Sunday, February 9, 2014

Band of Brothers

The Tree Man and I ended up on the same table.  A coincidence?  Maybe not as we share a liking for many things, including burgundies and how they complement the mainly New Zealand Pinot Noirs we normally taste and drink.  We brought out our French offerings for the night and lined them up.  It’s great that the diversity of Burgundy means that only rarely do bottles get doubled up!  What a nice trio, brothers for sure, and a good band of wines to compare.

Young and lesser first.  The 2010 Henri Boillot Volnay 1er ‘Les Chevrets’ looks young and fresh, but immediately on nosing it, it wasn’t so.  Marred by brettanomyces and stale farmyard aromas.  A strong wine, stronger and more robust than expected for Volnay, so a winemaker’s hand and style in drawing out the sweet fruit and flesh was at work.  The concession to the Volnay was the elevated acidity, the active limestone of the terroir.  A good line of fine tannin may have been another nod to its origins.  But here, brett ruled.  This brother stayed on the farm.

Then onto the real gem, a 2010 Anne Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru.  I’ve saw this last year and was quite amazed at how alive and vital it was, especially against the 2009, which was a bigger and rounder wine.  On this occasion, supremely elegant and pretty, if a grand cru from Echezeaux can be called such.  But lovely layers of florals and perfumes, and gorgeous sweetness and succulence.. Extremely fine-featured and juicy in this company, its primary fruit just standing out.  As one sipped on this, a growing concentration made itself felt.  This brother, a young lad, was clearly destined for a sophisticated if not privileged life.

Finally a 2007 Domaine Arlaud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru.  Not the greatest of years, and nowshowing asome fading in colour.  Yet on nose with good volume, and complex characters, some dried herbals for sure, and with a core of blood and fur as Gevrey-Chambertin can gve.  This was all together and in harmony.  Beginning to dry a little in the mouth, and certainly layers of interest, and not at all shy.  This had depth and length.  It’ll not make complex old bones, but it gives all it has got and in a friendly way.  An older brother who has seen a bit of life.

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