If you should ever taste a Burgundy at its best, the heavens will surely open and you shall the angels singing. This adage was conveyed to us — once upon a time, and in fewer words — by a freind and associate of our Grey Lynn store. Ever since then, it has been a kind of running jibe or in-joke among the staff.
One of us has never managed to experience this particular phenomenon, you see, and he is therefore skeptical of the claim — as many of you might be. But the other staff member in question (myself) remains convinced it is true.
For although I may be yet to hear the angels in full voice, that region’s wines have always seemed to convey a sublime something — something in the magical combination of natural and ethereal impressions, of palpable yet indefinable effects, of cultivated yet wild fruit flavours — that can resound in the glass, for those with ears to hear, like an almost spiritual affirmation of our humble earthly existence.
Well that’s the idea, anyway. And I’m hoping that the next shipment of Premier and Grand Cru Burgundies will mean that, at last, the joke will not be on me — but on my doubting colleague. Because the reviews of 2017 are in, and they strike a certain note.
Julia Harding MW tells us that:”The wines from this open and aromatic vintage were singing when I visited 35 producers up and down the Côte d’Or in late November and early December. The producers might well have been singing too, so happy were they to have returned to ‘normal’ yields, particularly after the terrible frost-created shortfalls of 2016.”
She begins the same article by summarising the year as”a lovely vintage north to south: wines singing their heart out”.
But if I am hoping for a sublime satisfaction in these wines, it is not only based on their sheer quality. For they are also said to have captured a youthful appeal that is beautifully sensuous as well as being highly exemplary of this most ancient regional style. For they are said to possess the supreme value of being archetypical of the vineyard and village.
She continues:“The phrase that came to my mind many times while I was tasting was ‘true to type’ for it’s a vintage that has produced fragrant, finely structured wines that are likely to be ready to drink earlier than the 2016s but have the balance and the depth to age well, certainly over the medium term.”
I’m not mistaken, this would seem to be a kind of holy trinity: these wines can be seen as being 1) “on song” with their style and terroir, and yet 2) accessible and expressive when young, and yet also 3) balanced for a long and graceful development in cellar.
We are soon expecting a great range of Cru wines from 2017, mainly from Jadot and Chateau des Jacques but with a couple from Bouchard as well. And it would seem that the wines of this vintage may offer our customers — as well as my colleague — one of the best-ever chances, whether sooner or later, of finally hearing those angels.
To see our current range of Jadot wines, click here. And keep an eye out for the 2017s…