Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 3 in Burgundy

TJ was now firmly into the routine of getting up early to scribble, feeling a bit dodgy, and repeatedly crashing the poor hotel computer with a wonky USB drive. Fortunately breakfast was a real fortifier. Juice to wake your mouth up, coffee to wake your brain up, baguette to wake your stomach up, and muesli to wake your…er…digestion up.

Our 8.30 was at Denis Mortet and we joined up with the Goedhuis boys and girl to continue our tasting tour. There was a palpable air of sadness in the cellars as we tasted without the legendary Denis, who passed away earlier in the year. The wines were a treat with the Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc screaming for attention. At the top end, the grand cru Chambertin was outstanding, the perfect experience punctuated only by Ben taking a call to arrange the weekend tee-off times. Willie’s hysterics soon put paid to that though…you can’t even give these boys a sniff of a joke and hope to get away with it.

On to see the gentleman, Etienne Grivot, where 1st order of the visit was sorting out dinner plans.
“And under what name would you like to book the restaurant?”
“Monsieur Willie Lebus” (pronounced Leboo). And thus a Brazilian-footballer-style one word name was born…Leboo had arrived! The wines were of seamless purity and flavour. Each vineyard perfectly expressed its terroir under the watchful care of this Burgundy Master. Of the Echezaux…”C’est comme une caresse…” And it was.

Meo-Camuzet will always stick in the mind for having the coldest cellars, some great but chilly wine, and some lively Bibendum-Goedhuis cut and thrust.
“You want someone to come and work for you Goedhuis?”
“Thanks Willie, are you sending the Kiwi carpenter?”
“No I was thinking more of the four-eyed monster.” Well don’t worry dear reader; I’m still here, glasses polished and ready for action.

The next destination had all the old boys salivating like mad. Ghislaine Barthod’s hero’s welcome for Leboo – “C’est un honeur” with much bowing and hugging, had our man scuttling bright-faced behind a barrel, with just a suspicion of a ghost in the trousers! For the Bourgogne Rouge and Chambolle Village, dix points! This lady is the undisputed queen of Chambolle and utterly charming to boot. As we marvelled at the quality of the 1er crus, strains of ‘American Woman’ rang out across the cellar.
“You’re scaring me Willie” Goedhuis’ female member was getting a true baptism of fire and started edging back towards the barrels. “American woman, listen what I say…”

Off into a vrai shed and there’s the mercurial wine genius, Emmanuel Rouget, larger than life, with his raft of blue chip appellations bursting from our glasses to pop a few synapses in the brain. As we said goodbye to Emannuel, he loped off to try to pull our friend Claude Kolm out of the ditch he had reversed his car into. Ahh….the glamorous life of the cult winemaker.

Final stop of another long day was at Domaine Chauvenet, where the ever genial Christophe Drag (pictured above) welcomed us with empty glasses and a full breadbasket – what a man! Perhaps it was the wine, but it seemed like the finest walnut bread any of us had ever eaten. And his Nuits St. George Villages and 1er crus were nothing short of sensational as well, with creamy black fruit, richness and balance. And as we left we were relieved that Christophe agreed to attend our En Primeur tasting on January 9th. Of course we had to promise him an ‘exciting’ night out afterwards in London…you’ll come along too won’t you?!


At 6:36 AM, Blogger Dreamer53 said...

Quite a good account of a holiday in Burgundy!! makes me salivate! ... unfortunately it does not tell me much about the wines...the important bit when you count say 12 wines per producer and that producer's success is key to the quality of the wine! Please, be more specific just like when you do Bordeaux futures where you analyses and rated the wines!

At 8:09 AM, Blogger The Juice said...

You'll just have to wait for our Mega Burgundy Offer which we'll be sending out over the New Year (make sure you get yourself on the mailing list). It will have all those juicy little bits and pieces that you crave!


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