[TravelBlog] Post Twenty: Côte de Beaune

11:53PM  |  Beaune  |  Burgundy

A quick coffee before heading south today — again a clear blue sky with warm sun and a mild breeze. The floraison (flowering) happened last week, and the weather was perfect; the vignerons are trés content with the the flowering of their vines, and have begun their 100 day countdown to the maturation of the fruit. 

Our first appointment is in Chassagne. Beautiful, opulent, golden Chassagne-Montrachets, with long tense cores and excellent acidity. The 2013 burst of freshness is evident here, but well supported by bodies that are rich and gras.

Our second appointment is further south in Santenay. Here we taste 2014s en cuve and 2013s from the barrel — both white’s and reds are better than we remembered. The whites show very dense, concentrated cores with good acidity over top, and the reds are juicy, young, full, and even silky. An embarrassment of riches so far with the 2013s on this trip.

We grab lunch in Santenay at an ourdoor café — salad aux époisses — and organize our thoughts on the morning’s tastings. We drink our coffee and return to the car, where we use crusty bread and sparkling water in an attempt to neutralize our palates.

Final tasting of the day is in Auxey-Duresses — whites with great energy and tension, and reds with beautiful juicy cores and rustic mouthfeels. Excellent, well made wines at very reasonable prices. We head back to Beaune to catch up on some work and email.

Dinner tonight is at a new restaurant in a 12th century abbaye with carefully-lit vaulted ceilings, white tablecloths and candelabras. The food is outstanding: smoked cod with escargots, roasted duck breast done perfectly, and a host of cheeses from the plate. The wine steals the show: a bottle each of 2002 and 2003 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Monopole Clos des Réas. Twelve and thirteen years has done these wines nicely.