London fine wine merchant Roberson Wine invited to a tasting of five white Burgundies and five red Bordeaux. Actually, it was their Swedish representative that invited, since they also sell a part of their range to Sweden using a Swedish website. In particular some of the white Burgundies were of an impressive class relative to their price, as you will see from my tasting notes and scores below. I’m not really the first to have noticed this, as Roberson display high scores from Jancis Robinson for some of these wines on their website.
Nose with yellow apples, other ripe yellow fruit, some citrus with zest, slightly flowery, rather generoys nose (almost hints at some oak although there’s apparently none of that here). Dry on the palate, very fruity attack, yellow apples, grapefruit, good concentration, mineral, quite good acidity, aftertaste with grapefruit. Can be drunk now, but can also be kept, 88 p.
This producer apparently doesn’t use any oak, but does store their wines long (18 months) on the lees in steel tank with a lot of batonnage, stirring upp the lees, which in similarity to oak barrel aging give a bit more full-bodied wines. 2009 is a slightly warm vintage with high grape ripeness, and I think that has affected the nose of this wine (yellow rather than green apples and no smoke, but more fruit notes) but not really the palate. Many 2009s will probably be appreciated by those who consider Chablis to often be a slightly hard and austere wine, but who appreciate other white Burgundies.
Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon 2002, Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix
Nose with green apples, pear, some smoke and mineral notes, elegant, comes across as younger than expected. Dry on the palate, good concentration, loads of grapefruit, high acidity, mineral and a long aftertaste with grapefruit. Fresh and elegant style. Still young, can be drunk now but would definitely benefit from additional cellaring, 89(+) p.
Definitely a classical Chablis style, and comes across as surprisingly young for its 11 years!
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru La Chatenière 2011, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey
Nose with smoky oak notes, yellow plums and yellow apples, spice, a tiny hint of dung heap notes, powerful nose. Powerful palate, yellow apple and citrus, powerful spice notes, mineral, high acidity. Long aftertaste with mineral, citrus and some grapefruit bitterness. Good balance, foody style. Young, but works fine now, 91 p.
The style is somewhat typical for 2011s, a vintage to drink before the more classical and firm 2010s. This wine was included in a tasting earlier this year and then I scored it 90(+) p. Definitely a good white Burgundy!
Slightly smoky nose with citrus, mineral, rather discrete and elegant. Palate with loads of citrus, high acidity, mineral, and a long aftertaste with grapefruit. Young, would benefit from additional maturity, 90+ p.
Classical white Burgundy, but foremost a very typical Chassagne with its dominant citrus aromas!
Smoky nose with oak, zest, yellow apple, yellow plum, some spice; a powerful nose. Palate with a powerful attack a quite a lot of mineral, definitely high acidity, some spice, citrus notes in the background, long aftertaste with mineral and grapefruit. Very elegant, has some development, but could do with more, 92 p.
This wine is of a style and quality that correspond to considerably more expensive premier crus from one of the three most famous villages (Chassagne, Puligny, and Meursault), and it therfore seems like a very good buy for those who appreciate high-class white Burgs. The vintage has most likely helped, since 2008 is a very classical vintage for white Burgundies, just like 2010, and this wine has most probably gained from a few years in bottle.
Nose with dark plum, some blackcurrants, emerging developed notes with some barnyard and straw. Medium bodied, palate with dark plums, medium tannins, spice, fresh acidity. Somewhat developed Bordeaux, drinkable now, doesn’t need more time. 86 p
Nose with dark cherries and blackcurrants, with a powerful fruity character that made me think of marmalade candy or winegum, slightly flowery. Quite a bit of sweetness of fruit in the attack, good concentration with tart berries, palate with cherries and some blackcurrants, rather mild tannins, the alcohol is unfortunately somewhat obvious. 84 p
Those that appreciate fruity wines and don’t mind some alcohol feeling in a wine, will probably appreciate this more than me. With this mild tannins there’s probably no real point in cellaring this wine, and if you appreciate the style it’s a wine to drink on the fruit. I tasted the 2009 in May at another château (Pavie Macquin in Saint-Émilion) belonging to the same owner, Thienpont, and I had a very similar impression of that vintage: very fruity, the alcohol could be felt somewhat, and I scored it 85 pounts. I have the impression that the owner has styled Puygueraud to be in a fruity style made for early consumption.
Nose with black currants, slightly flowery, rather fruity for its age, some spice, developed notes with barnyard aromas. Medium bodied, fruity attack, palate with dark berries and a hint of sweetness of fruit, stony mineral notes, medium tannin. Classical but rather fruity, not too heavy tannins, 88 p.
Came across as younger than what I had expected from a 1998. Little brother to the 2nd cru Leoville-Barton.
Nose with blackcurrants, some tar, discretely developed notes with some barnyard aromas. Palate with blackcurrants, fine notes of berries, medium(+) tannins but of a very velvety character, aftertaste with berries and some tannin. Rather approachable now, could develop more, 90+ p.
This wine was more ready to drink than I had expected. Many 2006 Bordeaux wines at this level may drink reasonably well, so it may not seem surprising, but in this case we’re talking of the toughest appellation, Pauillac, and of a producer that tends to produce wines in a classical and time-demanding style. (What else to expect from a wine that carries such retro-styled labels?) This wine showed a style more fruity and more accessible than expected for a seven year old wine from this address. I don’t see a problem in drinking this at 20 years of age (2026) either, provided that it is cellared well. Generally speaking, 2006 is a good Bordeaux vintage, something like a four on a five-degree scale.
Nose with dark berries, discrete tar and smoke notes, mild spice, developed notes with barnyard, complex and elegant. Medium bodied++, good concentration, sweetness of fruit but at the same time a dry palate with stony mineral notes, medium+ tannins, very elegant in a firm style. A very classical left bank Bordeaux ready to drink. Rather developed, can take more cellaring, 93 p.
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.