Wilson Daniels Tasting

By Ray Isle Posted May 16, 2007

In addition to my high-speed trip through 100 affordable Bordeaux on Monday, I also managed to make a quick pitstop at the Wilson Daniels portfolio tasting. WD is about as opposite to affordable Bordeaux as you can get, given that they're the US importer for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (sadly absent at the tasting, though that's hardly a surprise), Domaine Leflaive, Salon Champagne, and etc. Yet I found that one of my favorite wines at the tasting was one of the more affordable (a relative term), the 2005 Domaines Leflaive Mâcon-Verzé (about $36). While it didn't have the depth and complexity of Leflaive's 1er cru Puligny-Montrachets—nor should it, really—I thought that for a basic Mâcon white, it was just outstanding. Light peachy aromas led into terrific fruit intensity framed by spicy oak notes; the flavors last for seconds. It ain't cheap, especially for Mâcon, but compared to the other Leflaive wines—$138 or so for the (admittedly gorgeous) '05 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon—it's a steal.

(A completely pedantic technical note for any Burgundy fanatics out there: Domaines Leflaive is a négociant company established by Domaine Leflaive to make this wine, which comes from five parcels in Mâcon-Verzé owned by Domaine Leflaive; because those vineyards are more than 50 kilometers away from Puligny, the wine from them cannot be bottled as a domaine wine by Domaine Leflaive. Got that? Excellent. There will be a test later, and anyone with a perfect score will receive a stuffed cat.) 

My other can't-believe-how-good-this-is wine at the tasting was the 2005 Pierre Morey Meursault 1er Cru Perrières (about $150), which was full of that dark, spicy, earthy depth that characterizes good Meursault; it was round and powerful, and taking a sip was like the tasting equivalent of cliff-diving—you hit the surface, then the flavor closes over you and you just keep going down and down. Bosc pear and green apple, complex, exotic spiciness. Not cheap; not even close to cheap; but, alas, that's going to be the story on top '05 Burgundies, like it or not.

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