Saturday was a massive day with three visits, a lunch, a dinner and 28 wines tasted!
After the very relaxed day at Domaine Chanson on Friday, we had an earlier start, heading south from Beaune and arrived at Chateau de Santenay for our first visit.
This estate has great historical importance with winemaking history going back to the 9th Century. It was also here in the 14th Century that the incumbent Duke of Burgundy famously banned the ‘evil’ Gamay grape from his dominion.
After a quick walk through the cellars we got stuck into seven wines focussing on the lesser known Mercurey wines and culminating in a Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru and a cheeky aged Marc de Bourgogne!
From the pretty village of Santenay we headed north of Beaune to the famed hamlet of Aloxe Corton. Famed for its Corton reds and very rare Corton-Charlemagne white, this is a very prestigious area of the Cote de Nuits. Our destination was a wonderfull, small, family estate called Comte Senard.
Oozing history, with old cellars dating back to the 17th Century, Emilie showed us round and then we headed in for a magnificent tasting lunch. Parslied ham, boeuf bourguignonne with dauphinoise potatoes followed by a scintillating selection of perfectly kept cheese, with some utterly outrageous Epoisses the star.
The tasting line up was a glorious mix of Aligote, village wine, 1er cru and three superb Grand Crus, including the Corton Grand Cru 2001 Les Paulands.
A superb occasion, wonderfully hosted by Emilie and yet another insight into the terroir of the region.
We still had time to head north towards Nuits St Georges and the village of Premeaux-Prissey. We met Beatrice Dubois of the family Domaine Dubois. This brought us back to reality as we got to grips with the trials and tribulations of a year dominated by frost and hail which has devastated their vineyards. The life of a vigneron is perhaps not as glamorous as is sometimes made out. We tasted a terrific array of eleven wines culminating in a Clos de Vougeot 2001.
Back to the hotel and a power nap ensued before heading to the Auberge du Cheval Noir for a delicious final dinner. Lobster, pigeon, epoisses and crème brulee was washed down with Monthelie Blanc and Chorey-les-Beaune, preceded by some Kir Royale.