Classic White Burgundy a Tough One to Beat


Back to a big field this week, with one “honourable mention” for a wine just outside of the final three.

Two weeks ago the winner was a 1996 Moss Wood Cabernet. This week, u’s mate on T40 brought in a 1986 Moss Wood. The cork was soaked through to the top of the bottle, which did not bode well, but with no signs of rampant oxidation I decanted it anyway, and it wasn’t too bad at all! Not perfect, but pretty damn good all the same. So, honourable mention to you sir (sorry, didn’t catch your name).

The first of our finalists is a 2012 Diana Madeline Cabernet-Merlot, Margaret River. This, of course, is the flagship red from a Vanya Cullen’s eponymous winery, and very, very good it is too. Margaret River seems to be cropping up repeatedly in this blog. Quality will always out, my friends, and this region and its top winemakers are proving this time and again.

The wine was elegant and structured, with perfect balance between the components. Cabernet is overwhelmingly the dominant variety with 76%, but the merlot and cab franc are not there just to stretch the quantity. The merlot fills tha5 classic “doughnut” hole in the cab and the franc gives added raspberry lifted aromas to the nose. The oak is there, but unobtrusive and serves as a platform for the remarkable fruit. Cullen are biodynamic pioneers in Australia, and the extra quality this brings to vineyard and wine has helped the incredibly graceful ageing of this wine. Still plenty left in the tank too.

Next up, a couple of wines from a certain wine importing and distribution company, who kindly chose PDR to have their sales meeting dinner. Naturally, you would expect some decent wines – and Andrew on T30 did not disappoint.

With their entrées they had a lovely white Burgundy from the Château de Puligny-Montrachet, a 2012 Meursault premièr Cru “Les Porusots”. Sealed with Diam 10 corks, both bottles were in perfect shape. If these corks had been around during the Screwcap Revolution, we’d probably never have changed…

The single vineyard of Les Porusots (meaning “the rocky place”) has been farmed biodynamically since 2005, and produces wines of great aromatic purity. Very subtle oak, with maybe only 20% new in any given vintage, means the terroir gets its full expression. Really classy wine, with poise and elegance in spades, this has plenty of years left. A worthy winner of this week’s BYO Wine of the Day.

Note that this label ceased to exist from the 2017 vintage as the owners, the de Montille family, now bottle everything under their Domaine label.

Finally, from the same table, a red Burgundy from Domaine Confuron-Cotedidot, a 2012 Nuits-Saint-George prémier cru “Les Vignes-Rondes”. This domaine make wines for the long haul. Later harvests than most to ensure full stem ripeness, long pre-fermentation soaking, and a variety of other winemaking tricks produce wines that need about ten or so years to show their best. So it was great to see this wonderful premier cru red at near maturity. Lovely red fruit, and still vibrant acidity, with spicy top notes and a developing undergrowth character were the highlights for me. Perhaps not quite at the plateau yet? Andrew, if you have any more maybe have a look in another year…