Trip to Burgundy – 04 June 2007 – 2006 Burgundy Tasting Notes

by Mike Supple

Today was an outstanding day of sampling and feasting, and bodes well for the upcoming week, as Shaun Bishop and I make our way around Burgundy.

We started our trip off with one of the most famous white wine regions in the world – Puligny Montrachet – home of some of the best Chardonnay (and white wines in general).

We are tasting many of the 2006 white barrel samples. Bear in mind that any tasting notes and scores I give for the 2006 whites are just a rough first impression of these wines. Many of them have just recently finished going through malolactic fermentation, some are still in the middle of it, and others are still undergoing the primary alcoholic fermentation. Barrel samples this young and raw do not give a clear idea of where the wines will end up, but we are getting a very good impression of the quality of the vintage in general. 2006 is going to be a fantastic vintage for White Burgundy. In many ways it is similar to 2005, with outstanding acid levels, but also a purity and richness that accompanies it. Often in Burgundy, a great vintage is measured by the red wines. I have not tasted many 2006 red yet, so I cannot speak personally to it, but from what I’ve heard, 2006 will not be quite as stunning for the red. Do NOT let this dissuade you from the 2006 whites. If you miss these wines, you will be sorely disappointed.

Domaine Louis Carillon et Fils
We met with Jacques Carillon this morning and he gave us some great insights into Puligny-Montrachet as well as the 2006 vintage.

For those who do not know Dom Louis Carillon, the Domaine has been in the family and has been passed down from father to son since 1632. It is currently being run by Jacques Carillon (wine maker) and Francois Carillon (vineyard manager). As with most great Burgundy producers, their production is limited to a few hundred cases at the most for the Premiers Crus, and a barrel or so (25 cases) of the Grands Crus. In Carillon’s opinion, the 2006 vintage is in between characteristics of 2004 and 2005, but his is closer to 2005. Where the other Domaines fall will depend heavily on when they harvested: earlier harvest means higher acidity and closer to 2004, while later harvest means riper fruit with softer acid which is more like 2005.
Jacques Carillon is a somewhat quiet man, and clearly passionate about what he does. While there, he ran back and forth between his various cellars to bring us samples of each of his wines. In Puligny, the water table is very high. For this reason, cellars cannot go below a certain depth, or they would flood. Instead of large deep cellars, many Domaines have long winding ones, and often several different smaller ones under various parts of their property.
A few of his village appellation wines of which he has a larger production, he has vinified several different lots separately. To give us a better idea of twhat the wines will be like as a whole, he pulled samples from the different lots for us to try. For the sake of brevity, I am combining notes into one large impression of the wine in these cases.

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Villages
Malo lactic fermentation finished three months ago, and the wine is still separated into 5 different cuvees (separated by harvest date). The assemblage will happen in July.
The aromas are light and toasty over bright tropical notes and hints of green apple leading in to a deeper note of caramel. In the mouth the wine has very nice acidity. This is a bold, rather powerful wine with a solid streak of minerality underneath it. The flavors are primarily tropical, with pineapple showing very clearly. -Mike Supple

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles
These vines were planted in 2003, so this is the 4th year of the vines, and the first year they are allowed to produce the wine under the 1er Cru designation. There will be around 250 cases of this produced.
The aromas are very rich, with a nice flinty quality over rich lemon and vanilla. The wine enters the palate very creamy , leading in to a nice medium body. Green pear and lemon dominate the palate. Stronger acidity kicks in on the back end, brining light smoky notes and some bold spice. This is a rounder wine with slightly less acid than the ’06 Puligny-Montrachet. -Mike Supple

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Canet
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Dom Louis Carillon Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
Only 2 barrels of this wine will be produced (~50 cases).
This is an incredibly well balanced wine that is very full and rich on the nose. The bright fruit is surrounded by a strong fliny, wet stone minerality. On the palate the acid is bold from front to back, but the fruit is dense and supports the acid well. Great depth and balance, with flinty lemon and green apple qualities. Very long finish. -Mike Supple

2005 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Dom Louis Carillon Chassagne-Montrachet Villages
This is from the 1er Cru vineyard Les Macherelles, but the vines were too young in 2005 to be allowed to carry the 1er Cru designation.
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Canet
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er CruLes Combettes
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Dom Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot


