Burgfest 2008: An update on Burgundy Corton & Nuits St Georges (cont)

Burgfest 2008: An update on Burgundy Corton & Nuits St Georges (cont)

Tuesday 11th October 2011
by Hew Blair

Corton: When tasting Corton at such events it’s worth remembering that the Hill of Corton lies several kilometres north of Beaune whereas Pommard and Volnay are equidistant south. 

In terms of Burgundy these terroirs are poles apart.  The two flights of Corton were a step up in both quality and uniformity. The slightly later harvesting had resulted in riper more concentrated wines.

Head of the pack of two flights was the Clos du Roi from Etienne de Montille; high toned bitter sweet red fruits and suave fruity tannins. Only a half point behind were the two Bressandes of Tollot Beaut; damson and bramble fruits and long fine grained tannins and Follin Arbelet; intense berry fruits, graceful, mineral and complex.  Also showing great improvement over previous years was the Corton Clos des Corton from Faiveley, youthful and showing slight reduction it nevertheless has potential.

The Cotes de Nuits; The later harvest should have given all the 1er and Grand Crus an advantage in allowing full phenolic ripeness and greater concentration of juice. However as will be evident from following tasting notes, in some villages the vinyeards higher up the Cote benefited more than some on the lower slopes.  

Nuits St Georges; The diverse terroirs of Nuits St Georges were given due respect in that we tasted five flights. Make no mistake, this is the most improved village of the  Cotes de Nuits over the last five years lead by Robert Chevillon and the revival of Gouges as well as the parts played by some of the Vosne Domaines; Cathiard, Meo Camuzet, Grivot and Comte Liger Belair.

First up were the Clos from the most southerly vineyards and the vast improvement in the quality of the Clos de La Marechale in the hands of owner Freddy Mugnier. Brooding blackthorn and smoky minerals, silky textured yet powerful and explosive -  a 2008 of great potential. It easily took the laurels.

Two flights of the 1er Crus north of the town of Nuits St Georges  ( Vosne side) revealed an overall high quality of finesse, elegance, minerality and purity.  Sharing the highest marks were the Murgers of Sylvain Cathiard; Intense yet powerful, full of old vine complexity and length of pure pinot flavour; and the Cras of Comte Liger Belair; Beautiful bright purple colour, blackthorn and damson, density and silky textured tannins. Others that shone were an aristocratic Murgers, Moe Camuzet and a deep structured Cras from Lamarche.

My notes at this stage show that until the 3rd flight of Nuits we experienced no cork taint but more new oak than normal due to the low yield against pre ordered new barrels.

The final two flights of Nuits from the central vineyards (south of the town) were lit up by many great wines with the density of low yields to cover the high acidity.  Neck and Neck for top honours were the Vaucrains of Gouges; all on power, depth of fruit and length of flavour and the Cailles of Robert Chevillon; sweet seductive , sumptuous tannins and wonderful mineral complexity. Other fabulous examples included a powerful and explosive Les St Georges, Henri Gouges, a racy Poret St Georges from Faiveley and delectable Pruliers, Chevillon. 

Next: Clos Vougeot , Gevrey...