Burgundy World

Courtesy of http://www.bourgogne-boussey.com/

My Monthelie sisters

Reliable fun
Published:  July 24, 2007

Reds; kaleidoscope and fireworks, starting from 4-5 years in, incred at 10. B+

Among the closely knit string of villages in the Beaune area lies Monthelie. It is literally a stone throw from Volnay and Meursault, slightly on the upside of the hill. Nothing special in the village itself that I recall, though I now see on Google images what looks like a fairly elegant church steeple. (Courtesy of a domaine I don't know, at bourgogne-boussey.com.

I have had a few Monthelies in my time but one always turns up trumps, from the domaine once run by the legendary Douhairet sisters. I never met them but have heard about them. Welcoming, uncomplicated with that friendly Burgundian civility...

I have bought their wine and it is not quite like the sisters. A youngish rather severe bloke showed them to us in a rather large, hyper clean cellar. Severe but generous, for in typical local fashion he showed us the lot. (If your host does not do that, then either you are in the wrong cellar or the host has got the runs.)

That was in 2000 or so. We have been opening them since about 2002. All 1997s. What the host called a Monopole, and also some 1ere cru "le Meix Bataille". If you want to understand in a jiffy what makes a Burgundy red so special, or if you wonder what the chap in the movie Sideways was on about when he was waxing lyrical about pinot noir, then look no further (see link reference at bottom). Unlike even good Bordeaux or lesser Burgundies, there is no one flavour, no one theme dominating the story. Rather it is big in the mouth, a kaleidoscope turns into a finale of fireworks, rich flavours shooting in several directions at once, yet balanced and comfortable on the palate.

The bottle has a distinctive burgundy red and white coat of arms or shield on the neck and a medium chunky feel, not as heavy and thick as some.

I also have some Pommard from the same sisters, but have not tasted them yet, should be fun.*

I don't remember the price of the Meix Bataille but I am not stinking rich so it can't have been that bad. Will report later because I intend to go back again today or tomorrow.


P.S. Interesting thought Mike Steinberger's "A Connoisseur's Guide to Sideways"

"For this wine geek, it is Miles' affection for pinot noir that is most thought-provoking. Pinot, at least in its Burgundian incarnation (and it is in Burgundy that pinot reaches its apogee), is the most fickle wine grape. It also happens to produce, in Burgundy at least, the most ravishing and seductive wines of all, and I've always regarded pinot as the grape that has the greatest appeal for sensualists."

From Slate 2004

*Alas, just opened that Pommard Premier Cru a few evenings ago and sadly it was corked, undrinkable. A long wait for not much. That's wine, I guess.

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