Dinner at Domaine de Rymska

This post is a look back at our dinner at Domaine de Rymska in the Couchois in between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte Chalonnais. Domaine de Rymska is part of the Relais & Châteaux group.

Driving towards the Couchois from the direction of Beaune, you come through the beautiful vineyards of Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, each of them known for their distinctive interpretations of Burgundy white wines.

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Morey-Saint-Denis: A walk among its Grand Cru vineyards

On Sunday, the last full day of our Burgundy trip, my wife and I took a walk around the vineyards surrounding Morey-Saint-Denis. Incidentally, it was also the day of the Marathon des Grand Crus, which led straight through the town of Morey-Saint-Denis back towards Dijon. That made for some nice impressions of locals celebrating this year’s harvest. There was live music and fun to be had. We were curious about the fact some runners seemed to prefer Chardonnay over water at the supply stand in the village centre.

Clos de la Roche
Clos de la Roche
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2013 Philippe Pacalet Meursault

At Le Carmin, we spent another wonderful evening in Beaune yesterday. The maître d’hôtel was superb. Merci beaucoup, monsieur! Not to mention, they’re dog-friendly, too. From their extensive wine menu, I picked the 2013 Philippe Pacalet Meursault.

Philippe Pacalet is a négociant based in Beaune. He has been making wine since the early 2000s. Today, he processes grapes from around 20 hectares of vineyards. His style of winemaking is natural in that he relies on spontaneous fermentation and not too much new oak.

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Tour at Maison Champy in Beaune

Today, I was at Maison Champy in the town of Beaune for a tour of their cellar and a brief dégustation. Maison Champy started out as a tonnellerie in the 19th century, then moving to the purchasing of grapes or grape must for vinification and bottling in their role as négociants, and eventually growing their own vines, too. They are one of the oldest wineries in the region and still have all of their production within the city of Beaune.

Today, controlled fermentation takes place in steel tanks to keep much of the expression of each terroir. For maturation, Maison Champy uses Burgundian pièces with only a medium toast. More new oak for the bigger wines.

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2020 Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Remilly”

This evening, my wife and I enjoyed a splendid dinner at the beautiful restaurant L’Ardoise in Beaune. On their good and fairly priced wine menu I found this 2020 Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “En Remilly”.

Tasting note

Cream color with light green reflections. Fresh and mineral on the nose. Lime, wet stones, later also flowers and some nut with very subtle sweetness. This is a beautiful, stimulating perfume. Precise in the mouth with now stronger citrus, underpinned by the fresh acidity. Lots of pull on the palate and long lasting. With more maturity, the fresh fruit will certainly be accompanied by more mineral notes. I would try this wine from Domaine Hubert Lamy again from 2025. It should then be in a good drinking window at least for the next five years. DM93.

2019 Albert Bichot Fixin

My wife and I arrived in Beaune for our Burgundy trip today. As the fine restaurant we originally planned to have dinner at didn’t allow dogs inside, we wandered about in the old town and spontaneously went to a bistro for down to earth Burgundian food. There, I also ordered this modest 2019 Albert Bichot Fixin.

Having originally been founded in Monthélie in 1813, Maison Albert Bichot is based in Beaune today and owns six estates across Burgundy. The 2019 Albert Bichot Fixin is a cuvée from several vineyards in Fixin in the Côte de Nuits, just north of the better-known Gevrey-Chambertin.

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2020 Louis Latour Bourgogne Blanc

In eager anticipation of our upcoming Burgundy trip, I couldn’t wait and decided to “warm up” by opening a bottle of Chardonnay from my cellar. I picked a rather down-to-earth representation, the 2020 Bourgogne Blanc by Maison Louis Latour, one of the bigger players in the region.

The vintage 2020 closed out the 2018-20 trio of hot years in Europe. However, unlike 2019, temperatures didn’t go extreme for the most part. There were some cool nights and there was enough rainfall to produce healthy and juicy grapes by picking season. I’m not so sure the grapes for this wine were picked at the right time though. While the official vintage report by Louis Latour states they started harvesting on 19 August already, I still get plenty of ripe aromas, slightly on the flabby side.

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Upcoming trip to Burgundy

My wife and I will travel to Burgundy in early October. We will stay in a flat near the town of Beaune in the heart of the Côte d’Or, making it a perfect starting ground from which to explore the Burgundy wine region.

