Burgundy in Asia
Author: Ferorsa Choi
There are few better ways to start the week than a tasting of six wines with Jasper. It was wonderful to hear his insights about Burgundy and some general trends he has seen in the 30-odd years that he has been in the business. Personally, I really enjoyed the 2009 Vosne-Romanée, Les Hautes Maizières from Domaine Bruno Clavelier with its typical restrained yet elegant and classic style. Clavelier practices biodynamic farming and is also certified organic which is something that I have always been attracted to as it tends to go hand-in-hand with a more minimalistic style of wine making to allow the wines to express their unique terroir.
Another highlight was our tasting at the Mandarin Oriental with 120 guests. Thirty-two different wines were on offer, and were grouped by village so that we could compare different styles of the villages and producers. It is rare that one can taste so many wines this way: many guests commented that it helped them to ‘get their head around’ Burgundy and the different style of each village.
The most popular were the 2008 Fixin, Clos de la Perrière from Domaine Joliet and 2007 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru from Domaine de la Vougeraie. The Fixin comes from a very interesting vineyard which can trace its roots back to the early 12th century when the monks of Cîteaux first planted grapes. The image used on the wine’s label is of a building from that period which is still used today for their wine storage: a remarkable piece of history.
The following evening, 19 guests joined Jasper for a masterclass on the wines of the village of Vougeot. This was a fascinating insight into the effects of weather, soil and producer on a wine. We tasted six wines, including two Premiers Crus and four Grands Crus to help illustrate his insights.
It’s been an absolute delight having Jasper in our Hong Kong office. His encyclopaedic knowledge amazes me each time one of us throws a question at him. There isn’t a producer that he doesn’t know and there is nearly always an interesting story or piece of history that he adds, which really brings a human touch to these amazing wines we are so lucky to be selling every day.