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Showing posts from June, 2009

Visit to Burgundy

Hunger for exciting new discoveries (as well as for good food) led us to Burgundy again. Us? That is my friend Jan van Roekel and myself, we mostly do these travels together.

Thursday 18 June we arrived, and upon descending on our hotel we did nothing but strolled around a bit in Beaune and ended up in restaurant Le Goret, where everything is about the Pig. I had the best Andouillette I ever had. It was an Andouillette AAAAA, so that will explain the quality. AAAAA stands for Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique, which is a group of various Andouillette professionals who strive to make the very best Andouillette possible.

So, a true recommendation. Friday we were all ready and rested for our first visit (out of four that day). Our goal was to find a great Meursault, and we had selected several interesting producers to visit.

Our first two visits were to two upcoming domains, both run by young guys in the middle of a change process: the change from selling grape…

Domaine de la Laidière, Bandol rosé

Dwayne Perreault − In this time of rosé confusion, let's make it a point to drink quality rosé.

By confusion, I'm referring to the recent decision in Brussels to allow EU wine producers to make rosé simply by mixing red and white wines. Bah. I'm sure there are people somewhere who've been doing this at home for years. Thankfully, this ridiculous legislation has been rescinded.

But by quality I could be talking about rosés from a wide range of regions, as quality rosés are made everywhere from Rioja to Hungary (and strangely, not so very many in Italy).

But if I think of top rosé, I think of wines from the Loire, Bordeaux and Provence. I've previously posted on an elegant rosé from the Loire with some (limited) ageing potential, Reuilly, François Charpentier and I recently tasted a beautiful, more fleshy rosé from Bordeaux which David wrote about, le Rosé de Soutard. So now a wine from Provence, where a great many rosés are made, including some of the best like this Ba…

Tastings, tastings and more tastings (poor teeth)

There have been many tastings over the last days and weeks, tastings that I actually ought to write about, because of the wines that I tasted. But writing takes time, and time is limited, so in this posting I briefly bundle some impressions.

Last Monday I attended an impressive tasting at Paleis Het Loo - the former royal residence in the town of Apeldoorn - hosted by P. de Bruijn Wijnkopers. Most of the wines were presented by the winemakers (or châteaux managers) themselves, so the wonderful Leflaives (a/o Clavoillon, Les Pucelles, Chevalier Montrachet) were poured by Anne-Claude Leflaive, the gracious Comte Lafons by Dominique Lafon, Giscours and Du Tertre by Alexander van Beek, and Haut-Bailly by Véronique Sanders, to mention just a few. For me one of the highlights was to taste the - lovely - Du Tertre 2006 again: I worked on the vinification of this wine [pdf].

From Véronique Sanders I finally got the explanation for the word "Parde" in La Parde de Haut-Bailly. It is not…

William Fèvre; real Chablis

Dwayne Perreault − "Real Chablis," I was told while still an apprentice, "comes from Kimmeridgian clay, and if it doesn't, it isn't Chablis." So what is this magical clay, so important that it determines the very essence of France's most famous white wine?

THE SECRET TO CHABLIS' TERROIR: AMMONITE WITH OYSTERS ATTACHED

About 150 million years ago, in the Kimmeridgian era (the upper Jurassic geological period, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), Chablis and all of Burgundy was an inland sea. Today, Chablis' marl and clay limestone soils contain copious amounts of oyster fossils and ammonites from that period, and it is these fossils which give Chablis its mineral character, and in the better crus its gunsmokey, flint-like bouquet.

Kimmeridgian clay, by the way, also supplies 95% of the petroleum in the North Sea. Handy stuff.

I'm always up for a good bottle of "oesterwater," as the Dutch call it, so I was delighted to attend a tastin…

Médoc 1990s tasting: Pauillac & St-Julien

Last weekend I coincidentally spent both evenings with – different – expats. Amsterdam hosts many expatriates, but none of them are actually in my own circle of friends.

Holland may be an open society, with many foreigners living here, yet the various social circles around seem rather closed. A friend from New York noticed this fact long ago, and last Saturday the same conclusion was drawn by a guest from Bulgaria. In her eyes the Dutch more or less exist in quite static cliques, groups of people that know each other since long. I’m afraid her observation is correct.

Interesting though: we, the Dutch, say the same about the French. Perhaps it’s more of a (West) European habit, as opposed to the hospitality of the Americans.

Anyway, it was pure American hospitality that I experienced last weekend. In an expat setting. The American hostess has an interest in wine, loves wine, but is so to say not a wine geek. Her thing (let’s call her Angela) is to invite wine lovers, and wine geeks, at he…