Taupenot-Merme dinner, by Sam Clarke
The variety of Romain Taupenot-Merme's holdings made this the ideal Domaine to explore an array of Burgundy terroirs. The sumptuous Grill at the Dorchester was the scene for the buoyant Romain to kick off the evening with a glass of the 2011 Auxey-Duresses. This is a wine that consistently over delivers with delicious, round, mineral flavours, leading to a racy, balanced and lingering finish. Evidence of some of the great value still very much available in Burgundy.
The second flight of wines, served with a delicious foie gras paté en croute, split the diners 50/50. The 2011s were perfect examples of nuances of terroir. Same vintage, same winemaker, same vinification, same new oak, completely different wines. The Chambolle was all supple elegance, the Gevrey more gravelly masculinity.
The next flight illustrated the pleasure that the 2007 vintage is giving at the moment (and will continue to for some time). The Nuits-St-Georges Pruliers cut through the fatty flavours of the veal belly, opening up impressively in the glass and was a perfect match for the dish, whilst the Charmes-Chambertin was on stunning form with intensity, persistence, complexity and depth. The 2007 Charmes is a wine well known to a couple of people around the table but Romain was vociferous in his advice that it could be even more enjoyable if opened some ten hours before serving! No hurry with that one then!
The finale featured two wines bought from the library stocks of Taupenot-Merme; 2001 Morey-St-Denis 1er Riotte and 1995 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Combe D'Orveaux. These were the last six bottles of the 1995 in the country and it will be a wine that we will miss from our list. Thankfully we still have some of the 2001, whose youthful vigour suggests its best years are still to come, Both were great reflections of their respective terroirs and illustrated the importance of storage as they had spend the majority of their lives in cold Burgundian cellars.