A Short Run-Down of our Burgundy Tasting Trip 2015

December 17th, 2015 by Alma Ledgerwood-Walker

Alma came back bright-eyed with enthusiasm for Spain after her mega 14 day trip (a top WSET prize, no less!) So I thought I’d show her where real fine wine is made, and she made her first serious wine trip to God’s back yard to see what all the fuss is about. Now she knows!

Lance Foyster MW

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Warm Autumn Sunshine over Chateau du Clos de Vougeot

Before we knew it November was upon us and it was time for the annual Clark Foyster trip to Burgundy – my first visit to see our Burgundian partners and friends in their homeland and to get to grips with vintage 2014 in time for our En Primeur offer in the New Year.

This year, the trip started with a visit to Domaine Gaston Ravaut in Ladoix. Monsieur Ravaut himself, shown below, turned out to be the most sprightly of sorts, and very kindly insisted on climbing up and down many ladders, hopping between precarious ledges and tricky steps in his cellar to collect the best samples for us. It will be exciting to present his wines for the first time in January.

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Monsieur Gaston Ravaut searching out the best of his Ladoix tank samples

It was then on to Marsannay, where the bright-eyed Cyril Audoin was excited to show us his new cellar, now almost complete, and the wines that go with it which are increasingly marked by his own, clean style. Florence and Simon of Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini, shown below, put on a terrific tasting for us in the Domaine cellar and it was fun to hear all about their new-found enthusiasm for Biodynamic winemaking, eating the best oeufs en meurette at La Rotisserie du Chambertin!

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A very jovial couple: Florence Heresztyn and Simon Mazzini

However, nothing, could have prepared us for the unveiling of Philippe Jouan’s brand new and state-of-the-art bottling machine in Morey St. Denis! His wines, as always, very friendly in their soft, appealing and forward style.

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Philippe Jouan and son stood proud beside the most modern piece of kit in the cellar!

The stop at Domaine François Bertheau in Chambolle Musigny is said to always be a real highlight. His cellar fully decorated for Halloween at the time, but the wines warm and generous, and anything but scary… The fabulous photo below, staged almost professionally in blue and red.

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At Domaine François Bertheau. Three Chaps and A Sign: in Navy and Red !

And of course no trip would be complete without Jean-Marie Fourrier’s detailed vintage report, seen in full swing below, which accompanied the tasting of his wonderfully pure and transparent wines. Real precision here. I was quite in awe.

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Tasting at Domaine Jean-Marie Fourrier with Nigel Platts-Martin and Lance Foyster MW

Chez Claudine and François at Domaine Confuron-Gindre, it was great to be formerly introduced to son Edouard, a recent graduate of the Lycée Viticole. They have smart new tasting glasses but perhaps this won’t be the only thing that changes.

And at Domaine Sylvain Cathiard et Fils, saved as the last appointment in the Côte de Nuits, we met Sébastien, looking increasingly at ease in his most enviable domaine.

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Tasting at Domaine Sylvain Cathiard et Fils

Then down South to the white wine country of the Mâconnais to Domaine Sophie Cinier. Fine wines and great gastronomy at Fuissé’s new-ish restaurant, L’O des Vignes.

And all such merriment fits by some kind of miracle around the rather more delicate matter of the 2014 Clark Foyster allocation… which to be revealed in the New Year at our En Primeur Tasting in January.

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