Back from our trips to the far west near Auxerre, we began with a visit to Merusault. This is of course white wine country, part of the wonderful collection of villages south of Beaune where chardonnay trumps pinot noir. Here our friends' friend Gaël Fouré has set up a négociant business with two partners, making and marketing wines both from Meursault and nearby white wine appellations like Saint Romain, and from the red wine areas like Chambolle Musigny to the north of Beaune. This is, in a sense, a hobby or passion on top of their day jobs - Gaël for example works in a nearby vineyard as cellar-master. Anyway, their wines were delicious and our welcome likewise!
The next morning we drove the short distance to Magny lès Villiers to revisit one of our first discoveries in the Côte d'Or, the domaine Naudin Ferrand whose white wines we love - they are situated across the border of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune and the Hautes Côtes de Nuits (next door to the north, above Nuits Saint Georges) and we can never decide which we prefeer - the HCB includes 30% pinot blanc but the HCN is 100% chardonnay.
We finished the morning back in Echevronne where Jean-Michel Jacob offered us tastings from the barrels of his newest wines. We were able to taste the difference between one- and two-year old oak barrels as well as between the oak and acacia barrels he is using in the (100% chardonnay) Hautes Côtes de Beaune white. The acacia remains one of our favourites.
Before I sign off this time I must mention the series of catastrophes that have hit Burgundy vineyards again this year - the latest on hail in Chablis as well as more on the frost is on Decanter's website. The lack of wines is only part of the story, a few years down the road, the financial worries start almost straight away with loss of seasonal employment in the vineyards, expensive machinery lying idle and rents set to increase by arcane regulations which makes them higher in times of scarcity. Buying burgundy is the thing to do in solidarity with winemakers there.
|Unintentional skyline on a barrel in the Jacobs' cellar|
|This lizad outside did not know what it was missing!|