Sunday, January 06, 2013

Domaine Albert Joly, 31st December

We were up bright and early on the Monday morning, with two tastings in the diary. First was Domaine Albert Joly in Puligny-Montrachet. I hadn't visited this domaine before but ACC told us that they only make four wines, so I was expecting it to be a relatively short tasting. Not at a bit of it. We met Sylvie and the wine-maker, and went down into the cellar of which I took a sneaky photo.

Madame Prévot-Joly in her cellar
We began with the Aligote 2011 which had been bottled in November. It was very pale with a delicate aroma and very acidic and fresh at this stage. Then we moved on to the Bourgogne Blanc 2011 which was like a baby Puligny - my tasting notes say "lean and mean". It had very good length and was made from old vines. One to keep for a couple of years.

Next we tasted a village Puligny from a lieu-dit called "Tremblot" which I initially misheard as "Train Bleu", a Freudian slip. This vineyard is on the border with Chassagne-Montrachet, just slightly down from Batard-Montrachet. We tasted the wine from a new oak barrel and the oak dominated on the nose. I loved it and could see that it would develop into something very delicious. Then we tasted some from an older oak barrel - the barrels will all be mixed together before bottling - which had good weight and was more fruity. All in all, it was going down a treat.

We moved on to the Puligny Charmes 2011, also from barrel. I was under the impression this was a premier cru and it certainly came across as one, but it isn't. It turns out that this vineyard is at the other end of Puligny, up by the border with Meursault. In Meursault, Charmes is a premier cru so I wasn't that far off. I thought it lacked the immediate appeal of the Tremblot, but was in a richer style, more complex, and would need a good 5-10 years to hit its peak, at which point it would be stunning.

These 2011 wines will be available en primeur from the Burgundy Portfolio this week. I haven't seen the prices yet but I imagine they'll be seriously tempting.

We tasted a couple of other Pulignys from bottle which seemed quite light after the Charmes. Then, to our great surprise and delight, a bottle of 1990 Bâtard-Montrachet was produced! This kind of thing doesn't normally happen at tastings. It was a beautiful golden colour and the nose was incredibly rich, almost like a sweet wine. On the palate, I got a big hit of toasted almonds, and the finish went on forever. We were quite blown away by it. Madame Joly gave G a strict look and told him that it wasn't for sale. However, she then gave us the rest of the bottle to take away with us, an act of remarkable generosity. We were instructed to get some foie gras to go with it, which we did, and drank it that evening. It was New Year's Eve after all. G maintains that it was the best white wine he's ever drunk, and I have to agree. Just looking at this photo makes me happy. Merci beaucoup à Madame Prévot-Joly encore une fois!

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