• bruce sanderson decanted

    Morning in Meursault

    Tasting the 2012 Burgundies at René Lequin-Colin, Domaine Caillot and Philippe Bouzereau
    Posted: Feb 5, 2014 3:50pm ET

    I've just recently returned from my annual visit to Burgundy, where my focus was the 2012 vintage. It was a challenging one for growers but, in the end, there are some lovely wines. I tasted more than 330 young reds and whites, mostly from barrel, although some wines had been racked from barrel and blended in tank for the bottling. In some cases, mostly whites, the wines had recently been bottled. All wines were tasted non-blind.

    Domaine René Lequin-Colin

    My first visit began in Meursault, where I met with François Lequin, winemaker at his family's Domaine René Lequin-Colin. He bottled the whites just before Christmas; the reds are in tank and will be bottled soon.

    As of 2012, Lequin-Colin is certified organic, but it's not indicated on the label. Despite about 50 percent lower yields due to frost, poor flowering, hail and some rain during the harvest, the grapes were healthy and Lequin was able to use almost all the lees for the élévagein barrels.

    "For both white and red, we have good balance," he said. "The whites are surprising because usually with such low yields, you can have atypical Chardonnay, but in '12 they are very expressive of Burgundy. It's a nice vintage to drink early, but they can age."

    Lequin made five barrels of Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots in 2012, compared with 12 barrels in an average year. His parcels are in Grand Clos and Téte de Clos, where the vines average 20 and 40 years of age, respectively. The 2012 is rich and broad, yet stays in bounds, with apple, honey and a touch of lime flavors, nice texture and length (89–92 points, non-blind).

    The Corton-Charlemagne offered a flinty, stony nose with hints of pear and citrus. It has plenty of density and structure, with a long finish (90–93). The Bâtard-Montrachet, by contrast, was more masculine yet less dense and almost viscous in texture, showing floral, lemon, apple and peach notes (91–94).

    For value, don't overlook the Bourgogne White, a clean, fresh white sporting citrus and lime flavors and a juicy finish (85–88).

    In addition to Bourgogne Rouge, Lequin showed me a Santenay Vieilles Vignes and his premier cru Santenay La Comme. Both were awkward from the end of the malolactic conversion, but showed fine potential (87–90 for each).

    Domaine Caillot

    Domaine Caillot was founded in the 1960s by Michel Caillot's grandfather. Michel has been fully responsible for this 36-acre property since 1995. Both the whites and reds undergo a long élévage of 12 months in barrel and 12 months in tank. All the wines had been racked initially in July and then in September from barrel into tank.

    Caillot harvested on the early side in 2012, beginning  Sept. 1 (compared with mid- to late-September for most domaines and houses). His volume is 75 percent lower than average, due to coulure during flowering and hail, which hit the southern part of the Côte de Beaune three times in 2012.

    Among the whites, I liked the Santenay for its vibrant lime, apple and mineral elements (87–90). TheMeursault Le Cromin is rich and broad (88–91), yet both the tightly wound and floral-tinged Meursault La Barre Dessous and dense, lemony Meursault Le Tesson are a step up (89–92 each).

    From Puligny, Les Folatières is aerial and floral, with fine length (90–93), and Les Pucelles is racy, boasting lime, hazelnut, buried mineral and spice flavors and a classy profile (91–94). In an average year, Les Pucelles sees 25 percent new oak; in 2012, there was only one barrel, so it was new.

    Among the five reds I tasted, there was a spicy, rich, black cherry- and licorice-flavored Monthélie (86–89) and a concentrated, earthy Pommard Les Epenots, underlined by mineral and smoky oak (89–92). Les Epenotsalso saw 100 percent new oak due to the small crop.

    In fact, Caillot normally makes Bâtard-Montrachet and Volnay Clos des Chênes, but in 2012, he sold them to négociants.

    Philippe Bouzereau

    Philippe Bouzereau, Jr., now 33, has been vinifying the wines at his family's 37-acre Château de Citeaux estate since 2006. There are usually 25 wines in the range, mostly white, from Santenay to Corton. In 2012, some of the cuvées were sold to négociants.

    During the period from 2001 to 2012, the wines were fermented with cultured yeast, but as of the 2013 harvest, Bouzereau reverted back to indigenous yeast. Malolactic is spontaneous, and the wines see 10 months in barrel followed by six months in tank before bottling. The 2012s were racked into tank just before the 2013 harvest. Bouzereau uses a maximum of 20 to 25 percent new oak.

    There was 50 percent less volume in 2012 at chez Bouzereau. There was a potentially outstanding Chassagne, showing harmony to its floral, apple and peach notes and rich texture (87–90). The Meursault Grands Charrons might be considered textbook Meursault for its fat texture, honey, peach and mouthfilling character. Yet it remains balanced and long (88–91). The Meursault Vieux Clos was less forthcoming in aromas, yet dense, structured and long, its lime blossom and apple flavors underscored by mineral (88–91).

