Last night, Caitlin and I met at The JakeWalk on Smith Street, for a White Burgundy tasting and fundraiser to support the endeavors of Patrick Watson–the owner of Smith & Vine. The Vintage was 2004 and all proceeds (in conjunction with the Boston to NY AIDS Ride) were donated to breakingthecycle.org. The JakeWalk, a wine and cheese bar co-owned by the owners of Stinky Brooklyn and Smith & Vine, is a narrow deep colored space with plenty of windows and a warm, old-school vibe. While their usual offerings are extensive, they were unavailable at the time. Instead, we were treated to Patrick’s careful selection of 17 White Burgundy wines.
Of the 17 wines offered, only nine came with price points, meaning that most of the others were either specially ordered or got on site, and therefore unavailable to the public. The wines, all 100% chardonnay, were arranged into four groups-Group A showed four wines from Maconnais:
Domaine Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix
Chateau Fuissé Pouilly-Fuissé Le Clos
Domaine de la Bongran Viré Clessé Quintaine
Bret Brothers Pouilly Vinzelles Les Quartz.
The most interesting was the Chateau Fuissé. Initially I sensed toast and sweet rye on the nose; Chateau Fuissé spends time in barrels that are two to five years old. The aromas gracefully transcend to the palate, with notes of grain, raisin, and jackfruit with a nutty finish. Quite nice!
Group B offered four wines from Cote de Beaune, all of which are Premier Crus, including:
Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet La Dents de Chien
Chateau de la Maltroye Santenay La Comme
Domaine Jacques Prieur Beaune Clos de Feguine
Domaine Jacques Prieur Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes.
The Chateau de la Maltroye would pair quite well with many grain based dishes; it shows nutty brown rice on the nose with clear acidity and oak. The Domaine Jacques Prieur, possesses minerality which is swept away by acidity to make way for an oaky finish. As found in most of the wines we sampled, each layer plays an active role, leading one effortlessly from one flavor to the next.
We stayed in Cote de Beaune for Group C, tasting five wines from Beaune and Mersault:
Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Domaine Dublere Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Domaine Roulot Meursault Le Meix Chavaux
Domaine Matrot Wittersheim Meursault 1er Cru Blagny
Domaine Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Verges.
The Bonneau du Martray shows aromas of talc with an airy floral essence that hovers above the minerality. A beautiful nose! And in the Domaine Dublere I found lemon juice, the freshest ever squeezed, followed in the mouth by a flash of anise, and a fully integrated finish, like lemon oiled wood. As if not made from the same grape, the Domaine Roulot displays clay and minerality followed by white berry/cherry and almond, with citrus acidity and a crisp finish.
Our whirl-wind tour of Burgundy ended with Chablis and Cote de Beaune in Group D:
Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre
Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur
J.F. Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc (the only one we missed)
Domaine Henri Clerc & Fils Puligny Montrachet Les Folatiers.
The Domaine Henri Clerc & Fils is quite zippy on the nose, showing notes of lime and limestone/chalk. The spicy, chili-essence is integrated with oak on the finish. Here, the acidity rises above the oak,which serves as a tethered stone.
Thanks for all the thought that went into planning the event. I wish Patrick and his team a most excellent ride!
[Where: The JakeWalk, 282 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231]