Exploring Burgundy wine with Raimund Döllerer
We have long fancied sampling a glass of wine at the heart of the Burgundy winegrowing landscapes. In Burgundy, the landscapes, atmospheres and routes are just as varied as the wines. We found our excursion to France to offer a wealth of experiences which we would like to share with you in more detail.
We decided to stop off at one of Europe’s most exceptional regions.
We have long been thinking about it but finally got round to doing it this Spring. We decided to expand our assortment of wines with some French varieties and so set off on a voyage of wine discovery. Our aim was to find some top quality wines from the famous wine-growing regions of Burgundy and Côtes du Rhône to add to our selection. Until then, France was only represented in our collection with a selection of great wines from the Loire valley and Bordeaux. This was clearly insufficient and so we travelled to Burgundy at the end of April to visit some of the best producers and sample their wines as well as meeting the people and exploring the vineyards, work undertaken and wine cellars. Above all, we wanted to understand how things work in this renowned wine region. The wines which have now found their way into our selection are among the best in the world. We are certainly impressed!
An extract from our travel journal
We set off on 19 April from Golling and travelled via Switzerland towards Beaune. Here, the first highlight of our wine tasting tour awaited us. We pulled out our notebooks, sharpened our pencils and gave our taste buds a real treat. The first appointment was with brothers Philippe and Vincent Lecheneaut in Nuits St. Georges. The Lecheneaut brothers took on the vineyard in 1986. Wine guru Robert Parker praised them to high heaven following this shift in the generations. Even their ‘simplest’ wine is a sensation!
Then it was on to Domaine Arlaud Pere et Fils in Morey St. Denis where Cyprien Arlaud was waiting for us. The domaine is now in its 3rd generation and is managed by siblings Romain and Bertille. Particularly impressive is the fact that the vineyard operates on a biodynamic basis and in parts is still ploughed using horses. And this forms the basis for the quality of the wines. This is one of the best spots Côte de Nuits has to offer and is in fantastic condition. In the evening, we returned to Beaune where we had booked a table at ‘La Benaton’. Here we sampled some creative French cuisine as well as some classics. A truly superlative culinary feast!
Filled with a sense of motivation, the second day took us South to Côte de Beaune and the Domaine Carillon in Puligny Montrachet. The wines at the Domaine Carillon, undoubtedly one of the best addresses in Puligny-Montrachet, start their life in a discreet fashion. These wines mature over the years in the classic Burgundy manner and have no difficulty in dominating over some other well aged wines. The Carillons trust in their own unique style. The pure flavour of the fruits and nature of the storage is important here. Excessive intervention and intensive wood use is avoided.
In Pommard we visited the Domaine Comte Armand. Benjamin Leroux took over responsibility for the Domaine des Comte Armand from Paul Marchand in 1999. Since then, the wines have soared to new heights. The wines from the Clos des Epeneaux are always elegant while retaining the typical strength and depth of the Pommard wines.
We enjoyed lunch in a highly recommended little restaurant by the name of ‘Ma Cuisine’, hidden away on the Passage St. Hélène in Beaune. Here, speciality dishes are served on a slate in a cosy ambience. Our insider’s tip for any trip to Burgundy!
The Domaine Méo-Camuzet was our desination for the afternoon and Jean-Nicolas Méo came out to welcome us in person. Méo-Camuzet is one of the top wine-growers in Burgundy; the complexity and concentration of his wines are truly impressive. The soils of Vosne-Romanée are world-famous and present a particular challenge for the wine-grower. It is important to take account of the natural balance when managing the vineyards and interventions in nature are kept to a minimum in the wine cellars too. Jean- Nicolas Méo’s wines impressed us with their density, velvety texture, full body and concentration. Not only did we bring home some fascinating memories from our trip to Burgundy, we also packed some of the finest Burgundy wines into our cases! Available for you to sample with us at Döllerer’s Enoteca & Bacaro. A slice of the best Burgundy has to offer: and at a great price-performance ratio.