TN NW chardonnay v Burgundy shoot out

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Keith Prothero, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. :) Could not resist . Sorry Simon beat you too it

    So 10 new world chardonnays costing an average of £60 a bottle were locked in battle against the might of Burgundy costing an average bottle price of £400.
    Will any of the new world wines be rated better than any of the burgundy?
    What were the 5 favourite wines of the night ?
    What were the best QPR bottles

    Simon will have all the answers.
    Come back in 6 hours :)
  2. Just in awe of the ability of those present to come through flights of 10 with some coherent conclusions.

    WSET flights of 3 were tough enough. WIMP....

    Bon courage!
    Peter Webb and Ian Hampsted like this.
  3. Is the football result Spain 3 Portugal 3 a guide? is the Ronaldo hat-trick an indicator that greatness always sieges such opportunities?
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  4. In Grant We Trust. Simon will be along shortly.
    Steven Pritchard likes this.
  5. The tension is unbearable. More so than the final of the final of the great bake off and the Trump-Kim Jong-un summit.
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  6. That was a lot of wine...
    Oliver Coleman-Green likes this.
  7. but the food and service were fantastic.
  8. And........
  9. Two of Tom’s top five were new world.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  10. ... they'll be buying before posting
  11. Three of my top five were new world!
  12. But my favourite was an Arnuad Ente.
  13. Simon’s right. It was a lot of wine.
    Alex Lake and Nayan Gowda like this.
  14. A remarkable event for which Keith, Paul and La Trompette deserve our unlimited thanks; these things don't happen without an astonishing amount of thought and work. The fact that two of the five wines I liked best were from the New World proved Keith's point at least to me. The good news for erstwhile Leflaive followers is that the 14 Chevalier shows that they are right back on form. Further ruminations to follow, but I should observe that the two rich courses of scallop and turbot with crab were superbly conceived for the wines and beautifully executed and the wine service both gracious and perfect.
  15. As Tom says, huge thanks to Paul and Keith for their efforts and generosity. Team Trompette did phenomenally well, and the wine service was superb. The scallop dish perhaps the best I’ve had anywhere and the other courses close behind.

    As to the wines? It’s a tough gig, and all of them would have benefited from time in glass for contemplation. Some lovely wines, but given the price differential etc, the new world made a strong case for serious consideration.


