Bitten by the Burgundy bug in 1989 after staggering out of the Marché aux Vins in Beaune, having swallowed every sample from one of those ridiculous silver tastevins, little did I realise the torture ahead. There was a lot of self serve bottles open in those days too, ouch. Navigating the Côte d’Or needed direction and the bible was written by Clive Coates MW who left us this year. Prolific, rigorous and firm in opinion, his writing was the guide. Better off friends who subscribed to The Vine were bothered for the latest good word. Towards the end of the nineties the first vins naturals were arriving on the shelves of favourite Paris wine shops where prices were good and the hand luggage home was very heavy. Frédéric Cossard and Philippe Pacalet were sought after as makers of clean, fresh and perfumed Pinot in the new natural way. So, to my only bottle of the cult of Cossard’s Chassorney. From Caves Augé in 2004 when the risk of checked luggage was by then the only choice. Opened with old furniture odours of bottle age and clouded by remaining sulphur reduction, smelling like an egg sandwich. As the sulphur cleared over a patient hour or two, the colour livened from brick to red. The aromas freshened too, a puff of faded roses, sweet wild strawberry compôte, a bright blood orange crunch too both in flavour and energetic acidity. Then that final flood of sweet earthy richness and ironstone like mineral that you hope for from good Nuits? Not sure how else to describe those stony flavours us wine fiends treasure. Ineffable maybe? Or f’s sake, that’s good? Cleaned up with gently powerful emery board tannin. Probably could have saved a lot of words with a simple Clive Coates’ very fine plus.
13.5% alcohol. Cork. The budget was about €50 a bottle in those days for Paris holiday bottles.