A tasting with Emmanuel Rouget

When uttered by a Burgundian, the words ‘my uncle used to say…’ often preface interesting insights into times past. In Emmanuel Rouget’s cellar, however, they carry particular weight, for at this address ‘le tonton’ refers to none other than the late Henri Jayer—no matter which generation is speaking. Burgundy’s most influential twentieth-century vigneron, who passed … More A tasting with Emmanuel Rouget

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Some mature Burgundies

One of my favorite pastimes in Burgundy is tracking down mature wines. To my mind, older bottles offer incomparable insights into the character of the region’s terroirs and the families which translate them into wine. Their textural plenitude, aromatic complexity and sapid, gastronomic qualities are unrivaled. What’s more, I believe the great postwar vintages to … More Some mature Burgundies

Wine & Culture

Consider the wine list of a typical starred restaurant in London, New York or San Francisco. More likely than not, it’s a list that encompasses extraordinary geographic diversity, ranging widely across the old world and the new. Amidst the excitement of choosing, we seldom reflect that a wine list like this, a gazetteer of almost … More Wine & Culture

Rebel Aesthetic: the wines of Jean-Marie Guffens

This article originally appeared in Noble Rot (13).  Jean-Marie Guffens may have mellowed with age, but he remains a bull in the china shop of his fellow vignerons’ sensibilities. This ruddy faced Belgian-turned-Burgundian is certainly not afraid to shock. ‘When Parker told me I was one of the three best white winemakers in the world, … More Rebel Aesthetic: the wines of Jean-Marie Guffens

Inimitable Mitjavile: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf

A visit to François Mitjavile is inevitably memorable. At Tertre Rotebœuf, contemporary Bordeaux—in reality just over the horizon—feels a world away. That’s partly because its proprietor is so uncommon: it would be easy to imagine this ‘charming genius’ at home among the Enlightenment philosophes; an impression only intensified by his elegant eighteenth-century farmhouse and the … More Inimitable Mitjavile: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf

What is Meursault?

Perhaps Meursault’s reputation as a rich wine, evocative of peaches and hazlenuts, was never more than a cliché; but for an inaccurate caricature its persistence is impressive. Tasting in the village this summer, vignerons assured me time and again that, though Meursault is often a ripe, ample wine, their intention was to produce something more … More What is Meursault?

Are terroir norms normative?

What do we mean when we talk about a particular terroir’s character, personality or signature? It’s a superficially simple question. After all, it seems straightforward enough, in principle, to extrapolate which characteristics routinely differentiate the wines produced from a particular site from those produced on other sites. In practice, however, things rapidly become more complicated. … More Are terroir norms normative?

Articulating delicacy

The Saarburger Rausch vineyard / Weingut Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken Two wines enjoyed over dinner the other day suggested a question: how can wine writers articulate a wine’s delicacy to their readers? Both wines were Rieslings. The first, Joh. Jos. Prüm’s 2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, was exuberantly expressive, bursting from the glass with a projected bouquet … More Articulating delicacy