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Monday, 6 May 2013

Bonneau du Martray winemakers dinner at Bagatelle

It's not every day that a producer with such a reputation on white wines from Burgundy visits Norway, so I even cancelled a Bordeaux-vertical tasting to attend. And since some states that there is a premature oxidation issue with the wines from Bonneau du Martray, I was even more interested in going. Personally I have never felt this producer is one of the 'bad guys' of premox, I have only had some issues with a few bottles of 2002. A 1993, 1987, 2002 and 2005 this last few months have all been excellent.

I was offcourse also very curious about the new Bagatelle with some excellent new staff and a new direction. Some fine tuning (as a bit slow refill of water) and it will all be perfect. For the first time ever in a restaurant, my white tea at the end of the meal had been brewed at a correct temperature. They normally brew white and green tea in too hot water. There was a menu of 18 smaller or larger tastes rather than courses. First was simply calles Oysters-Apple and was an excellent oyster with a sweet freshness from a bit of apples, very delicate and nuanced. I will not go into details on all eighteen windows of taste as I write first and foremost on wine.

Third taste was Raw shrimp-Tomato and the shrimps from Iceland was extremely delicate and tender in flavour and texture and truly elegant and therefore slightly over run by the again very subtle tomato flavours. An elegant small dish even if I would have preffered it even more with the shrimps by itself. But I'm also a huge fan of shellfish with no messing about. At this stage we drank a glass of magic. 2010 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne with it's pale golden colour and elegant and superbly nuanced nose. Refined and layered, pure minerality, gorgeous nose. Fresh acidity, elegant texture, you need to look carefully not to miss any of the remarkable number of details in this superb wine, it's poetic. Very long indeed. 96

The King Crab-Herbs was another delicious taste that I could easilly hav as a meal in itself, with a slight crunch and a more expressive flavour to it. Perfect with the 2009 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, again pale golden colour (it was a bit darker lighting than usual, so could be the light) and one notice the vintage difference right away. Even if mostly apples and minerals on the nose, it's richer and fruitier on the nose. Fresh acidity, elegant if riper and fatter, long. 92

We also had a small sandwich that I can't quite find out which one of the tastes in the menue it was, but that was probably the best sandwich I've tasted. The Scallops-Broccoli was a bit too much broccoli for the scallops to handle. The more exclusive and delicate scallops was a bit overwhelmed. Turning the dish upside down on the other hand made the scallops taste more.Somewhere along here we had 2007 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, pale lemon yellow, refreshing lemon cest and minerals nose, tight after the 09 and even if gorgeously refreshing, it lacks a bit besides the 2010. Fresh acidity, nuanced if a bit on stilts, apples, minerals and lemon finish. 94

There was a fantastic fish that I think is called Lemon Sole in English with a soft and gentle taste, very elegant and subtle, and my first. 2000 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, pale golden, minerals, apples, layered and a touch of nuts. Fresh acidity, richer fruit and slightly yellow fruity, lively and some butter. Have evolved since my last bottle about two years back, but less than expected. 92 Then came an excellent pork knuckle with a superb bearnaise sauce. That sauce was pure magic and a touch sweeter than most bearnaise sauces, and maybe a touch more spices in it as well. 1991 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, towards golden, fairly rich and nutty, leaner and sharper nose. Fresh acidity, slightly bitter and not quite together. Richer palate but also a bit hollow, good length. If I had any left this would be for the summer. 88

We had a few dishes that were on the smoky side for me, and a lot it seemed of Danish cheese, and personally I would have wished for something fresher at the end of the meal. The last white was 1987 Bonneau du Martray-Corton Charlemagne, pale golden, yellow plums and apples with a touch of oxidation (off the apples). Some nuts and minerals. Fresh acidity, elegant if a bit lean, some fruit stones comming that I can't recall from earlier bottles, leaner than last bottle but holding up remarkably well. 89

Last wine was the 1998 Bonneau du Martray Corton, bright red with garnet rim. Touch of maturing Pomerol nose at first with blueberries, plums and figs, but more red berries and scented with air. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, leaner body and slightly Corton rusticity with some vanilla showing up. Slightly herbal finish. 88 The meal was excellent on the whole, and so was the wine. This was a set menue and was not designed for the wines and that also made it two tastings side by side, and to be honest. For me it worked perfectly. It made it maybe even easier to focus on the nuances and flavours of the food and on the wines side by side. Looking forward to next visit to Bagatelle, and the next glass of Bonneau du Martray as well.

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