Burgundy Tasting #3

This was the third Burgundy tasting (right?) for my wine tasting group and it was great.  OK, so I am far from a Burgundy aficionado.  And yes, there are sure to be people out there who will cringe to learn that I did not feel as if I had died and gone to heaven while drinking these wines.  Furthermore, at times  I will admit that I MUCH prefer a big, bold Cab.  But Burgundy is said to be the holy grail of wine, the most terroir expressing of wines, the most exciting of wines and there are those that swear Burgundy are the most orgasmic inducing wines in the world.  In my never ending (I hope) quest to learn about, enjoy and appreciate wine, I could not pass up the opportunity to partake in an extensive tour around Burgundy’s regions and top wines.

Our third Burgundy tasting focused on “Chambolle-Musigny”.  Located in Eastern France in the Cote-d’Or, these wines, derived from vines planted in chalky soils, is said to produce wines that are light in color, low in tannins, and provide good concentration of fruit.

During this tasting we once again tried 7 wines.  3 were village, 3 were premier Cru, and 1 was a Grand Cru…


I really enjoyed 6 of the 7 wines.  I found the first, the 2006 David Duband Chambolle-Musigny, despite its very pretty nose, to be too new world in style for my tastes.  It was clean & pure – not what I think of when I think Burgundy.  And it possessed that ripe almost artificial cherry flavor I get out of California Pinot.  This is a style many people love, and there is nothing wrong with it, just not my bag baby!

The 2006 Philippe Jouan Chambolle-Musigny had a very appealing menthol, pine & eucalyptus thing going on that I enjoyed.  It also had a very long finish.

The 2001 Leroy “les Fremieres” Chambolle-Musigny, was beginning to brown (this could be due to poor storage) and was throwing lots of sediment, both large and small pieces.  It had an incredible (and very unique) orange peel aroma, with lots of great acidity and a long finish.

The 1999 Ghislaine BARTHOD “les Cras” Chambolle-Musigny (1er Cru) had a black licorice (or so others said REALLY LOUD) and cherry cola thing going on, complimented by soft tannins, cherry flavors and a medium to long finish.

My favorite of the night was a least favorite for others (amongst the things I love about wine).  The 2000 Robert Groffier “Les Hauts-Diox” Chambolle-Musigny (1er Cru) had thrown small bits of sediment and a nose that I LOVED.  Others felt it had aromas indicating a flaw (Brett) but I found it to be gamey, limey & minerally.  I thought the wine was bright, with a firm acidity, a velvety mouth feel and a fabulously long finish.

The 1995 Robert Groffier “Les Sentiers” Chambolle-Musigny (1er Cru) had lots of sediment and a now familiar “pukey” smell.  While this smell used to disturb me it has since grown on me.  I’m really not sure how else to explain this aroma, but I would compare my new found affinity to it to those who reluctantly admit to enjoying the smell of gas station gasoline.  Sort of a guilty pleasure.  The wine itself, at about 13-14 years old still displayed nice red fruit, distinct minerality and a bright acidity.  It was very light bodied and had a long finish.

The final wine, a wine we were all eagerly anticipating was the 1985 (it was older than some of the people in the group tasting it) Les Bonne Mares Chambolle-Musigny.  Bonne Mares is a legendary Burgundy producer (sounded familiar enough to me) and 1985 is said to have been the best vintage in Burgundy in the 80’s.  The wine was quite good, though my notes are a bit sparse.  Indicating on the label an alcohol level of “12% to 13%”, the wine was light clear red, almost nearing pink with tiny specs of sediment.  It showed nice red fruit and minerality and possessed a velvety mouth feel with a firm acidity.  It had a medium to long finish.

In all, another fun and productive palate training evening with friends new and old.    I am still not sold on the idea that Burgundy offers the worlds best or most complex wines.  But I am getting there…

Happy BURGUNDY wine Tasting!



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