Beaune


The next instalment of my wine trip is Beaune proper, which preceded a trip down the A6 to Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise.  Beaune is a town where it appears difficult to eat and drink poorly.  Starting with food, for lunch, I can recommend Le Comptoir des Tontons.  The owners are colourful, and the food good.  The accompanying Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru Les Vergelesses 2011 had sappy, cherry and anise aromatics, and an earthy, mid length and balanced palate.


For dinner, the Restaurant L'Ardoise in Beaune also proved to be very good with more modern overtones.  Dinner was accompanied by Domaine Chanzy Rully En Rosey 2012 with aromatics of lemon and cashew and an elegant, mid length palate.


But now to some rather serious tastings of the portfolios of La Cave des Hautes Côtes/Nuiton Beaunoy, Domaine Roger Belland and Domaine Maillard Père & Fils.  There is technique to tasting so many wines, and I found that it improved my ability to compare and contrast, rather than detracted from it, which was, more or less, the opposite of what I had expected.  Or alternatively a happily ex-poste rationalisation of something I would have enjoyed anyway.  Probably the latter.

The first bracket is from La Cave des Hautes Côtes / Nuiton Beaunoy, which proved a tasting of some breadth exploring up and down the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.  I have added an asterisk next to the best wines of the tasting.

The view.

The whites



Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne 2014
Very bright lemon, lemon rind and yellow grape fruit aromatics.  Medium to high acid, short to medium length, pleasant and lemon flavours. A bit unexciting.  A

Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Au Meix Genets 2013
Some cashew and lemon the nose.  Balanced, quite lemony, a touch of cedar on the palate.  This reminded of the new style of Australian chardonnay, and I liked it.  My Australian reference was meant as compliment but I suspect was not taken as such.  G

Nuiront Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Millottes 2013
Mineral, stone, grapefruit and lemon nose.  Palate that is mineral, reminds of grapefruit and has medium to high acid.  Some tension, if overly nervous.  A-G

*Nuiton Beaunoy Meursault 2012
Blossom, floral, lemon and some mineral aromatics.  A palate with medium length, fuller through the palate, balanced acidity and some cashew.  It was noted in passing that there is increasing diversity in the styles of Meursault, which I see no reason to disagree with.  G

The reds



Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve 2013
Aromatics that are quite sappy, stalky with earth and plenty of twigs and fresh rosemary.  The palate seems a bit sweet and sour, leaving a slightly bitter residue, with some cherry and earth reminders.  A

Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 2013
From the same vineyard as the white, the aromatics remind of sap, smoke and green rosemary (again!)  The palate reveals a lighter style, with cherry and twigs.  A

Nuiton Beaunoy Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Dames Huguettes 2013
Aromatics of cherry and a bit of earth.  A palate with cherry, medium tannins and some bitterness.  Same rating, but a bit better than the Côtes de Beaune.  A

Nuiton Beaunoy Beaune 2012
Aromatics of cherry, earth, some smoke and brighter fruit.  The acid seems high, with flavours of cherry, and short to medium length.  A

*Nuiton Beaunoy Volnay 2012
This is a classier wine.  Cherry, earth, smoke.  Seems more integrated.  A palate that is fuller bodied, with more flavour.  Cherries predominant.  I always seem to like the Volnays.  G


Nuiton Beaunoy Gevrey-Chambertin 2012
More nuance on the nose, with aromatics of spice, cherry and blackcurrant.  Seems finer.  The palate also has some flavour and depth through it.  Reminders of earth.  Complexity seems to grow in the glass.  G

Nuiton Beaunoy Nuits-Saint-George 2012
Aromatics of earth and spice. Fruit is there, but secondary to the undergrowth characters.  Earth and spice on the palate, short to medium length.  The acid doesn't seem fully integrated.  A

*Nuiton Beaunoy Morey-Saint-Denis Les Sionnières 2009 
What is it about 2009?  It's clearly a strong vintage in Burgundy too.  Integrated, black cherry and earth aromatics.  Very attractive fruit.  Between medium and long length.  Flavours of cherry and earth.  Great integration.  VG


*Nuiton Beaunoy Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos du Chapitre 2011
This is from a monopole of 9 hectares.  It immediately has more integrated aromatics of black cherry, earth and blackcurrant leaf aromatics.  Between medium and long length.  More integrated and harmonious than the preceding wines.  Black cherry evident.  G-VG

Nuiton Beaunoy Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Les Chaffots 2008
Aromatics of sulphur.  The palate showed stalky raw tannins, less sulphur and good fruit.  I can't ignore that terrible aroma though.  A-G, G if you like sulphur aromatics (my experience is that it only worries some), A if you don't.

