White Burgundy

6 March 2013, 21 Warren Street, Tribeca

After the success of our Bordeaux dinner, Diane suggested we do another event focusing on white Burgundy. After some discussion, we narrowed our wines down to four Chablis and five Meursault. Vintages ranged from 1996-2002 and the freshness, diversity and complexity of the wines was incredible.

Our tasting table at the end of the night

Our tasting table at the end of the night

The food pairings worked well as Chef Ryan started us off with three ceviches: tuna with Shishito peppers, rockfish and scallops. The main course was organic roasted chicken on a bed of wheatberry, currants and olives.

On to the wines:

  1. *** 1996 Domaine Francois Raveneau, Montee de Tonnerre (Premier Cru) – in a surprising start to the flight, we had a barrel fermented Chablis that had a combination of the expected minerality and white pepper spice along with noticeable, but well integrated oak. The primary fruit was peach and this was not the stereotypical austere, high-acid Chablis that are typical from the region. $200
  2. *** 1996 Domaine Francois Raveneau, Vailllons (Premier Cru) – peach again, very similar to the first bottle but with more acidity and a less complex mid palate. Still excellent. $150
  3. *** 1997 Domaine Rene & Vincent Dauvissat, Les Clos (Grand Cru) – full bodied, almost creamy with pears and caramel on the palate. Reminded me of a white from Lopez de Heredia – slightly oxidized and deliciously thick. $200
  4. ** 1997 Domaine Rene & Vincent Dauvissat, Vaillons (Premier Cru) – medium bodied and less complex than the Les Clos, hint of peaches and fruit but believes this is past its prime. $165
  5. *** 2000 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Les Perreiers (Premier Cru) – our first of the Meursault flight, medium body with the smell of burnt oak. Buttery with an extremely long finish. $250
  6. *** 2000 Domaine Coche-Dury, Vireuils (Village) – huge structure with striking acidity and peach/stone fruit on the palate. Balanced and elegant – my wine of the night. $300
  7. *** 2002 Guy Roulot, Les Luchets (Village) – slightly oxidized with a palate of honey and nutty stone fruit. Medium bodied and a long finish. $150
  8. *** 1996 Guy Roulot, Les Tillets (Village) – also slightly oxidized but very balanced with the acidity, less complex than the ’02 Luchets but similar flavor profile. $200

North Fork Wine Tour

3 July 2012, North Fork, Long Island

In preparation for a much bigger wine tasting trip the following week, I spent a day tasting wines in the North Fork or Long Island with Eugene, Tips and Becky. We went to three vineyards: Paumanok, Shinn and Lenz. I’ve written about Lenz several times in the past and it still remains my favorite Long Island vineyard, but I wanted to briefly write about two wines that were worth buying and even aging that we had at the other two vineyards.

First, at Paumanok, we had a great tasting with the original owner of the winery, Charles Massoud. He sat down with us next to the vines and went through a detailed explanation of the viticultural techniques they use. The piece de resistance at this vineyard was their red blend called Assemblage:

2007 Paumanok Assemblage

69% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc this wine at a relatively young age is already well integrated and balanced. Black fruit and spice with a nice, light mouth feel for a Bordeaux blend.

Our second stop was with the wine maker at Shinn Estate, Patrick. In addition to making some nice sparklings and dry wines, they distill their own spirits which are delicious. Their showpiece wine is the Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot – given the name as it’s taken from the nine best barrels of the harvest:

2008 Shine Estate Vineyards Merlot Nine Barrels Reserve

Black fruit and bitter chocolate. Juicy with good tannins with pepper and spice on the finish. Nice wine that could also probably improve with a couple years in the bottle.

** 2007 Paumanok Assemblage, $45

** 2008 Shinn Estate Vineyards Merlot Nine Barrels Reserve, $45