On Sunday, we tasted two reds from the upper and lower parts of Burgundy. The 1999 Domaine Lucien Boillot & Fils Les Champonnets 1er Cru Gevery-Chambertin
was exceptional. Generously offered from Deborah’s father’s cellar for a lunchtime paring of roast pork and vegetables, it was just starting to show its age with a slight brick hue at the meniscus. It also had a slightly dull haze which was most likely due to not being filtered as it had no faults. Intensely aromatic, with all the classic traits of an excellent Gevery-Chambertain -- firm, full and dark -- this one was also intensely fruity with beautifully integrated fall leaves, smoky notes, mushroom and a light cheesiness; a complete knockout and easy to see why Gevery-Chambertain was Napoleon’s favorite wine.
With a difficult act to follow, the 2000 Moulin-à-Vent des Hospices
had a difficult time drumming up any sort of excitement. Only a year younger than the Gevery, it was noticeably more youthful, deep purple-red, and noticeably much less aromatic. As Moulin-à-Vent is normally the most age worthy of Beaujolais, this one may have entered a dumb period and might have benefited from 5 to 10 years more underground. Still, it had fine notes of red currant, black cherries, white pepper and brown sugar and was soft, round and medium-full bodied. It was a serious wine and certainly didn’t have any of the banana candy flavors often associated with Gamay.