Terroirist Tuesday: Terroirs & Signatures de Bourgogne 2014

 Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday.Today’s Topic:  Terroirs & Signatures de Bourgogne 2014

by L.M. Archer, FWS

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binNotes recently braved the omni-present Seattle rain to bask in the warm glow of  BIVB’s Terroirs & Signatures de Bourgogne Trade Tasting at UrbanFeast | The Foundry.

I had to blink. Twice. At the event entrance stood none other than ‘Le Renard de Bourgogne,’ Jean-Pierre Renard, legendary BIVB instructor par excellence of the French Wine Society 2013 Bourgogne Master Level Immersion Program. The man forgets more about Burgundy by breakfast than most people hope to know about the region in a lifetime. Shock and introductions aside,  I quickly asked Jean-Pierre for a quick synopsis of the way to maneuver through the event.

His recommendation: complete a nearby series of four tastings at each of four tables, culminating in a blind tasting of four wines, one from each table.  Jean-Pierre also mentioned something about filling out a blind tasting ballot form at the end for a chance to win a prize…but I was too busy enjoying the exceptional Regional, Village, Premier and Grand Crus tastings to take note, or notes. Oh, well. Bon chance to the winner.

An old axiom about Burgundy’s wines goes: It’s all about the terroir. And the producer.  Beyond the blind tasting beamed the bright lights of the trade tasting tables. Here, twenty-five Burgundy producers poured their best 2011 and 2012 vintages, each designed to showcase the ‘terroirs’ and ‘signatures’ of Burgundy. Some other vintages gamboled among the newer ones. Interestingly, most of the wine makers with whom I spoke espouse organic farming, and others investing in upgrades to biodynamic farming.

In binNotes’ opinion, three (3) producers surpassed the others at this event with their panache, passion and precision. These three included:

I. Bertrand Ody of M. Joseph Burrier | Château de Beauregard

Wines tasted:

1. Mâcon-Fuissé, 2012 – J. Burrier (Regional wine. 80% stainless/20% oak.)

2. Saint-Véran, En Faux, 2011, Château de Beauregard (80% stainless/20% oak.)

3. Pouilly-Fuissé, 2012, Château de Beauregard

4. Pouilly-Fuissé, Vers Cras, 2010, Château de Beauregard (11 mos. oak/30 new.)

5. Pouilly-Fuissé, Vignes Blanches, 2009, Château de Beauregard (11 mos. oak/30 new.)

6. Pouilly-Fuissé, Grand Beauregard, 2008, Château de Beauregard

Impressions: These wines pour fresh, clean, pristine. A discreet but discernible difference between the oaked Ch. de Beauregard and the 80% stainless regional and village wines. I found the oak protocols impart varying hints of almond to the wine. NOTE: The owner produces 20,000 cs/yr. and sells 50% of his wines to restaurants in France.)

II. Mdm. Anne Parent of Domaine Parent.

Wines Tasted:

1. Corton Grand Cru, 2011. Delicate. Parcel is midslope limestone.

2. Monthélie, 2011 –  Herbacious.

3. Pommard 1er Cru, Les Poutures, 2011. Mdm. Parent calls this ‘The Skater.’ Lively.

4. Pommard 1er Cru, Les Chaponnières, 2011. Red clay, spice, 75 yr. old vines. A wine of power and intensity.

5. Pommard 1er Cru, Les Epenots, 2011. Up for Grand Cru status. Considered one of Pommard’s two greatest 1er Crus (The other: Les Rugiens, also up for Grand Cru status.)

6. Ladoix 1er Cru, La Corvée, 2011.  The soils here transition from Côte de Nuits to Côte de Beaune.

BONUS: Pommard 1er Cru, Les Epenots, 2002, Magnum. Those infamous Pommard  tannins let loose a bit.

Impressions: Don’t mess with Madame Anne Parent, or her wines.  Unflinching. Uncompromising. A force of nature. (NOTE: See video below for more on Mdm. Anne Parent and her influential role in Pommard’s bid for Grand Cru status.)

III. Romain Taupenot of Domaine Taupenot-Merme.

Wine tasted:

1. Gevrey-Chambertin, 2011. Napoleon’s favorite wine for a reason.

2. Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Bel Air, 2011. Great 1er cru real estate in the higher slopes above Clos de Bèze.

3. Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru, 2011. Considered one of two top 1er Crus in Nuits-Saint-Georges (the other is Les Vaucrains.)

4. Corton Rognet Grand Cru, 2011. On the Aloxe-Corton side of Ladoix.

5. Mazoyeres-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2011. Often labeled as Charmes-Chambertin; some say possesses less finesse than Charmes-Chambertin. I found no such issues with this wine.

BONUS: Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 1998. (Served on 1st Class United Emirate.) A wine worthy of its designation. Charming.

Impressions: Discretion, elegance, finesse. Pale robe, delicate aromas, silky tannins, lingering finish. Again, indicative of how the wine and wine maker mirror one another’s temperament.

Event complete, I felt like Cinderella at the end of the ball, except my coach was a SmartCar, not a pumpkin. And instead of a glass slipper, I had only a wine glass to recall the magic of Burgundy.


The  formidable Mdm. Anne Parent expounds upon Pommard’s Grand Cru efforts:

Video: Courtesy http://www.bergmans-bourgogne.com

 Parlez-vous français? Écouter ici pour Jean-Pierre Renard, virtuose dégustateur and ‘Le papa de ProDégustation®:



Bertrand Ody, Maison Joseph Burrier | Chateau de Beauregard

Mdm. Anne Parent, Domaine Parent

Romain Taupenot, Domaine Taupenot-Merme

Le Renard de Bourgogne


NOTE:  For those of you trying to access binNotes guest blog for The Good Life France  –  it goes live tomorrow –  I’ll post the link as soon as it’s up!

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. All images ©2014 Courtesy the author.

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