    • 1999 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne
      Magnum. Fresh and chalky. Not showing any development yet, but poised and balanced with no sense of screechiness. Fresh. Becomes a little lose knit in the glass. Needs time, but not the class of the 96. **** (93 pts.)
    Scallop, peas, barley, lemon verbena
    • 2014 Kumeu River Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard - New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Kumeu
      Blind. Guessed NW. Pale. Quite clean, lean, fresh nose. A touch of pear and melon. Some grip. Pale. Quite chewy. ****
    • 2009 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
      Blind. Guessed OW. Mid straw. Slightly fuller. Volatile nose, the chlorine end of a swimming pool. Slightly
      Corky too i think. Rich and caramelly and corky. No. NR (flawed)
    • 2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
      Blind. Guessed OW. Mid straw. Richer with a touch of oat. A little flabbier when warm but pulls together to show quite classily. ****
    • 2014 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
      Blind. Guessed OW. Mid straw. Leaner attack but fuller / more serious on mid palate. Quite tangy with it’s a d interest. ****
    • 2016 Sorrenberg Chardonnay - Australia, Victoria, North East, Beechworth
      Blind. Guessed NW. Quite a ripe melon lifted tropical nose. Similar on palate without being fat. ***
    • 2012 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
      Blind. Guessed NW. fuller mid straw. Relatively neutral nose. Some weight to mid palate. Relatively anonymous. ***1/2
    • 2014 Neudorf Chardonnay Moutere - New Zealand, South Island, Nelson, Moutere
      Blind. Guessed NW. richer, fuller nose. Some weight here. A bit of burn and no mid palate. ***
    • 2011 Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
      Blind. Guessed OW. Not sure about vintage so this may change. Pale straw. Quite Burgundian on the nose. A touch of oatmeal. Quite leggy. Serious. ****
    • 2011 Sandhi Wines Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
      Blind. Guessed NW. A touch of swimming pool. Quite ripe on the palate. Similar on revisiting. A sucrocity. ****
    • 2015 Giaconda Chardonnay Estate Vineyard - Australia, Victoria, North East, Beechworth
      Blind. Guessed OW. A touch tropical on the nose, but more Burgundian on the palate. Oatmeal coming through. Very good. ****
    Turbot, crab, Jersey Royals, sea herbs
    • 2015 Morgen Long Chardonnay Sandi - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
      Blind. Guessed NW. Initially quite tropical. Some pear drop too. Minerally with some bite. Opens up nicely. Develops well. ****
    • 2011 Arnaud Ente Meursault - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
      Blind. Guessed OW. Quite a lean style. Some tropical lift. A bit hot on the finish. So so. ***
    • 2016 Flametree Chardonnay S.R.S - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
      Blind. Guessed OW. Incredibly strong nose of dry oak. Quite fat with a degree of richness. Ripe vintage, quite serious. ***1/2
    • 2013 Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
      Blind. Guessed NW. very tropical, floral nose. Very ripe and rounded. Some weight on the finish. ***1/2
    • 2015 Tissot (Bénédicte et Stéphane / André et Mireille) Arbois Clos de la Tour de Curon - France, Jura, Arbois
      Blind. Guessed OW. Initially quite full. Ripe and tropical with a touch of apple juice, becoming really quite cidery. NR. Returning after an hour though , this has blown off and is showing classic Tissot. ****
    • 2011 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
      Blind. Guessed OW. Full straw. A touch volatile and oxidative. Blowsy. Overly mature Butg. **1/2
      Oh dear, I’ve had a far better bottle of this previously.
    • 2014 Littorai Chardonnay Thieriot Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
      Blind. Guessed OW. Very oatmeally nose. Nicely balanced. Warms up with air and shows quite classically. ****
    • 2014 Jules Desjourneys Pouilly-Fuissé - France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
      Blind. Guessed Ow. Again, Burgundian Jose. A touch of oatmeal. Quite fresh. Nice line. Elegant and interesting. ****
    • 2016 Brokenwood Chardonnay Indigo Vineyard - Australia, Victoria, North East, Beechworth
      Blind. Guessed NW. Slightly medicinal reductive new world nose. Slightly cheesy, lactic. Very pale. Some richness. ****
    • 2014 Marc Colin et Fils Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
      Blind. Guessed NW. Relatively neutral. A touch of fruit. Richer and riper on the palate. ***
    Ayrshire beef, hen of the woods, Tropea onion
    • 1961 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Blind. Got as far as old St Julian. Mid to pale garnet. Quite rich on the nose. Sweet fruited. Savoury, a touch smoky. Some cedar too. **** (93 pts.)
    • 1986 Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
      Blind. Darker. A slightly cloudy ruby to garnet. Good acidity but a little dry and bitter. Quite savoury and lots of interest **** (91 pts.)
    • 1999 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
      Blind. Pinot. Slightly cloudy ruby. A touch of beetroot that seems to blow off. Quite grippy. More Burgundian. Serious but surly. **** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Ridge Monte Bello - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
      Blind. Clarity nose. Quite chewy. Some eucalyptus. A sweetness to the fruit. Harmonious. Elegant new world. **** (93 pts.)
    • 1989 Château Montrose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      Blind. Smoky beetroot. Dark. Dense. Chewy. Almost opaque. Dry. A bruiser with attitude. **** (91 pts.)
    Muscovado tart and roast cherries
    Posted from CellarTracker
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  16. I liked the Littorai and the Brokenwood among the NW wines FWIW.
  17. First thanks to La Trompette for staging a tricky tasting / dinner so brilliantly. Nigel's suggestions of two flights of ten each with a starter worked out very well.

    The wines were of a high overall standard, but there wasn't a single overwhelming standout. Nobody was near guessing 20/20 in NW/OW. Top 5's were quite varied. No back ups were used, although one wine was questioned for being corked.

    Keith collated the top 5 votes and Leflaive Chevalier 2014 came out top. (I note this was the first year that Leflaive bottled under DIAM.)

