Tasting red and white Burgundies selected by a Master of Wine on a warm spring evening in the Middle Temple is just about a perfect way to spend an hour or so after work.
The walls were panelled and hung with grand oil paintings, the ceilings ornate, the room full of successful, wine-loving lawyers - it was a world away, culturally, from the mermaid and the rugby player of last week.
I found I learnt as much about my own preferences from this tasting as I did about the wines:
- that I like all white Burgundy, including Chablis and Maconnais, I already knew.
- I like Beaujolais, but decided I find Fleurie rather too, well floral.
- I liked all the reds, but found the younger ones closed up and harder to assess (not for the first time)
With only limited time to get round, I decided to try the more-ambitious wines.
Domain Lamblin Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2010 (£34.96) zesty, mineral, honeyed, precise and long. Very Good.
Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Veilles Vignes 2008 (£30.96) 80% new oak, toasty, ripe, creamy-oatmealy brazil nut, precise. Very Good.
Domaine Matrot Meursault Villages 2012 (£35.46) toasty, sweet spice, muskiness, ripe yet taut and complex; floral with honey and zestiness. Very Good.
Domaine Jean Chartron - new to Private Cellar this year, I tried all three wines on show.
Bourgogne Blanc Clos de la Combe 2012 (£13.96) in Puligny, but lower down the slope and out of appellation; ripe citrus, fresh and toasty, a solid performer.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Pucelle 2012 (£60.46) ripe, toasty, complex and assured. Lots of stuffing. Very Good Indeed.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de Cailleret 2008 (in magnum, N/A) from a nearby vineyard with more calcareous soils giving a more focused and precise result, more steely-mineral. Very Good Indeed.
Domaine Laurent Savoye Beaujolais Villages Elegance 2011 (£8.96) black cherry and mulberry fruit, precise, fresh and pure. Good.
Domaine Laurent Fleurie la Cadole 2012 (£12.86) softer and more floral. Good.
Domaine Christophe Savoye Morgon (£14.96) floral with cherry and mulberry fruit, sweet spice; fresh pure and long. Good.
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont Nuits St Georges Terrasses des Vallerots 2010 (£25.96) Burgundian nose, sweet ripe red fruits, like fruit pastilles. Fresh, pure, precise. Very Good.
Domaine Parent Pommard 1er Cru Les Chaponnieres 2005 (£43.46) merest brick-red hints, truffles and well-hung game; sweet, ripe cherry fruit. Harmonious, elegant, savoury, fresh and precise. A touch of peppery spice on the finish. Good.
Domaine Frederic Magnien Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2008 (£26.96) truffley-mushroomy with ripe red fruits, plenty of stuffing and harmonious. Very Good.
Domaine Poisot - I was recommended to try all of these by a friend who was there. I found the younger wines quite closed up and not easy to assess, so I have not scored these at all. As shown, they were all Good; with time, aeration and / or aging, they might well have shown as anywhere up to Very Good Indeed.
Cotton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012 (£90.46) supple honeyed and ripe yet zesty with creamy-oatmealy brazil nut.
Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru en Caradeux 2012 (£29.96) fresh and ripe with lots of stuffing.
Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 2012 (£66.46) sweet, ripe red fruits, vibrant with some grip.
Romanee St Vivant Grand Cru 2008 (£179.46) truffley-mushroomy-farmyardy, sweet ripe red fruits, like fruit pastilles. Long, assured and harmonious.
White - Domaine Jean Chartron Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Pucelle 2012
Red - Domaine Frederic Magnien Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2008
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