EVERYDAY LUXURY: SIPPING A TOP WHITE BURGUNDY
Don't save the best wines like this Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru from Louis Jadot for special occasions only. Instead, practice luxury everyday.
"What would you pair with this?" I asked as I swirled the liquid gold in my glass.
"Rien," Christine was emphatic. Nothing.
I was in the aging cellar of Maison Louis Jadot in Burgundy near Beaune, barrel tasting the best wines of the region with Christine, the winemaker. She was firm – for the best experience, wines of this quality and subtlety should be enjoyed on their own, not with food.
With 141 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d'Or, Louis Jadot are masters of the best wines of this prestigious wine region. You may be used to seeing wines labelled by the grape used to make the wine. In France, however, wines are not classified by grape, but by region, and by smaller divisions within the region — in some cases drilling down to a few rows in a specific vineyard. Few regions, though, have the detailed classification found in Bourgogne.
At the top of all those Burgundy classifications are the best wines of the region: the Premiers Crus and the Grands Crus.
Today, at home, Mr Swinging pours a tasting sample of Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet, Les Referts, Premier Cru 2016*. The memories of the Côte d'Or return with the aromas of honey, pear, marzipan, pineapple, tempered by wet stone, moss, and limestone. As always, I spend a few minutes simply smelling the wine before I taste it. This greatly enhances the experience.
It takes my breath away. In my mind, I am transported to a meadow of white flowers, next to a fast-flowing creek with clear water, showing worn stones beneath.
I sip it, letting it linger in my mouth as the flavours develop. I taste pear, hazelnuts, white flowers, yellow apple, and buttered toast. This Puligny-Montrachet (which shares its name with the village in the centre of the vineyards) is a full-bodied wine with texture, clear mineral elements, bright acidity, and a hint of saltiness at the finish.
Being able to enjoy this small pouring of Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet is another way of practicing luxury everyday. Don't save the good suff for later... this is later.
*To break down that lengthy descriptor —
"Louis Jadot" is the winemaker.
"Puligny-Montrachet" is the village, much like a sub-region within Burgundy.
"Premier Cru" tells us that this is one of the top-tier wines in the Côtes d'Or, a designation awarded to fewer than 10% of wines grown in the region.
"Referts" is the climat. A climat might be thought of as an individual vineyard plot, with its own microclimate and specific geological factors that gives the grapes grown there a distinct character.
"2016" is, of course, the year these grapes were grown and the wine was made.