A perfect day at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and tasting wines from the Michael Corso Selections. We just enjoyed four white Burgundy wines and then onto four red wines from Burgundy as well. The wine laws of Burgundy are very Byzantine and you almost have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to truly understand it all. You can be standing on one plot of earth and it can be one appellation, just up the hill is another, down the hill can be another and sometimes, a couple of feet over could be another. The old monks that tended the vines over the centuries had plenty of time to discover the best nooks and crannies for outstanding wines.
We started of with Domaine Rene Leclerc Bourgogne Rouge 2020, and if you don’t speak French (and that includes me) it just means Red Burgundy. Bourgogne Rouge wines received an appellation in 1937, the same as most of the major designations there, and covers grapes grown from over three-hundred communes throughout Burgundy. Rene Leclerc and now his son Francois are the winemakers and management of this sustainably farmed domaine. The domaine has twelve hectares in and around Gevrey-Chambertin and parts of the domaine fall into the Bourgogne Rouge appellation. The domaine was founded in 1982 and it is on clay and limestone and the ages of the Pinot Noir vines are from twenty to forty years of age. The fruit for this wine was just outside of the Gevrey-Chambertin delineation. After the harvest, the grapes are pressed using an antique, manual wooden press, then the juice undergoes a short cold maceration. Fermentation is completed using indigenous yeast in traditional vats. After six months the wines are raked into barrels for aging, all in used French Oak, to minimize the oak, for twelve months. A pretty bright burgundy colored wine that offered notes of red fruit and very perfumed. On the palate young red fruit offering a light mouth with a touch of earthiness and a velvety finish with a shorter finish of some fruit and terroir.
We then had Domaine Jacques Girardin Santenay Premier Cru Clos Rousseau 2019. There are eleven Premier Cru designations for Santenay and Clos Rousseau is an umbrella for three neighboring vineyards at the western end of Santenay in the Cote de Beaune. The soil for Clos Rousseau is also considered heavier compared to the other Premier Crus of Santenay. The Girardin family are renowned winemakers and Jacques has been producing wine from his own domaine since 1978. They have a seventeen-hectare estate in Santenay. This estate was established for wine production in 1570. The domaine has 1.92 hectares in Clos Rousseau of forty-five-year-old Pinot Noir vines planted on limestone and marl. They produce about eleven-thousand bottles each year. After the harvest, the grapes are de-stemmed, lightly pressed and go through cool maceration in a Stainless-Steel tank. Initial Fermentation using indigenous yeast, the wine is then allowed to settle and then racked into barrels. The Malolactic Fermentation takes place in the barrels while aging on the lees for about eighteen months with twenty percent new French Oak. A nice deep garnet color offering notes of black fruit with smoky accents. On the palate there are tones of cherry and plums, with ripe tannins, an elegant wine with a nice finish and very easy drinking.