Summer in London can be difficult at the best of times – the sardine-tin tubes, the hoards of tourists, the sweat-drench suits…so last month, the Vintner team hopped over the channel for a wine weekend away. But this was no ordinary booze cruise. Far from a shopping spree in Calais’ Carre Four, we journeyed to Beaune – the capital of Burgundy – to  visit some of our existing producers as well as taste wines from as yet undiscovered domaines. Indeed, this was an educational trip, a chance for everyone to enhance their understanding and appreciation of this enigmatic region.

Our weekend began with a visit to Maison David Moret, in the centre of Beaune. We currently list three of David’s wines: Rully 2012, Puligny-Montrachet 2012 and Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Folatieres’ 2011. After we refreshed our memories with a couple of glasses, we were reminded why that is the case. David might not own any vines but he’s got his finger firmly on the pulse, and is able to produce exclusively white wines using the finest fruit sourced across the Cote de Beaune. We tasted the 2013 vintage from barrel across his whole range as well as trying a couple of older vintages (it would have been rude not to…). The wines were superb – rich in style but with the balance and elegance that typifies the best white Burgundies. Moret, along with many other producers is constantly considering the ‘tension’ in his wines – the fine balance created as richness and generosity battle with minerality and acidity. It is this tension that makes white Burgundy so alluring and delicious.

Tasting at David Moret

Tasting at David Moret

Next on the itinerary was a visit to Pascual Arnoux at Domaine Arnoux Pere et Fils in Chorey Les Beaune. Pascual produces the Chorey Les Beaune 2011, Savigny Les Beaune 2011 and Beaune 1er Cru ‘En Genet’ 2011 that many of you will recognise from our 100 Wines list. Again, a swift tasting reminded us why these wines are so popular with our clients. The 2012 vintage tasted fantastic, each wine displaying all of the power and structure to indicate great ageing potential. We tried the 1999 Savigny Les Beaune which gave us a glimpse of what Pascual’s wines can become. It was still fresh and soft with beautiful red fruits whilst boasting the secondary characteristics of menthol and leather that lovers of aged red Burgundy long for.

A tour of the Vosne Romanée vineyards followed, including the Romanée-Conti vineyard of Domaine Romanée Conti – birthplace of the most expensive wine on the planet and erm, not on our Wine List…

Vosne Romanée vineyards

Vosne Romanée vineyards

Saturday centered around a visit to Hervé Kerlann’s Chateau de Laborde in Meursanges. The technical Director of the Kerlann operation, Clement Piquet, showed us around the beautiful estate before sitting us down to a tasting of wines across the Hervé Kerlann portfolio. The Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Gevrey-Chambertin were both tasting very promising for the upcoming vintage and we look forward to listing them again.

Before our flight home on Sunday, we had time to squeeze in just one more visit. This time, we dropped in at Julien Collovray’s winery in Macon, for the chance to learn about wine-making on a much larger scale.

Collovray’s operation and portfolio are far bigger than the other producers we’d visited during the weekend and the scale of the wine-making was mightily impressive. We list Julien’s brilliant Pouilly Fuisée 2012 & St. Veran 2012, and these wines are really reaching their peak now. Alongside these, we also tried newer vintages of each to get a glimpse of what we have to come. Rest assured, the Pouilly Fuisée 2013 & St. Veran 2013 are absolute belters and we’re certain you’ll love them.

 

@thevintner @wjtrotman The Vintner