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Il n'est pain que de froment, vin que de Beaune. - Burgundian proverb

This was the October meeting of Arnaud's Wine Club. The chosen theme was wines from Burgurdy's Côte d'Or and we tasted 3 whites and 4 reds from both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits.

The white wines

All the white wines that we tasted came from the Côte de Beaune, well renowned for its Chardonnay based wines.

we started with the 2002 Saint-Aubin Premier Cru Chatenière Domaine Olivier Leflaive. The general level of quality of Saint-Aubin's wines is consistently high, and offers one of the finest values in the entire Côte d'Or. This wine did not disappoint. With its lovely aromatic nose presenting citrus and mineral notes leading to a crisp and fresh mouthfeel, this wine was simply delicious and a delightful alternative to oaky and buttery Chardonnays.

The second wine served was from the Meursault appellation. With those of Puligny, Chassagne and Blagny, the vineyards of Meursault comprise a four-mile strip of the Côte de Beaune known as the Côte des Blancs. These four communes produce the most exquisite dry white wines of Burgundy, rivalled only by the rare white wines of Corton-Charlemagne, Vougeot and Musigny. The 1999 Meursault Maison Bertrand Ambroise had a discreet nose and a buttery, fat, full-bodied mouthfeel but it lacked some nice fruity character and I missed the freshness of the Saint-Aubin.

The last white wine was the most complex of the three and came from the renowned Puligny-Montrachet appellation. The 2002 Puligny-Montrachet Domaine Paul Pernot exhibited classic white burgurdy characteristics: complex aromas with notes of honey, full-bodied palate and persistent finish with more butterscotch aromas coming at the end.

The red wines

With the first of the red wines, we moved to the Côte de Nuits and its great Pinot Noir based wines. The commune of Nuits-Saint-Georges is the southernmost commune of the Côte de Nuits. The name Nuits is derived from the Latin nutium, later nuys and today noyer meaning walnut tree, abundant in the area until the 18th century. The 1999 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Henri et Gilles Remoriquet had a smoky nose and cherry aromas, a medium-bodied palate and a nice, clean finish. It was an elegant wine but could have had a little bit more concentration.

We were back to the Côte de Beaune with the 2000 Beaune Les Bressandes Domaine Albert Morot. The Les Bressandes vineyard takes its name from three ladies from the city of Bresse who were once proprietors of this and other vineyards in the Côte de Beaune. This vineyard is considered to be one of the finest Beaune Premier Cru vineyards. The wine had a smoky nose and exhibited sweet fruity aromas. Overall, it had a more fruity and more rustic style than the Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Gevrey-Chambertin is the northernmost of the great communes of the Côte de Nuits. The name Chambertin comes from Campus Bertini, later Champ de Bertin, or Bertin's field and immortalizes the peasant who first planted the greatest vineyard of the commune. The 2001 Gevrey-Chambertin Champs Chenys Domaine Joseph Roty offered spicy aromas. On the palate, it was still quite tight-knit but with a very nice concentration. This wine should be delicious with a little bit more cellaring time.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could fully taste the last wine, a 2001 Vosne-Romanée Domaine Lecheneaut.

See our other tasting reports.