An Alsace Riesling and Chambolle-Musigny that are deeply expressive of their origins

These wines are top examples of two of my very favourite wine styles; Alsace Riesling and Chambolle press my good time-buttons like few other wines. I say ‘wine styles’ but I really mean ‘origins’ as I am strongly of the opinion that the locality where a wine is grown strongly marks its character. This is palpably true of this pair, they just ooze regional character. I’d love to have tasted them blind as I think I would have been gratifyingly veracious in my identification endeavours. It strikes me that the possibility of identifying wine correctly when blind tasting is a good argument for the existence of terrior and that it does affect the final product.

Cyprien Arlaud’s Chambolle Premier Cru les Chatelots is a rare beast. He doesn’t have much of that vineyard and so the microscopic production used to be mainly for home consumption and for special customers. These days it is possible to score a few bottles from the [link2post id=”627″]Caveau des Vignerons in Morey-Saint-Denis[/link2post] and given the quality it is well worth snapping up.

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Riesling Grand Cru Sommerberg ‘L31E’ 2002, Domaine Albert Boxler

As I smell this I am terribly compelled by its incredible minerality; it could not be even more so astoundingly stony if M. Boxler had managed to squeeze an active quarry into the bottle. There is also plenty of deliciously ripe citrus fruit but it seems slightly more mature and petrolly than I expected. I put this down to poor storage in the flat as I had a bottle from the long-term cellar earlier this summer that did not appear so forward. Far from smelling knackered, though, and quite a intricate little number. Even though the nose is extremely mineral I was quite unprepared by the stupefyingly intense stoniness on the palate; this seems more vineyard-like than the vineyard itself. Its fruit is very ripe with a satisfying array of citrus fruit flavours and I just love the perfervid character of its acidity. Its a reasonably large-scale Riesling but its overall impression is one of stylish sophistication and conspicuous regional character.

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Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru les Chatelots 2007, Domaine Arlaud

Beauty! Ravishing, beguiling, sensual beauty! The the fruit character here is distinctly charged with lubricity such are its obvious charms. That being said, it lacks none of the elegance you’d hope for in a good Chambolle. 2007 Burgundies are often attractive when young and Chambolle can make the most nectareous wines on the Cote; in this wine these two characters have combined with synergistic effect to make this collection of aromas drop-dead gorgeous. By the hairs on my toes it tastes bewitchingly fanciable too. Delightfully restrained tannins, good acidity and ripe, alluring fruit are all bound up in an elegant, perfect harmonious whole that makes this a very classy bottle of Chambolle that displays its origins transparently. It is captivatingly complex and has a top hole finish. Even though the general opinion is that 2007 Burgundies are for drinking young, I bet this will improve for a reasonably long time in a decent cellar. However, if you have some do pop a bottle or two soon, it’ll enchant your socks off with its refined seductiveness.

  • ed tully

    Is the HP bottle in the background supposed to provide some sort of subliminal tasting note? I am afraid that by the time I got to Morey in mid August all of the Chatelots had gone. Well, all but one bottle – which the kid showed incredible agility in snaffling before I could get to it. Swine!

  • Oh I am pleased someone noticed the HP Sauce bottle, it was cunningly positioned to draw comment from observant wine lovers.