The multi-coloured quilt that is the swathe of vines from Chorey to the slopes of Beaune
Another chilly, bright dawning, the sky, flushed with purple and orange, blurred by the condensation on the inside of my hotel room window.
I drove to Chorey-les-Beaune all of 15 minutes away and we tasted the entire range at the Domaine Tollot-Beaut, our host Nathalie Tollot, whom I hadn't met since 1995 when I was touring the region with an Australian friend. The wines are very pure and succulent in '09, most showing absolutely beautiful tannins textured like an old cashmere golfing jersey. I will offer some of these if I am offered some myself.
It's but a short hop up the road from T-B to the cellars of the Domaine du Château de Chorey. There I met Benoit Germain (cannot find the accents on my laptop, but there's supposed to be a Chinese hat on the "I" of Benoit), scion, winemaker and efficient English speaker.
We started with the whites and it is not always thus when one comes to Burgundy to taste. Many domains prefer to show their reds before the whites. Anyway, the whites here are low acid, forward and very delicious. I am going to have trouble recommending these for cellaring as they're so utterly drinkable right now.
Benoit says that he finds 2009 like 1985 (at least for the reds) and so I found it here, with red wines that are ripe, plush, mildly structured and very, very drinkable. All were quite delicious and all will be ready quite soon, although they will, I think, continue to give great pleasure into the medium term.
Benoit then opened a red and a white from the 2008 vintage, both of which I had bought and offered to Bowes Wine clients. First up was the vieilles vignes cuvee of the Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes, a white wine made from a curious sub-variety of Chardonnay called musque (needs an acute accent on the last "e"). This wine is a keeper, and often offers up quite exotic aromas in its youth. The 2008 is going through something of an adolescent phase at the moment, but the future's bright, the future's grape.
Lastly, we tasted the 2008 Beaune 1er Cru les Cras and I was stunned to find it drinking exquisitely well, loaded with softened, broad, mouth-filling red fruits of the best sort. I hadn't expected this to come forward so fast. It will keep and, of course, mature further with time. But wow, I can only recommend trying a few bottles now if you have some of this stuff in your cellar.
Now a pause before the afternoon's assault. I will write up the PM later on.