Category Archives: Burgundy

Oct 10 2015

White Burgundy Masterclass: The benefits of switching to screwcap!

Posted on October 10, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers Masterclass on White Burgundy conducted by wine critic Huon Hooke at the Prince Wine Store in Sydney.  The 12 wines on show, from the Burgundy appellations of Maconnais, Côte de Beaune and Chablis, were made by small independent producers, most of whom favour biodynamic or organic farming methods and only limited use of new oak for barrel ageing.

Overall, the quality of the wines was excellent. The premier cru wines from Puligny-Montrachet and Mersault certainly displayed the hallmark qualities people associate with top-flight White Burgundy.

The bouquet of the Jacques Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet 2013 (rrp $256), for example, was both complex and clearly delineated, an enticing mix of savoury and sweet (think smoked and honey almonds!). The elegant nose was complemented by a vibrant, well balanced palate of medium-bodied citrus flavours with a touch of pear and quince. Great length added to the wine’s appeal.

Jacques Carillon is one of Puligny-Montrachet’s high profile producers. Top critics like the Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin regard 2013 as one of his best vintages to date.

Another clear favourite was the Domaine Michelot Meausault 1er Cu Perrières 2010 (rrp $197). Deep golden in hue, it was perhaps more old fashioned in style than the other wines we tried. As Huon explained, its rich, buttery texture was the result of allowing the wine to undergo a full malolactic (or secondary fermentation) and using of a higher proportion of new French oak for barrel ageing. Only when the fruit quality is high and has “guts”, as Hooke described it, do such treatments add complexity and depth without diminishing freshness and fruit flavour.

Interestingly, the Michelot Meausault 1er Cu Perrières was one of only two wines bottled under screwcap instead of cork. Problems like cork taint and premature oxidation occur far too often in White Burgundy, but so far most Burgundian wineries have been reluctant to move to screwcap… [Read More]

May 05 2014

Burgundy: Australians are spoilt for choice and it’s more affordable than you think!

Posted on May 05, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Australia’s Burgundy lovers have not only benefited from a strong exchange rate but also from a growing number of specialist importers who are really doing their homework on the ground in Burgundy. These talented importers are bringing an exciting array of Burgundies to Australian consumers, as highlighted by a recent Sommeliers Australia tasting of 13 Red and White Burgundies conducted by Est sommelier Franck Moreau.

Taking the time to building strong ties with Burgundian producers is essential for securing decent allocations, as top quality wines are quickly snapped up… [Read More]

Feb 02 2013

White Burgundy: Great value and quality to be found in entry-level Bourgogne

Posted on February 02, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

 

In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal wine writer Lettie Teague described Burgundian winemaker Pierre-Yves Colin of Domain Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey as a genius.

Colin, 40, is one of a growing number of new generation Burgundian winemakers who have been lauded by the critics for re-establishing Burgundy’s reputation as the benchmark for chardonnay and pinot noir. Through implementing biodynamic and organic viticultural practices and investing in sophisticated winemaking equipment, these boutique winemakers are now creating beautiful aromatic wines praised for their freshness, complexity and ageing potential… [Read More]

Nov 11 2012

Cellarit Burgundy Dinner, 20 November 2012: A wonderful opportunity to sample the best of Burgundy’s boutique wines

Posted on November 11, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Burgundy Masterclass in March the Burghound’s Allen Meadows talked about the revolution that has taken place in Burgundian viticulture and winemaking practices over the past 30 years.

You may well ask why one of the most renowned and historic wine districts in the world would need to radically shake up the way it did business? But in many respects Burgundy’s transformation was about rediscovering how it had originally forged its reputation as the best producer of chardonnay and pinot noir in the world… [Read More]

Mar 03 2012

Moorooduc Estate Moorooduc Pinot Noir: A Worthy Challenger to Fine Burgundy!

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In the March edition of Decanter, Benjamin Lewin looks at whether pinot noir grown outside of Burgundy can ever match the Cote d’Or’s complex, sensual and ageworthy wines? Lewin notes that Burgundian winemakers argue that pinot noir is a grape that expresses the specificity of the place, uniformly stating: “We don’t make Pinot Noir – we make Burgundy.” (Beyond Burgundy by Benjamin Lewin MW, Decanter, March 2012)

Today, only a third of the world’s pinot noir comes from Burgundy. Germany and New World producers in the United States,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2012

Single Vineyard Perfection: A Brief History

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you’re want to understand the importance of single vineyard wines, a look at the history of winemaking in Burgundy is the best place to start. No other region in the world has studied more closely how grapes perform in different terroirs. Indeed the very concept of terroir – the idea that the micro-climate, soil characteristics, exposure and orientation of each particular site determine the character of the wine – originated in Burgundy.

As the Burghound.com’s Allen Meadows explained at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Masterclass Single Vineyard Perfection,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2012

A Few Interesting Facts about Burgundy: Masterclass with Burghound Allen Meadows

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

 

I recently had the good fortune to attend the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s weekend of wine masterclasses, organised by The Wine Guide’s Ben Edwards.

The Burghound,com’s Allen Meadows led the Saturday afternoon session: “Those Brilliant Burgundians.” For those who may not be aware, Meadows (commonly referred to as the Burghound) is the most widely respected and influential wine critic of Burgundian wines on the planet! The session was packed, which is probably not surprising given that Australia is the Burghound.com’s third biggest subscriber market after the US and the UK!.. [Read More]

Feb 02 2012

What makes ‘single vineyard’ wine so special?

Posted on February 02, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In a recent article on the Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz, the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown gives a great deal of thought to the definition of a ‘single vineyard’. She asks “Is there a limit on how big it can be? Is there an implied uniformity of terroir and vine in these words, and to what extent is that even possible?” She argues that “when taken to its ultimate extreme, the words ‘single vineyard’ should conjure images of miniscule parcels of near mono-geological turfs that have long been married to a single varietal soul-mate,.. [Read More]

May 05 2011

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti: The Quintessential Expression of Terroir

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you really want to understand how even small nuances in terroir can create wines with very distinct personalities, the wines of Burgundy’s most famous and revered estate, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), are perhaps the most telling examples.

DRC either owns outright or has an interest in six of the Grands Cru vineyards of Vosne-Romanée. These vineyards either adjoin or are closely located to each other and some are very small. The most celebrated of them all, La Romanée-Conti, is less than five acres.

Positioned mid-slope above La Romanée-St-Vivant,.. [Read More]

May 05 2011

Burgundy: It’s All About the Terroir

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

But to truly understand the importance of terroir you need to appreciate the essential role it plays in imbuing the wines of Burgundy with their unique and special qualities.

Burgundy is the northern most area in Europe to produce great red wine, and a region associated with some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world. It is also the domain of the small vineyard holder. The average holding is around 6 hectares (15 acres) , and the fragmentation of estates is greatest in the region’s heart,.. [Read More]