|We have been promising the arrival of some new whites from France, specifically Burgundy, to go along with David’s other terrific finds, Michel-Andreotti, Pernot-Belicard and J-M Chaland. Our most recent container has brought a bevy of Burgundian beauties beginning with this stunner from producer Claudie Jobard, the 2011 Rully Montagne La Folie. It is rich, verbena- and honey-scented white Burgundy. Rounded and plush with ample body, it has butterscotch and creamy caramel on the finish. It’s showy and delicious.
David likes to follow a producer a bit, tasting through more than one vintage, before committing to import their wine. A good producer will make consistently good wine in most vintages barring some weather-related disaster. This past January, David tasted all he needed to convince himself that importing Claudie Jobard’s wines was not going to be risky, but a sure thing. He was impressed by what he tasted. In terms of heritage, Claudie Jobard was destined to be a winemaker. Both her parents are legends in Burgundy. Her mother, Laurence, was head winemaker for Domaine Drouhin from 1973 to 2005 and her father, Roger, is a pépiniériste whose nursery has been influential in viticultural circles for decades. As the eighth generation in her family to make wine, Claudie started her own domaine label in 2002 using ancestral vineyards from her father’s side. At the northern end of the Cote Chalonnais lies the appellation of Rully which produces both red and white wines. Claudie’s Rully Montagne La Folie is a 2 ½ hectare parcel. Farmed organically, the vines are between 40-45 years old. The soil type is clay-limestone and rather stony with a craggy terrain reminiscent of broken concrete. Fermented in barrel with native yeasts, Claudie put only 15% of her 2011 Rully Montagne La Folie production in new barrel, that is 3 out of the 20 barrels made. So, yes there is a luscious barrel component to this wine, but it is minimal and judicious.
|I experienced a banner day this past Monday wine tasting-wise. It was only the 2nd time in my life that I tasted Musigny VV from Vogue. And it didn’t stop there… There was more great Burgundy, courtesy of a trade-tasting hosted by a local wine wholesaler who was celebrating a milestone in the biz, several A-list California producers and much more. As I told my sales rep, I was grateful to taste all these great wines, but it was heartbreaking to know how many great wines I had to pass on by, because, well, you can only taste so much – really! Upon my arrival back to the store after this event, TWH staff was introduced to some of our new arrivals. It was the 2011 Rully Montagne La Folie that got me oohing and ahhing and also thinking about those A-list California wines that I got to taste earlier in the day. What occured to me was that this Rully, in its composition and character, was exactly what I believe many domestic producers are trying to replicate but so often miss the mark because their fruit, though vinified dry, can taste sweet on the finish, whereas this Rully, with all its fullness and broad palate, finishes crisp and bone-dry. It’s fresh and vibrant and it begs you to take another sip. And then there is the price, only $28.99 per bottle. A bargain for Burgundy, no question, but also a bargain for Chardonnay of this quality from anywhere – too true!
Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, is promising to be on the cool side for Northern California. I, for one, am ok with that because I can do without the crowds along the Russian River. I am perfectly happy to read a book under the redwoods or lounge on the sofa’s fold-out bed with the girl, the dog and the hubby, watching cartoons. I may have to bring along a bottle of Claudie’s 2011 Rully Montagne La Folie because life just goes by too quickly and I haven’t drunk enough white Burgundy!—Anya Balistreri