    Disappointment of the night was a weird bottle of Coche-Dury Rougeots 2009 which was the oldest wine in the tasting. Not sure whether this was corked: at the end of the day just not a good bottle.

    Also disappointing was Drouhin Montrachet 2011 that was aging badly. This goes to show how annoying premox is: I tested a bottle of this a couple of weeks ago and it was fresh, too young still, but impressive.
    (And on a similar note the wine that was really advanced in the pre-tastings I did was Remoissenet Montrachet 2010, which I therefore didn't include in the final tasting. Ironically, this very wine had come top of the final of Don Cornwell's recent 2010 assessment dinners, beating all other 2010 Montrachet's and edging out Coche Corton-Charlemagne for the top spot. I will reassess another bottle of this, and I must say that the UK importers Avery's are being very helpful and I cannot fault their excellent service.)
    But all of this goes to show we are living in an age of premox, and the window for enjoying top white Burgundy is narrow. And certainly there is a valid question whether Montrachet is reallly a great wine: is it a wine that really needs age to show at its best, but can no longer age, so is pointless?

    I must say despite impressive NW wines, my top wines were nearly all Burgundy. Buit not by an overwhelming margin. I put Bernard Moreau's 2013 Batard top (but not everyone liked it as much as me), then Leflaive's Chevalier, then Ente's Meursault 2011.
    Ente's Clos des Ambres 2014 also showed well. And Marc Colin's Montrachet 2014 was restrained and brooding, with good depth.

    Several commented that the most different wine of the tasting was Tissot's Arbois Chardonnay, Clos de la Tour de Curon, 2015.

    The value overall was probably Brokenwood's Indigo Beechworth 2016.
    On the OW side, the Jules Desjourney's Pouilly-Fuisse 2014 impressed many: this is a €40 wine supposedly made with Jean-Francois Coche-Dury's advice. (I would also recommend their 2014 Pouilly-Vincelles.)

    The old world selection ended up being 5 grand crus, 3 village Meursault, a Pouilly-Fuisse and a Jura. No Chablis, no 1er Crus. I said it was a little quirky, but in truth it was impossible to cover everything.

    2015 Andre & Mirelle Tissot Arbois Chardonnay Clos de la Tour de Curon
    2014 Jules Desjouneys Pouilly-Fuisse
    2014 Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres
    2014 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet
    2014 Marc Colin Montrachet
    2013 Bernard Moreau Batard-Montrachet
    2012 Fontaine-Gagnard Montrachet
    2011 Arnaud Ente Meursault
    2011 Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche
    2009 Coche-Dury Meursault Rougeots

    The reds that followed

    1961 Ducru-Beaucaillou (cedary, fragrant, resolved)
    1986 Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon (balanced, fresh for age)
    1999 Rousseau CSJ (guessed as both NW Pinot and Cabernet by several! quite firm showing, with some spicyness)
    1988 Ridge Monte Bello Cabermet (quite minty ... I thought Australia)
    1989 Montrose (a good rather than an outstanding bottle tonight)

    The best flight was perhaps the dessert wines.

    I enjoyed the Mullineux, more interesting than the straw wine. The nose had lovely orange hints.

    The Foreau is deeply coloured because of high residual sugar, balanced with large amounts of acidity.
    I didn't find this in any way oxidised. It is amazing how this has balanced out.

