Domaine d’Ardhuy Series: Part 1
Corton Hautes Mourottes Grand Cru 2009
In March this year I travelled France, visiting as many vineyards as I could along the way. Before visiting, I booked as many tastings as possible. This is the first in a series of blogs on the tastings I had at Domaine d’Ardhuy in the Côte de Beaune. Apologies for only getting these blogs done now, but I hope you enjoy them and can seek out and try these wines! I am relying on notes written back in March!
Having never visited Burgundy (or France, apart from Paris) before, it is a must-visit region for any wine lover. The small, interspersed vineyards are something that I could cast my eyes over all day long. My base was a rented home in Rully, south of Beaune, from where I visited the surrounds. Domaine d’Ardhuy is situated between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, tucked off the road at the end of a long driveway, leading to a grand house. This is the Clos des Langres, from where they produce other wines (blogs to come!). After being greeted by a closed gate (our host Emma eventually opened the gate) we made our way in eventually. Domaine d’Ardhuy is completely biodynamic now, having recently switched over. There is a lot to be said about making wine this way, particularly in the cellar, where barrels are filled and treated in accordance with biodynamic principles, and of course in the vineyard, where harvesting is also done according to biodynamics.
If ever you have the chance to visit Domaine d’Ardhuy, Emma is a veritable fountain of knowledge. Any questions we had, she fielded with gusto and comprehensive explanation. What a marvel of a host! The wines we tasted were:
* Savigny-les-Beaune 2009
* Puligny Montrachet ‘Le Trezin’ 2011
* Pommard Premier Cru 2009
* Clos des Langres Monopole Rouge 2009
* Corton Hautes Mourottes 2009
The Corton Hautes Mourottes was the final wine of our tasting, and the most expensive, but also the most challenging. 2009 is regarded as a very good vintage, but perhaps one that has been over-hyped. Some winemakers were lamenting the ‘goodness’ of the vintage, but maybe not its greatness. There is a great write-up by Jancis Robinson, which you can find here. This wine is quite big, in terms of its structure. It’s very hard to understand the wine at this point, as I don’t think it’s one you could drink in its youth and say it was wonderful. I have to wonder what effect the biodynamics has had on the wine’s fundamental flavours. It is now five years since its vintage but the wine, at least when I tasted it in March, was still not ready. I expected more, but tempered those expectations when remembering that it probably will come into its best in a few more years. There is very good fruit here, and one of the only times I really believed winemakers saying that their wines ‘showed a true sense of terroir.’ There’s more black fruits than red or blue, like a bit of witchcraft involved in the wine. One imagines the winemakers concocting a truly imaginative wine. It hits many nice points but succumbs to a bit of a lower ebb than I thought it might reach after the attack.
91 points, but would love to re-taste in five more years.
Good drinking to you,