They say in Burgundy that their wines are like orgasms – if you don’t go weak at the knees, you haven’t had a good one.
Someone must have changed their technique recently because over toasted and banana flavours on whites have throttled back and citrus freshness with deft use of oak is easier to come by from enlightened producers.
One of Burgundy’s top names, Maison Albert Bichot makes a wide range of reds and whites from some of the best ‘climats’ in this complex and fragmented region.
Three white wine highlights of their 2011 vintage were:
Bourgogne Chardonnay ‘Secret de Famille’. Good wine merchants always have excellent inexpensive bottles. Likewise, ‘simple’ lines from top producers can be everyday drinking bargains, as here.
Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaucopins, Domaine Long-Depaquit. If you thought Chablis was just one ‘style’ of Chardonnay, think again. Chablis geeks could spend their lives just getting to know this region. Versatile pleasure: mineral, dense, elegant and ripe. Perfect for fruits de mer.
Chablis Grand Cru, Les Blanchots, Domaine Long-Depaquit. Whilst Grand Cru Chablis is usually fuller bodied and more complex, many are delicate and floral, as here. Gorgeous weight and substance with vibrant citrus notes. Like a good wife, steely and pretty at the same time.
Albert Bichot Burgundies are available in London from Soho Wine. See Albert Bichot website and blog.
Other London merchants with great Burgundy wines include Roberson Wine, established in Kensington for 20 years. They also have excellent wines from Bordeaux, grower Champagnes and whites from the underrated Alsace and Loire Valley regions.
A lively programme of evening tastings is so highly thought of, the wine trade is often in attendance too. Moreover, wine tastings are a great ‘first date’ and if it’s going well, a bottle of Puligny-Montrachet should get you to the finishing line.
(photo – Super Heavy / Flickr Creative Commons)