Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - Tasting in Burgundy

For our last day in Burgundy we rented a cute little roadster and headed out to the vineyards for some proper tastings.
Our first stop was the village of Puligny-Montrachet for a tasting at Olivier Leflaive. 



The tour began with a walk through the vineyard and a wonderful overview and general explanation of the complicated nuances of the Burgundy region as well as history of the Domaine and wine-making process.





The region is known for its various shades of limestone
After our walk through the vineyard, Olivier himself took us for a tour of the winery and cellar.




A very important lesson - always swish the wine underneath your tongue, there are so many more taste buds and receptors there to enhance your experience and taste of the wine!

After the cellar tour we headed back to the "Maison" for the lunch and tasting.  Olivier found that many people were coming to his winery and imbibing too much to drive home safely so to solve that problem he has created a self-contained hotel and restaurant right in the center of town.  I would highly recommend staying here for a night and taking advantage of walking downstairs to the restaurant to enjoy one of these multi-course meals with wine pairings!
Unfortunately we only had time for lunch so we had to "taste" only before we got back in the car!
Leflaive specializes in chardonnay and white burgundy so much to our enjoyment the tasting was predominantly white! 

We tasted through 4 whites and 1 red.  My favorites were the Saint Romain Sous le Chateau 2011-light bodied, a nose of fresh citrus, and a palate of fresh minerality and salinity that left a lasting finish, and the Puligny-Montrachet 1st Cru Champ Canet 2009-which was much darker in color and style, more fruit forward but soft and elegant with a kiss of oak-this wine was delicious paired with the cheese course which brought out notes of butterscotch!

The perfect bite - gougeres paired with the first white wine

While some might say "everything pairs with chicken" - this dish was so delicious!  Chicken with sauteed morels and potatoes


And to end - a lovely pinot and chocolate mousse!

After lunch we jumped back in the car and headed up to Nuit-Saint-George for our tasting at Domaine Faiveley


This tour was the complete opposite of the first, with a private tour through the 19th century vaulted cellars at the winery.



Totally authentic mold dripping from the ceilings!


The line-up!  We did the tasting slightly backwards to what one might expect-starting with the reds and moving to the whites.  We tasted a total of 5 reds and 4 whites including a mix of both village, 1st and grand crus-such a treat!


The most famous Grand Cru of the Domaine - Musigny - production is limited to this one single barrel and there's a lock on the top for safe-keeping!
I had three favorites throughout the tasting.  Of the reds, I loved the Mercurey 1st Cru "Clos du Roy" 2012.  It had a nose of both fruit and spice and a bold structure of acid and tannin, surprising since I typically like the softer reds.  I also loved the Clos-de-Vougeot Grand Cru 2012.  While still young, you can tell this grand cru has lots of promise, the nose was full of ripe black fruit, a kiss of oak, and the finish was perfectly structured, young but well rounded.  My favorite white was the Puligny-Montrachet 1st Cru "Champ Gain" 2012.  This was the last wine we tasted and I could truly appreciate the progression as this was the smoothest, most balanced, and well rounded wine of the group, perfectly balanced between acid and fruit. 



After the tasting we drove up the hill to look out over the village of Nuit-Saint-George.  Looks a little like home if I do say so myself ;-)

If you ever find yourself in Burgundy I highly recommend these two domaines; we had the perfect balance of vineyard walk, regional information/history, winery and cave tour.  Can't wait to return!

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