jamie goode's wine blog: Burgundy 2006 with cheese

Monday, January 07, 2008

Burgundy 2006 with cheese

This week sees the 2006 Burgundy en primeur tastings in London. There are a lot of them – I've been invited to at least eight, and there are others, too. I'm not sure whether there's a lot to be gained from spending a whole week of my life tasting barrel samples from just one vintage...it's not that I'm widely regarded as an expert on the region's wines, after all. I reckon that I can spot decent Burgundy when I see it, but I don’t have the breadth of experience to be able to give ‘expert’ buying advice across the appellations.

Indeed, such is the complexity of Burgundy, with its terroir-based patchwork quilt of vineyards that are shared among many growers (in most cases), if you want to be a real Burgundy expert you have to devote most of your working life to this region.

So what about the 2006s? I went along this afternoon to the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting in the splendid setting of One Great George Street, near Westminster Abbey. I didn't spend an awful lot of time tasting, so I can't really give the definitive answer on the vintage. But I did have a nice time catching up with colleagues (I spoke with Joanna Simon, Tim Atkin, Charles Metcalfe, Victoria Moore, Neil Beckett, Anthony Rose, Natasha Hughes, Jane MacQuitty and Jasper Morris among others). It was also nice to bump into Francis Percival, the food writer, who was there to demonstrate a couple of Neals Yard cheeses for the private customers who were soon to arrive (pictured). I tried a Berkswell, which was made with late lactation milk and is therefore a bit funky because of the high solids, and a really lovely Montgomery Cheddar that was complex, spicy and delicious.

Jasper's take on the 2006 vintage seems a fair one. ‘It’s totally different to 2005, which was a truly great year’, he began. ‘This was a nice year, producing some stylish wines that show perfume and which taste like Pinot Noir and Burgundy.’ He anticipated that customers would taste through the wines and find many that they liked. ‘There is variation here’, Jasper cautions. In terms of pricing, the reds are stable or down and the whites stable or up from the previous year, ‘but Burgundy doesn’t move a lot’, he said.

The wines I tried were exclusively red, and were at the light end of the spectrum. Some were showing firm tannins. They seemed a bit expensive, on the whole. It was really nice to have a chance to chat to newcomer David Clark, a Scot who has recently established himself as a Burgundy grower with 2 hectares of vines in relatively lowly appellations, which he’s farming with meticulous care, producing some really nice wines. More on him later.

Labels: ,


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

Does the comment made by Jasper on the 2006 vintage imply that 2005 did not taste like Pinot Noir and Burgundy?

At 12:19 PM, Blogger billn said...

Hi Jamie,
BB&R may have 'managed' their prices in the way that Jasper mentions - I expect this could be accomodated within their existing margin structure. Many others have been unable to manage this and I would rather say on overage the price is 'stable or up' versus 2005...
At least based on 'London prices' my purchases are about 30% of the last 5 years average - and that's based purely on price, not quality.
Cheers, Bill

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Dave Lester said...

On Monday, lacking the press invite for BB&R -- but having one for Howard Ripley -- I chose to spend the afternoon with Serena et al instead.

With rare exceptions I found that few of the reds actually tasted or smelt of anything much at all. Good old Jasper, eh?

Loved the pricing on Clos de Tart: up 50% on 2005!

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Sklenicka said...

2006 is still unknown for me (except for some white Macons) - I fell for Burgundy and spend a week trip there tasting and buying wine in spring 2007, just when millésime 2005 came on the table. I liked it and I bought reds extensively, now magazines marking ***** agree... I remember summers of 06 and 07 as good & hot, so I'm afraid: if they were not good, the prices will remain on the level of 05, if they were good... should I hurry up to Burgundy and spend the rest of my money?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home