Thursday, March 31, 2011

Les Nuits au Grand Jour in Nuits-Saint-Georges

Burgundy as we know it is one of the most complicated regions to understand for a wine enthusiast. Even more difficult is remembering all the sub-regions/districts and communes or villages. Add to that 100 different appellations which could be regional, village/communal, premier cru and grand cru. From the perspective of understanding the above complexities, the recent effort from ‘Le Syndicat viticole de Nuits Saint Georges et Premaux-Prissey’ was certainly a step in the right direction.
The exhibition hall for the event
With about 40 vignerons exhibiting their wines through open tastings, this was a good opportunity to try the classic Burgundian Pinot Noir wines but with some cool experimentations done by a few here and there. Not as big as the other expos and events I have attended in the recent past in France, this one certainly didn’t disappoint on the quality front. With not many whites to choose from, a few were really impressive. A 2009 Bourgogne Aligoté from Domaine Gachot-Monot for its price was certainly a value deal. As otherwise perceived, this wine was not super acidic or boring, it rather had some character and balance that could make for a good aperitif for a Sunday brunch or to begin a long drinking day. Another brilliant white was from Maison Sylvain Loichet who with their 2007 Corton Charlemagne blew me away thanks to its opulence and luscious flavour profile with a forever lasting finish.
Amaury Devillard of Domaine des Perdrix
Wines from Amaur's domaine who is pictured left

A red wine dominated event, the wines reflected the peculiarity of the vintages on display. With 2008s characterised by soft tannins and a very fresh acidity which would help age them long, they had almost developed red fruit character with slight oak. The 2009s on the other hand with their youthful cassis and strawberry nose had a bit more to the palate with a good balance of fruit and acidity but were slightly tannic too. Nonetheless, they are certainly developing promisingly and in my opinion will be fully drinkable in a year or two. But it was the small vineyard site of “Les Damodes” that was really the star of the event for me. With developed red fruits characteristics, the nose almost transcended into the black fruits zone. On the palate it was fuller bodied with a great roundness and a good structure and the overall quality touching the high end of the spectrum. Noteworthy makers harvesting from this site were Domaine Chantal Lescure, Domaine Jean-Pierre Bony and Domaine Lechenaut. What also made me drool were these superb wines from Domaine des Perdrix, viz.2008 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Aux Perdrix”, a Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Les 8 ouvrées” from the same vintage and the 2007 Echézeaux Grand Cru.
The ideal way to conclude the day-long tasting activity was to have a sparkling and that’s exactly what I did! With Maison Louis Bouillot helping with their full range of Cremants, it was the Blanc de Blanc and the rounder, fruitier Perle Rare that set the appetite for a heavy dinner! 

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