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Maison Albert Sounit Burgundies

By Tom Cannavan, 08/03

Nick Dobson Wines is the UK importer of the wines tasted below. Based in Berkshire, Nick Dobson Wines also retail these wines via their web site. Nick Dobson himself has a passion for the wines of Beaujolais, the Mâconnais and the Côte Chalonnaise, and he sent me this selection to taste, from Maison Albert Sounit, a producer previously unknown to me.
 

These are lovely wines by and large. As a generalisation, I preferred the whites, which to a wine were of terrific quality; proper white Burgundy with lovely fruit and structure an ample match for generous oak. The reds are made in a fruity style, with plenty of elegance and a crisp, food-friendly character. All prices in pounds sterling (approximately £5=$8US/€8). I make absolutely no commission on sales.

white

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise 2001
Light to medium straw/gold. Lovely nose here; very crisply-defined ogen melon fruit with a touch of ripe apple, and just a background suggestion of nutty, honeyed character. On the palate this is quite bold and punchy, with a powerful core of orchard fruits and a nice weighty texture. Acidity is well-judged, with oaky flavours and a hint of wood tannin adding heft to the finish. Plenty of fruit though, and a powerful, stylish Burgundy. Very good indeed. £9.95

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Rully Blanc "Saint-Jacques" 2001
The nose on this gold coloured, green-tinged wine is nutty, fat and rich, with plenty of toasty barrique, but also a delicate white fruit character. On the palate it is delightful; there is plenty of orange and limpid pear, with a great cut of citrus which freshens and extends the finish. The oak is quite integrated on the palate, giving just gentle support with more nutty breadth, and a long stylish finish. Very good indeed, and classy. £12.46

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Mercurey Les Monthelons 2001
I really loved this buttercup yellow wine, with its toasty coffee bean and vanilla-scented nose of rich, honeyed green fig fruit, with lush peachy underpinning. On the palate it is surprisingly racy with lots of vervy orange fruit and hints of buttery, creamy pineapple, and all supported by that integrated, charry oak. Nice, generous mid-palate and a long, crisply defined finish. Fine white Burgundy at a modest price with a few years ahead of it. For me, possibly the star of Sounit's range, and excellent. £13.95.

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Montagny 1èr Cru Les Jardins 2001
This has a slightly lighter golden hue, still with an emerald gleam. It has a lovely nose, showing less overt new oak than any of the previous wines, with only a subtle background toastiness, gentle hazelnut and plenty of creamy orchard fruit. There's just a little suggestion of honeysuckle. On the palate it is weighty and full-textured, with plenty of limpid, pure white fruit and a vervy streak of citrus. Lovely sweetness of fruit here, and again that ground almond creaminess that fills out the finish. Delightful, and another favourite of the range, though in quite a different style to the Rully. Excellent. £13.95

red

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise 1998
This has an attractive nose; quite truffly and earthy at first, but with sweet, jammy fruits emerging along with little hints of clove. On the palate it is quite light and elegant, with raspberry fruit and freshening acidity in a medium-bodied format. Quite tangy, with a note of orange into the finish and some background tannins. Fresh and appetising red wine. Very good. £9.95

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Givry Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2001
This was actually my favourite of the Sounit reds, with its garnet red colour and wonderfully vibrant nose of cherries, raspberry and eucalyptus. On the palate a rich, juicy core of lush berry fruit has nuances of tart damson skins and crisp, mouthwatering tannins. The acid structure is excellent, and this savoury, lithe style of red Burgundy finishes with purity and length. Very good indeed/excellent. £11.99

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Rully "En Pellerey" 1999
The class of the vintage tells here I think, as well as 20-year-old vines. With a fine, elegant, cherry-fruited nose, this has a gentle floral character, with hints of truffle and wood smoke. On the palate it is rich and filled with deep, sweet red fruits, though it's medium-bodied style is fresh, with good crisp tannins and a lovely acid structure. This is a fairly light style of Burgundy, but has lovely balance and purity to the fruit and is very good indeed. £12.24

Albert Sounit (Burgundy) Mercurey "Les Varennes" 1998
There's a nice spiciness on the nose of this wine, as well as a slightly dank, wet undergrowth character. The fruit is good and sweet however, suggesting raspberries and a touch of old rose aroma. On the palate it is slightly thin, and lacking a bit of flesh in the mid-palate, with but there is a fine tannic and acid structure supporting some good red fruit in a lighter style. Only rates as good, though I suspect a very low level of cork taint on this wine. £12.95