As the calendar finally turns to February, I can now fully move my focus to Burgundy for the next few weeks before starting to turn southeast. I’m taking on Australia next month. January 31st was filled supplier meetings. Tasting began at 10:15 and ran back to back until the last wine was tasted at 6:30. With a tired palate I visited with a friend who was seeking advice on breaking into the restaurant business. We shared a bottle of Duc de Romet Brut, a lovely palate cleanser produced with 50% pinot noir and 50% pinot menieur. A great dinner with my wife included my mom’s chicken paprika recipe. It’s a favorite of mine. It fills the kitchen with such great aromas. After dinner, I started going through the days tasting notes and chuckled thinking to myself that Burgundy and pizza share a similarity, even when they’re bad, they’re still good. There wasn’t much bad wine on the 31st, but there were clear standouts. Vincent Dureuil Janthial is one of them.
Famous Burgundy producer Jean Francois Coche says, “If I see his name on a wine list, I don't give it a second thought and simply order his wine.” That’s probably because the young and immensely talented Dureuil is producing some of the purist pinot noir and chardonnay in today’s market. His family traces their history in Rully back to 1500s. Dureuil spends nearly 14 hours a day in his vineyards tending to the vines. He does most of the work himself. In 2001, he made a switch to organic viticulture. I discovered his wines with the 2003 vintage. With every passing vintage I am more and more impressed with his work. These wines are approachable now. They do not need time in the cellar. No one is crafting a more pure expression of pinot noir. No winemaker gets more clarity and depth of color from pinot than Dureuil. I've been trying to figure out how to be more emphatic about that last statement. A picture is worth a thousand words. His chardonnay isn’t bad either.
2010 Vincent Dureuil Janthial Rully
Absolutely gorgeous ruby, rose pedal color that is crystal clear. Aromas of dried lavender, strawberries, ripe cherry and wet potter’s clay. The palate is medium bodied with bright fruit notes, fine tannins and beautiful acid that give the wine a linear quality. The finish shows a slight minerality while popping with cherry fruit and a touch of earth giving it a round and polished feel. If you are looking for purity in your pinot noir, you’ve found it. There isn’t much made or much available.
2010 Vincent Dureuil Janthial Rully Blanc
If my wife asks for another glass of a particular chardonnay, it’s best to take notice. She generally hates the stuff, even from Burgundy. But this she loved. Look for straw yellow color. Aromas of poached Anjou pear with subtle notes of marzipan and honey. The palate is rich without being overpowering. There’s beautiful expression of pear and apple fruit but enough acidity to keep this clean and pure. The finish shows some texture and a touch of praline. This is a short term chardonnay to be enjoyed over the next 3 years. Very little made, very little available.