the ripe fruit shone through, and it showed more espresso notes. Wow, I doubt that this is more than halfway evolved to full maturity. Premier Cru stuffing and material with impressive structure, but the size and sweetness of fruit will probably turn off the Chambolle purist who seeks more delicacy and detail. I must confess that this did not bother me in the least since there was so much to it!!

This lost nothing overnight. In fact, it became more airy, the acidity remained firm, and it began to display that curious Burgundian citric lift. All of this bodes well going forward.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Forey Père et Fils Nuits St. Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges
Medium depth of color. Sweet red berry nose, wood spice, and a bit of smoke. Medium weight. Delightful, approachable, slightly sweet New World entry, but the Nuits earth picks up later. The oak imparts some astringency at the end. Very good village wine in a more modern style, but a great example of the approachability and enjoyable nature of the lower tier 2015 wines. I doubt it will ever be that complex and would drink it over the next 5 years for the fruit.
White
2014 Deux Montille Saint-Aubin 1er Cru sur Gamay France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru
Dull yellow. Light with some sap. Orange/lemon fruit, very good brightness. Clean, crisp, and thankfully, little oak. Excellent.
White
2014 Kientzler Riesling Geisberg France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
Pale. Lean and mineral with a fascinating array of herbs. Lemon fruit, some honey on the finish give it a fantastic sense of sweet and sour, even though this is completely DRY. A bit of quinine adds interest. Every sip tingles with energy. I must say that this might even "out-Trimbach" some of the classic Trimbach cuvées for sheer essence of mineral Riesling. No concessions to fruitiness here! I loved this bottle.
Red
2016 Georges Descombes Morgon France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
Light clear ruby. Cherry and a dash of soil. Light, clean, fresh, direct, and satisfying.
White
2013 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Brézé France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
Generously poured by a neighboring table. Medium yellow. Lemony scents. Brisk, high acid, "take no prisoners" Guiberteau style, lots of cut but still excellent texture. When I tasted this 2 years ago, I found it to be woody and disjointed. It was neither of those tonight. Now I'd just call it too young, probably needing 5 or so years to fold in the acidity. Excellent wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Chambolle-Musigny France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
Central light ruby, complete clarity. This opened with explosive crushed strawberry, but with time, menthol became more prominent, and the cooler elements and red berry fruit equilibrated beautifully. Some floral tones as well. Light weight, clay base, crisp acidity and plenty of soil to balance the fruit. This began to close down, suggesting that that gorgeous fruit might be ready for a slumber, but this is absolutely mind's eye Chambolle in its delicacy and fragrance. Interesting to compare to the '15 Barthod Chambolle village, which I also loved but would never call classic.
White
2014 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
Greenish yellow. Superb mix of lemon, orange, iodine, and white flowers. Medium weight, actually not terribly dense for this cuvée. Saline fruit, lovely acidity, lots in reserve. This is a great Forest which is already drinking splendidly. An especially good choice on a very warm autumn afternoon.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Morgon Javernières Morgon Côte du Py France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
Even ruby. Fantastic nose of flowers, anise, and cherry. Perfectly ripe and almost sappy for Gamay. A softer version of Morgon that speaks of clay and sand. Lovely dark red fruit. It doesn't have that briary kick that so many Beaujolais crus possess; instead, it finishes with a distinctly Burgundian blood orange note and wonderful inner mouth perfume. I know a dyed-in-the-wool Burgundy fanatic who despises Gamay, and I think even he might take to this (if you hadn't told him what it was, of course). Far and away the best 2016 Beaujolais I've tried. One of the biggest surprises and amongst the best finds this trip.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
Medium yellow. Some oak toast, cinnamon, and citrus. Medium weight with moderately glycerine woody base, but lively orange fruit and fine acidity. Very good, plump Bourgogne that reminds me of Mâcon more than the Côte de Beaune.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Domaine de l'Oratoire St Martin Cairanne Blanc Réserve des Seigneurs France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Cairanne
Deep ruby. Red fruit, surmaturité, and licorice aromas. Hefty and lush, but just enough acidity to keep it on this side of liqueur-like, and no trace of heat (this must have upwards of 15.5% ABV). Amazing volume of raspberry and blackberry nicely played off by the anise. Ripe tannins hardly interfere with the wave of fruit. Quite a mouthful for Cairanne, best over the near term for the fruit.
Red
2016 Gaston & Pierre Ravaut Ladoix Les Carrières France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Ladoix
Clear red. Fresh red fruit aromas with just a touch of green. A wonderful mix of pure strawberry, earth, and ever so slight briary tanginess. A nicely balanced wine for the next 2 to 4 years, and much better than I’ve generally had from this appellation.
Red
2012 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
Medium ruby. Quite a lot of brett and earth to start, really wild and rustic, but then dark red fruit and a fragrant candied quality took over. In the mouth, it also blossomed, transforming from somewhat lean to quite lush and sappy with a noticeable woody base and some wood spice. A lot to this wine, but clearly a work in progress. I saved a good amount to try again tomorrow and see how it sorts itself out.

