Great vintage for whites, the excellent 2014 Burgundies display good character, freshness, finesse and aging potential. Two weeks ago @Les Conseillers du Vin we tasted the Burgundy reds 2014. The quality level was excellent but irregular. On the other hand, the whites were excellent to outstanding and consistent. Available in our market, many of these whites offer bright acidity confirming their excellent potential for aging.
As usual a group of 16 experienced tasters analyzed seven (7) 2014 white Burgundies plus a mystery wine in the usual blind tasting format.
Results: To establish the order of preference of the tasting panel, 3 points were awarded to a first place vote, 2 pts for a 2nd place vote and 1pt for a 3rd place vote.
To better understand this vintage it must be mentioned that 2014 was saved by a perfect end to the growing season. Ideal climatic conditions in September and October assured full ripeness with a lower alcohol content and fresh acidity.
For the group, two wines stood out as favourites. Finishing first by a slim margin (2 pts) was the Puligny 1er Cru Les Referts from Marc Morey (23 pts) followed in second spot (with 21 points) by the Chassagne 1er Cru Les Macherelles from Francois Carillon and in third further back with 12 points, the Chablis Grand Cru Bougros from Joseph Drouhin. Three (3) wines finished tied for last with 7 points: both Meursaults, Charmes 1er Cru from J-C Boisset and Clos des Perrières 1er Cru from Albert Grivault, and the mystery wine Chardonnay 2014 Willamette (Oregon) from Bachelder. Same as for the 2014 red Burgundy tasting, only one person Identified the mystery wine. Congrats again to Nancy Avery for doing so…twice!
All of the wines (except for the mystery wine), displayed typical characteristics of white Burgundies from an excellent vintage: freshness, intensity, balance and very good length. 2014 will be remembered as an obvious success story for white Burgundy. All the wines in this tasting showed typical terroir characteristics with finesse and elegance that is usually experienced in cooler vintages.
My top three wines were: 1- Chablis Grand Cru Bougros, Joseph Drouhin, 2- Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Frétille, Domaine Rapet and two wines tied for 3rd : Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles, François Carillon & Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts, Domaine Marc Morey. See my tasting notes below.
The wines : Order of blind tasting:
1- Meursault 1er Cru Clos des Perrières, Albert Grivault (Group score: 7 pts) 139$
Grivault produces wines with great elegance. Typical lively acidity. Very mineral and fruity nose: citrus, pear with slightly oxidised apple on the finish. Good intensity, balance and medium length. Some aging potential (3 to 5 years). My rating: 91+/100
2- Chablis Grand Cru Bougros, Joseph Drouhin (Group score: 12 pts) 82$
My favourite wine of the tasting. Lovely nose offering citrus and mineral scents. Very seductive/elegant with lively acidity and superb balance. Intense flavours with a lengthy finish. Potential : 4 to 6 years. My rating: 94+/100
3- Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes, Jean-Claude Boisset (Group Score: 7 pts) 123$
Charming nose displaying ripe fruit with just enough oak. Good balance, elegance and freshness. Not as lively and intense but very satisfying with some aging potential: 3 to 5 years. Hint of bitterness on the finish. My rating: 92/100
4- Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Frétille, Domaine Rapet Père & Fils (Group score: 10 pts) 71$
Also one of my favourites! Charming nose displaying discreet oak with fruity/citrusy/mineral overtones. Typical refreshing acidity, finesse, balance and good length. Should improve over the next 4 to 6 years. My rating: 94/100
5- Chardonnay 2014 Willamette Valley, Bachelder, Oregon (Group score: 7 pts) 31$
Curiously many participants acknowledged that this wine was different but only one person identified it as the mystery wine. Congrats Nancy! Soft acidity, not as intense and lively as the Burgundies. A fine effort at an affordable price! My rating: 88/100
6- Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts, Domaine Marc Morey (Group score : 23 pts) 109$
The preferred wine of the tasting! Ripe nose displaying lots of fruit with mineral hints. Lively and elegant with an intense lingering finish. Good aging potential : 5 to 7 years. Lots of character with typical Puligny finesse. My rating: 93/100
7- Beaune 1er Cru Grèves, Domaine Jacques Prieur (Group score: 9 pts) 81$
Light mineral nose with a bit of fruit (pear and apple). Not as intense and lively, quite velvety and charming. Ripe and round with a hint of bitterness. Some potential: 3 to 5 years. My rating: 91/100
8- Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles, François Carillon (Group score: 21 pts) 127$
A lovely and intense white bursting with citrus and typical minerality (gun flint). Just enough oak, lively acidity, great balance with lasting flavours. A beautiful Chassagne from a consistent producer. Cellar 4 to 6 years. My rating: 93+/100
Photo: Nick Hamilton