Jean-Marc Boillot worked for 13 vintages in his family’s domaine, Henri Boillot. Determined to improve his family’s wines, he walked out in protest and began his own domaine in 1984. He made wine for Olivier Leflaive for the next four years, while at the same time producing wines under his own label. He now runs his domaine from his grandfather Henri Boillot’s house and cellars in the village of Pommard.
Boillot produces wines from his own vineyards, as well as purchasing many and producing negociant wines. The negociant side is becoming more and more difficult to support however, as large corporations (like Jadot, Louis Latour) and champagne-backed companies (like LVMH – think Dom Perignon) are able to step in with huge bank accounts and offer outrageous amounts of money for the wines. This is artificially inflating the cost of the wines, while at the same time making it more difficult for the smaller negociants to compete.
Touching base quickly on my previous point of overlooked outstanding white vintages in years when the reds are not as critically acclaimed, when asked to rank recent white vintages in his order of preference, Jean-Marc replied: “2004, 2006, 2005″.
Boillot produces mostly white wines, but does dabble a little in the reds as well. We asked him which is more gratifying to make: “With Pinot Noir it is possible to make the greatest red wine in the world…but only once every 10 years”.

2006 J.M. Boillot Montagny 1er Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Rully St-Jacques
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Rully 1er Cru Meix Cadot
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Rully 1er Cru Gresigny
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot St-Aubin 1er Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Meursault Charrons
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Bourgogne Blanc
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
Herbaceous up front followed by a fierce minerality and a rich lemon aroma. Rich and full throughout the palate, this is a very powerful wine with great depth and structure. Even through the power, the wine maintains a subtle finesse. Powerful citrus fruit flavors float over a core of minerality, leading to a creamy lemon zest finish. -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Truffiere
Strong limestone characteristics make this a very structured and elegant wine, with hints of floral notes over lemon and light tropical notes. In the mouth the wine has a fantastic balanced purity to it. Flavors of honeydew melon and lemon lead in to a long spicy, toasty finish. -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
This is a very complex and focused wine, even at this young age. Full, rich citrus aromas are complemented by hints of fresh anise and wet flint. Mango and light anise flavors come through on the front palate. Full, rich and very well balanced with nice structure and a lingering finish. This wine is more powerful than the Truffiere, but has slightly less minerality. -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Volnay -
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Carelle Sous Chapelle
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Pitures
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens
In Boillot’s opinion, Rugiens should be a Grand Cru vineyard, and often produces wines better than Corton.
The nose has a dark toasty herbaceousness to it over rich dark fruits. In the mouth black cherries dominate the palate. Sweet blackberry and strawberry lead in to the finish. Great texture: powerful, yet elegant. -Mike Supple

2006 J.M. Boillot Pommard 1er Cru Jarollieres
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

After the tasting, we sat down to a home-cooked lunch prepared for us by Jean-Marc’s wife, Veronique. How she managed to find time to cook this amazing meal for us, I have no idea. She is a professional oenologist, and has 38 clients spread throughout Burgundy. She consults in some of the most prestigious wineries in Burgundy (her husband’s included).

Our “light” lunch:
Clear noodles in a light creme freche, served chilled, and topped with yellow tomato, fresh mozzerella, langoustine (crayfish), fresh passion fruit and sweet basil.
Pan seared fillet de veau topped with olive oil, cracked pepper, rose petal salt and sliced black truffle.
Green salad composed of fresh local vegetables: asperge sauvage (wild asparagus, only available 15 days of the year), peas, yellow squash, green asparagus, carrots and cucumber, served with a fresh red bell pepper and grapefruit dressing.
Cheese plate: a semi-firm Italian cow’s milk infused with black truffles, a soft cow’s milk from Pommard infused with cassis, a soft goat’s milk.

Domaine Etienne-Sauzet


Gerard Boudot is the lively and outspoken owner and winemaker of Domaine Etienne-Sauzet. Gerard strives to express the terroir as fully as possible in each of his wines, making “purity and precision” the key to his winemaking style.
In sampling from barrels Gerard took samples from several different barrels that each contained wine from a specific vineyard, then mixed them before having us taste them. This should give us a better overall impression of where each wine is headed. Again, remember that since these wines are so young, all notes and scores could change as the wines mature.

