We tasted: Domaine Roblot Marchand Vosne Romanee 2014 £40
Emma says: “I have been looking forward to this week, as to me Pinot is the finest of red grapes and at its best in Burgundy, France; much like Chardonnay. For many winemakers, making a great Pinot Noir is the ultimate challenge of their life. It is a grape that is very sensitive to climate and soil, as well as winemaking technique.
The taste of a Pinot can be incredibly different depending on where in the world it comes from. If you take a new world Pinot from an area like California it has a sweet berry fruit character with exotic spice notes. Then the styles coming from cooler regions around the world like Central Otago, Oregon or Tasmania are brighter with more crunchy fruit. Finally you have the classic region of Burgundy which is unrivalled for having a diversity of styles and flavour profiles coming from tiny patches of land within the region. Yet another challenge, is balancing the use of oak to the delicate berry fruit flavours and often light body. Only the best Pinot can take a good dose of oak without being swamped by its flavour.
Many wine geeks like myself have fallen for Pinot just like the winemakers, I think for similar reasons. We are all on the quest to find that perfect bottle. And particularly in Burgundy this can be an expensive gamble, you have to pay a fair price for a bottle of Pinot in this region but I’m afraid you can never guarantee what you will get for that price. Sadly sometimes the wine could be faint in flavour and coarse in texture if from a lesser vintage and producer. Given there are hundreds of micro producers in that region it is beyond even me to know every one of them. Add onto that the limited supply, which means any good producer soon becomes sought after and the prices sky rocket. So I have to confess for my everyday Pinot drinking I tend to look a little further afield to places like Oregon, Southern Germany or Australia where I tend to get a little more consistency for the price.
52 grapes has yet again proven a nice excuse to crack open a bottle I selected for my job to be part of our fine wine range and was saving for a special occasion. Vosne Romanee is a particularly lovely sub region in the Cotes de Nuits side of the region. Here the reds typically have a dark cherry fruit and dense spicy character but this smaller patch of land is also known for having a beautifully perfumed aroma that makes it more feminine in style than other reds of that area. And that is exactly the type of Pinot I like. It is from the 2014 vintage which was fantastic for quality and age-ability, in fact we’ve probably opened this bottle a little too early.
Despite this I was pleased to find the aroma did have that bright perfume of rosehip and a touch of violet plus a defined smokey mineral note that gave it that complexity you expect from good Burgundy. To taste the fruit was pristine, all dark damson and crunchy black cherries straight from the punnet. There was quite a bit of oak adding more structure into the palate and shavings of dark chocolate but the underlying fruit more than matched it. I felt there was far more under this youthful palate to come once the structure softened out with age. And that is the beauty of Pinot, if you were to buy a case of this wine and drink a bottle every few years you would experience an entirely new dimension each time.
Looking forward to hearing what everyone else has made of theirs.
Andy says: “Another one where I’m really struggling to come up with anything. I’ve read Emma’s notes and Googled tasting notes, and I’m just not getting it.
The only thing I can pick up on from Emma’s is the black cherry. It’s definitely there, but it’s not dominant or overpowering. I think I almost get the ‘smokey mineral’ comment too, but the thing I’m struggling with is the overwhelming mouth puckering. Is it tannin or acid, or both? I have no idea, but Googling tells me that Pinot usually has silky tannins, so maybe its acid? I get quite an intense burn on swallowing, which I suppose is more weight for the acid camp. I wish I knew.
Did I like it? Not that much, at first. But, a day later and another glass… yeah, it was ok. I probably shouldn’t be saying that about a forty quid bottle of wine. ”
We will be trying a classic Red Burgundy made from 100% Pinot Noir this week. To follow suit head to the French red section. The wines from this area labelled with the village name rather than grape. Look out for the generic name Bourgogne Rouge or famed villages/regions such as Cotes de Nuits or Beaune, Nuits St Georges, Volnay or Gevrey Chambertin.