    A delicate, cherry-, raspberry- and spice-filled Auxey-Duresses Les Duresses (87–90) was followed by a firm, focused Corton-Bressandes, whose cherry, spice and smoke notes are dense and long (89–92).


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  • 1082018_321425541327130_2014583869_n
    Frédéric de l'art du tonneau nous dévoile tout les secrets de fabrication des Tonneaux de Bourgogne. 
    Mais que se cache t'il dans ces pots??? 
    Les académies du vins, se sont déroulées le Dimanche 28 Juillet 2013.
    Voici quelques clichés pris par une de nos participante ( Celine D) 

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  • epoch timestitre ET

                             LIEN ARTICLE

     When British expat Clive Cummings decided to buy Abbaye de la Bussière, a 900-year-old Cistercian monastery in the heart of the Burgundian countryside, and turn it into a five-star hotel, the quality of the food was of primary importance. His chef, Olivier Elzer, won a Michelin star in 2007, the first year the abbey welcomed non-monkish guests. Elzer soon departed to work for the likes of Joël Robuchon, but chef Emmanuel Hébrard, who took over the kitchen, has kept the abbey’s Michelin star burning brightly above its signature restaurant.


    At a meal there last month, each dish served was a perfectly balanced culinary adventure. Hébrard opened with richly flavored chicken oysters, the small bulbs of meat at the top of the chicken leg. Cooked with honey and ginger, he paired them with succulent bits of crayfish drizzled with horseradish cream. Tiny edible flowers and herbs garnished the rainbow of meats. The entrée that followed was a delicate turbot, the imperial fish of ancient Rome, served with mushrooms, tiny potato dumplings, and seasonal fresh asparagus.

    Everywhere you go in Burgundy, next to the vineyards, stretch green fields of grazing cows with the occasional flock of sheep.  They produce some of the world’s finest cheeses, and the cheese trolley in Hébrard’s restaurant was truly sumptuous. Sampled with an Aloxe-Corton Premier Cru 2007, a nibble of two of the area’s signature cheeses, Epoisse and Aisy cendré was a satisfying experience.  Dessert was a confection of fresh strawberries and red wine sauce with a sheep’s milk yogurt that was pleasantly refreshing. 

    A short drive from the historic Burgundian town of Beaune are the tasting rooms of Domaine du Château de Cîteaux Philippe Bouzereau.  This establishment is set on a rise of land overlooking acres of vineyards flowing around historic houses. If the weather turns cloudy, as it did the day I was there, the picnic moves into an attractive stone-walled room but when the sun shines, the terraces and their umbrellas offer amazing views in all directions.

    As part of the tasting process, Michelin-starred chef Laurent Peugeot has prepared a picnic (Le Pic-Nic) to set off the domaine’s wines grown from grape vineyards once given by the duke of Burgundy to the monks of Cîteaux. Visitors are offered a chic black bag of food typical of the French countryside while a knowledgeable expert explains the label’s wines. 

    In my bag I found tuna and salmon sandwiches, crusty rolls, a rich panna cotta flavored with bacon, salade plomb (tiny pasta pearls tossed with salmon), and a three-layered mousse of coconut and macadamia under caramel, topped by a chocolate nutella. Three cheeses from the local cheesemaker filled another tiny glass pot. For tasting, the winery offered two white Chardonnays, two red Pinot Noirs, and a crémant with the full-bodied Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru 2009 a standout.

    If Burgundy produces sensational food, Michelin stars also shine down on its neighboring province, Champagne. At the Hostellerie de la Montagne in the village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises is the surprising Michelin-starred restaurant presided over by Jean-Baptiste Natali. 

    Surrounded by pastoral French countryside, Natali creates some delicious dishes from a wide variety of local produce. His velouté of cèpe mushrooms topped by a scoop of red cabbage ice cream was not only unexpected but had me scraping my bowl. The next course was like a puzzle. A sealed container opened to expose blanched asparagus en gelée meant to be scooped into a thick cold soup make from crème anglaise flavored with herbs. For me, the soup needed a bit more flavor to highlight the asparagus properly, but the presentation was imaginative.

    It was asparagus season, so the chef’s tender piece of milk-fed veal was paired with baby asparagus tips, tiny onions, and fricasseed cèpes. 

    As in Burgundy, Champagne is a mecca for cheese, and the signature cheese of the region, Langres, is made from cow’s milk and has received an Appellation d’origine controlée, a French certification of geographical origin awarded to only 40 of France’s cheeses. Natali’s dessert took advantage of the local rhubarb crop and served it in red and green varieties, stewed whole with a rich crémeux à la Reine des Prés and pulped with sugar biscuits. 

    Like his compatriots and his countrymen, Natali takes his food seriously. He is one of a growing number of young chefs who have made the inns of the French countryside not only pleasant places to stop but offer unexpected adventures in eating.

    Susan James is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She has lived in India, the United Kingdom, and Hawaii and writes about art and culture. 

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