Good Old Burgundy

A nice relaxing lunch yesterday at Mr Bianco in Kew was a great excuse to pull out a bottle that had been burning a hole in my cellar.

We started with a bottle of the Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2010 – You’ve no doubt heard me go on (and on) about it before, but it is stunning. Here are my original notes. Such beautiful perfume, great balance and great flavours.

Such a great wine.
A graphic depiction of the label. If you see one of these, grab it!

J Confuron Contetidot Nuits-St-Georges 1988 – Re-released a few years ago direct from the Domaine this wine was stunning when it landed and possibly even better yesterday.
The colour had held up beautifully, a light strawberry with just a tinge of orange. But I believe these guys have used a lot of stems in production which could easily account for the orange (rather than it being obvious signs of age).
At first smell it was quite tart and made my heart sink a little. But as it had time in the glass it developed beautiful rose petal, cherry, and raspberry notes. There was plenty of pepper, gravel/ironstone/iodine and savoury notes. Overall though, it was remarkably fresh and vibrant.
The palate was mid-weight, had a good attack of red berries and crunchy acid on the front. As the wine swept back there was a silkiness and flesh that softened me up and then the Nuits-St-Georges tannins kicked in hefty but fine, gritty and long lingering. Luckily the classic Burgundian ‘peacocks tail’ perfume was also present and made for a beautifully long lasting experience after each sip. This is all the more impressive that it is Village level, not Premier or Grand Cru. Great old Burgundy indeed!

I first tasted this producer in about 2003 when the tasting group I was organising went through a line up of their 2001s to try and understand ‘house style’ and as a great excuse to taste six awesome Burgs. They own 7 hectare in the Cotes de Nuits. They tend to use cold soaks before fermantation with all the stems (imagine making a tea like infusion out of the crushed grapes and their stems). Stems tend to give the wine a tart, acidic edge which is great if they are ripe but can be mouthpuckeringly sour if they are not. This can mean that the producer sacrifices immediate appeal for long term drinking. The best exponents of the use of stems tend to make the most long lived Burgs in my experience.
Therefore this Domaine is often best enjoyed with some bottle age.

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