I will post updates from that trip as we move along. Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit a winery, too. Even though the 2023 harvest is almost finished now, following the hot weather in August and early September, it’s still the most busy time of the year for vignerons. I keep my fingers crossed one or two of them will accept visitors nonetheless. If not, there are obviously plenty of excellent wine shops throughout the region, so tasting and bringing home new wines shouldn’t be much of a problem, I suppose. Watch this space for more updates on our upcoming trip!

2008 Domaine Cachat-Ocquidant Ladoix Blanc

EN: A mature white Burgundy by Domaine Cachat-Ocquidant. The cork in this half bottle is intact, it all looks good. But when you pour it, the colour is immediately noticeable: a deep orange, more whisky than white wine. The bouquet is nutty with butter and caramel. With more time in the glass, a hint of pear. But the tertiary notes have already taken over. On the palate, this impression is confirmed. The acidity is strongly restrained, freshness rather absent. Walnut, mushrooms, otherwise few impressions. No, the wine has its good time behind it. A rating above 80 is hardly possible for me, so no rating. NR.

DE: Ein gereifter weißer Burgunder von Domaine Cachat-Ocquidant. Der Korken in dieser halben Flasche intakt, das sieht alles gut aus. Beim Einschenken fällt aber gleich die Farbe auf: ein tiefes Orange, mehr Whisky statt Weißwein. Das Bukett nussig mit Butter und Karamell. Mit mehr Zeit im Glas ein Anklang von Birne. Die tertiären Noten haben aber schon übernommen. Am Gaumen bestätigt sich dieser Eindruck. Die Säure ist stark zurückgenommen, Frische eher Fehlanzeige. Walnuss, Champignons, sonst wenig Eindrücke. Nein, der Wein hat seine gute Zeit hinter sich. Eine Bewertung über 80 für mich da kaum möglich, somit keine Bewertung. NR.

2008 Domaine Cachat-Ocquidant Ladoix Blanc

2001 Domaine Forey Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée

EN: From a half bottle, this mature Pinot Noir presents itself distinctly lively and fresh. The colour is a transparent dark red with first hints of brick red.

The bouquet is initially leathery and earthy with the “sous-bois” typical of Vosne-Romanée. With time, however, the wine expands immensely in the glass, so that dark fruits, such as blackberries and sour cherries, also present themselves more strongly. The spices are also well integrated. Is that liquorice? You could spend hours with this wine just to recognise all the aromas that present themselves here. Complex, but very balanced and beautiful!

In the mouth, a tannin that is still firm after more than 20 years. Nevertheless, the wine seems elegant and light. The acidity is animating. Juicy, cassis and dark berries.

Outstanding quality for a “simple” Village wine. One can only dream of what Forey might conjure up with a Premier Cru or Grand Cru. And yes, I trust this wine to have another 5 to 10 years of ageing potential if well stored. DM95.

DE: Aus einer halben Flasche präsentiert sich dieser gereifte Pinot Noir ausgesprochen lebendig und frisch. Die Farbe ein transparentes dunkelrot mit ersten Anklängen von ziegelrot.

Im Bouquet zunächst ledrig und erdig mit dem für Vosne-Romanée typischen “sous-bois“. Mit der Zeit baut der Wein im Glas aber ungemein aus, so dass sich stärker auch dunkle Früchte, wie Brombeeren und Sauerkirsche, präsentieren. Gut eingebunden sind auch die Gewürze. Ist das Lakritze? Man könnte mit diesem Wein Stunden verbringen, nur um alle Aromen zu erkennen, die sich einem hier bieten. Komplex, aber sehr balanciert und wunderschön!

Im Mund ein nach über 20 Jahren immer noch festes Tannin. Dennoch wirkt der Wein elegant und leicht. Die Säure ist animierend. Saftig, Cassis und dunkle Beeren.

Herausragend diese Qualität für einen “einfachen” Village-Wein. Man kann nur davon träumen, was Forey mit einem Premier Cru oder Grand Cru zaubern dürfte. Und ja, ich traue diesem Wein bei guter Lagerung weitere 5 bis 10 Jahre Reifepotenzial zu. DM95.

2001 Domaine Forey Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée