Burgundy 2011: Focus on Meursault

Burgundy 2011

The change in style in Meursault over recent years has been palpable, there has been a gradual lowering of yields and an increase in quality as the average Meursault has become a lot fresher and lighter on its feet – and not just at the top domaines.

The idea of Meursault as a big, broad style of wine is increasingly out of date. Those creamy, nutty, slightly oxidative wines of yesteryear are getting harder to find.  The producers in the village are more quality and terroir-focused than ever before.

For example, Domaine Latour-Giraud has had a new lease of life in 2011 – and it is all for the better. Vintage variation notwithstanding, there is a lot more emphasis on the fruit freshness in the wines this year. The village-level Cuvee Charles Maxime (named after Grandperes Latour and Giraud respectively) is always one of the best value white Burgundies we buy and we can’t remember a better version than this.

Latour-Girauds 2011s have good acidity that cocoons and protects the dense and concentrated fruit. They have the clean, almond-like smoothness as in all good Meursault, but the aftertaste is all about the fruit.

Over at Pierre Morey, daughter Ann told us that “After the 2012 vintage, everything seems easy”. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be bottled during spring in 2013, but on the day, they tasted open and the fruit expressive.

Pierre Morey’s Meursault often need 8 to 10 years in bottle, especially those from the rocky soil of Tessons, yet in 2011 the fruit is so concentrated it was surprisingly enjoyable to taste now; a good sign for this small vintage. And it should only get better with time.

So Meursault has lost the weight, is looking good and tastes great. There has been a real turnaround in philosophy and commitment to the terroir. The increased emphasis on fruit tastes like an unveiling, a ‘wow’ moment.

Juel Mahoney
1st November 2012

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