Wine Tasting: Red Burgundy (11th Jun 1998)

A fine wine tasting, Glasgow.
I presented the wines blind, in pairs. The first two wines were identical - with different breathing times. There was a 'ringer' - a Pinot Noir from New Zealand.

1. 1996 Tollot Beaut Savigny Lavieres

11th Jun 1998 GBP15 Burgundy Table Red

Opened 24 hours in advance - all of the other wines were opened 2 hours before tasting
Pale red pinking at rim.
Faint, dumb nose with traces of slightly tart berry fruit.
Medium-bodied with tart cherry/berry fruits, a hint of oak, fresh acidity but not much tannin.
Probably best drunk young (with a light chill?).

2. 1996 Tollot Beaut Savigny Lavieres

11th Jun 1998 GBP15 Burgundy Table Red

The same wine - opened 2 hours before tasting.
Pale purple/red fading to pink.
Similar nose but showing more fruit and a trace of barnyard.
Medium to full-bodied with plenty of cherry fruit, almonds, more obvious oak and good acidity. A longer, richer finish.
This wine didn't take too kindly to being opened a day in advance, losing a lot of interest and character. This suggests that it should be enjoyed while young and fresh.

3. 1995 Jayer Gilles Hautes Cotes de Beaune

11th Jun 1998 GBP14 Burgundy Table Red

Deep purple/red fading to a pinkish red.
Pungent, developed nose with aromas of raspberries, bitter chocolate, oak and barnyard.
Medium to full-bodied with sweet, tart berry fruits, well-integrated oak, a hint of barnyard and fresh, prickly acidity.
Lovely now but will develop for another couple of years.

4. 1996 Bouzereau Beaune Vignes Franches

11th Jun 1998 GBP15 Burgundy Table Red

Even, purple/red fading to pink - looks very young.
Clean, fresh nose with berry fruit and some creamy oak - well integrated.
Full bodied with sweet cherry fruit, soft tannins and mouth-filling texture. A long, quite dry finish.
Quite an obvious, modern style - drinking very well now but not for long term cellaring.

5. 1996 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir

11th Jun 1998 GBP20 New Zealand Table Red

Deep red fading slightly to pink.
Slightly stewed black fruits on the nose with some smoked oak and a hint of corruption - lovely!
Medium to full-bodied with ripe black fruits, candy and nut flavours, some underlying oak and a rich, long finish.
Excellent now but should develop over the couple of years and beyond.

6. 1995 Fery Meunier Pommard Epenots

11th Jun 1998 GBP20 Burgundy Table Red

Much paler red fading to pink.
Restrained nose showing ripe, sweaty fruits and some oak.
Medium bodied with flavours of strawberries, raspberries and cream and some oak.
A fresh clean style with some complexity - very good now.

7. 1994 Jayer Gilles Nuits Saint Georges Hauts Poirrets

11th Jun 1998 GBP33 Burgundy Table Red

Deep red with a red/deep pink rim - well developed.
Quite restrained nose with lurking black fruits, lots of oak and hints of mushrooms.
Full-bodied with ripe, sweet black fruits, plenty of oak, dusty tannins and good acidity - nicely integrated but not yet at its peak. Long, spicy, peppery finish.
Superb now but could do with a couple of years.

8. 1992 Meo Camuzet Clos de Vougeot

11th Jun 1998 GBP37 Burgundy Table Red

Deep mahogany red with a brown/red rim.
Dank, sweaty nose with sweet fruits, mushrooms and old wood (dry rot?) and more than a hint of 2-day-old roadkill.
Very full-bodied with intense flavours of black fruits, bitter chocolate and oak. Thick, velvety texture and a glorious, long finish. Truly outstanding.
(Sorry about the roadkill, but that's top Burgundy for you!

9. 1992 Jayer Gilles Echezeaux

11th Jun 1998 GBP46 Burgundy Table Red

Opaque mahogany with a tawny rim.
Deep, pungent nose with overripe black fruits, mushrooms, almonds and oak.
Full-bodied and powerful with rich, smoky flavours of sweet raspberries, black coffee and creamy oak. Well integrated, ripe tannins and acidity.
Mature now and mind-blowing - You can keep your clarets!

10. 1995 Laurent Mazis Chambertin

11th Jun 1998 GBP70 Burgundy Table Red

Deep, even, purple/red - very immature.
Stewed, almost medicinal nose, with coffee grinds, black fruits, liquorice and a trace of barnyard - undeveloped but multifaceted.
Full-bodied with sweet, ripe mulberry fruit, creamy oak, tart acidity and (submerged) firm tannins. Long, quite dry finish.
Far too young to drink - it needs at least 5 years.
A hard wine to assess at this stage but if it fulfils its potential it will be outstanding.