Melbourne is the heartland for Burgundy worship in Australia and two of its foremost self-acclaimed nuts James Halliday and Philip Rich will help unravel the eternal mysteries that lie therein, through a single wonderful vintage, 2007. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Leflaive, Roumier, Henri Boillot, Leroy and a raft of other top flight produces will be on show
We're here for the first session of the Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience and it's been held at the new Congress Center which is a most impressive venue. As we wait for the room to open it's fascinating to observe the type of people coming to this Burgundy Tasting - it's a well over 50's crowd of men who might find their kin in trainwatchers or twitchers.
There are three brackets of wines - one white, two reds and the session is structured as a blind tasting. We are only given notes about the wines and then we have10 minutes of silent tasting to see if we can correctly guess the wines.
There's a phrase we'll hear in all these sessions and it's that all these wines are wines that Ben Edwards likes and if he didn't like them, they wouldn't be on show. I'll have a comment about this in the last session.
Bracket 1 - The Whites
Maison Benjamin Leroux Puligny-Montrachet AC
Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Domaine Hubert and Olivier Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru "Clos De La Chateniere"
Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrahet 1er Cru "Combettes"
Mainson Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Chenevottes"
I found the whites to be quite tasteless and it took a while to discern any differences between them. I did manage to get 3 correct, poor Paalo scored none.
There was quite a bit of talk about cork in this session and James Halliday is a cork hater.
Bracket 2 - Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Domaine Arnoux-Lachau "Aux Reignots"
Domaine de L'Arlot "Les Suchots"
Domaine de la Romanée Conti Vosne-Romanée "1er Cuvée Duvault-Blochet" 2006
Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat "Les Suchots"
Domaine Liger-Belair "Aux Reignots"
Funny thing about this bracket, poor James Halliday shockingly did not guess the DRC, Paalo however did which gave him a score of 1 and I managed another 3.
Once again, I have to say, I wasn't too impressed with these wines either.
Bracket 3 - 5 Grand Crus from 5 Producers
Domaine Cecille Tremblay Chapelle-Chambertin
Domaine Ponsot Close De La Roche Grand Cru "Vieilles Vignes"
Gros Freres and Sourer Richenbourg
Domaine Bonneau Du Martray "Corton Rouge"
Not a successful bracket, only 2 right for me and none for Paalo.
I don't know if it was the choice of wines we tried but seriously, neither of us could really understand the fascination with Burgundy.