On Tuesday night we had a very special tasting of Burgundy wines, focusing on the grands crus of Gevrey-Chambertin. With an average price per bottle of $468, it was a rare and fascinating opportunity to taste a range of these increasingly expensive wines from vineyards regarded as among the finest in the world for Pinot Noir.
All of the wines were stunning and picking a preference for one over another was really only possible the context of tasting them among wines of a similar calibre. Put into another line-up, any one of these wines could have stood out as wine of the night.
We kicked things off with a rather decadent wine to whet our palates, Bouchard’s Chevalier-Montrachet 2010. Very refined and restrained on the nose but with great mouth-filling texture. This was still very tight and needs time but was beautifully elegant.
Heading into the reds, we began with the Bouchard Chambertin 2009. From a warm vintage, this had a deep, savoury nose, with floral hints. Medium-bodied, it had fresher acidity than you might expect from ’09, but a gentle, plush texture.
We then tried two vintages of Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, the first, also 2009 had perhaps more complexity on the nose than the Bouchard wine, with delicious red berry, floral and very sexy spicy oak notes. With a plush and velvety texture and long, spicy finish, this was a terrific wine.
The 2010 vintage of the same wine shared a similar profile but with a bit more of a lighter, fresher character overall. Extremely elegant with a very long finish.
Another 2010 Clos de Bèze was up next, Bouchard Père & Fils. This had a deeper, fuller nose. Bigger and brawnier on the palate too. A spicy, rich and powerful style with great density and mouthcoating tannins.
It served as a warm-up to the three following wines by Domaine Dugat-Py which upped the ante again as far as big and powerful style goes. You could tell from the colours that these three were different beasts to the preceding wines. Deep, dark and purple, even the textures of the wines in the glass seemed more viscous. Bernard Dugat is known for crafting these dense and powerful styles that require long aging in the cellar to reveal their full potential. It’s certainly a style that has won him a huge following and Dugat-Py is now regarded as one of the very best producers in all of Burgundy (with prices to match that reputation).
The first of this trio, the Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin 2010 featured deep berry characters and earthy, mushroom notes on the nose. Immense dark fruit flavours were wrapped up tight in big structured tannins.
The 2011 Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin was slightly more open and fruit-driven on the nose with some floral notes. Fairly soft and elegant in comparison to the 2010, there was still great depth to this big wine.
The final wine of the night was the Dugat-Py Mazoyeres-Chambertin 2011. Mazoyeres can legally be sold under the Charmes-Chambertin appellation and Dugat is one of the few producers to still bottle a separate Mazoyeres wine. A beautiful nose with a bit more of the typical Gevrey earthy character present. Spicy and dark, this was more structured and tannic than the Charmes. It was easy to see the potential in these Dugat-Py wines but they really deserve another 10+ years in the cellar.