Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tasting the wines at Domaine Guy Roulot

The tasting during our Domaine Roulot visit proceeded on two tracks: a tasting of the 2012 whites followed by a tasting, some of it blind, of some older Roulot vintages. The 2012 tasting segment tasered terroir onto our palates while the free-form segment cemented Raj Parr's reputation as an accomplished blind taster with superior knowledge of Burgundy wines.

2012 Meursaults

The 2012 vintage had been abnormal with hail damage, mildew, odium, and heat combining for a 60% reduction in stock. We tasted through the full range of Meursault wines. Given that these wines were from the same vintage, and had been subjected to similar winemaking treatments, any differences should be attributable to terroir. And we did note such differences. There were consistent observations of fruitiness, minerality, and crisp acidity but texture, degree and shade of fruitiness, type of minerality, and florality varied depending on the source of the fruit. Our observations regarding these wines are captured in the table below.

                           Domaine Guy Roulot 2012 Meursault Wines
Bourgogne Blanc

Citrus, mineral, acidity

Slope south of valley
White fruit, citrus, floral, mineral, freshness

Highest on the slope and facing south
Floral, focused, step up in quality

North of Tillets at slightly lower elevation; east-facing
White fruit, richness, crisp acidity, will age well

Further north and lower
Sweet white fruits, floral, citrus, chalky minerality, richness

Adjacent to Tillets
Only 1 barrel made. Slight oakiness

Meix Chavaux
North of Premier Crus but at same elevation
Lemon, stone, denser than wines preceding, mineral, sea shell

First bottle deemed improper by Jean-Marc. Second bottle fresher fruit, minerality, crisp acidity. Balanced with a long finish
Premier Cru
White fruits, mineral, citrus

South of Bouchères
Tight minerality, sea shell, citrus, crisp acidity

On Puligny border; 70-year-old vines
4 barrels made. Big, rich fruit structure


Big structure. Grand Cru quality. Pear. Weighty, mineral. Long finish

Pre-2012 Vintages

The first wine tasted in this segment was the 2011 Bourgogne Blanc. Jean-Marc said that this vintage had experienced early flowering and harvesting and there had been no attacks of odium or mildew. This wine had great texture and balance. Ron voiced that it was the best Bourgogne on the planet. The next  offering was the 2011 Tessons, a wine which revealed lemon, pear, and a distinct mineral note.

The next wine was offered blind. Tangerine, earthiness, and a chalky minerality. One of the things that we noted during this trip was that the winemakers all wanted to have Raj taste their wines blind. They constantly put him to the test and he consistently hit the mark or came pretty close. In this case he surmised 2010 Bouchères. It was 2009 Bouchères instead. Jean-Marc rapidly followed with another blind wine which Raj thought was a 2005 Tessons. It was. The third blind wine was ripe and open. 2003 Tillets said Raj. Right again. A tour de force of blind tasting in my opinion. The next wine offered had tangerine and honey on the nose and was very rich. I got lucky and tagged the vintage as 1989. It was a 1989 Bourgogne Blanc.

The final wine tasted was the 1992 Perrieres. Sweet tropical fruit to include pineapple. Ron described it as absolutely amazing. Jean-Marc called it "old Chardonnay." Raj said that this is one of his 10 best wines of all time.

A blockbuster end to a truly amazing tasting and a truly amazing day. Unfortunately the morrow did not attain this level of sustained, intense brilliance.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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