The Shady Dogs planned a big night, and it was wine after wine being pulled out of their cellar. Even though SWMBO and I had been up for many, many hours, one just couldn’t get tired with all the vinous treasures being brought out. As the night wore on, there’s the bracket of red burgundies that brightened everbody’s faces. I can’t remember every single bottle, but here’ a good try.
To set the scene, a 2008 Thierry Violot-Guillemard Pommard 1er ‘Epenots’. Though the appellation had size and structure on its side, it was the cooler vintage that won through. The Burgundians talk about wines from a cool, higher acid year as being more transparent for the exppression of terroir. Cooler, greener fruit and no great structure, as well as a sinewy feel isn’t Pommard to me. Having said that, it was still a tasty Pinot Noir, on the simpler side.
Then onto something serious. The 2005 Mongeard Mugneret Cos de Vougeot Grand Cru. Quite bid and tough, with a ‘look at me’ attitude. Savoury secondary earthy aromas and flavours, black rather than brown fruits. Big structure and density. No prettiness here, but a statement of year, and grand cru size. I’d have like a little more sense of aromatics, florals and ethereals to show the Pinot Noir conduit, but again vintage, but also terroir came through.Armand Rousseau is everyone’s favourite burgundy producer. I’ve drunk and tasted the full range of wines for nearly two decades, but nowadays, I don’t earn enough to do so with any regularity. When in the company of Chambertin, Clos de Beze and Clos St Jacques, it was easy to put poor old accessible and charming 2009 Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru into the second tier of grand cru. But here, on its own, quite sublime, with fragrance and elegance, beauty and suppleness. But lo and behold, it had an iron core of structure and grip. This was more than pretty. It was pretty serious, and classical, perfect Pinot Noir and the charming side of Gevrey, if there ever is one.
Big name time: Domaine Romanee-Conti. The bottles are big in physical dimension. The font size is bold and statement making. Even in a less than outstanding year, DRC commands attention. And so did the 2007 Domaine Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru. Even at this level, the lesser of the DRC range is still head and shoulders-worthy above almost everything else. This has moved into the secondary and tertiary complexity stages. But still wonderfully structured and mouthfilling. Great vitality, though now becoming a bit funky and somewht less than pristine. A tactless person might hint at brettanomyces. A sophisticated person might talk about complex corruption. I’m certainly not that clever. In any case, we all tipped our hats and gave silent thanks to the Shady Dogs’ generosity.
Then the one wine to rule them all on this night, a 2009 Comte de Vogue Bonnes Mares Grand Cru. Opulence and succulence, with great clarity of fruit and the wonderful expression of blood, visceral bits and hints of fur from the northern Cote de Nuits as in Gevrey and Morey. There’s no focussed beauty and perfumes of Chambolle in this, as Bonnes Mares is removed from the feminine site, and more into the animal and manly side. Great structure married to richness, so that this is quite complete. Like the Rousseau before it, there’s no over-richness of the 2009 vintage here. Only masters can manage to prevail over vintage. de Vogue is one of those masters.