Oeno-File, the Wine & Gastronomy Column

by Frank Ward

Archive for the ‘Burgundy’ Category

The Master of Montrachet

Posted by Frank Ward on September 30, 2018

September 2018. PORTRAIT. Pierre RAMONET of Burgundy, just short of eighty when I met him in the early 1980s, and one of the greatest wine makers in France, had dreamed all his life of owning a parcel of a small plot of land south of Beaune that happens to give the best dry white wine in the world. The grand cru vineyard called Montrachet. Ramonet had long owned parts of the adjoining vineyards Bâtard-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, both grand cru vineyards too and able to yield great wines, so it cannot be said that he had ever played second fiddle. But when at Iong last, in his seventy-third year, he obtained a tiny segment of Montrachet in 1978, it was as if a virtuoso violinist had come into possession of a Stradivarius [….]. Sebastião Salgado

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Tasting of 2015 Burgundies from Top Estates

Posted by Frank Ward on April 22, 2018

April 2018. I recently attended a major tasting of 2015 Burgundies, hosted in Paris by the Domaines Familiaux de Bourgogne, a grouping of some 26 family-owned domaines of high repute. The venue: Le Pavillon Ledoyen, a three-star restaurant located beside Le Petit Palais just off the Champs Elysées. I already knew that 2015 was a great vintage in Burgundy. This memorable tasting confirmed it.[….].

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Memories of Charles Rousseau

Posted by Frank Ward on June 27, 2016

AvatarJune 2016. I felt a real pang when I heard of the recent death of Charles Rousseau, of Domaine Armand Rousseau, at the age of 93. He was not just a great vigneron and wine-maker, he was also a man of exceptional warmth and humanity. I’d known him for more than 35 years. When I first met Charles Rousseau in the early 1980s, he gave me a splendid tasting of the Domaine’s wines (in the underrated 1980 vintage – excellent in the Côte de Nuits as well as in the Rhône). [….]

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Burgundy Part II : From Chorey to Gevrey Chambertin

Posted by Frank Ward on January 10, 2016

AvatarJanuary 2016. DOMAINE TOLLOT BEAUT. Based in the hamlet of Chorey Les Beaune, this respected domaine has 25 hectares of vines and makes a total of 16 different wines, two of them white: a humble generic, Bourgogne Blanc, and an illustrious Grand Cru, Corton-Charlemagne. On the red side, at entry level, they make an excellent Bourgogne Rouge (which can improve for 4-8 years, sometimes more) while other reds include two different Choreys, two Savigny Premiers Crus, several Aloxe Cortons including two Premiers Crus, two Beaune Premiers Crus, and two Grand Cru Cortons – a Corton tout simple and Corton-Bressandes. We’re received by Olivier Tollot, in charge of viticulture [….]

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Three Puligny Domaines in 2013 & 2014

Posted by Frank Ward on November 22, 2015

AvatarNovember 2015. ETIENNE SAUZET. Gérard Boudot, sympathetic and close to his vines and wines, has been in charge here for over thirty years. Among many superlative wines, including a whole range of Premier and Grand Cru whites, he makes a Bourgogne Blanc from three separate plots, one of which – Les Combes – has 60-year-old vines. The rest are younger, some only a dozen years old. They’re all vinified in barrel, none of which is new, and have been used for two to four vintages. [….]

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July Samplings in Kent

Posted by Frank Ward on August 31, 2014

AvatarAugust 2014. The month of July got off to an excellent start with another evening with our friends Keith and Clare Powis in their home near Whistable. To accompany a sequence of dishes – pea soup, guinea fowl, an assortment of cheeses, and dessert – we had a fascinating sequence of wines from a whole range of vintages, regions, and countries. As aperitif, a forceful, full-bodied Perrier-Jouet Belle Époque which showed great richness but was (to my taste) unduly bitter. A Margaret Thatcher of a wine, it brooked no opposition and took over full control of the palate.

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Tasting 13 mature wines from Domaine de la Romanée Conti

Posted by Frank Ward on May 24, 2014

AvatarMay 2014. In vinous terms, the commune of Vosne-Romanée has often been described as the jewel in Burgundy’s crown. In particular, the wines from Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC), based in that commune, are possibly the most sought-after reds in the entire world. They are also astronomically expensive. This means that scarcely anybody who is not extremely wealthy ever gets a chance to taste them. Or even to sniff the cork. And that’s just the young vintages.

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The Romanée Conti Expedition – Part II

Posted by Frank Ward on July 18, 2012

Our lunch at Le Millésime the previous day had been so enjoyable that we decide to repeat the experience today. Propinquity (it’s only two kilometres away) also plays a role in the decision. Another three courses for less than 20 Euros take the edge off our hunger, while the recollection of the stunning DRC wines, still perfuming our palates, has us almost panting aloud for a delicious wine. We go for a 2007 (a delectable, easy-to-drink vintage) Chambolle Musigny*** from Domaine Georges Roumier, one of Burgundy’s finest producers. 

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The Romanée Conti Expedition – Part I

Posted by Frank Ward on June 30, 2012

As we set off for Chablis – a lovely name don’t you think? – rain hammers down on the car and will continue to fall heavily for the whole of our 600 km journey, the final destination of which Puligny-Montrachet south of Beaune – like Chablis, a famous wine village. Our spirits remain buoyant, despite the dreary weather, as we have much to look forward to: a number of visits to top wine domains and as many delicious meals as can be packed into four days. One of the high points of the trip will be a tasting at Domaine de la Romanée Conti.

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A taste of Burgundy – Part II

Posted by Frank Ward on September 17, 2011

lt’s a bright sunny day and the sloping vineyards of Morey Saint Denis are in full leaf and looking at their best. I’ve just left Domaine Dujac, with celestial savours Iingering on my palate, and realize that there’s a thirty-minute gap in my programme. Que faire? The famous Clos des Lambrays, one of Morey’s four Grands Crus, is just around the corner and the wine would be well worth tasting.

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