This Nuits Premier Cru was a gift from the top chap Keith Levenberg; thanks Keith, your gift of Burgundies has provoked much mirth!
Quite why this bottle has been sitting in the wine fridge all these months when he got it for me to review I am not entirely sure about. I suppose dabbling with fine Australian, New Zealand and German Pinot Noir has been a distraction from the real thing…
But I love the real thing, so here goes!
Ah… It is good to be home… In this case the home of my excellent chum Jeremy who may make wine in Morey-Saint-Denis but he lives in Nuits, so it has a special place in my heart.
And this wine announces its origins with crystal clarity on the nose, the fruit may be ripe and polished, but there is definitely that tell-tale leafy/grassiness on the nose that is displayed with pride by all good Nuits-Saint-Georges wines. I cannot claim to be intimately well-versed with this vineyard or producer, but he makes wine that speaks of its origins in a classy, stylish tones.
As well as that slight greenness there is good, polished fruit that is highly attractive, perfectly balanced by a core of rich earthiness that is good to detect on the nose.
Why is this good to detect on the nose? I think it is a fundamental characteristic of Pinot Noir to have a bit of a soil-y tang. I am not, even a second suggesting (for those with long memories about how Burgundy has been perceived) that good Burgundy smells of shit – there should, however, be aromas and flavours of earth (be they polished, rich or even a little shy) in a quality Pinot.
Oenological philistines in some countries think that all such earthiness should be stripped out of their Pinot to in order not to challenge their customers with such difficult concepts as ‘complexity’, ‘sophistication’ or ‘interest’. What tiresome, dreary and monotonous wines arseholes like this make. Such soulless crap is to be avoided at all costs! You might get bored to the point of being a sobbing, scandalised, shocked heap on the floor!!
No such problems here, its nose says, “I am Nuits! Very seductive and damned good Nuits at that – let us have a party far more sensually rewarding and intellectually stimulating than any old fart’s bunga bunga parties!” I will jump to the head of that queue, please!
My, how well that promise of the nose delivers as you chew it around your mouth. It reminds me a little of Clos de l’Arlot or Clos des Foret-Saint-Georges – which I suppose has something to do with it being a ‘Nuits’ from Premeaux. It definitely tastes as at least as classy, if not quite a lot more so, as the examples I’ve had from those vineyards made from Domaine l’Arlot – it is also a lot more fun than I recall those being.
Structurally this palate is very polished and refined but ample solid seriousness not to disappoint anyone after a real Nuits experience. That polish and refinement… Hmmm… refinement? Or is it a bit too libidinous to really be described as refined? Yes! There is seduction value that is in absolute harmony with its Nuits tannins and acidity. It is not a spanking session in Le Bar Chris (Epernay’s apparently very popular brothel, I haven’t found the one in Nuits yet), but a muscly temptress who likes both parties to get a vigorous yet definitely extremely pleasurable work out whilst the two of you are enjoying each other.
The acid/tannin structure has a pretty suave and energetic character (along with its robust Nuits-ness) The fruit has the suggestion of Nuits-greenness, but it is joyfully buxom, a characteristic well-worth exploring! Part of this bien loché characteristic is certainly a result of its really svelte and distinctly come hither-y earthiness. It is fascinating in its complexity and just so passionately alluring. Yet some people want to strip such flavours from their wines. Madness.
So we are getting the idea that this is a really viscerally enjoyable Nuits and also that it has a solid structure and fresh liveliness that even a historically great producer like Gouges would be proud to have twirling its tassels in their wines. Not a single feature is out of balance with any other – M. Chezeaux must take very good care of his vines and lovingly nurse the thought the vinification process. The Editor and I were very lucky to catch this at such a pulchritudinous stage is its evolution.
However, I do not view this as a single fortunate sumptuous snatch at greatness before it quickly collapses into crapulence. Oh no, I am firmly of the opinion this has exactly what it needs where it needs it in order to have an extravagantly magnificent, decorously structured and gratifyingly long life in a cellar of required standards.
To summarise, this wine was made from grapes that had care lavished upon them during what was not a trivially easy vintage. Furthermore, these grapes benefitted from being gently handled in the winery to preserve the qualities inherent in the fruit from the aux Boudots vineyard. The resultant wine is profligately fine and will age and increase in mirth-value (in true roué style). It maybe charged with dissolute-qualities but, like any wine worthy of capturing one’s attention, it will always speak of its village, Cru and vintage of production with a proudly clear voice.
So I pleasured myself immensely with that bottle, Mr Levenberg, many thanks! Sorry for the delay in tasting it, but I got to it in the end and, my, what a concupiscently fine wine your gift turned out to be! Huge, huge thanks, Keith old bean!!