2006 Sauzet Chassagne-Montrachet Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perriers
This is the younges 1er Cru for Sauzet, with vines aged 20 years. This wine is still undergoing alcoholic fermentation and as sugar levels around 3 grams.
The nose is very dense, lush and tropical. On the palate ripe pear and melon are accented by a light apricot. Medium in body, with a nice acid. Slight sweetness to the finish will disappear once the alcoholic fermentation is complete. -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts
The soil in this vineyard is largely dense clay, giving the wine much more power.
On the nose the aromas are much fatter with rich tropical fruits and green pear dominating. The wine enters the palate sweet and rich, with toasty notes of white peach, pear and light pineapple. A solid acid core lends great balance to this wine, which finishes long and clean. -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
57 year old vines.
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Sauzet Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Sauzet Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

Domaine Thierry & Pascale Matrot

The wild and gregarious winemaker Thierry Pascale lead us through the tasting of his 2006 whites and 2005 reds. Domaine Matrot is one of the oldest estate-bottlers in Burgundy and a key player in the best Meursault. Thierry has a rather keen and sarcastic sense of humor and is rather quick tongued in both French and English, which is much more of a rarity in Burgundy than in Bordeaux.

2006 Matrot Bourgogne Blanc
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Meursault Villages
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Meursault Les Chevalieres
A special cuvee made only for the U.S. market, aged in 30% new oak.
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chalumeaux
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2006 Matrot Puligny-Montrachet La Quintessence
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Matrot Monthelie
A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Beurot, a white grape in the Pinot Family.
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Matrot Meursault Rouge
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

2005 Matrot Volnay-Santenots 1er Cru
Dark fruit aromas of blackberry with hints of cassis, light dill, and basil over fresh raspberry. The palate entry is smooth as silk. The wine has great balance with some nice bold tannins in the back showing its ability to age. Rich and full, with pretty dark red and black fruits in the lingering finish. -Mike Supple

2005 Matrot Blagny 1er Cru La Piece Sous le Bois
Black truffle notes over spicy rich dark fruit aromas: blackberry and a hint of plum. The palate is spicy and dark with blackberry and cassis flavors complemented by a touch of sweet licorice. The tannins are present but ripe, giving this wine a fantastic mouthfeel. -Mike Supple

2003 Matrot Blagny 1er Cru La Piece Sous le Bois
(Notes to come.) -Mike Supple

Thierry threw in this lovely 2003 for us to try as a way to accent one of his theories. Over the past century, 1911, 1929, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1985 and 1989 are all hailed as great vintages. A commonality between them all is that they were extremely hot. In general this lowers the acid content and raises the alcohol content in the wines. 2003 was such a vintage, and has been somewhat cast aside due to the lower acid content. It is an incredibly ripe and fruit forward vintage, and several of the ’03s I’ve had are showing very well. Thierry believes that because of the similarities these other great vintages had to 2003, would could quite possible be in for a great surprise in several years when the 2003 begins to age gracefully, maintaining its fruit and structure.

Dinner was prepared for us chez Matrot by Thierry’s wife (and business partner) Pascale. Elsa, their youngest of three daughters, also joined us for dinner. We also ate with another friend of theirs, who is shy and asked not to have his photo posted online. Thierry’s wit and wisdom was clearly (at the very least) matched by Pascale, and Elsa inherited it as well. Needless to say, dinner was a raucous, friendly, and delicious event.

The wines served with dinner were:
2003 Matrot Puligny Montrachet Village
1992 Matrot Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chalumeaux
1990 Matrot Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru
1983 Matrot Volnat-Santenots 1er Cru

And the meal:
Homemade tomato and cheese tart
Mache Salad
Potatoes baked in a light oil and garlic
Roast Guinea Hen
Cheese plate: Citeaux (a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese made in the Abbye of Citeaux in Dijon, and rarely found outside of Burgundy – it’s amazing), Parmesan, Cantal (cow’s milk from Auvergne), and another from the south of France pronounced “lay-oh” but which I did not get the spelling
Dessert: Sweet cherry cake made from cherries picked from the Matrot domaine

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