Published 26 January 2012
En Primeur tastings are strange. You’re given wines that aren’t even bottled yet, and you have to make a judgement on whether they’re good value or not… in x number of years. There is certainly a skill to it; one which I don’t possess. For more information on en primeur, see Matt Walls’ great article on mattwalls.co.uk .
But they’re good fun. Bibendum has to put on some of my favourite tasting events: Monday’s (9th January 2012) was at RIBA (London). It’s not plush or fancy, but it’s well organised and the Bibendum guys are good company. However, due to it being quite busy (it’s open to their customers too), I skipped the first half of the tasting – so all the wines I tasted are reds.
The other Burgundy tasting I made this year was Corney & Barrow’s. I’ve bought Bordeaux en primeur through them before, but never Burgundy, nor have I been to their Burgundy tasting. In terms of venue, this won: it was at the Tower of London. It’s quite a venue. Unfortunately, I was clock watching, so had to pick and choose a few wines to taste.
The 2010 vintage is described by Bibendum as “in complete contrast to the flamboyant fruit in 2009” and “quietly outstanding”. 2010 certainly has acidity present (apparently the winemaker’s have described this as “beautiful freshness”) which, along with the fruit, gives it balance.
As these wines aren’t yet bottled (the liquid is still in Burgundy), they are sold “in bond”. In short, this means that the duty payable at the point of entry to the UK is not included in the price published. This is a flat fee (£1.81 per bottle for the wines listed here) which you will be liable to pay before you take delivery. They also exclude VAT. So, on a case you need to add £21.71 + any delivery/storage or other fees the seller may charge + 20% VAT. So, make sure you check out all the costs before you decide to buy any of these wines.
Note: All prices are for 12 bottles, In Bond, exc VAT (unless otherwise stated)
- Domaine Jean Chauvenet, Nuits-St-Georges, 1er Cru Les Damodes 2010 (£350): medium aromas, with medium tannins and crisp acidity. Drink 2014-2025.
- BARGAIN OF THE DAY: Domaine Hudelot-Noellat, Bourgogne Rouge 2010 (£58 for 6 bottles): very fruity aromas (could that be peach?!), powerful acidity and medium tannins, long length. Drink from 2014.
- Domaine Hudelot-Noellat, Chambolle-Musigny 2010 (£145 for 6 bottles): lots more fruit in the aromas than the Bourgogne Rouge from the same producer (see above), and much smoother tannins. Good to drink from now.
- Maison Roche de Bellene (Nicolas Potel), Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2010 (£425 for 6 bottles): slightly maderised (in a pleasant way), good fruit and high acidity so should be great in a few years. Drink from 2018?
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Echezeaux Grand Cru 2010 (£650 for 6 bottles): herbaceous aromas which disappear quite quickly leaving red fruit aromas, medium tannin, short/medium length. I’m not sure that I’d buy this at the high price, but it is a good wine.
- Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers 2010 (£185 for 6 bottles): sweet tasting initially leading to a wine with good fruit and acidity, medium tannins and long length. Drink from 2015/16+
- Domain Dupont-Tisserandot, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 (£300 for 6 bottles): a lovely sticker gum aromas and a lot more rounded than the Gevrey-Chambertin from the same producer (see above). Typical Pinot Noir flavours, low/medium tannins (leading to medium/high tannins in the length). Medium length.
Corney & Barrow white
- Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay 1er Cru (£360): a well-balanced wine, with decent fruit aromas and long length.
Corney & Barrow red
- Domaine Gilles Jourdan Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes (£110): typical Pinot Noir fruit aromas, sufficient power of the fruit and acidity. Less tannin than other wines. Good value.
- Domain Gilles Jouran Cote de Nuits-Villages (£165): low fruit aromas, but initial fruit in the mouth and good length.