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Coming Home to White Burgundy
By Mary Ewing-Mulligan
Jan 15, 2008
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Domaine Louis Jadot 2004 Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru  Aux Vergelesses Blanc

Burgundy, France (Kobrand Corporation, $30)

I don't drink nearly as much white Burgundy as I would like.  Recently at a very special wine dinner at Blantyre, a homey yet truly luxurious Relais et Chateaux resort in Lenox MA, we drank four terrific white Burgundies as a prelude to two main-event flights of red Bordeaux, and the folly of my ways hit me.  Returning home, I scoured my cellar for every expendable (that is, affordable) recent-vintage white Burgundy, and opened them one by one with dinner.  What satisfied me most were the 2004's I tried.

One evening I had a taste-off between two white premier cru Savigny-lès-Beaune whites from Louis Jadot: the 2004 Clos des Guettes and the 2004 Aux Vergelesses.  This in itself was a bit extravagant, because so little wine from Savigny les Beaune is white; 97% of the AOC is Pinot Noir-based.  But at least it was easy on the wallet, because both wines are very reasonably priced at $30, if limited in distribution.

Not that it was a contest, but the Aux Vergelesses 'won' by a hair.  Both wines boast the characteristic high acidity of the 2004 vintage, which balances so nicely Jadot's broad, rich style of white wines.  (In general, this acidity set 2004 apart from both 2003 and 2005 and marked it as a very fine white Burgundy vintage.)  Both wines also have similarly full body and rich flavors of toast and baked apple.  But the Aux Vergelesses is more exotic in aroma and in the mouth it has a wonderfully rich texture.

On first opening it, Jadot's Savigny Les Beaune 1er cru Aux Vergelesses 2004 has a broad, honeyed aroma that owes much to its oak aging.  But with air, the aroma opened into butter, honey, almond, marmalade and baked pears.  In the mouth, it has rich, silky texture that fills the mouth.  The wine's fresh acidity lightens its considerable weight without detracting from it.  Ripe fruit character emerges on the finish.

This wine is still young, but it is enjoyable now.  With a bit of imagination and a large glass, you can see its future: pronounced buttery and apricot aromatics that envelop your nose and mouth, and soft, creamy texture that echoes the wine's rich flavors without ever being excessive.  Five to ten years from now, I hope that I will have many occasions to drink this wine.

91 Points