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Day Two Stunning and Sunning in Burgundy


Barrel samples ready for tasting at Domaine Camus-Bruchon in Savigny

What a day: a day of bright sunshine and crisp northerly breezes. I am going to keep this short. It is now half past tomorrow's first hour and I require a period of dormancy.

I have tasted in the Cote de Nuits this morning at producers in Gevrey and Vosne, before heading south and attending sampling sessions in "lesser" communes in the Cote de Beaune where, if I am honest, I have enjoyed the wines as much.

The roll call has read thus: Rossignol-Trapet (sensationally transparent wines of exact terroir expression), Drouhin-Laroze (intense and pure wines that will last and last in bottle) and another Cote de Nuits domaine entirely new to me, extremely exciting, that will remain nameless for the time being, but the wines of which you will, without doubt, see on an offer soon.

Wow, that gives me a blast: to taste unknown wines made my an unfamiliar hand and to find brilliance, electrically charged fascination that carries one off to places new; that's what I live for. More in due course.

Lunch at the sports centre in Gevrey. I kid you not. Try it. Superb food, shoulder-to-shoulder with local firemen and vineyard workers behind floor to ceiling glass windows and amongst brightly coloured plastic chairs. I wanted nothing more than a beer with my wild boar casserole. So I had a beer.

Lunch done, I rush late to an appointment at Lamarche in Vosne. This is royalty, no doubt. These are ermine-trimmed senior statesmen of the Vosne soils, wines rich and beautiful with powerful cores almost cached within all that distracting fascination. Where to go from here?

Cote de Beaune: utterly stunning wines at Remi Rollin's domaine in Pernand; utterly stunning wines at Camus-Bruchon in Savigny, these last largely product of immensely antique vines in fascinating soils. I marvel; I am joyfully immersed. I am tasting wines that cost a fraction of those sampled earlier in the Nuits, yet I wonder how Pinot Noir can possibly be more wonderful.

Talking of wonderful...last visit is to Lafarge in Volnay. Recent vintages have yielded utterly delightful wines and yet these are on another stratosphere. Each wine - red and white - ratchets up the density, clarity and sheer beauty. I cannot quite keep up here. Things occur too fast; it's too short a time for one's taste buds to fire in such quick succession like over-stimulated synapses. This is great wine making, I have no doubt. I will be buying these myself, but be warned: they will need a degree of keeping for them to show at their bets. Wasn't that always the way with Lafarge (as I have just been reminded by a bottle of '93 Clos des Chenes over dinner).

Now really. It is tomorrow, therefore I have more tasting later today to which I must attend. Sleep, I hope, in the interim...

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