Burgundy World

What a difference a year makes

Looking for Les Clous
Published:  March 29, 2009

The other night we opened another 2000 Monthelie les Clous from Daniel Buisson-Dupont, friends gathered. Quite a change from the first time we had it a year ago, this time full of power, thick and full. Why the difference? Well, a few possibilities.

First, the food last Friday was delicious, grilled chicken with apricot and Basmati rice with a thick apricot jus, followed by some cheese. Also, we had served a lighter Savigny-Les-Beaunes to kick off with, so perhaps the contrast of styles had something to do with it. Moreover, this particular bottle had been cellared in Burgundy, rather than in Paris, and had lots of time to get up to room temperature. But most of all, wine is a living creation, it evolves, and a year can be just enough to bring about radical improvement. A- now. What exactly is it that gives it such a high mark?

Well, poets, writers and wine critics have sat up all night trying to describe what makes their favourite wines so good for years, and maybe one night I'll try too. I certainly remember my first big Burgundy hit, a Morey-Saint Denis village, served in a well-known restaurant in Chagny, between Chalon sur Saone and Beaune. It was so startling that I spent the entire lunch quite silent, holding each mouthful for as long as I could, flavours dancing, darting, sparkling and shooting, followed by a feeling of gentle warmth, a lucidity.

This Monthelie was perhaps not quite at that level, but then again, maybe it was better, because after all, I know burgundies much better now, and so this could have been a disappointment. It wasn't. Jammy someone might say, or would that be like a smoothie? Either way, full, consistent, not a weakness in it, not an airpocket or slightly off-moment, like a hint of bitterness or imbalance. Long, wide, tall, thick, and as smoothe as petals.

Voila. Not all night, but it will have to do. By the way, don't forget my wine blog; just looking back at some older articles on it, not bad. I particularly like the one about tea. Yes, tea. Ever wonder where putting milk in your tea came from? Well, find out here.

©RJ Doyle 2009


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