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Above: Simple Simon now offers delivery service
We head ever southward.
This morning saw our first real foray into the wines of the Côte de Beaune with a tasting at the Domaine Follin-Arbelet. Frank Follin's a relaxed sort of guy and I like his wines. Why? Well, they're not necessarily easy or instantly accessible, but that's all to do with their youth. What one finds at this stage is a sort of elemental beauty; a purity of heavenly fruit that's accompanied by backbone and sinew: all signs of the wines' age-worthiness. These are long distance runners, I have no doubt, and I love them. Finishing off with a Romanée-St-Vivant as buff (in modern parlance) and queenly as Audrey Hepburn in full flow and one is happy to move on to one's next appointment carrying a slightly inane expression of contentment.
11h15 found us camped outside the Pommard habitation of Daniel Rebourgeon, killing time whilst an "artic" dropped off some arcane wine making gizmo that required a pallet-truck and a great deal of discussion. I am a big fan of M Rebourgeon's wines, a sentiment no doubt bolstered by their rarity and lack of exposure in the UK. To me this is proper red burgundy: so pale, one might suspect that one has been handed a glass of Marsannay rosé, yet so intense and full of flavour and expression of terroir that one could only be more surprised if one's humbug turned out to be an extra large, rolled up woodlouse.
We had sworn a vow that lunch would be a lo-cal affair, a pledge simultaneously dreamt up by both Richard and me when we simultaneously realised that we had probably consumed our own body weight of animal fat over the last two days.
We eventually hoved to at an establishment called Auberge des Vignes between Volnay and Meursault and if I hadn't been taken there before I would never have been tempted to stop. It looks as though one breath of wind would reduce it to a limestone cairn, the dirty yellow awning over the entrance not adding any sense of salubriousness. Within, however, a fug of Frenchmen, the aromas of garlic and sensitively cooked meats puts one's mind at ease. Hare terrine starter and duck cooked two ways for a main put paid to any hopes that today would be Bowes Wine's comeback in the war against the calorie.
Weather: another cracker: a touch colder than yesterday, but blessing us with such sunshine that a fool could be given a digital camera and take a pretty picture.
Wineries visited: Follin-Arbelet; Rebourgeon-Mure; Boyer-Martenot; Domaine du Château de Corton-André.
Above: the winding road to Volnay from Pommard