Whites - 2002 Burgundy Wine Tasting

First, we began with the white Burguny wines - created from the Chardonnay grape variety. Chardonnay is only grape used in white burgundy wine. "Chablis" is one famous white wine region in Burgundy.

Burgundian white wines taste crisp and clean, just like a chardonnay grape would taste if you plucked it off the vine. Burgundy whites have flavors of apple, pear, honeysuckle, peach, and apricot. Chablis also tend to have a green tinge in color. A characteristic of white Burgundies is that they are very distinct from each other. 'You'll love two and not like two of them', said John as the wines were poured. This variety makes chablis a fun wine to taste and discuss.

John noted that in California and Australia, chardonnay is known as a heavy, oaky wine. "Kendall Jackson is the heroin of the wine industry," he said with a smile. He explained that while the oaky flavors are nice for sipping, Burgundies are much better suited to pairing with food.

Chablis and riesling used to be the top whites sold in the world, but are no longer. While Burgundies were expensive in the past, supply and demand means that they are lower priced now. According to John, "the way to get good prices on wine is to drink what everyone else is NOT drinking" .

2002 Louis Latour Le Bourgogne $14.99

First, "Le Bourgogne" signifies any white wine (i.e. Chardonnay) anywhere in Burgundy. This is a very general term for Burgundy white wines. The Latour family is an ancient chateau, being held for over 250 years in the same family. This wine is made from grapes from the three most significant vineyard areas, but this vintage is still inexpensive because there were so many great grapes in 2002. The wine is tart, juicy, creamy - "A lot of chardonnay for the money".

2002 Louis Latour Chablis "Chanfleur" $17.99

Chanfleur is a brand name, invented for this wine. The wine has flavors of crisp apple, plus a hint of pear. The wine is juicy with a medium body, and has a nice finish.

2002 Pernot Bourgogne Blanc "declassified Puligny" $22.99

This wine boasts the quality of a $40 wine. Its flavors are juicy, with smooth bright acidity. This is the juice once used to be put into Puligny wines by other winemakers, but Pernot now puts it in their own wines. The reason it's declassified is that the winemaker's quality standards are very high and these grapes are not quite at that top level. This 2002 is still a baby. John commented that with most generic Burgundies "you want to buy and drink them yesterday", but this one can age for 15 years. The fruity apple flavors are currently muted - "very tight". With age, the wine will gain more fruit and less acidity.

2002 Langoureau Saint Aubin en Remilly $31.99

John called this wine the "Poor man's Chassagne-Montrachet". The wine comes from the village of Saint Aubinis, and the vineyard of en remilly. This vineyard is right next to vineyards that make wines worth hundreds of dollars. John noted that "just because I park my Mitsubishi next to your Ferrari, it doesn't make mine a better car." However, the wines boast the same terroir, the same great flavors. This wine has a smooth juicy flavor with honeysuckle and apple. It has a nice finish that is well balanced. John suggested that this wine would benefit from an hour of decanting. There was a subtle hint of oak. The winemakers stir the lees to give complexity and viscosity.

Note that there was no one "best" wine in this bunch - each wine had its fans!

2002 Burgundies - Basics
2002 Burgundies - Reds

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