Ed Kurtzman, winemaker of Freeman and August West Wineries, spent a day with me recently visiting accounts in New Jersey. I had a scheduled a lunch/appointment at the Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster, which is one of the top restaurants in the state. The wine list at the Pluckemin is very large and impressive. Most of the inventory is stored in a three story wine tower that cuts through the center of the building. One of our other sales reps, John Kafarski, met us at the restaurant. As we sat down, Brian Hider, the GM/Wine Director of the Pluckemin, asked if we needed some wine glasses. I generally do not like to drink in the middle of the day, but Ed quickly responded that we needed to see the wine list. Two books were brought to the table, one containing the white wines and the other the reds. After several minutes of examining the books, Ed asked Brian to bring us two bottles of Burgundy, one white, one red and to serve them blind.

The white was slightly golden in color and very floral. The wine was lush on the palate, but also very mineral. My initial guess was Puligny-Montrachet. Ed thought perhaps Meursault because of the wine’s rich texture. I narrowed my guess to a Puligny premier cru on the Meursault border, such as Referts or Perrieres. Brian informed us that neither guess was correct. We then named every other wine commune in Burgundy, until Brian finally produced the bottle.  In Brian’s hand was a 2004 from Marc Colin et Fils. The vineyard was the Chassagne-Montrachet. premier cru Vide Bourse, which sits just below Batard-Montrachet. I had never seen a wine from this plot and was thoroughly impressed. The wine was beautifully balanced and expressive. I was surprised how much minerality the wine possessed. Batards can be very rich, especially those from the lower part of the vineyard, but they often lack the minerality this wine showed. I would guess that Colin must own some old vines in this parcel, which would contribute to the stunning depth of this wine.

Unlike the white, which was very transparent, the red was nearly impossible to pin down. The color was very dark and the nose was full of over ripe fruit. It could have been a pinot noir from anywhere in the world. There was firmness to wine that led me to throw out Nuits-Saint-Georges as a guess, but I soon named a couple areas. We really had no idea where the wine was from, but we thought it was from a hot vintage such as 2003. It turns out that the bottle was made by Sylvain Cathiard, a producer that Clive Coates has been praising. The wine was a 2005 from the Nuits-Saint-Georges premier cru Aux Murgers. I really disliked the wine, which tasted like it was produced from super ripe fruit and made in a modern style. The lunch took longer than expected, and I had to run to make another appointment. Ed was going to spend the rest of the afternoon visiting accounts with John. I offered to split the tab with Ed, but he insisted and picked up the bill, which was not small. Drinking in the middle of a busy day is usually not a great idea, but it is pretty hard to turn down the generosity of a Burgundy lover.



10/13/2016 01:31

It seems as though you had an amazing experience one which I'd like to enjoy as well. Anyways, I have to go for now to get an essay writer working on my research papers.


Leave a Reply