Nuiton Beaunoy Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2008
Some spicey aromatics.  Silky palate, with medium length and earth and cherry flavours.  G

*Nuiton Beaunoy Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2009
Aromatics of spice, blackcurrant and earth.  Complex.  Medium to long length, balanced acid, stone, spice, blackcurrant.  Complex.  This is self-evidently a good wine, and the wine of the set.  VG-O

***




The second tasting is a series of new releases from Domaine Roger Belland.  This is a very serious producer, and the average quality proved to be very high.  As a general comment though I should note that I felt the acidity uniformly higher in all of this producer's wines.  Whether this is by design, or just an impression on the morning of this tasting, I am not sure.  Either way, this is the sort of tasting that I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to undertake.  I have not put an asterisk next to any particular wine, as almost all of them are recommended.


The whites

Domaine Roger Belland Santenay Comme-Dessus 2013
Aromatics of buttery cedar, yellow nectarine, spice and lemon.  Palate with medium to high acid and lemon.  The acid seemed a bit separate.  A-G

Domaine Roger Belland Santenay-Beauregard Premier Cru 2013
A step up.  More integrated aromatics, supplemented by lemon and butter.  The palate has medium to high acid, reminder of lemon and is balanced.  G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot-Clos Pitois Premier Cru 2013
Aromatics of cedar, lemon butter, hints of cashew.  Integrated.  Medium to high acid, medium to long length.  This is a delicate wine and quite long.  G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs-Gains Premier Cru 2013
Fine bones, with mineral and lemon aromatics.  The palate has medium to high acid, butter, medium length and is elegant.  G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Meursault Santenots Premier Cru 2013
Aromatics of cashew, nuts and lemon.  The palate has medium to high acid, medium to long length and similar flavours.  G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Criots Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013
Aromatics that are fine boned.  Cashew, cedar and alluring.  The palate has medium to high acid, medium to long length and flavours reminding of lemon butter and minerals.  An excellent release.  VG

The reds

Domaine Roger Belland Santenay Charmes 2013
Aromatics of plum and ripe red juicy strawberries that are quite attractive.  Some secondary rosemary.  Palate with medium to high acid, cherry and slight bubblegum character.  Still good though. G

Domaine Roger Belland Santenay-Gravières Premier Cru 2013
More integrated aromatics, with strawberry, raspberry and cherry.  The usual medium to high acid for this estate, with medium length and similar characters as the nose.  Balanced and fine boned wine.  G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot-Pitois Premier Cru 2013
A first (for me) Chassagne-Montrachet red.  The correction not to pronounce the "t' in Montrachet remains in my head.  Aromatics of plum, strawberry and raspberry.  Estate acid profile, medium length, a bit fuller through the palate, with more plum and red fruits.  More please. G-VG

Domaine Roger Belland Pommard Les Cras 2013
Aromatics of plum and spice.  Estate acid profile, medium to long length and quite noticeable tannins.  G

Domaine Roger Belland Volnay Santenots Premier Cru 2013
80% of this is not destemmed, but you wouldn't know it.  There are no bitter twiggy notes here. Aromatics of strawberry, raspberry and cherry.  Between medium and high acid and medium length.  G-VG

***

The third bracket is from Domaine Maillard Père & Fils, which I shall carry over to another post, as this post is already rather long.  To conclude, I can recommend the accommodation at the Hotel les Remparts in central Beaune.  It is situated within a beautiful 16th century building, and has a rather stunning breakfast courtyard.  Some echoes of Fawlty Towers perhaps, but I liked it all the more for the thought.

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