Well, with more air overnight, the funk and wood have faded, leaving fresh, spicy red and blue fruit behind with a dusting of soil. So it is a Nuits after all. Any doubts I had upon first opening have been swept away. This is an exciting wine with plenty of potential.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Domaine Cauhapé Jurançon Symphonie de Novembre France, Southwest France, Jurançon
Medium yellow. Poised nose of crême brulée and ripe yellow apple. No botrytis. Medium weight, not that sweet, balanced with fine acidity. I really liked this.
White
2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Meursault France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
Medium yellow. Pear and apple. Medium to full bodied with some oak signature. Rich, flavorful fruit with a little clove and good acidity. Very good village Meursault.
White
2014 Joseph Drouhin St. Romain France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, St. Romain
Light yellow. Bright, lemony nose that is fairly penetrating. Beautiful sugar/acid balance, ginger, light to medium weight, and impressive stony finish. Well made and above class. This would make an excellent everyday house white. Drink now and over next 3 or 4 years.
White
2016 Henri Boillot Bourgogne Blanc France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
Yellow. Some sulfur stink. Behind this, though, is ripe pear and stone fruit of unusual volume for Bourgogne. Toasty oak base, harsher finish after very good mid-palate flavor and feel. Average acidity. Maybe another year or so will help bring it together.
Red
2015 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Feusselottes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
Full ruby throughout. While the natural ripeness of black cherry fruit and the the already supple, silky feel are wonders in their own right, what is even more amazing is how the tart acidity and earth are all there, preserving its essential "Chambolle-ness" despite the warmth of the vintage. It also has a cooler, balancing streak of mint, which so many wines from this vintage lack. An absolute joy now, and it should continue providing great pleasure with even more nuance for the next quarter of a century. So happy I got to try it.

Still wonderful the next day, in fact finer and more sleek with a squirt of blood orange and even more soil. Wow-fantastic Premier Cru.
White
2015 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
Yellow. Gee, I just cannot agree with the one note in the database that praised this for having a classic Chablis nose. To me, this was more Mâcon than Chablis with its ripe yellow apple tones. Thr Raveneau gloss and texture were there, but the acidity was not, leading to a sweet impression that left me cold. Some salinity and soil arrive late, so maybe there is more structure lurking than meets the eye. I'm not so sure, though.

It definitely went in the right direction after a night in the fridge. Apple is still the predominant aroma, although less exotic. Moreover, it became leaner, and the iodine and limestone only hinted at last night were more attention and palate grabbing. Who am I to question one of the masters of Chablis? It's probably fair to say, though, that this riper vintage style (á la 2009, for example) will never produce wines that are personal favorites.
Red
2009 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos de La Bussière France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru
Medium ruby central 90%. Once again, it roared out of the bottle with a sweet kirsch intensity, but if one waits an hour or so, there is camphor and mint as well. Ripe, sappy, medium plus weight, but patience, there is a goodly amount of soil and more than enough acidity to keep it lively. The tannins are also ripe but ready to assert themselves. I suspect that this one has pulled the wool over our eyes because of its stunning depth of fruit. It is on the cusp of burning off its substantial baby fat, and once it does, it will probably go into a shell for a decade or more before emerging as a fantastic mature wine. Fruit haters beware; you will find this much too vulgar and fleshy at this point.