    NV Mullineux Olerasay
    1990 Foreau Vouvray Goutte d'Or
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  18. The sweet wines indeed showed superbly, the Foreau being a magnificent example and the Mullineux in no way outclassed.
    It is very interesting to taste these wines blind and also pretty difficult. I correctly guessed the origins of the first ten but only four out of ten of the second flight. The only wine I feel I seriously misunderstood before I knew what it was was the Marc Colin Montrachet 14 which I had found pretty unpleasant; but it wasn't, it was full of latent power still seemingly bound up by sulphur with huge depth of material. The problem is though that the age it desperately requires is a very risky proposition, as Paul suggests. I still couldn't really see a vast amount in the Moreau Batard or the Fontaine Gagnard Montrachet but I am inclined to put that down to palate fatigue.
    It's very sad that the Coche didn't shine. I initially tasted what seemed to be a lot of TCA but to me at least it went away only to leave a flat dull and sweetish wine showing nothing of the undoubtedly justified legend whereas both Ente wines showed exactly why they are becoming so sought after and thus expensive.
    The Tissot demonstrated the meaninglessness of cepage alone, it was a weird but brilliant wine with nothing whatever in common with anything else.
    While this is a pretty tough regime to impose upon wines which have done nothing to deserve it it certainly gave endless food for thought both about the individual wines and the current state of white burgundy as well as its new world peers, as well as reconfirming my strongly held view that wines show at their best when drunk one at a time and that when many are to be consumed the greatest possible diversity is everything. That is not to carp, though, this was a huge privilege and a humbling opportunity to learn.
  19. First of all a huge thank you to Stamatis and his superb team for all their hard work in decanting pouring and serving so much wine impeccably and so professionally . We tend to take such quality of service for granted but there are not many restaurants who could cope so well . The food as usual was up to the very fine standard that La Trompette is justly famous for , with the two starter dishes being especially memorable .
    My thanks to Simon and Paul for their detailed notes.
    I think I would sum up the tasting by remarking how difficult is was for everyone to decide what was new world and old. Quite remarkable in a way when one considers the incredible difference in the price of the wines . Even though I had the advantage of tasting all the new world wines in the last few weeks, it was still very difficult for me to identify with any degree of certainty, which was which. Nigel basically said it was too difficult and did not complete the form !!
    So I think I have proved my point :) and confirmed the decision to sell most of my Burgundy was sensible and I certainly will not be buying any more . Not at least unless prices reduce considerably and the pre mox risk is eliminated.
    All 20 wines with one exception (the Jura ) received at least one top 5 placing , and for what it is worth , the top five were

    1, Domaine Leflaive Chevalier 2014
    2 Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres
    3 Kumeu Mates 2014
    4 Neudorf Moutere 2014
    5 Sandi Sanford and Benedict 2011

    Interesting perhaps that all 5 of the favoured wines were in the first flight. Surely too much of a coincidence ? Frankly, I think many had either given up, lost concentration and /or realised that the task was too difficult . Possibly also palate fatigue?

    My thanks of course to Paul for providing such valuable wines and especially for the 61 Ducru which was a privilege to taste. Still fresh as a daisy .
    Maybe the next challenge is new world chenin v old world, a contest I am fairly certain the new world will win :)
    Bring it on
  20. Worth noting that each of the 28(!) glasses I had were perfectly clean and odour free. While they have had a lot of practice at La Trompette this is not an achievement widely emulated nor one to be taken for granted.
  21. Interesting - and also of note KP that Giaconda that wiped the floor in the NW preliminaries was also at the end of flight one - and the Kumeu which didn't flatter that well was first up - but then tasting quantities of the same wine blind I think is quite the most difficult thing to do - particularly on something like Chardonnay where after a while I always struggle to find the intricate differences. Also interesting that Australia first time out performed brilliantly and second time out it was the Kwis. First wines always tend to over perform in these things - if they are good - when people are most sensitive. Rhys not making top 5 over Neudorf after it though may just suggest that anyone who suggests one wine is better than another as an objective opinion is talking balls. (unless it really is a bad wine!) - there are just preferences under certain conditions, and on certain days - I reckon I could taste those wines blind 10 times and come up with a different top 3 10 times (though the same wines may appear)
    Keith Prothero and Simon Grant like this.
  22. 68953FF0-77D1-463C-923D-37114F74AC54.jpeg Chris still plugging away
  23. Of the new world wines, I had the Rhys and the Kumeu in my top five. As Tim suggests above though, very likely to be a different five next time around — I’m not sure I’d draw any meaningful conclusion other than that the quality of the NW was good, and it was tough to differentiate between wines in what was obviously a carefully selected field. The Kumeu, tasted towards the end of one of Keith’s test lunches a few weeks ago ( a little warm, admittedly) was foul. Last night it was in my top five.

    What we couldn’t test, is how the wine and one’s impressions change over the course of a bottle. Which wines are bottle, rather than tasting sample, propositions? Which impressed briefly in the glass but would bore one by the second glass? The radical evolution, and improvement, of the Tour Curon rather illustrates the dilemmas and perils of vinous speed dating.

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