Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Women & The Rockstar

Directly following our visit at Domaine Leflaive, we walked a few blocks to taste with Francois Carillon of Domaine Louis Carillon. Well, at least that's the name of it at present. 2010 marks a split between Francois and his brother, Jacques and each will have holdings and wines bearing their own name. Apparently, from the hap-hazard bits I could decipher, it has something to do with a woman. Shocking!

The wines of Carillon are a direct opposite of those from Domaine Leflaive. They were richer, which to me manifested itself gorgeously with the Puligny village and not so gorgeously with regard to the various 1er cru wines. They felt a bit heavy-handed in 2008 just slightly lacking cut, but there is certainly a wealth of fruit. That being said, the 2008 Carillon Bienvenue Batard Montrachet, tasted out of a tiny stainless steel tank, was the kind of stuff dreams are made of. They only make 600, er 599 1/2 bottles of this massively endowed Grand Cru that tips the scales of weight, while still seeming weightless. Expansive, wide and exuberant mango, nectarine, brioche, stones, white flowers and ripping acid cleanliness culminate with great force. An outstanding wine that only need a decade of rest to display its greatness.

As an aside, this domaine has also been bold enough to do extensive tasting of their older wines and have proclaimed that all of their wines from the mid-90's completely suck due to premature oxidation problems. They blame bad corks as the culprit and also say that the same wines out of magnum have no issues and are superb. Let's get a big bottle and test the theory, eh?

Now that two monumental visits are in the books, its time for lunch. We saunter over to Hotel Montrachet for a little refreshments, food and beverages of the typicity of the place. Meal...superb...wines...damn fine. After playing our usual blind tasting reindeer games, we finish up with a sublime cup of coffee, a perfect segue to the rendez-vous with the Vinifrance rockstar of the portfolio, Sylvain Bzikot.

I've said it before. Sylvain Bzikot would be a complete wine idol of every Burg-geek in the world if you sat them down to blind taste his wares against the greats. He's that good. Aside from that, he has an aura as large and brilliant as the sun. Despite the fact that there is a distinct linguistic disconnect when we see each other (he speaks little to no English and I know just enough French to be wrong every time I attempt to converse) we are never at a loss of understanding. Sylvan unveiled an absolutely stunning set of 2008's for us to taste after sampling his 2009's from barrel. These wines are feverish and nervy, luscious and lively, lingering and a singluar word, captivating. You really can't take your mind off them for long when engaged with them as all thoughts, even ones outside of wine, take you back to the beauty in the glass. Haunting beauty...

Every wine presented was spot on. But if pressed for two to look for in the near future, seek out his 2008 Puligny Montrachet La Rouselle and his 2007 Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er cru, both arriving in a couple months. The La Rouselle marks a victorious three year battle importer/svengali, Olivier Daubresse, has had with Sylvain to bottle this special lieu-dit on its own. Formerly, blended into the village-level wine, the La Rouselle is dynamic, dreamy Puligny that could compete with any 1er cru. Crystalline mineral touches, medium bodied melon tones meld with hints of honeydew and show impeccable balance. It's amazing wine! All I have to say about Sylvain's Folatieres 1er cru is that I tasted the exact same vintage and site from Domaine Leflaive precisely 4 hours before so it was fresh in my mind. Sylvain made the better wine. Period.

JCB the 4th

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