Ah yes, the second night gives a better picture of where this is going. Ripe, medicinal black cherry could only come from a warm vintage, but the fruit/soil balance now approaches 50/50 and makes it more recognizable as a Morey St. Denis. What power and depth!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Domaine Valette Mâcon-Chaintré Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Chaintré
Tulip colored. Cidery aromas of fresh cut red and yellow apples. Generous, ripe entry with a sense of sweetness followed by very good balancing acidity and strong earth that carries the finish. Wonderful feel without seeming woody. While it has that sunny Mâcon fruit, it also has a degree of soil and character I don't often find in these wines. Unlike some bottles of Valette, this seems mature but has no oxidative character whatsoever, which came as quite a relief to me. Impressive.
Red
2010 Domaine Regis Rossignol-Changarnier Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Bourgogne
Light red, watery rim. Very light weight. More earth than red fruit on both the nose and palate. Acidic and not much interest to the flavors, which try to capture some sweet fruit.
White
2016 Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Frionnes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru
Coravin bottle. Pale. Lemony nose. Light bodied and taut. Less power and concentration than the 2014 but with excellent minerality that Lamy always seems to capture. Should put on weight with a couple of years in bottle.
White
2016 Domaine Chandon de Briailles Corton Blanc France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
Coravin bottle. Yellow. Relaively broad pear. It fills the mouth with clay richness. Discrete oak, average acidity, very good length. Very good Grand Cru but I don’t know how much it will improve from here.
Red
2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Champans France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
Coravin bottle. Light ruby. Mostly pine resin on the nose. Medium weight, lively red fruit and citrus; this is not nearly as ripe and sappy as other 2015’s. Not terribly tannic, but the wood asserts itself on the finish. I have a difficult time with Volnays done with this much wood.
Red
2015 Domaine Dujac Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Medium, even ruby. This led with fennel and pepper, but you just can't keep that 2015 fruit down, and soon there was an explosion of cherry, blueberry, citrus, and crushed baking spices. I spent many ecstatic minutes with my face buried in the glass taking in this perfume. Remarkable on the palate as well for the purity and restrained sweetness of fruit, supremely elegant feel, excellent acidity with a twist of cranberry (when was the last time I found that in this vintage?), gentle but firm tannins, and a tail of limestone. At once, this manages to both extract all of the exuberant pleasure of this vintage and restrain it. Absolutely superb poise and balance. I don't hold any illusions about the wine showing but a fraction of the nuance it will show in 20 years, but my god, this is so marvelous now that I'm thrilled I took a crack at it. Without question, the best red wine I have had during this trip to France and right up there with the greatest young wines I've ever tasted. Special.

The next day, still impressed with its plummy fruit balanced by strong acidity and soil. The tannins seem drier and more prominent, so perhaps it will take a long slumber before it opens out at full maturity. Glad I caught it now.
White
2016 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre "La Demoiselle" France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
Pale. Salt and citrus. Fairly light weight for Mellot but still some glycerine. Zippy orange and grapefruit pith, mouthwatering acidity, no trace of oak. Beautiful Sancerre.

The tangy citrus is just as intense the next. Strong effort that should drink well for 5 more years.
Red
2015 Domaine de Saint Andrieu Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux Vallongue France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
Nice clean light red fruited wine. Good freshness. I could drink this at 12 euros.
Red
2015 Domaine Saint Andrieu Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux Les marnes bleues France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
A bit more structured than the other 2015, but still good, clean, and relatively approachable.
Red
2002 Domaine de Saint Andrieu Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux L'Yeuse Noir France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
Tawny tone. Pruny, overripe aromas with some VA. Unctuous but hot and sour finish. No.
Red
2012 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
Very deep ruby but not opaque. Pine needles, violets, and then some blackberry. Medium weight, pretty tight at first, but then all sorts of good stuff begins to appear-strong olive and sneakily ripe blue and black fruit, most notably. This is all framed by fantastic acidity, a terrific sense of soil that runs through it, and late drying tannins. Not an exuberant Allemand at all right now, but more classic, backward Cornas complete with a touch of austerity, but the complexity, perfume, and strength of fruit are all there. By the end of the evening, it had begun to reverse course and zip up. I'll try it again tomorrow, but if this bottle provided a representative peek, I'd avoid opening any for another 8-10 years (not that I personally have any to open, sadly enough). It is probably beyond the time of showing its youthful burst of appeal.

