My recent tasting at Domaine Georges Roumier showed his 2011s to be of highly desirable quality and 2010s perhaps the finest wines I have ever tried from him. Sometimes when tasting Christophe Roumier’s wines they don’t all glow with the most fulgurating intensity; those I tried on this visit were all dynamite!
We tasted with a sommelier from Gevrey-Chambertin and for some unaccountable reason he and our host found my reactions to tasting superlatively fine wines to be utterly hilarious. It wasn’t me who was being funny, it was them who were being insufficiently enthusiastic about being immensely pleasured. When you taste things that are as profoundly gratifying, as we did, then groaning, waving your arms in the air and spinning about on one leg are moderate and proportionate responses. I’m often shocked that more people are not as passionate as me about pleasure. Pleasure is good! One should throw one’s self into its embrace.
If I may warm to this theme, when people meet me for the first time and I try something good, I can almost guarantee they will suggest that I put video tasting notes on this site. Even ignoring my technically-challenged nature, I think there is no call for such indulgences. I like to think my writing transparently communicates the delight I get out of so many experiences and so video would add only to all of our bandwidth expenses. If you find my writing lacking fervour do let me know and I’ll try setting my vocabulary to extra-florid when I sit down to write in future.
So the pleasure of Christophe Roumier’s wines… there was a lot to revel in! At the bottom of the heap are his Chambolle villages and Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Clos de la Bussiere; in 2011 that heap is of coolly charismatic character. The Chambolle is very elegant with great fruit and finely balanced acidity, quite delightful. The Morey is also elegant and fruity but has a powerful earth character that marks its origins. When these two made me grin so broadly I knew I was in for a good tasting.
A rarely-encountered wine of Christophe’s is the Chambolle Premier Cru Combottes (there must be countless vineyards of this name in Burgundy). This is a scented, refined expression of Chambolle that pulses with enjoyment value. Worth looking out for.
Definite steps ahead are the Premier Crus les Cras and Amoureuses. Everybody knows Roumier’s Amoureuses is good, everybody wants to buy it and so it costs a fortune. It is, indeed, excellent, but for those of us who cannot afford to live in genuinely nice parts of London I’d go for the Cras in a trice. It is an utterly ravishing, energetic, complex and incredibly stylish Chambolle. You couldn’t ask for much more from a Chambolle Premier Cru and if you do you should tone things down a bit before your pants ignite. This is a seriously fine, incredibly drinkable wine to be sought out with gusto.
Next came the 2011 Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru and it clearly merited all of my ejaculations of enthusiasm. It has a dense core of powerful fruit that keeps on revealing more layers of complex flavours the more you sniff and slurp it. It has the fresh energy of the vintage but is not short on profound class. A corking effort from Christophe, bravo!
The final 2011 we tried was the Bonnes-Mares and, at the risk of tiring you with even more pleasure, that is even more abso-tmesis-lutely wizard. It combines the vivacious vigour of the vintage with extreme sophistication all wrapped up in a structure of elysian refinement and finesse. This is the kind of wine that improves us when we taste and revel in them.
We tried three 2010s from bottle and violate me with a two-foot electrified dildo if they didn’t show more depth of flavour, harmony and class. The 2011s are damned good wines to drink with unabashed joy but the 2010s are at the dumbfounding end of greatness. There is not much point in me giving tasting notes for the Chambolle villages or Morey Bussiere because during this section of the tasting I was barely coherent. I was so happy and all I remember from tasting these two is that each smell and sip had me exploding with colourful metaphors directed at anyone who wasn’t looking at me in too worried a manner.
The 2010 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, however, returned me to lucid focus with its radiant ravishment. 2010 is a vintage of concentrated, ripe fruit and high but balanced acidity and these characters shone resplendently in the Bonnes-Mares along with compellingly intricate minerality and nigh-unbelievable sexiness; luckily I can handle an awfully large amount of sexiness. I tried the Mugnier 2010 Bonnes-Mares the next day (full report of the event will follow) and I think this was the only time I’ve enjoyed Roumier’s Bonnes-Mares in preference to Freddie Mugnier’s. It was that good.
So it was a second great tasting in Burgundy and gave me an enhanced feel for the 2011 vintage. It was definitely a vintage that is tumescent with pleasure at Domaine Roumier and I have no hesitation recommending them for purchase when they come on the market. If you haven’t got any of his 2010s yet then that’s an awful shame. I suppose if you had there could be the danger than when you came to pop a bottle the extravagant excellence might have rendered you permanently catatonic with devastating delight. But take that risk and get out there to find some to buy anyway.