27 June 2008

27June- So that’s what 30year old Burgundy tastes like
I went down to Charleston on Tuesday for a tasting of Domaine Leroy Burgundies, white and red. I love and hate tasting wine somewhere different, whether it be in town or out. I love feeling that I’ve traveled but I don’t care for the actual driving (I wouldn’t normally drive down a tight alley at 70mph. Driving between semi-trucks is like that except the walls have minds of their own.) and the feeling that I’m out of place is accentuated by established groups of colleagues and my own shyness.

Anyway, I drove down and had lunch at Café Paradiso (two chili dogs, since I’m so budget-minded lately - I even borrowed Leigh’s Prius to save on gas) then found my way to Social, a wine bar that opened up about a year and a half ago. It’s a nice looking bar with one of those wine-pressure-spigot systems that keeps things fresh.

Lined up along the bar, very inconspicuously, were the eight bottles for which I’d driven nearly two hours to taste. The white wines were a ‘99 St. Aubin 1er Cru, a ‘98 Bourgogne Blanc and a ‘97 Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes. Of these the one that struck me most was the ‘97 Meursault. It had lovely, dried floral notes to the nose, a firm mouth-feel and a nice, clean, minerally finish.
The red wines were a Bourgogne Rouge, a Cote de Beaune Villages and a Monthelie (all from 2000), a ‘93 Saint Aubin, and a ‘78 Beaune. Of the 2000’s I particularly enjoyed the Cote de Beaune Villages. It had a nice, perfumey, earthy nose and a really silky mouth-feel. The Saint Aubin was quite nice with lots more earth and strawberry to the nose and a bright, silky and focused feel. I’ve had one other St. Aubin (at a quarter the cost) and I could taste the quality jump. The Domaine Leroy was much richer without being bigger, if that makes sense. The flavors were more defined and focused. Good stuff.
And, of course, the biggest draw for me was the ‘78 Beaune. Right away, as it poured, you could see its age. It poured an almost transparent, beautiful rust color. When I brought it up to my nose I was amazed out how young it smelled. It had a wild, rich, earthy nose and a similarly youthful vibrancy to the flavors. Some sour cherry in there and a great, long finish. Given how present it was I have to wonder what it was like when it was bottled. Undrinkable? One hears that bandied about: This is undrinkable for a few more years. But for this to be so bright now, it had to come down from something.

This is the sort of stuff I find interesting.

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