Over the hills and far away to the Haut Cotes…. And a kaleidoscopic tasting with Laurent Delaunay at the family’s beautiful Chateau de Charmont. 28 wines tried – from Bourgogne Aligoté (absolutely outstanding – who needs Chardonnay?!?) right through to Echezeaux and Clos Vougeot, with many highlights across appellations and crus. The choice of parcels, and pragmatic approach – where every cuvée is treated individually without a set formula for quantity of new oak, or amount of whole bunches used etc, allows each wine to offer a true and deeply satisfying expression of the terroirs. Whilst the strength in Nuits Saint Georges is especially noticeable, there are some absolute gems throughout – and the consistent balance of succulence and focus, sweetness and salinity, authenticity and sophistication shows that there are great things ahead for Maison Delaunay. Watch out for Laurent picking some of his top under the radar wines for us and elsewhere explaining why we should embrace his passion for Nuits Saint Georges…
"From the Hautes Cotes, on the other side of the hill from the Delaunay’s family home Chateau de Charmont, this white marl and limestone rich vineyard is one of the highest in Burgundy at 450metres and is named to honour Laurent's old oenology teacher Professor Feuillat.
The clone is Aligote doré – which tends to small, tight bunches and it was harvested on 29th Sep, fermented in old oak barrels with plent of lees stirring to give extra richness.
A nose of green fig, candied fruits, flint, and hay, leads to a palate which is sweet and rich, with impressive depth and concentration, with flavours of green gages, and white plums, and bracing but never searing acidity. This represents a new high watermark for Aligoté – and certainly in these hotter vintages, the extra “hang-time” and subsequent phenolic maturity whilst acids are preserved is highly commendable." Tom Harrow, Wine Guru