The Grands Jours de Bourgogne takes place every 2nd year and is a wonderful opportunity to taste the top producers’ wines from the last couple of vintages all together in one place. Judith and I were there for the Cote de Nuits event last Tuesday and the Beaune and surrounding area on the Wednesday.

Tuesday – Cote de Nuits

We started off in Gilly-les-Citeaux , a village more famed for its wonderful cheese than for wine, but it is just a stone’s throw from the grand cru vineyards of Chambolle Musigny and Morey. What a treat this was! Generally the first wine of the day is a bit of a shock to the system but not so here: Domaine Arlaud’s Chambolle Musigny from 2010 – pure strawberry fruit, creamy core, needle-fine acidity, a beautifully poised and well balanced wine. Most producers were showing the 2010 vintage from their grand crus between Chambolle and Morey. The best for me came from Amiot, Ghislaine Barthod, Domaine Dujac, Domaine des Lambrays, Hubert Lignier, Lignier Michelot, Jacques Frederic Mugnier and Domaine Arlaud. Unfortunately very few of the top producers have any wine available. Yields were down 40% but the quality of what was produced is excellent here in the grand cru sites of the Cote de Nuits. A different, more “classical” vintage than the 2009, it will appeal to those who place balance and finesse, above concentration and power. Ok some of the producers have too much new oak for my personal taste but it was heartening to see so many moving towards organic viticulture and even biodynamics, which without doubt is giving these wines a purity of fruit which is scintillating to taste. Domaine Arlaud practises biodynamic viticulture with younger sister Bertille looking after the horses which plough their precious grand cru vineyards while brother Romain tends the vines and elder brother Cyprien sees to the business side of things. If this is the future face of Burgundy then all is rosy in the vineyard!

Judith at Clos de Vougeot

And so it was back on the shuttle bus and down the Cote de Nuits to our next stop, the Clos de Vougeot. Founded around 1110 by the abbey of Citeaux, the walls around the appellation still date back 5 or 6 centuries, though the vineyards are now divided between around 70 and 80 owners. The 2010 Clos Vougeot wines we tasted had remarkable vivacity, energy and freshness, yet not at the expense of length on the palate. Our favourites here were from Sylvain Cathiard, Jean Grivot, Anne Gros and Jean Tardy. A t JNwine we have been following the wines of young Guillaume Tardy for several years now. He took us through the wines he was showing from the 2010 vintage: Vosne Romanee Vigneux with 30% new oak is beautifully balanced with red fruits and spring flowers on the nose, very fresh and firm with energy and poise. The Eschezeaux has 100% new oak and a yield of only 35 hectolitres per hectare. It is more concentrated and savoury in character, with an admirable combination of intensity and freshness. We look forward to shipping our allocation of Guillaume’s 2010 in the not too distant future. Check out our current range from Jean Tardy.

Old Cellar at Clos de Vougeot