A red Burgundy that is better than it should be

I know that you’re supposed to try and blog every few days but the last little while has been a bit troublesome, I had managed to get a backlog of posts ready to go when child no. 1 came down with Chicken Pox and chiled no. 2 decided that it was time to keep me busy during the evenings. As a result I didn’t do much tasting, I didn’t drink much and certainly didn’t have time or energy to be writing blog posts – but it’s still far from ideal – I now have the bare bones for far too many posts, lots of things to write and it’s all a bit daunting to try and sit down and get a few done at a time.

So instead I’m forgetting all about what I should be doing and sitting down with a ‘should be well past it’ bottle of Tollot Beaut Chorey les Beaune 1997. I visited the Tollot’s estate with a friend back in 2008 when staying in Chorey. Our wives were looking after child no. 1 and having a rest themselves so us boys decided to go for a walk to look at the village. We soon came across Tollot Beaut so decided to ring the bell.

Did we have an appointment? No sorry we don’t, can we make one? No? Oh, but we’d like to taste your wines – oh and by the way (out comes my business card) I work here. Ah, a nod of recognition, a perhaps slightly resigned look on the face of the french woman we are talking to. I will go and find out she says. A short wait later the lovely Nathalie Tollot arrives, and whisks us down into the cellars where we taste through the wines that Tollot Beaut produce (with the exception of  Corton Charlemagne which they apparently don’t just open for anyone) and get a bit of an understanding of the domain and it’s wines. At the time I was something of a Pinot novice and knew to look for certain characters but the young wines were 2006’s and hard going at most of the domains we visited, but the wines at Tollot had a richness and fruit that we didn’t find elsewhere.

And so nearly 4 years later I come to a wine from 1997, that sits near the bottom of the Burgundy pile from the ‘wrong’ side of the road so to speak. Chorey is a pretty humble village and most of the wines are humble too (with one or two exceptions, T-B’s being one of them.)

The wine still has some lovely fruit, but it’s really elegant – lightish in body but with good concentration. The tannins have softened and have gone a little bit dusty but as the evening wears on the fruit is coming out more and more – amazingly this humble wine that probably cost about £10 on release is still developing for the better. Slightly sour cherries and raspberrys are giving way to violets and savoury notes with lovely perfume. It has poise and charm still – although for people who like mature Burgundy its in a really appealing place, personally I’d probably prefer to drink it a little younger. I’ve got a bottle of 2006 somewhere, so must make a note to drink it in the next 5 years.

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2 Responses to A red Burgundy that is better than it should be

  1. T says:

    Great post! Tollot Beaut is such a great estate that this doesn’t much surprise me (although 1997 wasn’t a great vintage, was it?)

    Been enjoying catching up with your blog, thanks.

    • Wine Husband says:

      Not a ‘Great’ vintage but decent enough – not up to 2005, 2002 or 1999 but not terrible either. A ‘good’ vintage perhaps. I’ve got a bottle of 2006 which is a pretty similar year – I’ll have to give it a go in the next couple of years I’d have though. 8-10 years is probably optimum but I’m not sure I can wait that long!

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