Christmas Eve eve and Richard arrived bearing a gift. Neither frankincense nor myrrh, but gold in the form of Chambolle-Musigny 2012 by Domaine Hudelot-Baillet. (Okay, that’s it with the Christmas references). CM, as every reference book seems to say, is the most delicate of the Cote de Nuits reds but – as all reference books also say – there is a multitude of different styles from the commune. Logically, the second statement appears to negate the first. Anyway, our tasting showed the following.
A clean, bright wine, it had an intense, but light red colour with a brownish rim. As usual with good Pinot Noir, the smell was magnetic, each sniff revealing something interesting. The strong primary fruits were black cherry and cranberry but overlaying a slight vegetal note. Richard remarked on the deeper, beefier note. We also detected some spice – presumably from the oak ageing – and the firmer, herbaceous qualities of under-ripeness. This was so much more complex than a NZ Pinot.
The palate had grippy tannins which made it firm mouthful with the acidity keeping it lean. Light in weight, the under-ripe quality was still there, with Richard picking up a floral, violet note. Not a lush wine, this was beautifully restrained, and, yes, delicate. There was loads more development in this (village) wine as the tannins and acidity hinted. A lovely drop which confirmed my preference for lighter reds.
[Richard: a generous Christmas present from my father-in-law. Nothing much to add to Geoff’s very full and accurate description. A lovely French pinot which I really enjoyed drinking.]