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Chateau de Meursault & Ch de Marsannay

December 27, 2015

These notes come from a traditional Burgundy “La Paulee-style” dinner organised by FICOFI at the East India Room of the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, on 18 November 2015. Originally created in 1923 for winemakers and their workers in Burgundy to celebrate the end of the grape harvest at Chateau de Meursault, the La Paulee is a dinner where everyone brings their own bottles to share around the table, very much in the BYO spirit strongly espoused by yours truly. For this event, preceding the dinner was a Promenade featuring the top premier cru and grand cru of Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay with their respective owners in attendance, M. Olivier Halley and M. Stephane Follin-Arbelet (photo below, whose brother directs the well-known domaine bearing the same family name).

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Chateau de Meursault is a richly-endowed estate with 60 hectares of vines situated around the Cote de Beaune that can be traced back to the 11th century, while Chateau de Marsannay is situated within the Cote de Nuits, encompassing plots from Fixin to Vosne-Romanee. Hence, in a way, the offerings from these two estates cover the entire Cote d’Or. Lest you may think that the wines from these seemingly less familiar estates are second-rate, don’t let the names fool you, for the wines I tasted were nothing less than excellent and may represent real value for money. In the true spirit of FICOFI, the wines come first, evident by the abundant free-flow while dinner itself was just a simple 3-course affair.

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2013 Chateau de Meursault Les Charmes Dessus. Minerally with generous aromas of white flowers, excellent richness and intensity with a lengthy finish. Very lovely.

2013 Chateau de Meursault Clos Epeneaux Pommard 1er. Lovely deep ruby with an abundance of rose petals, red and dark cherries of great purity. Surprisingly gentle on the palate, well-structured and not at all overwhelming. Excellent.

2013 Chateau de Marsannay Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Wonderfully perfumed with the generous fragrance of  camphor and fresh roses, well-integrated on the palate where the minerality is seamless, displaying excellent balance and length. Quite superb.

2008 Chateau de Marsannay Chambertin Grand Cru. Notes of sweet incense, camphor and dark roses. Layered with understated minerality. Open and rounded with a soft finish. Perhaps not quite as profound as a top-tier Chambertin but this is a beautiful wine.

2013 Chateau de Marsannay Chambertin Grand Cru. Showing some restraint on the nose although there is an abundance of bright roses and cherries on the palate, rounded and soft, beautifully balanced. Could do with a more robust structure but the acidity is excellent.

2013 Chateau de Meursault Corton-Vergennes Grand Cru. Generous in white flowers, icing and crème, supported by great minerality and depth with further notes of nutmeg, though short at the finish. One wouldn’t have realised that the wine came from young vines planted only in 2007. Quite excellent.

20151118_2037072011 Hautes Cotes de Nuits Bourgogne. You really need to scrutinise the small print on the label to realise that this wine is specially bottled for FICOFI by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. DRC makes only three whites: a Montrachet Grand Cru, a Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru that’s only available for tasting within its cellars (yours truly was privileged enough to have had that experience…see Sept 2015) and this one which, of course, is not available on the open market. In spite of its Bourgogne classification, this white possesses great acidity, balance and depth, minerally yet restraint with excellent depth of fruit amidst some early complexity. Superb potential here. What a privilege!

1967 Remoissenet Pere et Fils Vosne-Romanee (courtesy of Dr Liang Te Shan). Still displaying great color with powerful medicinal aromas, almost port-like, yet open and soft with salty earthy notes and decent fruit quality, slightly short at the finish.

2009 Chateau de Meursault Volnay Clos des Chenes 1er. Sexy and feminine, displaying great harmony between superb notes of ripe strawberries, dark cherries and subtle minerality with excellent linearity and lithe supple tannins, not quite as structured and a tad short.

2012 Chateau de Marsannay Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru. Great color with powerful aromas of dark red fruits of excellent depth, stern and tight at the finish. Still primal.

1999 Rapet Pere et Fils Corton Grand Cru. Deep in color with ripe fruit of brilliant intensity, only beginning to exhibit early secondary development at this stage with other notes of cedar. Great stuff.

2012 Claude Dugat Bourgogne. Forward balance of ripe red fruits and cherries supported by subtle minerality, a tad short.

2005 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Dominant bouquet of menthol, surprisingly still tight and stern on the palate, underscored by intense graphite characters, gradually opening up after some time, superbly balanced. Excellent.

1990 Domaine Anne Gros. It’s a pity I failed to record which wine this was but it was beautifully open, medium-full with lovely depth of red fruits and dark berries, displaying great harmony and complexity.

1996 Clos des Tart Grand Cru (courtesy of Philippe). Some folks are wary of 1996 red burgundy, but there is absolutely nothing wrong here, this Morey-Saint-Denis stalwart showing plenty of bright red  cherries, plums and orange peel characters, excellent in intensity and complexity with a broad finish. Excellent.

2009 Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches 1er (courtesy of Peter Tan), displaying notes of white flowers in full bloom with a hint of nectarine, crème de la crème and chalky minerality, caressing the palate with sweet intensity. Lovely.

2011 Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, poured from magnum. Unmistakable grassy elements with attractive notes of white flowers, gentle on the palate with subtle density though not quite as full as a Bonneau du Martray.

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