I’d heard of clay and limestone soils in Bourgogne, but granite? Surely not! A tasting with Domaine Daniel Barraud of their single parcel Mâcon Chaintré, Pierres Polies proved me wrong, with polished granite pebbles littering the vineyard. Fresh and cool on the nose, fine and elegant on the palate with juicy pear and quince flavour. And the marked minerality – from the unusual soil perhaps?
Watson sidled up to me, and with a suspiciously innocent look, he asked “I’m sure you’re correct Holmes, but how exactly do you define minerality?” And with that, an even deeper mystery opened up before us…
I sat at home one evening, packing my pipe at the small table near the fire, when I heard a knock at the door. On opening it, there was no-one to be seen. Looking down, I saw a folded piece of paper. It read “If you’re looking for value, find the Red Vine.” In my experience vines are brown; there was clearly more to this than meets the eye…
The next morning, I visited the Lea & Sandeman tasting and there it was – the Domaine François LUMPP Givry Premier Cru? à Vigne Rouge. Bright, sappy, resinous raspberry scents; concentrated, juicy and lively on the palate with very fine tannins and twinkling acidity – a pure delight. Yet again Givry proves itself a source of extraordinary value.
Working my way through the Goedhuis tasting, I came across a wine that was new to me – a Premier Cru, Troesmes. I tasted it, eager to discover something new, but it was like shaking hands with an old friend… I knew this wine. Surely it was Domaine POMMIER’s Chablis Premier Cru, Beauroy under a different name. What the devil was going on?
I raised my concerns with Watson, but he put my mind at rest; Troesmes is a smaller parcel of the larger Beauroy climat. A finer division with its own unique character. And very special it was; aromas of lemon peel and sun-warmed hay and a long, pithy, dry finish. A climat inside a climat; “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Who was it that said that? Me, probably. I always was rather smart.
My only clue? For elegance and value, find ‘the cold vineyard’. Well having spoken to several winemakers it seems like a good number of vineyards in Bourgogne were on the chilly side in early 2016. I had to think laterally…
Then I saw it – the Domaine Hubert LAMY Saint-Aubin Premier Cru, Les Frionnes – ‘frionnes’ is a reference to the vineyard’s cold microclimate in old French. Like many growers, they were hit by frost in the spring, but soldiered on to make a perfectly balanced wine brimming with juicy citrus peels and a lifted floral aroma. Saint-Aubin is no longer the insider’s secret it once was, but it remains the source of some fantastically good value wines.
To discover day 2, click HERE
To discover day 3, click HERE
To discover day 4, click HERE
To discover day 5, click HERE