Sunday, January 31, 2010

Larue Like Me

The very next day was a watershed day for it was my first visit to a cooperage, thanks to the brilliant forethought of Didier Larue, who was to be our next wine encounter. Despite our language barrier, I identify with Didier on multiple levels. Didier is a short man, as am I. He's thoughtful and generous, as I hope to be. He is improving every year, which is something I strive to do. We're both balding (I'd have a George Jefferson if I let it go) and we have extreme passion for the grape. See...kindred spirits.

Our visit to barrel-maker-to-the-stars, Seguin Moreau, was truly enlightening. Located in Chaigny, a stones throw from Chassagne Montrachet, this outfit makes approximately 90,000 high quality barrels every year. The process of taking wood staves and turning them into weapons of winemaking destruction is really a pleasure to view. From the shaping to the toasting to the laser engraving, watching these barrels come to life gave me a deeper connection to the wines from which they come. Very, very cool...

After the tour, we jetted over to St. Aubin to tastes the wares of Domaine Larue. I documented as much last year after tasting the 2008's from barrel, but they are the finest collection I've tasted from Larue. As always, the St. Aubin en Remilly and St. Aubin Murgers Dents des Chien are the standouts. These are 1er cru wines with supreme clarity and could certainly fool even the most experienced taster into thinking they were drinking big time Puligny. The en Remilly cuts like a knife across the palate with white fruits, thyme, crystallized ginger and cleansing, refreshing acidity. If the en Remilly is a razor's edge, then the Dents des Chien is ninjas steel. It starts off very linear and just fans out saturating the palate with citrus, clover, pain grille and baking spice. Broader, weightier, voluptuous and alluring, it is about as good as St. Aubin gets. In addition, Didier crafted two fantastic Puligny's, the Sous le Puits and the La Garenne. What an impressive showing for Didier's wines. Look for them in the Spring, as they are knockout wines.

After tasting the wines, we had a magnificent lunch in Pommard at Aupres de Cloches. Not sure if this place has a Michelin star or not, but the 6-course tasting menu we experienced was expertly prepared and melded to perfection with the wines we drank. Yeah, we drank at lunch...enough with the spitting!

2006 Domaine Larue St. Aubin Murgers Dents de Chien - MAGNUM
2002 Domaine Larue St. Aubin Murgers Dents de Chien
2003 Domaine Larue St. Aubin Sentier du Clou Rouge
1999 Domaine Ganoux Pommard Grands Epenots

I was fat and happy!

JCB the 4th

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