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Inside Bordeaux
[ Inside Bordeaux ]

·Barton defends Bordeaux pricing
·A tale of two Bordeaux
·Bordeaux woodchip sales soar
·California versus Bordeaux
·Vintage of the century? Already?
·Vintage Bordeaux: Oz Clarke on the red route
·The lady behind Pichon's fame
·Some of the best wines in the Medoc
·Great Sauternes May Be Great Bargain of Bordeaux

Colmar. Nice city.

Colmar. Nice city.

Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.
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Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy. Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy.
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Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus... Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus...

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Two great Burgundy vintages

Two great Burgundy vintages
Burgundy and meThis is a preliminary report on 2005 and 2004 in Burgundy. 2005 is being praised to the skies, attracting labels such as the vintage of the century (the fact that there is a long way to go this century seems to be irrelevant).
2004, poor thing, is being cast as the 'plain sister', whose presence is just about tolerated

Spring is not the best time to taste - quite the opposite in Bordeaux - as most of the wines have not completed their malo-lactic fermentation, in some cases, not even started. It has been even more patchy and incomplete this year due to a very long cold winter and a cold and wet spring.

Vignerons are reluctant to show wines which have still to complete their malo-lactic because they are not 'finished' wines, often still rather disagreeably acidic from the large amounts of malic acid still present. They are not easy to taste, and may therefore be wrongly judged. Every time I was shown a 2005 from cask, the percentage completion of the malo-lactic was given so that assessment of the wine would take into due consideration the residual quantity of malic still present.


Frederic Mugnier is a quiet - almost dour - down-to-earth soft-spoken vigneron who prefers to let his wines speak for him. '2005s have more potential, the 2004s are more vibrant and more exciting,' he offers. He had just finished bottling his 2004s, while some of the 2005s were still undergoing their malo-lactic fermentation.

Mugnier's 2005s

Very good colour, very concentrated fruit, just the right degree of ripeness, very good freshness and deep flavours. Absolutely first rate wines in all categories - village, premier crus and Grand Cru. All very imposing and impressive. At the top level are the Musigny, the Chambolle Musigny Amoureuses and Nuits Saint George Clos de Marechale.


The chief difference is its very reserved style, the compactness of the wine, great depth and profundity of the wines. There is none of the fleshiness of the 2005s, more of a smooth compactness. I found both vintages to be equal in quality, but different in style. 2005 is more lush, more immediately attractive, wonderful charmers. 2004 more classic, more reserved, a long long keeper.


Without doubt one of the three or four finest white burgundy producers. Based in Meursault, this tiny family Domaine produces mainly Meursaults and a small quantity of red wines from Volnay and Monthelie. The Domaine has now expanded and has important vineyard holdings in Macon because it was impossible to expand his vineyard holdings in Meursault. Their Macons (first vintage was 2002) have virtually re-invented Macon wines, and set a new benchmark.

Dominique Lafon comments: '2005 reds are exceptional.' Tasting his Volnay 1er Cru Santenots le Milieu 2005 from the cask, he said excitedly: 'I have been working in this winery for 25 years and have never seen this quality.'

As for the 2004 whites, he said they were generally better than the 2005s. 'Greater minerality and freshness, and overall more classic.'

Meursaults 2005 and 2004

2005s - generally more fruit up front, softer and fruitier, great minerality and power. More immediately approachable.2004 - lovely fruit, very minerally, great elegance and length. Very different in style, more reserved, less immediately attractive, great underlying power and complexity.

Macons 2005

Great freshness, lovely delicate fruit, very good acidity, beautiful light elegant wines.


Francois Millet, cellar master and wine maker, was more guarded with his pronouncements. Of 2005, he said: 'Very dry and hot, but not like 2003. Quite charming, floral wines, with ripe tannins.' When asked what past vintage 2005 was similar to, he replied: 'Nothing comparable in the past as 2005 weather conditions were quite unique - drought without the overpowering heat in 2004. The juice was very concentrated.' Regarding 2004, he said: 'Do not forget 2004, great minerality. A cold August preserved the acidity, September saved the ripeness and vintage.'

Comte de Vogue 2005s

Most had only completed 40 per cent of malo-lactic fermentation. Generally deep colours, very ripe fruit, great elegance, with good acidity and minerality. A great set of wines, from village level to the Grands Crus. Take note of both the Bonnes Mares and Musigny. These will be very very special wines.


Laurent Ponsot who manages this famous estate is highly individualistic. He uses absolutely no new wood in his wine-making, he is always the last to pick, and he does not mind some volatile acidity (VA) in his wines - indeed he said his wines are always high in VA. He considers the 2004 a great vintage for its purity and its typicity. 'A classic vintage, with better balance than 2005, and with dream analyses of the wines.'

Laurent gave me a tasting of a broad selection of his 2005s. The characteristics: generally very dark colours, almost black in some instances. Great ripeness and density of flavours, intense wines, very good minerality and freshness. Particularly outstanding were the Clos de La Roche Vieilles Vignes 2005 and Clos Saint Denis VV - the vines for the latter are 100 years old. You can safely buy all of them - if you can find them. His productions are very small, 25 hectolitres per hectare being normal for him.

N K Yong - June 9, 2006 ; The Business Times
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 @ 20:24:49 MST by pierre
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Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.
Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.

Colmar. Nice city.
Colmar. Nice city.

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