On April 24th, a few curious tasters and I wanted to uncover what the 2007 whites from Burgundy were revealing, so we showed up at Les Caves du Forum (www.lescavesduforum.com) and sampled a few under the guidance of Fabrice. Here are my notes.
2007 Bourgogne Blanc, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Anne Gros
On the nose it is slightly oxidized, with some smoky and freshly churned butter notes that then reveal a chalky nuance. The acidity is mineral and side sweeping. Initially the structure of the wine is not very pronounced, but something holds this wine, almost like a phantom factor effect. Peach pit, cumin, lemon pith. Upon aeration, the wine gains some richness as well as sensuality without being opulent. The finish is sweet and then saline, revealing the terroir in which the grapes are grown.
2007 ‘La Chatelaine’, Bourgogne Vezelay, Domaine de la Cadette
Green notes and honey with a hint of peanut on the nose. This wine is acidic, tart, and herbal, very citric and somewhat overtakes the richness also present. Dried apricot and marmalade notes become more obvious and add opulence. It feels young because there is tension and rigor, but it remains austere and difficult to approach. Toast and sesame notes on the finish. Perhaps too young and unsettled – a few years will tell.
2007 Les Pommards, St-Véran, Barraud
The density on this wine is directly related to the soils in which the grapes are grown. On the nose the clay notes are apparent, intertwined with apple peel. The use of wood becomes more apparent and the wine is a touch alcoholic, emitting powerful tarragon and herbal aromas. In mouth there are hints of orange. The wine is rather saline which tames the richness of the wine, one of it’s most impressive features. The wood notes on the nose are well integrated on the mouth, making this an overall charming albeit viscous wine.
2007 En Bulands, Puilly-Fuissé, Barraud
Interestingly this wine is from the same producer as the previous wine, however on a different appellation, merely 10km apart but with very different soil qualities. On the nose there are fresh asparagus, parsley and clay notes (not in a Sauvignon Blanc sort of way). Citrus notes are also present but with a touch of smoke. In mouth the it is light, the acidity not bracing but long, it leads into the finish and masks the use of wood. A touch alcoholic, this wine is a bit heavy-handed.
2007 Thomas Pico, 1er Cru Montmain, Chablis, Domaine Pattes Loup
Stewed strawberry and rhubarb that translate to pronounced strawberry notes in mouth. Acidic on the finish, it is also tannic. The finish is almost creamy. While the acidity is very pronounced, it gives in at the end and the wine becomes inviting – a balance of opulence and finesse. Creamy and herbal, this will is somewhat atypical for the appellation and will likely become is more interesting and balanced in time.
2007 Les murgers des dents de chien, 1er Cru St-Aubin, Hubert Lamy
Gunpower, minerals, seashells, salt, kelp – aromas that hint to the influence soil can have on wine aromas! This ephermeral wine is full of stories. In mouth, it is saline and aromatic with dried fruit, and it reveals a very precise acidity that gives the impression of narrowness. It is tannic and there is a sensation that the wine is like filigree. It is dense, tense, and noble.
2007 Les tremblots, Puligny-Montrachet, Hubert Lamy
Metallic notes intertwine with gunpowder and a touch of orange. It is floral and viscous with minerals. Herbal notes can be found: chervil, and something anise-like. The wine is viscous in mouth as well, almost full of iron. As it aerates in the glass, it takes more room in mouth, its presence widens. The acidity of the wine gives way to opulence, there is elegance in the finish.
2007 Les macherelles, 1er Cru Chassagne-Montrachet, Hubert Lamy
Notes of orange that are a touch alcoholic and gunpowder are very present but also tamed by some smoked paprika and wood aromas. The dukkah spice mix comes to mind. The nose is very intriguing, almost petrol. In mouth the wine is slightly salty but remarkably balanced on the mid-palate. Green apple aromas settle on the tongue and there is also the richness of fresh butter (Normandy in a glass?). This is a tense but forgiving wine with an exceptional mise en bouche.
2006 Santa Cruz Ridge (because a pirate is always fun)
Notes of vanilla and peach as well as other exotic fruits but there is a very present minerality. The alcohol renders it viscous but the acidity is present. Pastry, custard, herbs in mouth, with lovely defining bitter aromas on the finish. The structure of the wine seems a bit disjointed, and the acidity could be more pronounced to balance out the wine. A wine to age.
* Tasters associated this wine to a Batard-Montrachet or a 2003 Macon that needed to age. A wine that had a lot of power, thus a wine to be enjoyed while eating .