NEW YORK – Not all Burgundies are created equal. But lucky for Sotheby’s clients, Nicholas Jackson, buyer for Sotheby’s Wine, helped them taste the difference. On 8 May, Jackson led an interactive tasting and discussion as the final installment of our Cocktails & Conversations event series. The task: try four wines, two whites and two reds, from the same small region in Burgundy and determine what makes them extraordinary. According to Jackson, a fine wine comes from a great site and a great producer, but even when vineyards are located extremely close together, they can result in completely different tastes. Below, learn more about each of the wines, all of which are available in our Sotheby’s Wine retail store.
NICHOLAS JACKSON. PHOTOGRAPH BY COLIN MILLER.
JN Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2013, $119.95
A few important things to note: Premier Cru means the wine comes from one excellent vineyard. Also, Burgundy is the home of the Chardonnay grape, which comprises this wine. It is rich, broad and earthy with a dry minerality.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Clavoillon 2011, $139.95
The second white wine is another Premier Cru, but it has a different producer and is from a village about two miles apart. It is more direct, precise and fruity and arguably more elegant. According to Jackson, it is “the ultimate expression of the precision of white burgundy” with exquisite delicacy and intense flavour.
NICHOLAS JACKSON DISCUSSING A WHITE WINE WITH GUESTS. PHOTOGRAPH BY COLIN MILLER.
M. Gros, Nuit St Georges Premier Cru 2010, $109.95
Burgundy is also the home of the Pinot Noir grape variety, which in Burgundy is silky and light. There is an emphasis on its delicacy and weightlessness, not to mention an exceptional floral and berry aromatic expression, 2010 is a spectacular vintage – the fruit is beautifully ripe but without a sense of a diffusion of flavours. From a cool region, the grapes are never too sweet nor heavy – Jackson notes that Burgundy wines should never be too saturated in colour.
Domaine Fourrier, Chambolle-Musigny 2005, $139.95
Each village in Burgundy has its own style, and the one where this wine hails from is in the heart of the great red wine making area. Its textbook description refers to the texture as “jewel-like” since the wine has a diamond-like sheen, and the experience as a “peacock’s tail,” meaning that after you swallow the wine, the flavour becomes richer and more complex. The Chambolle-Musigny has a more savoury expression on the nose, and its velvety finesse reflects a soft, roundedness that could only result from age.