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A Beaune to pick (Cote de Beaune, France – Day One)

Something that amazed me when I first came to Burgundy back in 2010 was how small the region was compared to how important it was, particularly in comparison to Bordeaux which is as big as it is important. The Cote d’Or stretches for about 40 kilometres from North-East to South-West, and is as narrow as 500 metres wide in such places as Premeaux-Prissey. The amount of wine that is produced can’t be that much considering the yields of only a few tonnes per hectare, and yet you can find Burgundy all around the world. Despite the relatively small size of the region there are a lot of differences between each part, particularly between the Cote des Nuits and the Cote de Beaune. The Cote de Beaunes starts in Aloxe-Corton, stretches north of the town of Beaune (the heart of the Cote d’Or) and continues past it all the way to just past Chassagne-Montrachet. I was always confused by the claim that the red wines of the Cote des Nuits were more feminine than their counterparts further south, whereas I (and several of my fellow students at university) felt the opposite was true. Pinot noir from the Cote de Beaune is first and foremost lighter, more pure and fresh, shows the minerality better and most importantly is more approachable sooner. I much prefer the red wines of the Cote de Beaune for all of these reasons, but it is also the chardonnay wines that distinguish this part of Burgundy as supreme, with the Montrachet Grand Cru parcels producing arguably the best white wines in the world. I was thrilled to visit three producers today that all exemplify the style of the Cote des Beaune yet have their own unique expression of it.

Ma Cuisine, one of the best dining experiences of my trip

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Marc Morey – 10/12/2012

Bourgogne Aligote 2011
very tight fresh green citrus, a little citric tropical notes too. Nice and full flavoured, very fresh with good acidity, friendly and balanced, nothing wrong with it at all, just a good dry young drinking white wine with some texture and length.

Saint Aubin Charmois Premier Cru 2011
Classic chardonnay, bright rich ripe citrus and peach, good minerality on the nose. Dense and ripe, taken to good point of ripeness, perhaps some skin contact or perhaps the lees contact, richness depth and length, ripe and full on the palate, some length but not super long.

Chassagne 2011
A little richer and soapier on the nose, more minerality coming through, a little leesy but very mineralic. Wonderful purity and density, good depth and extension, long and straight but in a few will open out a little.

Les Chenvottes Chassagne Premier Cru 2010
Much more complexity on the nose, showing the seashell characters, some sweet smoky notes, a little toasty brioche. Very rich creamy but not fat, quite delicate with great finesse, nice ripeness and lines, round on the palate, plenty more time to develop. Good density and intensity of minerals.

En Virondot Chassagne Premer Cur 2009
Very open mineral nose, crush sea shell elements, a little rubbery, perhaps closed. Very delicate ripe tropical notes. Volume and weight but already shifting backwards on the palate, more alcohol and viscosity, but well handled, good balance and freshness, nice integrated oak and plenty of acidity.

Les Vergers Chassagne Premier Cru 2008
Very intense, already ageing very well, concentrated tight vintage, fruit characters fleshing and opening out a lot. Picking up some developed richness from some age, round rich and creamy, developed fruit and minerality, showing even some sweet caramel notes. Full but soft texture, very long and complex.

En Virondot Chassagne Premier Cru 2008
Very intense, very quiet, very complex. Extremely complete chardonnay. Simply stunning. Nothing more to say.

Morgeot Chassagne Premer Cru 2006
Dark and deep, black fruits and black olives. Very young for its age. Quite full and intense but not heavy at all, nice and fresh and precise, good purity and finesse, ripe and intense yes but not at the sacrifice of elegance and approachability. Sitting in a nice place.

Domaine Marc Morey

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