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Red Burgundy and Beaujolais

by Tom Cannavan, 02/98

This was part two of the private cellar tastings (see "Private Cellar 1" for details). Really the Burgundies are a very sorry, ill-bought lot. Mostly minor wines from rather anonymous négociants and mediocre years. Other than a decent 1990 Pommard, nothing was showing at all well that I tasted. Some quality Cru Beaujolais has been cellared far too long. Scores awarded out of 100 again.

Flight One. Red Burgundy

Mercurey, Dufouleur Frères, 1983
Pale pink colour with mahogany tinge. Medicinal, herbal nose and a mouthful of over chaptalised, raw alcohol. Horrible. 70/100.

Chorey-lès-Beaune, Pierre Laforest, 1985
Purplish ruby colour fringed orange. Slightly stinky nose - whiff of burnt rubber and decay. Nondescript, thin palate. Very poor with little discernible fruit and a mean finish. 72/100.

Bourgogne, G. Pelletier, 1986
Caramel brown colour. Horrible nose: acrid, old, bad wood. Bad barrels I think, and undrinkable. No score.

Chambolle-Musigny, Michel Clerget, 1984
Decent, if orangy/amber colour. Stinky, vegetal nose. Some sweet fruit lurking in there too. Over chaptalised. Some strawberry fruit on the palate, medium weight, a bit of tannic backbone and structure. A step up, but hardly a great expression of the pinot noir. Drink up soon. 78/100.

Vosne-Romanée, J. Lafayette, 1986
Mahogany colour with broad light on rim. Nose is very shallow, slightly oxidised. Dry in the mouth, with no fruit and an inky stalkiness about it. Finish is tannic, lean and unpleasant. Very poor and past it. 73/100.

Pomard, Jean-Luc Joillot, 1990
Intense black purple colour. More Burgundian on the nose, with some raspberry fruit, powerful vegetal aromas, and a leafy, high, basil note. Quite chewy, with good weight and a set of flavours around an earthy, undergrowth theme. Not too much fruit, but quite soft with savoury acidity. Not bad, but maybe doesn't have the class to last. 86/100.

Flight Two. Beaujolais

Julienas Les Gramonts, Viscount Bernard de Romanet, 1982
Very watery, tawny colour. Pretty disgusting, sherried, mouldy aromas. Had to taste it, so...chaptalised, thin, dank. Nothing left of this wine. No score.

Fluerie La Madone, Louis Tete, 1983
Slightly beter colour and more body, but disappearing over-the-hill and into the sunset. Some sweetness remaining but not pleasant. 68/100.

Moulin-à-Vent, Louis Tete, 1985
Pale amber colour. Nose is dumb with just hints of cherry fruit. Some roundness on the palate with sweetness of ripe fruit and firm tannins showing up in the finish. Drinkable now. 84/100.

Fluerie Clos des Moriers, Louis Tete, 1988
Ruby colour fading to tawny at rim. Raspberry fruit on the nose. Nicely earthy, fruity wine with plenty of stuffing and enough life about it to see it through a year or 18 months. 85/100.

Go to Private Cellar 1