Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pair of Winemakers

We hail the arrival of two quality wine makers from the Burgundy region of France with a special wine tasting dinner on Tuesday, March 24. Jean-Pierre Latour and Michel Caillot from the respective wine estates of Domaine Latour-Giraud and Domaine Michel Caillot, will speak about their wines along with Jim Elston of Chemins des Vins, importer of these fine European selections.

Since this is the first time the winemakers, who are friends, have the same distributor in a state, they decided to travel together. The distributor, Vermont Wine Merchants of Burlington, will also host trade tastings in Manchester and Stowe while the winemakers visit.

Wines from both producers are highly rated by many of the leading wine publications. “In the cellar, Michel is a fanatic for quality and is committed to the principles of non-interventionist winemaking. Michel's wines have a clear house style. The whites are beautifully balanced, combining pure, clean lemon-citrus fruit, the fascinating minerality of the soil, a fine, creamy texture and a crisp, long and complex finish. The vanilla oak is in the background, but does not obtrude, and the individual character of the different vineyards is allowed to show through. The reds are smooth and supple with pure berry and cherry aromas, soft, round tannins and lush, ripe fruits on the palate.

The Latour-Giraud estate has been established on the Route Nationale in the village of Meursault for many generations. Focused primarily on Meursault, the estate owns an impressive range of premier cru and villages vineyards... {W}ith the arrival of the genial and perfectionist current winemaker, Jean-Pierre Latour, the estate has undergone what Le Review des Vins de France has called a ‘true cultural revolution.” {from}

Hemingway’s dinner
will focus on wines from the years 2005 and 2006, two of the best Burgundian vintages in this decade. Bourgogne Blanc Les Herbeux, by Caillot, for example, is a great value for most of the grapes are from declassified Meursault fruit. (Each year in France local committees rate grapes according to their typification. The grapes used in the table wine of Caillot’s 2005 Bourgogne Blanc are actually of a higher standard than allowed by law, but cannot be stated as such on the label.) The 2006 Meursault-Genevrières Premier Cru from Latour-Giraud is a first growth wine from one of Meursault’s top three Premier Cru vineyards, of which the family owns a majority. These white wines will be followed by the red wines, Pommard 2005 and Maranges la Fussière 2006, the latter in white is also designated a Premier Cru or first growth.