Tag Archives: Burgundy

Barrel Tasting In Burgundy

Côte de Beaune, Burgundy
To fully appreciate the diversity of the terroir of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy one must see it with the naked eye. To feel the soils under your feet, and to appreciate the varying degrees of sun exposure along the Côte, I highly recommend a vineyard walk or run as an excellent way to further understand the intricacies of these famous slopes.

Then there’s the romantic and picturesque town of Beaune. Start one’s day at one of the many town squares with a perfectly crafted pain au chocolat and a café or two, as you witness the town wake up. Breakfast is followed by strolling through the narrow cobblestone roads, picking fresh cheeses, baguettes and local produce for your afternoon picnic, and eventually settling into a cozy chair outside one of the many wine bars to taste wines by the glass as you watch the Beaune world go by. Beaune, FranceIn the evening, descend into one of the dozens of ‘cellar’ restaurants that could double as barrel rooms to undoubtedly enjoy fine wines and gourmet food from the region: foie gras, escargots, coq au vin and boeuf bourgignon cooked a la bourgignonne in Burgundian wine.

Maison Louis Jadot:

Louis Jadot, BurgundyVisiting Louis Jadot was a fantastic experience. We received a very warm and intimate welcome from one of the prominent producers of this region. Jadot has the power of the qi. The winery is in the shape of an octagon, at the heart of which a small platform is perched six feet off the ground under a domed skylight. During long harvest days this is the spot where workers come to re-energize.

Louis Jadot produces an astounding 125 wines, of which we were fortunate to taste 19 from some of the top sites such as Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, Chassagne Montrachet, Gevrey-Chambertain. In their damp and cool expansive cellars, it was an excellent exercise recognizing the sometimes subtle nuances of these appellations.

Domaine Comte Senard:

Domaine Comte Senard, BurgundyThere is no better welcome to a Domaine than that from a Grand Cru Chardonnay-eating Golden Retriever. Domaine Comte Senard, located in Aloxe-Corton, is set high up on the Côte with its Grand Cru sites enclosed by an ancient stone clos. They produce the only red Grande Cru in the Côte de Beaune. Comte Senard owns the oldest cellars in Burgundy which they discovered during an expansion, and in their good fortune unearthed intact bottles from the region – what a coup.

Alex Gambal:

Alex Gambal Visit in BeauneIn contrast, we capped off our Domaine tours with a visit with Alex Gambal, a modern day Texan making modern wines in Burgundy. Who would have thought this was possible? With the Napoleonic Code of land inheritance, farmers rule this region. Alex Gambal has gracefully managed to penetrate the traditional political landscape. He shared some of his tales of trials and tribulations of doing business here where verbal contracts are only as good as the Texan pony he rode in on.

My WSET Fine Vintage Favourites

Hubbard Photography @ VinoCamp CheeseCamp 2009What better time to start writing about wine then when you’ve just finished tasting roughly 18 wines a day over 6 glorious days?

Having recently completed Level 3 of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) with James Cluer at Fine Vintage, I have to give my props to the wine in this Top 20 Wine List that we were fortunate enough to taste while studying. Listed in no particular order and according to my own personal preference, with price point estimates (BC, Canada) and a few notes I managed to scribble between the drooling, Ooo-ing and Ah-ing. A few of these, let it be known, I simply could not merely taste; some just slipped right down!


1. Domaine Weinbach, Riesling Schlossberg, Alsace Grand Cru 2005 $70 – crisp and beautiful – spend the dough on this one, it will not disappoint.
2. Vinvent Girardin, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts Burgundy 2006 $99 – oh-so-much-goodness. Melts in your mouth. Drink now.
3. Charles Heidsieck Cuvée 1995 $200 – Heavenly way to start the morning.
4. Zilliken Riesling Auslese Mosel (‘Auslese’ = German Late Harvest = sweet = FAB) 1995 $58
5. Muenchberg Grand Cru Alsace Riesling 2004 $104
6. Nicolas Joly Savennières Les Clos Sacrés (Les Vieux Clos) 2006 $47 – Bio-Dynamic
7. Château de Fesles Bonnezeaux 2003 $65 for the HALF L.
8. Château Dereszla Tokaji 2003 $30
9. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewürztraminer Alsace 2004 $58
10. Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Kabinett 1999 $26 – Great value!


1. Alentejo Incognito 2003 $67
2. Torres Salmos Priorat 2005 $35
3. Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2004 $114
4. Smith Woodhouse Tawny Port 1986 $65
5. Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 2002 $110
6. Château Beauséjour 1er Cru Saint Emilion 1998 $70
7. Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 $125 (All 13 grapes!)
8. Guigal Saint Joseph 2004 $110
9. Felton Road Pinot Noir $110
10. Luce, IGT Super Tuscan, Montalcino 2005 $100

I’d be happy to expand on the what and who on any of the above. And if you are thinking of taking a wine course or two, and happen to live in Western Canada or Northwest US, you have to seek out James Cluer’s classes – you’ll be learning from the best, tasting great wines and receiving an awesome and supportive energy.