Burgundy Tour 2014

Burgundy Tour Diary – Day One

#EbenSadie chatting 2013 vintage with Frederic Robert @ #ArmandRousseau

Our first visit for the day was at Domaine Armand Rousseau in Gevrey-Chambertin – for the debutants on tour, this most certainly was starting the tour with a bang! Frederic Robert welcomed us and we tasted through the 2013s from barrel. Class as per normal right from the village wine to their majesctic Chambertin Grand Cru. 2013s seem beautifully balanced – not with the same level of structure as say 2009 and 2010 but all the wines have a solid core of pure fruit that will provide some earlier drinking. Delicious stuff. Highlight was tasting the separate barrels of their Gevrey Chambertin ‘Clos Saint Jacques’ vineyard where they have made wine from parcels at the bottom (bas), middle (milieu) and top (haut) of vineyard – consensus was that the milieu was showing best. We had a brief chat to Eric Rousseau and also saw his famous father, Charles Rousseau, quietly reading his paper in the office.

The Bone Collector, AKA Jean-Louis Trapet opening some of his gems

Next we drove off down the road to Domaine Jean-Louis Trapet. Jean-Louis aka “The Bone Collector” arrived full of smiles and energy. It was great to see how interested he was with what Eben Sadie and Adi Badenhorst get up to in the Swartland. He was blown away with the bottle of “Skerpioen” that Eben gave him. We cruised through some of his 2013s from barrel and the theme of a pure core of red fruit followed through as we had experienced at Rousseau. We also tasted some 2014s which are yet to go through malolactic fermentation – good prospects I believe. We sat down for a superbly simple and amazing lunch with Jean-Louis at the family’s B & B in Gevrey-Chambertin. We tasted through his range of Alsace wines, which seem to be getting better and better. The 2011 Riesling Schlossberg was magnificent. We were treated to a two vintage vertical of Chambertin – 2012 and 2000. Both absolutely amazing and this was followed with a 1961 Gevrey-Chambertin village… the table went silent – a village wine at 53 years of age in a truly special place where it could easily stay for many more years. We were all blown away.

#AdiBadenhorst entertaining Alec Seysses at #DomaineDujac

Last stop was Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis where the 2013 theme continued – its going to be a wonderful drinking vintage, especially at the village level. Problem at Dujac is that they are 25 % down in terms of yields compared to 2012 and 2012 was very low indeed. So we are preparing for severely decreased allocations. The tasting finished with 2001 Gevrey Chambertin “Aux Combottes” and 1985 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru… absolutely majestic wines and a real privilege. Good first day out.

The aftermath at #DomaineDujac including a magnum of 1985 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

PS: You might be interested to know that last sale of some land in the Grand Cru white wine vineyard of Montrachet, means that one would need 450 million Rand to get a hectare. If you like Chardonnay and want to make some wine in this vineyard and own some of the land – start saving up!