いつものアラフォー会のメンバーの一人Mちゃんが一足早く大台に乗ったお祝いです。シャンパンで乾杯したあと、いつものようにRちゃんの手料理に、今日はシャトー・ベルグラーヴ ポムロル 2003です。いつも私たちがご馳走に舌鼓を打つ横で、子供たちの食べているミートソーススパゲティーが美味しいそうなものだから、Mちゃんのリクエストで今日はこれが私たちのメイン。でもそれ以外にも鯛のカルパッチョにサラダに、とやはり豪華です。しかし、今日の一番の酒の肴は先日結婚したKちゃんの結婚式。深い友情からくるアラフォーの意見に、Kちゃんが皆に愛される所以を見た気がします。この日は、美しいブーケにとろけるようなチョコレートケーキとメンバー女子最年少のAちゃんのサックス演奏でハッピーバースデー。
It was a long time since I had not tasted Schmitt's Morey 2005. I tasted it again this eve and loved it more than one year ago. It is now superb. It is everything that one can expect from a "village": balanced, subtle and very pleasant. Second nose (the one one gets after turning the wine in the glass) is crazy and the mouth is very pleasant. This bottle has one drawback: it drinks much too easily.
Since I am leaving to Kitakyushu next Sunday I took the pain of tasting a few bottles. From our personal cellar, we opened Vosnes "Les Suchots" by Roch 99 and 01, Chinon 03 & 04 "Les Picasses" by Olga Raffault and we tasted again Schmitt's Pinot Noir 05.
It was rather hot in France but we drunk these bottles during dinners so we could enjoy the wines.
I think that Vosnes 99 was made by Pacalet. This is an enjoyable wine from one the best terroir in Burgundy, but it has its own style. It is still fruity after 10 years and shows no evolution. I drunk this wine a couple of years ago and I am not sure this is worth keeping it longer. That might be due to vinification process with long prefermentation phases. Les Suchots 01 was good too but not at the level of vintage 99.
Chinon reds can be very fine. I can only advise those to wine amateurs. These are made exclusively from Cabernet Franc, that is the same kind of grapes used on the right bank in Bordelais. These grapes usually yield wines ageing very well and best Chinon wines can be served very old. They are usually very balanced and subtle wines, very suitable for great meals. Be cautious: they are definetely not in the same league as bodybuilded "modern" Bordeaux wines. Another good point with those great wines is that they are still affordable. Domaine Olga Raffault has been well known for a while by amateurs. I have also been following them for long. We drunk vintages 03 and 04. 03 is very sunny and may be not so typical. Remember summer 2003 was extremely hot in France. Vintage 2004 is pleasant now.
Schmitt's Pinot Noir 2005. I start knowing it well by now. We enjoyed it once again. It is still very fruity and brings immediate but subtle pleasure. One of the guest prefered it to all other wines above! I prefer Schmitt's PN 2006 than 2005.
Next shipping to Japan is on its way.
This time I brought some 1er crus and Grand crus from Pierre Naigeon: Bonnes Mares 2002, Gevreys Les Fontenys 2001 and Clos Saint Jacques 2004, also an impressive Morey Saint Denis La Riotte 2006 (I agreed with Pierre that it tastes like... roses!)
We also got wines from Antoine Petitprez. Antoine is a young winemaker based in Meursault. I think that he makes absolutely fine Cotes de Beaune wines: Meursault, Pommard and also very interesting wines from less famous parcels in Santenay, Saint Romain, Auxey-Duresses... Like all wine makers I like, his work reveals the true nature of the different soils ("terroirs") and only that. He uses absolutely no tricks to tune the taste and he takes incredible care of details. As a result his wines have a kind of magic tension. I will explain a bit more soon. We got from Antoine: Pommard 1er cru "Les Argillieres", Pommard, Meursault "Les Narvaux", Auxey Duresses 1er cru and Saint Romain, all year 2007.
I put a couple of pics below. Antoine is the tall young man sitting in front of a couple of glasses of its own red wines. One the other pic, I am in the good company of Pierre Naigeon.
Regards to all.
I needed to visit Pierre Naigeon in Gevrey since there were wines from him that I really wanted to taste before the next shipping. I drove from Aix to Burgundy. That was a nice day, first day of holydays with lots of people on road... It was very, very hot: the car registered 38 degrees in the vineyards in Pommard! Ok the car is Renault so...
I took a few pictures: Route Nationale 6 boardered by Platanes, hay rolls in the fields, French cyclists (Tour de France starts tomorrow), and vineyards: the Lavaux valley in Gevrey, and the enclosed field called "En l'Argilliere" in Pommard. Notice on the last picture the red earth and the presence of stones there. Actually this conjunction of two soils: a layer of read earth on white loam -- the famous "Marne blanche" -- yields red wines very dense and also mineral.
I also had a nice conversation with a producer who was working in his vineyards located in the area of "Les Charmots", just next to "Les Argillieres". We were a bit chatty but it was too hot to work and I had the day for that. He explained that so far June has been cold and within the last 4-5 very hot days the nature is now completely booming. So one has to keep the vine under control... usual things as it seems. Amongst other things it was also interesting to hear him talking about Pommard's wines in general. In particular he explained that he was one of the earliest to harvest amongst Pommard 1er crus producers. The reason is that he wanted to keep the freshness and the fruit from Pinot Noir. I tend to believe this idea: Pinot Noir cannot bear getting too ripened. As he had 1er cru vines, he was happy to say that the Pommard area is huge and very heterogenous, ie. all Pommard are not equal. This is certainly true and a short visit in the vineyards should convince anybody. Eventually he talked about wine making techniques. For instance he claimed he was not warming the wine at the end of the alcoholic fermentation to improve extraction and fix color -- some clients tend to prefer dark Bordeaux color. This trick seems common indeed and yields cooked/candied fruit taste. We agreed that this artifact had nothing to do with "terroir". Eventually I would be happy to taste his wine.
北九州市小倉と戸畑の境目のとある閑静な住宅街で、日ごろからお世話になっているEさんが、ご近所の仲間をお招きしてワイン会を開催してくださいました。評判のイタリアン仕出しのお店から、ワインにあう食事をお願いして、大変おいしいお刺身とイタリアンのお料理を準備して、私たちのワインと一緒に楽しんでいただきました。準備したワインは、白のオート･コート・ド・ボーヌ ドメーヌ・ルシアン・ジャコブ2008をはじめに、赤のモレ・サンドニ ドメーヌ・シュミット2006とシャトー・トー・バラドーズ サンテミリオン・グラン・クリュ2004を楽しんでいただきました。最後は、Eさんのご好意で、シャトー・ベルグラーヴ ポムロル2003も登場して、皆さん大満足いただけたようでした。私はすっかりお客様で、専ら楽しむばかりでした。気の置けない仲間の集まりにお声をかけていただき、本当にありがとうございました。