In the middle of January, the wine tasting club CAV arranged a tasting with wines from two Burgundy producers: Joblot in Givry and Morot in Beaune. Both were intended as tips for reliable and reasonably priced producers from this fascinating but difficult-to-nagivate region. Givry is located in Côte Chalonnaise, the subregion of Burgundy immediately south of Côte de Beaune, and where Mercurey is the most well-known appellation. My previous experience with Givry wasn’t very extensive, but it is often said about Mercurey that the wines can be rather powerful and quite tannic by Burgundy standards (and moer so than many Côte de Beaune wines of higher price), but that they usually tend towards the rustic and are less elegant than their northern cousins.
In total we were served two white and seven red wines from these two producers, as well as a red “pirate wine”. The four reds from Morot were from different Beaune 1er cru vineyards and costed almost the same. The ten wines were served divided into flights of two or three, and semi-blind, since we had a list of all wines (“pirate wine” excluded).
The wines were probably sourced from the German dealer Pinard de Picard, because the prices match theirs and the arranger was German, and often buys from there.
Mondet Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
100% Chardonnay, of which 20% from old vines.
Light yellow in colour, a lot of mousse. In the nose green and yellow apple, discrete grapefruit notes, some mineral, possibly a hint of wild strawberries. On the palate fruity, medium bodied, green apple, citrus, some peach, quite good acidity, some dosage/sweetness (but within the bounds of “brut”), slight hint of bitterness. Good concentration of aromas, Chardonnay-styled but young in its flavours. 86-87 p.
Flight 1: three reds, we knew there would be one each from Morot and Joblot, plus the “pirate wine”.
1. Beaune 1er Cru “Les Bressandes” 2007, Morot
Medium red colour. In the nose rather dark cherries, some animal notes, forest floor/sous-bois, some spice, slightly sweetish impression (dried berries), but the spiciness and the sous-bois notes dominates. Most obvious oak notes of wines 1-3. On the palate medium bodied, slightly sweetish, dark cherries, not that obvious tannins, rather spicy with sous-bois. 85-86 p?
Slightly to sweet to be ideal. Isn’t this a bit of the typical German Spätburgunder style? (Spätburgunder is the German name for Pinot Noir.) I thought this was the pirate wine, and that it was a German Spätburgunder. Wrong, it was the Beaune wine. The style is a little perplexing for a Beaune 1er cru from a vintage that wasn’t particularly hot. At the end of the tasting, the arranger claimed that we probably had underestimated this wine because it was served first. He still had some left in a glass, but not the rest of us. Let’s hope that he was right, because it definitely didn’t strike me as a good value if I look at my score, and still I consider myself a little forgiving when it comes to Burgundy.
2. Kenzinger Hummelberg Pinot Noir 2007, Dr. Benz
Qualitätswein trocken, Baden, 13% alcohol, € 8,20 in the producer’s price list.
Rather light medium red colour, some brick to the edge. In the nose wild strawberries, some cherries, some decaying leaves and manure/dunghill, some spice. Rather discrete in the nose, but with some elegant notes, clearly aromatic. Develops more fruit and spice in the glass. Less than medium bodied, good acidityu, tastes of cherries (red and dark), slight bitterness and spice, slightly tannic and drying aftertaste. Clearly elegant, but light in terms of concentration, surprisingly developed for its age. 87-88 p?
I thought this was a Beaune from Morot. Quite good value! The question is if one should be positive about the wine already having developed Pinot Noir notes already, or be worried about its further development?
3. Givry rouge “Pied de Chaume” 2007, Joblot
Medium red colour, most blueish of wine 1-3. In the nose cherries, clearly mineral with some some “slate-y notes”, slightly sweetish notes that reminds of red berry-flavoured candy, slight herbal with some green notes, possibly some volatile acidity (not disturbing). On the palate medium bodied, red cherries, rather good concentration of fruit, rather obvious tannin of somewhat rustic character, slight but well integrated sweetness, rather tannic aftertaste. Good concentration and fruitiness, hint of rustic style. Still young. 86-87 p?
I guessed this to be Givry. It appears as the most rustic of the three, with the type of tannin I expect to find in a Côte Chalonnaise wine. Well, at least one correct guess out of three possible. A well made wine, good for coming from an “unknown” appellation, and reasonably good value for money.
Flight 2: three reds, a mixture of Morot and Joblot.
4. Beaune 1er Cru “Les Aigrots” 2007, Morot
Deep red colour, darkest of 1-5, blueish. Spicy nose, mineral/slate, red cherries, not so fruity, but with a hint of sweetness. Medium bodied taste, slightly sweetish, cherries combined with obvious acidity, but the fruit component is darker than that of typical “sour cherries”. Rather obviously tannic aftertaste. Mineral and definitely young, would benefit from some development. 87-88 p? Could possibly get a higher score with some maturity.
If we assume that this wine could improve with time, the price is almost OK, but that’s on the Burgundy scale.
