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Day 3 in the Cote - Afternoon Tastings




The vineyards of Savigny-les-Beaune surround the village's graveyard



As I drove out to the first of this afternoon's tastings I noticed a flock of large, heavy birds heading in a generally southerly direction and craned my neck to see what they were, knowing that whatever their ID, they weren't common to the UK. Storks is what they were, presumably migrating to somewhere where their knees won't knock together as a symptom of standing in freezing water.

We convened at the Domaine Jean Chauvenet in Nuits-St-Georges and tasted his not inconsiderable range of 2009 reds from that commune. Christophe Drag, wine maker here, has changed his style somewhat and is now endeavouring to make wines that are more supple and "user friendly".

Christophe is probably going to bottle two cuvees of village Nuits this vintage and he has another 1er Cru by the name of Poulettes, the fruit from which vineyard used to be added to the village wine. I presume the name means small chicken, or pullet, and that at one time the things roamed the vines at will. Anyway, it was one of the highpoints of the tasting, with a delightful freshness that nailed it to the palate.

I was late for my next visit, so hopped onto the peage and got off again at Beaune St Nicolas. Nuits to Savigny-les-Beaune took just 18 minutes or so.

Luc Camus of the Domaine Camus-Bruchon is a very kindly man and together with his son we tasted through their range of red wines. As last year - perhaps as every vintage - the reds have a distinct blue cast to them. They are also wonderfully pure, with beautifully ripe tannins.

We finished up by tasting the two wines I bought from this estate last year: the 2008 Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Grands Liards and the 2008 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Gravains. It's always gratifying to know that one has made a wise choice in life! Both are intense, structured, fresh and with superb futures ahead.

Why don't people buy more burgundy? At the top end there is nothing to match the stuff and lower down, one can find Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of superb value. I sometimes feel like a missionary for the burgundy church!

So, quite an easy day today. Tomorrow will be much more testing, with 6 visits in the diary.
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