It’s always a treat to taste old Burgundies, and this week I had the opportunity to taste three aged Burgundies at a light lunch with some good friends.
On the table was a Chassagne-Montrachet 1992 from Moillard-Grivot, a Dujac Clos Saint-Denis 1976, and lastly a Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge from 1957 from a unknown negociant – Caves des Batistines.
It is always exiting to taste some old wines from unknown or lesser known producers – all one need is an open mind, and some stemware … and sometimes you will get some really exiting juice in the glass.
If we go back to the 1950s or even the 1960s good wines were made by producers and negociants – that since have seized to exist and therefore completely forgotten. It’s almost impossible to find any relevant info about these producers .. but in some cases they have produced quite enjoyable wines.
To the notes!
Moillard-Grivot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1992
Maison Moillard-Grivot is a well known negociant firm in Nuits-Saint-Georges – established in 1850 and while it’s an old reknown firm – the reputation is not so prominent these days. The 1992 vintage is however a very fine vintage for the whites – although some wines now are starting to fade somewhat. This Chassagne is however an old school white .. most likely with a very healthy dose of SO2 and the grapes were most likely not pressed with a gentle hand – in other words a bit rustic. It is however still very fresh, with a lovely complex nose notes of apple, pear and hazelnuts/almonds – hints of roasted coffee as the wine gets air in the glass. On the palate – well structured for the vintage, with plenty of grip and a nice mid-palate fruit, a bit rustic but with lovely detail. It’s quite long for this level and with a fine intensity. A very enjoyable wine with both the foie gras and the fish.
Domaine Dujac, Clos Saint-Denis 1976
The Domaine Dujac Clos Saint-Denis is a brilliant wine for the vintage … and according to Jeremy Seysses one of the best wines they made in this vintage. This example was in perfect condition – aside from the label – beautifully preserved cork and only 2.5 cm ullage. The bouquet offer beautiful red fruits, sous-bois with hints of orange/orange peel and scent of coffee. Actually the bouquet reminded me more of the 1978 vintage as the orange notes were very delicate and the red fruit so refined and predominant. On the palate gorgeous red fruit – rich mid-palate with a refined but intense mineral drive. It’s more 1976 on the palate with some tar notes in the finish – although these dissolves as the wine develops in the glass. A very refined wine, with ample fruit and gorgeous display of the filigree and delicate Saint-Denis terroir – I adore this vineyard.
Caves des Batistines, Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1957
1957 is not one of the greatest years – but fine wines were made – although many are now starting to fade. This Chassagne is however quite fresh and still a wine for drinking. The nose offer fully matured pinot notes .. dark cherries, amaretto cherries, boysenberries, roasted coffee and sous-bois. On the palate quite intense with a quite weigthy fruit on the mid-palate – starting out a bit edgy but the finish soften as the wine develop in the glass. It’s a bit rustic after the Dujac 1976 .. but stand it’s ground in a rustic old school way. The acidity is fine and not too dominant .. but perhaps ever so slightly high on the volatile element … not problematically so. A lovely old, old school Burgundy that proves that red Chassagne can age tremendously well.
A rare occasion to drink three old Burgundies that performs so well .. the Dujac Clos Saint-Denis is one of the best old Burgundies I have had in years … performing exceptionally well. The two other wines were surprisingly good offering a lot of pleasure .. not perfect wines .. but nevertheless enjoyable. This just goes to show that even unknown negociants and lesser names can produces splendid wines –