DAY ELEVEN | Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay, Nuits-St-Georges, Auxey-Duresses, Beaune | 6.16.16
We started the morning in Chassagne-Montrachet, home to rich, beautiful, elegant wines with silky golden texture and balancing freshness. As it has often this week, the conversation centered around the dismal outlook for 2016. With warm sun and cool rain going punch for punch all day long this week, the specter of mildew is ever present. Happily, the 2014s in the bottle and 2015s in the barrel are as good as ever.
Our second tasting was just five minutes south in Santenay — more bad news about 2016, and more delicious reds and whites from 2014. Juicy, punchy tannins for the reds, and crisp, refreshing mouthfeels in the whites. We stopped by a truck selling charcuterie and cheese in the town square in Santenay, then headed north back to Beaune for lunch. Over saucisson, chèvre, Beaufort, and crusty baguettes, we tasted through samples from a new producer in the Rheingau.
We began the afternoon in Nuit-St-Georges, tasting 2014 reds from the bottle and 2015s from the barrel. The 14s are lovely and croquant, as elegant as ever for this source; the 2015s are exceptionally dense and beautiful. We picked up some more German wines sent to us at the local post office, and then headed south to Auxey-Duresses. Our producer here fell in like with the trend of the day: more bad news, more delicious whites, and more juicy reds. “Qu’est-ce que on peut faire?” they say.
After another 6 samples from Germany, we headed out to dinner at Levernois, a one-star to the east of Beaune. This was one of the nicest meals in recent memory, beginning with a coup de champagne on the terrace, and continuing through an exceptional meal — a 2008 premier cru Chassagne-Montrachet was a highlight.