11 December 2023
Burgundy Diaries – Day 7
By Jason Haynes, Burgundy Buyer
Pernand-Vergelesses, Beaune, Nuits
Day 7 began with a small tasting of 25 wines (!) at Domaine Rapet in Pernand-Vergelesses. Robin, son of Vincent, took me through his comprehensive range of wines from around Pernand and other neighbouring villages. As usual, this was a really nice tasting, Robin’s friendly disposition being reflected in his wines. Lots to like here but the white Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru ‘Caradeux’ just edged out its neighbour ‘Sous Frétille’, while on the red front the Pernand 1er Cru ‘Ile des Vergelesses’ and the Beaune 1er Cru ‘Grèves’ fought closely for bragging rights.
I didn’t have to travel far for my next appointment as I was seeing Guillaume Guiton in Bligny-lès-Beaune, who made quite a powerful set of reds and seemed rightly chuffed with what he had made. A quick dash along the back roads to Beaune to see off a hungry-busting piece of meat in 20 minutes ensured I only arrived 15 minutes late in Nuits to see Alix Millot. She is blessed with 8 hectares of prime vineyards all planted between 50 and 80 years ago, a whole hectare of which is in Echezeaux! These came to the domaine from her mother’s side and used to be rented out to Mongeard Mugneret, but one can’t help but feel they are in a better home now! Alix, unsurprisingly, would agree. There was nice use of whole bunch, around 30% for most wines, across the range, and aside from the Grands Crus, the Suchots looked very special.
Again, my schedule arrangements were working well, and I stayed in Nuits to go and visit Mark Fincham at Domaine Tawse, where we tasted with owner Pascal Marchand, who filled me in on when all the various plots which were planted. This was a really terrific set of wines, and the ever-reflective Mark, had great insight into both his work in the cuverie and the qualities of the vintage. Mark varies his use of whole-bunch by significantly switching from 0 to 100% when he feels it is appropriate, and he seems to get it right every time. At village level, the Gevrey ‘Etelois’ was terrific (100% destemmed); at 1er Cru level the Lavaux was just sensational despite being half washed by the June rains, and at the top level the Mazis was sublime. This is a domaine clearly climbing the heights.
The day finished with a quick tasting of Jean-Baptiste Lebreuil’s Savignys before joining the Flint Sommelier trip for a spot of wild boar at the old hunting lodge at Le Hameau De Barboron, where the Burgfest tastings take place. We shared lots of interesting bottles and plenty of spit-roasted boar!