A few weeks ago I participated in a virtual “getaway” to Bourgogne. My tour and tasting was lead by the always energetic award-winning sommelier and “virtual experience guru” Belinda Chang, along with expert Bourgogne consultant Anette Hanami. We also had a few guest speakers native to the region, including Anne Moreau from the Domaine Louis Moreau.
Of course, a virtual media tour is nothing like the real deal. But the event, hosted by Sopexa, was not just a lively discussion on Bourgogne as a whole, but a detailed breakdown of region’s nuanced classification system.
To discuss everything we learned would take several lengthy posts. So, I’m not going to do that. But what I do want to share are the two wines I received in conjunction with this event. In order to divide Bourgogne into digestible parts, we were split into “teams,” each of which focused on a separate region. I, along with three other women in wine, was on team Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The following two wines are just a small sip of what I experienced during Soprexa‘s “Escape to Bourgogne.”
Richard and Stéphane Martin—Domaine de La Croix Senaillet 2018 St. Véran
About the wine: This is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from several parcels located in the coteaux du village St. Véran. The vineyards are located on south-east facing slopes with various soil types, from shallow limestone soils at the top to more clay-based soils at the bottom.
The grapes were hand-harvested at separate times, with respect to the proper ripening of each parcel. Upon reception, grapes were immediately pressed in pneumatic press, applying the most gentle pressure in order to maintain the grape’s innate aromatic expression.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, outfitted with temperature control, to ensure a slow, cool fermentation process, again to maintain the grape’s natural aromas and flavors. A portion of the wine went through malolactic conversion.
The wine aged for 9 months on fine lees in barrel.
All lots were kept separate until final blending just before bottling.
The wine is certified AB-Organic.
Appearance: pale lemon, with just the slightest hint of green
Aroma: pronounced aromatic intensity filled with scents of green apple, lemon, bread/biscuit/yeast, white blossom, white peach, grape, wet stone, wet grass, and just a hint of almond
Palate: This is a dry wine with medium level of alcohol, high acidity, a medium body and a pronounced flavor intensity. The flavor profile does match that of the aromatic profile, but adds to it a bit of baking spice, the bitterness of lemon pith, and just a touch of lime juice as well.
The finish is medium (+)
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I concluded that this is a very good wine and can certainly age further in bottle. I found both the flavor and aromatic profiles intense—speaking to you from the very first sniff and very first sip. The high level of acid did well to keep the fresher fruitier flavors alive, while that time on the lees added that kind of bready/biscuity background. The additional time in barrel added those lovely spice notes. All of these elements together created a depth and complexity not often found in New World Chardonnay (in my experience). Given all the structural components and the fact that I’m already experiencing a few tertiary notes (namely that nuttiness), I do think this is the case of a white wine that can age well. There’s certainly enough acidity and fruit flavor to lend longevity to those primary flavors, while the lees contact and certainly the touch of oxygen the wine has seen, will continue to develop those tertiary notes.
More Info: I received this wine as a sample in conjunction with the above mentioned event. To learn more about Soprexa, please visit the Soprexa website. To learn more about Domaine de La Croix, please visit the Domaine de La Croix Senaillet website. This wine can be found on wine.com for $25.99.
Domaine Parigot Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune ‘Clos de La Perrière’ 2017
About the wine: The wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune of Burgundy. Domaine Parigot sources grapes from 44.5 acres of vines across 18 different communes. So the wine is a testament to the true blending opportunities provided by the hilly topography of the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune. Communes span from Meloisey, Savigny-les-Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet.
Appearance: pale ruby
Aroma: pronounced aromatics composed of chocolate, meat/smoke, parsnip, cloves, mushroom, stewed strawberries, stewed rhubarb, dried cranberries, dried cherries
Palate: This is a dry wine with medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, medium alcohol, and an overall medium body. The flavor intensity is pronounced and speaks to that aromatic profile. Indeed, those more savory notes are prominent on the palate, with the cooked and dried fruit components coming in mid and back palate. The smoke, mushroom, and meat umami-ness are elevated more in the mouth than on the nose, and it is that umami that sticks with you for a long luxurious finish, ending with a back-breath of dried spices like clove and paprika.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I determined that this is an outstanding wine, certainly suitable for aging. The fact that there is a strong tertiary component to the wine already, leads me to believe that the aging of this wine should not extend beyond 5-7 years, however. Those fruit flavors will fade beyond recognition beyond that time. But this is still an outstanding wine. Perfectly balanced between acidity, alcohol, and tannin. The wine offers up a full, plushy mouthfeel with those tannins and moderate amount of alcohol. And if you can’t tell by the notes above, there is certainly a level of complexity here I was not expecting when opening a Pinot Noir—even from the Old World.
On a more personal note, I found this wine so funky—funky in a good way, where I just wanted to pair it with some funky mushrooms, deep-flavored tomato sauce, and other earthy-aromatics. And, fair warning, despite its complexity, this wine is gluggable.
I liked both wines, but I loved this wine. This was the wine I couldn’t wait to share with my quaren-team-mate.
More Info: I received this wine as a sample in conjunction with the above mentioned event. To learn more about Soprexa, please visit the Soprexa website.
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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**