I recently stopped off at Corney & Barrow’s Scottish offices; the team there have had the good sense to eschew Edinburgh or other city-centre locations in favour of some rooms within Oxenfoord Castle, in East Lothian. Not only do they therefore have the grandest set of offices of any wine merchant in the UK, they have also just installed a new tasting room. I was one of the first to try it out with this mini-tasting of seven Burgundies from the Corney & Barrow list.
Please consider this something of an olive branch, tentatively extended to all those already bored by Bordeaux 2011….I know you’re out there!
Olivier Leflaive St Aubin Premier Cru En Remilly 2009: Nice matchsticky reduction. Soft fruit coming through behind, Quite convincing with a few minutes in the glass. Really rather soft on the palate though. Acidity very gentle and really taking a backseat, verging towards flabby. Nice pith and substance in the finish but lacks the structure I would like. Attractive but not a keeper. 14/20 (March 2012)
Olivier Leflaive Pernand-Vergelesses 2009: A more lemony and chalky style on the nose than the St Aubin. Bright, better defined, a touch more pure than the preceding wine. Very soft style on the palate at first, soft although with a straight, defined, lemony edge to the fruit. Lemon, chalk and stone. Better acidity here, certainly better defined. Quite fat behind it though. Good grip in the end. 15/20 (March 2012)
Domaine Leflaive Corney and Barrow Selection Macon-Verzé 2008: Honey and butterscotch from the oak here. Quiet overwhelming at this moment. The same on the palate, the oak very dominant, the palate showing a slightly fatter oak-infused fruit character behind it. Interesting end, with grip, but it feels wood-derived. There is some acid to cleanse in the finish though. 14/20 (March 2012)
Olivier Leflaive Côte de Beaune Villages 2008: Pale cherry-red hue. Nice style of fruit on the nose, although there is a rubbery tinge of reduction to it. Very soft easy-drinking palate, gentle edges to it, with cherry leafy fruit. There is some grain to the wine on the palate, but it is well covered by the soft character of the wine. 14/20 (March 2012)
Gilles Jourdan Côte de Nuits Villages La Robignotte Monopole 2008: Showing a very slight tinge of maturity here. Rather evolved and gamey nose. Also some toffee elements related to oak perhaps? Smells warm and rather rustic. Very soft and silky on the palate, with more texture than flavour, with just some grip in the finish. Straightforward and mature. Slightly bitter at the end. 13.5/20 (March 2012)
Domaine Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin 2008: Quite translucent wine, a bright and light cherry red. Touch of mushroom on the nose here, slightly wild and savage tones to the fruit here which aren’t unappealing. Very gentle and polished feel, rather more understated than I expected from a Gevrey. Interesting juxtaposition of structure and weight though. Blacker tones to the fruit on returning to the nose. Lots of soft fruit but there is appropriate substance underneath after all. Grippy finish. 15.5/20 (March 2012)
Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Premier Cru Fremiet 2007: Attractive hue, bright tone fading to a clean pink at the rim. Chalky blackcurrant leaf on the nose, notes of cherry skin too. Quite well defined. Attractive palate, quite straight, supple but with a mildly austere grip beneath, quite savoury and mouth-watering. Attractive tension in the finish. Nice wine with some potential here. 15.5/20 (March 2012)