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Thu, 25 Aug 2011
Burgundy 2011: Pommard, Volnay and Mersault.
Getting back into blogging, finally. Some travel blogging.
Today, hired a bike in Beaune and cycled to Pommard, Volnay and Mersault.
The Cote-de-Beaune is looking beautiful, with the grape vines all still
in leaf, and grapes hanging off the vines, almost ready to be picked. Almost,
just a few days until harvest...
Stopped first in Pommard. I had a meeting arranged for 10h30 at
I didn't have a map of Pommard, so tried using my phone's navigation software.
It crashed, so I had to reboot it. Thanks, Google... Got there finally 15 minutes
late but luckily they did not mind.
M. Meuzard, the winemaker, doesn't speak English, but Mme. Meuzard does. We head
down into the cellar for a tasting. The cellar is low-ceillinged, 15th-century. The
winery was founded over four hundred years ago -- in 1646 -- and has been in the
same family ever since. Mme. shows me the barrel room -- they do not use much new oak,
only ~10%, as it obscures the terroir.
The barrel room, Domaine Mussy.
I try some wines. I try first the 2009 Beaune Epenottes -- a very good year, but still
young and very closed. Needs at least 4 years, according to Mme. Meuzard. I try then the
2001 from the same vineyard -- elegant, perfumed, some evolved/autumnal characters
on the nose, tannins still firm but elegant, red fruit. Mme. Meuzard says that this
is their most feminine wine.
I am asked what sort of wine I would prefer -- Masculine (structured, intense) or feminine
(lighter, perfumed). I am not used to thinking of wines in these terms, so hesitate.
Try a more masculine wine next -- 2001 Beaune-Montremots. More tannins, but still
very elegant. Good structure. Ten years old but would last longer. I forgot to try
their Pommard, unfortunately. Next time...
M. Meuzard is enthusiastic to hear I am a student winemaker from Australia. I wish I
could speak more French, so I could have spoken properly with him....
As I am leaving, realise I bought some wine but forgot to pay, so head back. Too
easy to get distracted when enjoying a good conversation...
Head to Volnay, then Mersault. Cycle around Mersault for a bit, then see
a shop called Art du
Tonneau, a barrelmaker. He has a short video in French, so I go in. The shopkeeper --
perhaps M. Gillet, the tonnelier -- doesn't speak much English but gives some
commentary to the video. He sells in Australia, including to some very
well-regarded domaines. He kindly offers me a coffee while I watch the video --
I have an espresso.
Afterwards, I head to Volnay and try to see a domaine there. I try one first, but
they only sell by the case so cannot give me a tasting. I try another, more-or-less
at random -- Domaine Christophe Vaudoisey. I ask "parlez-vous anglais?", but get a non,
he only speaks French. Ah, a problem. I ask for a tasting, je voudrais gouter votre vin?
He doesn't really follow my bad French. After a minute, he asks if I would like
a "degustation"... ah, that's the word I should have used, but forgot...
I follow him down to the cellar. I try a Volnay first, then two Volnay 1er cru. The
Volnay is very good, but both 1er crus have a certain something extra... more character,
Then I notice he also has a Mersault, a 1er cru also. I try this last -- wrong order,
but can't be helped. I buy one bottle of a Volnay 1er cru -- 'je voudrais...' is the correct
phrase, and I remember it for once.
On the way back to Beaune, I finally have the lunch I packed this morning. It's 17h, not
exactly lunch time, but still...
Rain is forecast for tomorrow, and the skies still glower, threatening with grey clouds.
The grapes wait for harvest. The vignerons, I presume, pray the rain is not too heavy, not this
late in the year.
posted at: 19:41 | path: /travel/france/burgundy |
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