After being open for 24 hours, the fruit still takes a brief bow to lead things, but the structure, including cranberry acidity, is doing most of the talking. Behind that initial blush of fruit, it has the lean, grippy feel of old time Cornas, albeit cleaner.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Denis (Isabelle et Denis) Pommier Petit Chablis France, Burgundy, Chablis, Petit Chablis
Bright yellow. Apply aromas with a hint of salinity. Medium weight, ripe entry but some finishing minerality. Short on acidity. A pleasant enough sip.
Red
2013 Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
Deep ruby core with minimal fading. Terrific aromas of red berry, menthol, and earth-smells like Gevrey! Like 2 different wines on the entry and finish, starting out with sappy, middleweight dark berry and ripe plum enlivened by a dollop of uplifting citrus. Then comes the back end with gravelly soil and dry, grainy tannins. This needs a few years to draw all of this together, but for a village wine, I was delighted with the depth of the fruit and the complexity it already shows.
White
2017 Jean Manciat Mâcon-Charnay France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Charnay
Medium yellow. Bright, cheery, ripe apple fruit, nice texture for this level. Glug glug without thinking too much.
White - Sparkling
2008 Marie-Noëlle Ledru Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Full yellow. Transient mousse. Black fruit and ginger. Medium weight. Deep, herbal complexity, dry but not austere in the least. Extremely enjoyable before and throughout the meal.
Red
2015 Domaine du Clos de l'Elu Anjou L'Aiglerie France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
Saturated ruby. Typical aromatics of dill and cherry. Not as big as the dense color would suggest nor as ripe as the vintage can be. Good fruit, quite mineral throughout. Good.
White
2016 L&C Poitout Chablis 1er Cru Les Fourneaux Opallion France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
Yellow. Reductive stink and some oyster. Medium weight, chalky feel, apple fruit, low acidity, harsh finishing soil. Poorly made wine.
White
2016 Domaine Poisot Pere & Fils Pernand-Vergelesses France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses
Medium yellow. Pear but mostly oak. Round vanilla flavors, wood spice, a bit of minerality, and drying astringency at the end. Ugh. Did I mention that this is a tad (more like a ton) too woody?
White
2016 Bret Brothers Viré-Clessé Sous les Plantes France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Viré-Clessé
Medium yellow. Yellow apple scents. Deep pitched, slightly sweet fruit, fine glycerine texture, average acidity, some earthy complexity at the end. A really good effort for early drinking.
Red
2017 Famille Laplace Madiran Les 2 Vaches Rouges France, Southwest France, Madiran
Very dark. Deep blueberry aromas. Big but not overripe, crackling, sappy fruit, and a touch of herbs. Round, lowish tannins. This is a really good VDF with a lot of character. I have minimal experience with Tannat but still can't remember many that provided such direct, early pleasure. Should be delicious over the next several years. A fun wine.
Red
2017 Marcel Lapierre Morgon France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
Light red. Tart cherry, strawberry, and incense. Light, lively, and sinuous. I thought this was a knockout and a classic Lapierre rather than one from the bigger vintages such as 2009 and 2015. You can drink this all night long it is so refreshing.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Lucien Le Moine Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
Medium center. All cool mint and menthol at first, but by the 3 hour mark, it had added smoke, red fruit, and citrus. Like the nose, it started out slowly on the palate as well, pretty thin, astringent, and soil driven. Then it began to pick up spicy red fruit tones backed by substantial acidity, and the back end has rather unforgiving dry tannins. Granted, many 2012's are in a funny, in between stage right now, and maybe this is one of them. Nevertheless, despite its positive development in the glass and very good potential, it never shouted that it was bound to become a great Les Saint Georges, so I'd have to say not as good as it should be.

Well, maybe I spoke (and drank) too soon. Now at 6+ hours, damned if it hasn't started to show ripe cherry, some sap, and overall much better texture until you reach the somewhat grainy tannins. Here's a novel idea if you open one soon-decant!!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. A. Margaine Champagne Premier Cru Extra Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Light yellow. Very fine bubbles. Herbal (2011 juice?) and lemony. Light, dry, tart citrus, a bit of austerity. The greenness at the end really detracts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Domaine Durand Cornas Empreintes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
Deep purple, almost opaque. Seductive aromas of blueberry jam, olive, and fennel. Ripe entry, wonderful feel upfront, excellent inner mouth aromatics. Good acidity and stone to balance with a fine grained tannic kick. In the more modern, polished vein of Cornas. I really liked this. One of my best finds this trip.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Léon Beyer Riesling France, Alsace
Pale. Candied citrus peel on the nose. Light, off dry, mostly orange but some stone fruit, bristling acidity, and excellent stony finish. Very good base cuvée.
Red
2016 Jean Foillard Morgon France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
Dull light red. Gentle strawberry and soil tones. Good ripeness but essentially tart red fruit. This just glides across the palate with softness, delicacy, and a lovely texture imparted by the soil. Excellent for drinking over the next few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Beaumont des Crayères Champagne Brut France, Champagne
Full bodied, a little oak toast, moderate dosage, reasonably fresh. Not a half bad airplane Champagne.
Red
2015 Jean-Luc Colombo Syrah Les Collines De Laure France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Dark ruby. Lean and mostly scents and flavors of olive. Some light red fruit and florals as well. Pleasant enought but they sure didn't get a lot out of this excellent year.

Closing

The only sad note to all of this wonderful wine is that all of a sudden (and by this I mean over the last 6 months), wine pricing at some of the reliable old haunts has skyrocketed, reflecting retail and auction markets. Oh well.

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