Tasting wine at 8:30 AM with less than ten minutes of sleep is a challenge. A little case of food poisioning kept me up all night, but on these trips the show must go on. Helped out by the bitter cold morning air, my palate was surprisingly fresh and awake. Jacque Bavard is a producer that we have worked directly with for several years now. His wines represent tremendous values and most of what we're able to procure gets gobbled up by the staff. His Monthélie village wines have become legendary with our in-store customers and we've found that his entire profile has resonated with Burgundy customers in search of dollar-for-dollar quality. We ran through a lineup of his 2014’s—all were very clean, fresh and showed great acidity. Look for the 2014’s to arrive in early summer and make sure you jump on them when they get here. We are due to receive a last batch of 2013’s any day now, including the Auxey-Duresses Rouge that we blew out a few months back.
Luckily for me we had an easy morning after that. Our next appointment was not till 10:30 with Oliver Leflaive. We tasted quite a few wines over lunch. The property owns a very nice hotel and restaurant in the center of Puligny-Montrachet. It reminds me of the set up the Cazes family has in the town of Bages. Lunch was actually light (as you can see above) and hit the spot. Afterwards we toured the vineyards in a Prius. The sun was breaking through the clouds and the day was beginning to warm up. I offered to sit in the backseat and with lunch in my belly, the bumping of the road beneath me, and the sun on my face through the window, I managed to catch a few z's in between vineyard sites. It was much needed.
Our 2:00 PM was a terrific, yet intense experience at Lucien Le Moine. I counted thirty-two wines tasted out of barrel and all in rapid-fire succession. The wines were very interesting and owner Mounir Saoumas’s passion is contagious. Our final appointment for the day was at 4:30 (which we were extremely late for) with Pierre Yves Colin Morey. This was my first tasting of his wines and needless to say I was impressed. The purity and freshness of the wines amazed me. Difficult to find, we will make an attempt to seek these out going forward. His Corton-Charlemagne was off the charts!
The day was over (I made it!). We proceeded to check into our hotel, the Ibis Styles, just outside of town. Here we met K&L buyer Gary Westby who came down from Champagne to finish the last few days of the trip with us. Unlike Alex and myself, Gary was fresh and ready for action. Despite being very tired, I was still excited because we had a reservation at Ma Cusine for the night. In the center of Beaune, this is a must stop for anyone traveling in the region. No stars, just perfectly simple regional food with a very interesting and reasonably priced wine list. A “healthy” portion of foie gras started off our meal and was followed by a perfectly-prepared steak. We enjoyed a bottle of 2007 Marc Colin Chassagne Montrachet “Les Vide-Bourses” to start followed by a terrific bottle of 2000 Domaine Tortochot Gevery Chambertain “Les Champeaux”. It was the perfect combination to get me back on track. I slept great that night and I believe this meal saved me. Well rested and well fed, the rest of the trip was going to be a breeze after making it through today.