On our recent visit to Burgundy we had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Javillier and his daughter Marion at their winery in Meursault. The Javilliers are very charming people who make very charming wines. Amongst others, Patrick makes 2 Bourgogne Blanc wines – Cuvée des Forgets and Cuvée Oligocène as well as a Meursault called Les Tillets. (Marion is in charge of the reds).
The two Bourgogne Blancs were delicious, in different ways. The video shows Patrick explaining in some detail the provenance of the two wines and why they are so distinctive. For those who are fairly new to the white wines of burgundy, they make an interesting comparison. The joy of Burgundy is that so many facets of the Chardonnay grape can find their expression. Factors such as soil type, vine age, the aspect of the vineyard, the treatment in the winery, use of oak barrels and so on all have a role to play in the taste of the bottled wine. Consequently you can find flavours ranging from mineral tones to toast and butter to floral flavours to citrus fruit to ripe stone fruit characters all to varying degrees in each wine. This is what makes white Burgundy so interesting, so unique and so pleasurable to drink. This kind of complexity and subtlety is rare in other parts of the world. It’s fascinating to see how the same sorts of flavours can be present in each wine but the experience of drinking them is completely different – it’s a case of which characters are more dominant in the wine. Richer, fuller flavours tend to marry more harmoniously with the warmth and depth that oak ageing can bring whereas the lighter, leaner wines require more subtle oak treatment, if any at all. In this case, the Cuvée Oligocène is richer, and the Cuvée des Forgets is lighter and more mineral in style. Amongst our group, the votes for a favourite were evenly divided.
Patrick Javillier in the vineyard and the cellar at his Domaine
The Meursault was a real treat. Leaner and more elegant than many Meursault wines, it had a touch of minerality to balance the richness.
Once you’ve figured out what kind of characters you like the best, it’s easier to find more wines that you will enjoy. We are lucky enough to have Marion Javillier coming along to our tasting at the Merchant Hotel on 28th October, so don’t miss the opportunity to come along and meet her and try the wines.