Friday, June 4, 2010

The Friday Lineup

A weekly commentary on selected wines tasted. All wines are sampled pristine and with food.

This week's tasting: Whenever I receive multiple samples from a winery, I usually taste and write about them individually over a period of weeks. And if I'm doing a comparative tasting - say, of several Alexander Valley Cabernets - then naturally I'll taste them together at the same time right after they are opened and then again in a few hours or the next morning. Anything good leftover is dropped on our neighbors' door steps.

But last week I was suddenly presented with a mixed half-case of 2007 Burgundies - three whites, three reds - from the esteemed house of Bouchard Pere & Fils, I knew exactly what I would do. Over the next several days I tasted them one by one, some at home, others at BYOBs, and today I devote this edition of The Friday Lineup to the Bouchard Six.

Wines of The Week

2007 Bouchard Meursault Perrieres 1er Cru ($88). Delicious and bold - nervy, lush green (not unripe) fruit with hints of chalk supported by mature toasted oak and a finish of fine, austere acidity and minerality. Can a wine be both full and lean at the same time? This one can. An excellent food wine (we had it with plump crab cakes) and one that is at its most exciting fresh out of the bottle.

2007 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru ($141). Great fruit essence, a long minerals-driven finish with a fresh acidity, followed by a pop-up of toasty oak. Objectively, this is probably the better wine - fuller, more mature, very good balance - but the liveliness of the Perrieres might make me choose it in a game of "If you could only choose one..."

2007 Bouchard Beaune Greves L'Enfant Jesus 1er Crus ($97). When I took the first sip, there was the tangible sensation of a liquid blanket of velvet slipping across my tongue followed by an apple acidity. Wow! Light and elegant with flavors of cedar, green olives, tart cherries and hints of smoke.

Wines of Interest

2007 Bouchard Le Corton Grand Cru ($97). Quite lean and elegant with flavors of small, wild strawberries and red cherries. I had this for my birthday dinner at Twelves Grill, our neighborhood restaurant, and it went very well with the surprising combination of small, rare duck breast and mild wild board sausages. That prompted sending a glass back to the kitchen - cooking very good food should also have its rewards.

2007 Bouchard Meursault Domaine ($45). A very sensible wine with some of the spirited, racy green fruit of Perrieres and CC, but with a broader middle palate of whey and lees. Very good and very versatile.

2007 Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve ($21). A good, basic, everyday Burgundy, so we shouldn't ask too much of it. Good cherry fruit, some notes of coffee, and very lean with nice acidity.

Until next week...

Roger Morris