Can't Beat Burgundy

I have been a fan of Rosenthal’s classic and traditional portfolio for years. So, I especially jump at the chance to taste their exquisite selection of Burgundy, like most wine lovers surely would. After 40 years of importing experience, Rosenthal focuses on well-made wine by PEOPLE.
Neil Rosen led this tasting at Hudson Wine Merchants and brought up some interesting points along the way. First, he mentioned how A/C is the best thing to happen to wine, since it allows us to enjoy the most fragile and interesting ones, especially from Burgundy.
Second, he describes why so few wineries in Burgundy are Certified Organic. Basically, it has to do with the extremely low yields within Burgundy’s small vineyard sites. This makes sticking to strict rules of certification very difficult since winemakers want the biggest output possible. This will likely not change down the road, since the wines are increasingly rare to begin with.
Neil also mentioned the role of négociants today. With all of the overhead costs, big négociant brands have really been hurting. For this reason, small wineries are able to compete and they’re not as looked-over as they used to be. This is increasingly true for importers and consumers alike. Below are some of the wines Neil shared with us last weekend, of which I completely savored before stocking up my cellar. Hey, there’s not much of this good stuff!
2016 Domaine du Meix Foulot Mercurey Blanc: A blend of village and premier cru fruit from Mercurey, a region known best for red wines of value. The terroir is much like that of the Cotes du Nuits, resulting in austere reds with high tannin. This Chardonnay has notes of bruised green apple, peaches, and a hint of marshmallow, perhaps from the malolactic fermentation.
2016 Domaine du Clos des Rocs Pouilly-Loche “En Chantone”: From the other side of the hill from Pouilly Fuisse in the Macconais, this estate owns 1/3 of the 38 hecatre Pouilly-Loche appellation. The sun is exposed to Pouilly-Fuisse, so grapes planted in Pouilly-Loche are much less ripe and result in elegant though slightly restrained styles. The family is known for long elevage and using large barrels only. This delicate and controlled wine has notes of lemon juice, cheese curds, white chocolate and crushed rocks.
2015 Domaine Henri & Gilles Buisson Saint Romain Blanc “La Perriere”:From the Cotes de Beaune, on a hillside near St. Aubin, this wine is extremely high in acid. With rocky soil that’s rich in amplitude and heightened elevation on the hill may contribute to the impressive, almost shocking acidity. My notes included: buttered toast, lemon tart, chive, and moss.
2014 Domaine Edmond Cornu Ladoix VV: One of the first estates to enter Rosenthal’s portfolio, the estate comprises of 15 hectares of mainly Pinot Noir, throughout the Cotes du Beaune. Just north of Aloxe-Corton, this fruit-forward wine has cranberries, blueberries, tobacco, roses, lavender, and hints of earth across the palate.
2014 Domaine Georges Lignier Morey St. Denis: Perhaps one of the lightest wines from Morey St. Denis I’ve tasted, Neil described this estate as having a focus on purity. They’re known for early picking and de-stemming, resulting in a very light color and body, but known to gain weight with age. This is a fascinating contrast to the more intense and structured styles from Hubert Lignier, a cousin of Georges. This wine is quite mineral, with mushrooms and gravel on the nose, along with slightly stinky marijuana and fresh herbs.
2015 Domaine Sylvain Morey Chassagne Montrachet Rouge: Some might wonder why any red is produced here in Chassagne Montrachet, when the whites are so highly sought after and praised. In fact, many estates have ripped up their Pinot vines and replanted with Chardonnay over the past decade. Domain Sylvain proves that these grapes can produce wines with intensely perfumed aromas, high tannin and age-worthy power. I thought this wine mimicked some of my favorites from Vosne-Romanee!
2015 Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin “En Jouise”: From a 9 hectare estate situated exclusively within Gevrey-Chambertin, Harmand-Geoffroy is focused on traditional winemaking. This extraordinarily complex wine comes from vines between 60 and 80 years in age, right next to Grand Cru site Mazis-Chambertin, of which the estate also produces. The show-stopping “En Jouise” gave me notes of clove, cinnamon, root beer, pine, rhubarb and lavender.