5. Beaune 1er Cru “Teurons” 2007, Morot
Rather deep medium red colour. Rather aromatic in the nose, mineral, dunghill and some animal notes, cherries. Medium bodied, slightly sweetish palate, cherries, some wild strawberries, slightly alcoholic, slate notes, some tannin of a slightly rustic character. Sweetish, rather pleasant aftertaste. Good fruitiness and concentration, but a little on the sweet side, young. 86-87 p?
I thought this was a Givry because the tannins appeared slightly rustic to me. Doesn’t come across as a good value to me, but in similarity to number 4, it could have potential for improvement with cellaring.
6. Givry 1er Cru “Clos Grand Marole” rouge 2007, Joblot
Rather deep medium red colour, slightly less intensive colour than number 5. In the nose mineral, obvious dunghill notes, rather dark cherries, slightly more powerful and more classic nose compared to number 5, but in a similar style. On the palate obvious acidity, some tannin (slightly rustic), red and dark cherries, slightly swwetish. Good concentration, classical style combined with good acdity and “dark” fruit, still young, would benefit from cellaring. 88-89 p.
After we were told the identity of the wines in this flight, I specifically noted that I had awarded the highest score to the wine from the rather unknown appellation. And not just based on the wine being “technically” more well made (which can happen with good producers in not-to-famous appellations), but rather because I thought it showed more classical Burgundy aromas compared to two Beaune 1er cru wines, of which one from a quite well known vineyard (Teurons). Interesting indeed. This Joblot wine definitely comes across as a good value.
Flight 3: two reds left, one each from Morot and Joblot.
7. Givry 1er Cru “Cellier Aux Moines” rouge 2007, Joblot
Rather deep medium red in colour. In the nose rather dark cherries, mineral, some dunghill notes, some sous-bois, spice, slightly herbal. Slightly more than medium bodied on the palate, good acidity, quite present tannin of slightly rustic character, some sweetness, slightly alcoholic, rather dark cherries. Good concentration, slightly sweetish, somewhat rustic, young, the alcoholic note reduces my score somewhat compared to number 6. 87-88 p.
Guessed Joblot, and this was correct. Also a good value.
8. Beaune 1er Cru “Les Marconnets” 2007, Morot
Deep medium red colour, slightly blue note. In the nose dunghill, animal notes, cherries, slightly sweetish impression, spice. Medium bodied on the palate, good acidity, cherries with some dark notes, soft tannin, some spice. Good concentration, elegant. 88-89 p.
Guessed Morot, and this was right. In general style and level of performance, this wine corresponded to what I expect fom a Beaune 1er cru in a vintage which is charming but isn’t quite top. It is therefore a reasonable value.
Flight 4: two Joblot whites, i.e. Chardonnay wines, were served open.
9. Givry blanc “Pied de Chaume” 2007, Joblot
Light yellow colour. Fruity nose, citrus, some peach, slight spice. Medium bodied, fruity palate, almost sweetish, good acidity, a lot of citrus including grapefruit, rather good mineral note. Discrete barrel notes, good fruitiness. 86-87 p.
10. Givry blanc “En Veau Vielles Vignes” 2007, Joblot
Light yellow colour. In the nose some dunghill and sulphuric notes, barrel, citrus, peach. Rather full bodied palate, good minerality going in the direction of mint flavours, good acidity. When the mineral note tends to the minty on my palate, this is a real sign of quality. Still young (which is why I tolerate the sulphuric impression in the nose). 88-89 p?
In summary, Joblot was a very positive experience. I already was of the opinion that it is possible to find quality and good value in white Burgundy coming from the southern subregions, possibly because I’m a Riesling fan an therefore a little less picky when it comes to Chardonnay. 🙂 In terms of scores, we may then be talking about something like 86-89, i.e. just below 90, and then often at half the price compared to what the same score will cost you in Côte de Beaune. A few whites can also score 90+, but then we’re typically talking about good vintages from southern prestige producers such as Château Fuissé or Guffens-Heynen, and then we’re typically almost back at Côte de Beaune prices again. But the reds I’ve previously encountered have less commonly been convincing in the overall impression, due to less elegance. I would say that 85+ would have been a more rare score from me for reds than for whites from Burgundy’s southern parts. Yes, you can get a lot of tannin for the money, but this is isn’t primarily why I seek out Burgundy or indeed Pinot Noir in the first place. I have on occasion seen references to quite good Pinot Noir producers in Côte Chalonnaise and in the Haut-Côtes (the areas to the west of the actual Côte d’Or escarpment). However, this was the first case where I could confirm that I actually agree that the wines are good and that the best without doubt can compete with good 1er cru-viner from Côte de Beaune in quality.
The wines from Morot were not bad in any way, but in most cases didn’t strike me as a particularly good value. Perhaps I would evaluate a top vintage, such as 2009, differently. But in this vintage, they didn’t seem better than the typical vineyard-designated Beaune 1er cru wines from the big négociant fims, and many of those you should be able to locate at a little cheaper price. The top Beaune wines from these firms (such as Clos de Urusles from Jadot, Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus from Bouchard, and Clos de Mouches from Drouhin) would be slightly more expensive, but not by a great deal.
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.