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Pouilly Fume and Red Burgundy

The Pouilly Fume tasting was about terroir whilst the red burgundy was about whether or not one can really taste the difference between good and great, that is, can you really taste the difference in price.

Pouilly Fume

All these Pouilly Fume wines are from the 2004 vintage and came from Domaine Masson-Blondelet; same grape, same vintage, same wine maker and method of production, so the only difference is the soil on which the grapes were grown.  Dm Masson-Blondelet is an organic wine maker.

Pouilly-Fume Les Angelots

The Les Angelots comes from Sauvignon Blanc vines planted on limestone (€9.25)

Pouilly Fume Villa Paulus

The Villa Paulus comes from vines planted on marl (€9.50)

Pouily-Fume Les Pierres de Pierre

The Les Pierres de Pierre comes from vines planted on silex (€12)

The wines were bought some years back from the Dm Masson-Blondelet shop in the village of Pouilly Fume in the upper Loire river valley.

All the wines exhibited the classic effects of bottle age as they were supposed to - they were a light straw colour and had complex earthy flavours rather than the fruit associated with young sauvignon blanc but retained their mineraliness.  They showed why it is wothwhile aging sauvignons from that area.  The Les Angelots and Villa Paulus were similar but the Les Pierrres was distinctly different and much preferred by all; typically the group picked out the most expensive as the best.  How would they do with the red Burgundy? 

Red Burgundy

The red Burgundy theme was to compare some excellent burgundy with an outstanding one and see if the difference in price was really noticeable.  All the wines were from the excellent 2002 vintage.

red burgundy

Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru les Cras, Domaine Hudelot-Baillet

hudelot baillet

Dm Hudelot-Baillet is a small family concern located in the heart of the village of Chambolle Musigny.  They have parcels of grand cru and 1er cru vineyards in the commune as well as village and regional vineyards. A new winemaker took over in 2004 and is getting very good reviews.

Corton, Domaine Follin-Arbelet

Dm Follin Arbelet Corton label

The Dm Follin-Arbelet cellars and winery are located in the center of the village of Aloxe-Corton in a beautiful homestead, built in 1764.  It is typical of Burgundian architecture, with housing in the first and second floors, shop and winery on the ground floor and basement cellars.  www.domaine-follin-arbelet.com

Dm Follin-Arbelet has a 0.4 Ha parcel of Pinot Noir  located on the southern flank of the hill of Corton, in the vineyard of "Charlemagne".  But because it is planted with pinot noir it cannot take the name CORTON CHARLEMAGNE which is reserved for white wine. The soil is white, ocher clay marl which gives this wine great elegance, much subtlety and complexity. The tannins are ripe; always smooth and silky.  A wine of considerable pleasure from an early age (3-15 years)

Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forets, Domaine de L'Arlot

Clos des Forets

Domaine de L'Arlot is a joint venture between Jean-Pierre de Smet and AXA Insurance that rents vineyards from Axa; an novel business model in the wine industry.  Clos des Forets is their premier vineyard and is described as producing 'a rich and soft Burgundy in the Domaine's round and soothing style. Now to 2012.'

Domaine Dujac

Dujac Clos de la Roche

Domaine Dujac is located in the village of Morey Saint Denis. Dm Dujac is an organic producer.

Clos de la Roche is a grand cru vinyard located between Morey Saint Denis and Gevrey Chambertin.   This wine is described as 'Expensive, yes, but this wine shows just why the finest red Burgundies remain so sought after. Rich on the nose with lovely freshness on the palate and great length and complexity. 2011 to 2018.'

Robert Parker scores the 2002 93 points and has this to say about the domaine "the results are consistently outstanding, and at times astounding.  A generous application of new wood and the fermentation of whole clusters with stems are among the features of the Dujac regimen that many observers find surprising, given the refinement and sheer sensual appeal of these wines, usually even in their youth".

The Chambolle was light and full of sour cherries. The Corton was a considerable step up in quality.  It was darker in colour and richer in taste, more in the style of a Nuits St Georges. The Nuits St Georges was typical of what one would expect - a full bodied pinot with more structure and tannin than the Corton.  Absolutely fabulous.  The Clos de la Roche was more reminiscent of the Chambolle Musigny as one would expect seeing the two vineyards are pretty close.  It was light, with fine structure and great length.  There was much debate as to which people preferred, the Nuits St George Clos des Forets or the Clos de la Roche.  The preference was more down to which style of Burgundy one preffered.  All agreed that the  Clos de la Roche was the best made wine.  Then came the prices; £45 for the Clos des Forets vs £295 for the Clos de la Roche.  No one thought that the price differential was value for money.  In retrospect it might have been better to have had a £300 bottle of Clos Vougeot or something similar that was more directly comparable to the Nuits St Georges.  Still a very interesting experiment.  I guess one could quite easily argue that our palates are not sufficiently developed to be able to appreciate the difference in price.

All the red wines bar the first one were bought from the Wine Society:
Chambolle-Musigny PC Les Cras Domaine Hudelot-Baillet - £18 from the cellar door some years ago. A more recent vintage is available for £27
Corton Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2002 at £39.00
Nuits St Georges PC Clos des Forets Domaine de L'Arlot 2002  at £45.00
Clos de la Roche GC Domaine Dujac 2002 at £295.00