(2020) Old fashioned in its way, this is light (12.5% abv), subtle Pinot Noir with a touch of chestnutty, autumnal warmth and a red fruit profile. In the mouth the tannins and acidity give this firmness, arguably a slightly lean quality, but that savouriness with a hint of sour orange and firm, small red berries is also its appeal. A 'proper Pinot', or rather, 'proper Burgundy' at the entry level, with a certain briary, stalky austerity.
(2020) This bottle was opened three weeks pior to re-tasting, as an experiment to see how well a wine preservation system called 'Repour' would maintain the condition of the wine. Read about Repour here. As suggested by Repour, I uncorked this three-week-old bottle to allow it to 'breathe' after its time with oxygen excluded from the wine. There was no hint of oxidation to colour or aroma, the wine seemingly very much the same as my initial tasting. In the mouth perhaps just a touch softer than previously, a touch more smoky bacon and grilled quality, but otherwise the wine was surprisingly fresh, the tannin and acid structure identical, and the overall enjoyment level the same, if not marginally improved. The Repour system certainly seemed to have avoided oxidation of the wine, and to have preserved its essential character extremely well.
(2019) Even in this Bourgogne Pinot, the average vine age is 45 years. The wine had a "light barrel treatment." The colour is pale garnet, the nose offering briar and brushwood, some rose hip and delicate cherryish fruit. The pure, sweet, ripeness of the fruit as it strikes the palate is remarkable, a silky, almost confiture red berry fruit, but some more earthy and a savoury acid edge cuts through, tannin and a bit of spice too, in a very good and quite complex Bourgogne of high qualty.
(2019) An interesting wine from the Louis Latour company, who are based in Burgundy but who have extensive vineyard holdings in Beaujolais just further south. This comes from the heart of the Beaujolais region, but it is not Beaujolais but 'Coteaux Bourgignons', because the wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir, which has had minimal exposure to oak, but which comes from chalk and limestone soils. It has terrific lift and buouyancy, violet florals and cherry leap from the glass, with a nice undercurrent of soft, truffly Pinot character. In the mouth it is savoury with plenty of tang from sour orange and cherry again, good tannins and plenty of sappy character to set against that core of sweet fruit. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2018) I was surprised in some ways to see that there are around 80 tasting notes for Bouchard wines in my database, because as an important Burgundy producer and négociant they do stay slightly under the radar compared to the likes of Jadot and Louis Latour. I was also surprised to see that I hadn't tasted the Côte de Beaune-Villages since the 2000 vintage, as it is a lovely minor Burgundy (yes, even at £20 a bottle that's minor for Burgundy). With a bright cherry perfume backed up by some deeper, sweet earth and briar, but really it is all about the fruit. In the mouth, truly vinous with cherry and grape fruitiness, quite a substantial mouthfeel, ripe but relatively chunky tannins and good cleansing acidity.
(2018) Always delivering a reliably solid glass of wine, Maison Louis Latour's 2015 Bourgogne opens with spice, a hint of truffly damp earth and nicely pert red cherry and raspberry fruit. In the mouth there's a deal of backbone here, a nice endive-like bittersweetness to the tannin and acid axis, but the layering of fresh, open red fruits and hints of mocha add up to a pleasing picture. £14.49 as part of a mixed six at Majestic is a more attractive price - and Bon Couer Wines has half bottles at £7.99.
(2017) This is a négociant wine from Louis Latour, where growers on long-term contracts supply the Pinot Noir grapes and Latour makes the wine. From 30-year-old vines and unoaked, it has a haunting, expressive fragrance, briar and stalkiness, mushroom and then also clear cherry and red berry fruit. A touch of pepper and herbs adds more interest. Very fresh on the palate, there's a lovely juiciness to this wine, more of that pert red fruit and nicely precise tannins and acids to finish. It's a lovely village Burgundy in a restrained but fruit-forward style. Watch the video for more information.
(2017) From an estate that farms its vineyards organically, and governed by phases of the moon, this is from Fixin, an appellation north of Gevrey-Chambertin, and is firm, sappy, stalky and a touch green, but all that is charming and gives a certain precision to the nose and palate. Again that stemminess on the palate, a brisk, firm tannin and acid structure but there's a touch of smoothing oak and plenty of cherry-fresh fruit to give this charm as well as seriousness.
(2016) I just love the unforced, natural concentration of this Pinot Noir from vineyards neighbouring Pommard. It's the epitome of an iron fist in a cashmere glove, as gentle bracken and cherry flavours flatter, before a stripe of intense concentration, liquorice and endive is revealed. It's core has concentrated acidity and tannins, whilst those crisp red fruit flavours and sappy, young twig freshness is energising. The opposite of blockbuster, but hugely pure and decisive, it should cellar five years+.
(2016) Maranges is one of the less familar names of southern Burgundy, its appellations status granted only in 1988. This is a really nice, understated and fairly lean style of Pinot Noir, but not without its subtle floral charms aromatically, and with excellent clarity on the palate, if a little lack of fruit depth.