In fact, on the Eurostar trip up on the Friday, we'd been feeling a bit stressed out right up to the point where I opened a bottle of Audiffred Bourgogne Rouge 2011, which I've just got out of storage, and the world suddenly became a much happier place.
We were slightly early, so loitered suspiciously by the vineyards while curtains were twitched in the house across the road. Then Henri came along riding a little tractor thing (technical term) and it was time to begin!
Four wines were laid out for the tasting, and some extras were added in along the way. For once, I made proper tasting notes so can give a more comprehensive report. We started with an Aligote 2016 which had been put in bottle just last week - it still had a slight prickle. This had a lovely nose and was floral and fresh, with great acidity, precision and elegance. I could easily have got stuck in there and then!
Next up was a Beaune Blanc 2015. This had notes of tropical fruit (G said passion fruit, I got mango) and was very attractive. We thought it was one to drink sooner rather than later, as seems to be the case with the 2015 white wines in general.
The third wine was a Nuits-St-Georges Les Argillats 2012. For me, this smelled like summer berry compote and was on the light and elegant side for Nuits, which suited me just fine.
The Pommard 2013 was very different, with earthy notes and, for me, prunes, while ACC mentioned black cherry. It was heavier but still light by most Pommard standards.
|Want. It. All.|
At this point, Henri offered us a mystery wine, which put us on the spot! What could it be? It was very purple in colour and quite sweet with a lovely texture. I guessed that it was a Gevrey-Chambertin. Wrong! It was Cotes de Nuits Villages 2015. Very impressive and, as usual with Henri's wines, playing in a league at least one notch up from its appellation.
Finally, we did get to taste an actual Gevrey, possibly to show us the difference, the Gevrey les Marchais 2012. It was absolutely lovely, relatively delicate and elegant for a Gevrey and I detected strawberries but the classic liquorice thing was also present and correct. G's notes report that "animal noises of pleasure were made" and go on to say "Buy all the wine!" I can't argue with that.
Thanks very much to Henri as always for a wonderful tasting.