JJ Buckley at the Grand Jours de Bourgogne: Update from Chablis
by Chuck Hayward
The Grands Jours de Bourgogne tastings began a few days ago with the traditional start to the event held in the northern region of Chablis. While our preferred focus was on the famed chardonnays of this famous region, one can easily be immersed (or most likely distracted) by the diversity of wines that come from the northern reaches of Burgundy.
Consumers and the trade are guilty of thinking that chardonnay and pinot noir represent the entirety of what is produced there. But there are intriguing subregions in the north including the Grand Auxerrois that sees minerally and racy sauvignon blancs emanating from the chalk soils of Saint-Bris, aligote wines that are more frequently found further south in the Cotes Chalonnaise and even some sturdy pinot noirs from the cold area of Irancy.
We just received an update from JJ Buckley's Burgundy specialist Jeff Loo who is our man on the scene at this year's Grand Jours tastings. He will compile tasting notes for the top wines of each commune while offering commentary on how each village fared with the 2012 vintage. The best of his on-the-scene reporting will be summarized along with his notes in a JJ Buckley report on the 2012 Burgundies to be published shortly after his return.
In the meantime here are a few observations from Jeff on his visit to Chablis:
"In 2012, it's not just the grand cru or premier cru bottlings to look for. In this vintage, the village level wines and the lesser appellations found amazing success. The 12's are very good compared to the 2010's. They have an incredible roundness to them as though they already had enough bottle age to develop that 'fatness' that comes out in white Burgundies with age. Many winemakers considered the 2012's as a combination of the styles found in 2009 and 2010 Chablis melding the fineness and acidity from '10 and the richly textured fruit from 2009. There really wasn't a dog at this day's tastings."
The Tuesday tastings will be one of Jeff's toughest days of the Grand Jours as he shuttles between four communes in the northern Cotes d'Or. He'll be jostling and fighting for tastes of the crus of Vosne Romanee at the historic chateau of Clos Vougeot and then running up north to Marsannay to sample the wines from the commune of Gevrey Chambertin. In between he has tastings of wines from Nuits St. Georges, Morey St. Denis, Chambolle Musigny and more. Wow, I'm just tired writing about it.
Drink with Jeff by enjoying these tasty Chablis:
2011 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis "Grenouilles"
2009 Domaine Laroche Chablis "Blanchots"
2007 La Chablisienne Chablis "Bougros"