#Winemaker Paul Zinetti at Comte Armand Burgundy

SommTale™ Journey with Advanced Sommelier Hai Tran in Burgundy

Thanks to Advanced Sommelier Hai Tran, SommTale™ continues with his amazing journey to Burgundy. Follow along as the 2017 Somms Under Fire™ winner tells us what he learned about Burgundy wine. As you read through and learn about Burgundy from Sommelier Hai Tran, make sure you click through the multiple pictures and videos.

Wasserman-Hone Farmhouse in #Bouilland

Hello from Burgundy! This is Hai Tran @sommsayhai checking in with you all from Bouilland, where Becky Wasserman (@beckywasserman.co) is based out of. It is with great pleasure that I get to share my first time in Burgundy with you all via #SommTale. There is no person/family that I could imagine being a better guide to Burgundy than the Wasserman family. Stay tuned as I give you a snapshot of the experience #GetSomm #Burgundy #SommChat #Bouilland

Becky Wasserman

For all of you that enjoy and appreciate Burgundy, Becky Wasserman should not be an unfamiliar name. Since starting her company in 1979, she has helped to shed light and demystify Burgundy to the American wine market in a practical and approachable manner. From the moment I stepped through the door, the passion was evident as she welcomed me to the fold with open arms. Always on top of things, captured is her last minute touches on the amazing week she organized for us #SommTale #GetSomm #Burgundy #SommChat

  • Wine Writer Allen Meadows of Burghound
  • Advanced Sommelier Hai Tran on Burgundy Internship

Being a relatively young Sommelier, I am always looking for resources to enrich my understanding of a subject. When I heard that Allen Meadows, aka The Burghound, would be our guide throughout our time in Burgundy, I was completely floored. The #Burghound is a wealth of knowledge, and Allen's dedication to the subject is astounding. This evening we get to taste through a vintage for every year since Allen started the Burghound in 2001 (minus 2016 and 2017). Included in this tasting was a mini vertical of Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru En Orveaux #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #vosneromanee #sylvaincathiard #enorveaux #pinotnoir #chardonnay

  • Bourgogne Blanc & Corton Charlemagne
  • Russel Hone with wines
  • 1983 Chateau Climens

I am starting to get the feeling that I should stop thinking to myself that things can't get any better, because they do and it's only the first day! Russell Hone, resident chef and husband to Becky Wasserman, will be preparing a series of dinners for us throughout the week. I had no idea what a treat I would be in for with Russell's honest, rustic, and hearty preparations. Each dish was well thought out and shined with the wines selected to fill in the holes for the vintages we didn't get to taste earlier. 2006 Comte Georges de Vogue Bourgogne Blanc (aka Musigny Blanc) was a stunner in this lineup! #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #Musigny #cortoncharlemagne #vosneromanee #closdesreas #volnay #taillepieds #faiveley #comtegeorgesdevogue #demontille #michelgros #sauternes #climens #GetSomm

  • Burgundy Winemaker Patrick Javillier with Guests
  • Burgundy Winemaker Patrick Javillier with Allen Meadows in Meursault

This morning we started off with an amazing look into Meursault thorough the lenses of Patrick Javillier. Patrick provided us deep insight into each of the vintages allowing us to taste examples dating back to 1979. The evolution of these wines were surprising and showcased the vintages but also how he was able to navigate the vintages to still produce noteworthy and ageable whites. #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #Meursault #Chardonnay #GetSomm

Burgundy Winemaker Caroline l'Estimee at Domaine Jean Noel Gagnard

From Meursault to Chassagne-Montrachet we continue our exploration of white Burgundy on this day. Here we have Caroline l'Estime, who has been in charge of Domaine Jean-Noel Gagnard since 1989. Coming from Meursault, it was great to compare the terroir of Chassagne-Montrachet. Here you find wines with rich textures that are balanced with great acidity and pronounced minerality. Caroline's wines reflected this from vintage to vintage. #SommChat #SommTale #Burgundy #Bourgogne #ChassagneMontrachet #Chardonnay #GetSomm

  • Domaine Bonneau du Martray
  • Map of Domaine Bonneau du Martray
  • Cellar Master Emmanuel Hautus

Last Domaine visit for the day and it is an iconic one, Domaine Bonneau du Martray. Emmanuel Hautus, cellar master, took us through what made Bonneau du Martray's parcels on the hill of Corton special. Spanning across 11 ha in one contiguous parcel facing west that starts from the upper part of the Grand Cru moving to the lower part in a diagonal. 9.5 of those 11 ha are dedicated to Corton-Charlemagne (Chardonnay) with the remainder dedicated to Corton (Pinot Noir). Their holdings are divided into 15 blocks that are vinified separately with only the best blocks making it into the final wine. With examples spanning back to 1999, we were able to taste what made these wines one of the benchmarks for Corton and Corton-Charlemagne. #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #Corton #Charlemagne #Chardonnay #PinotNoir #GetSomm #BonneauDuMartray

  • Comte Armand
  • Burgundy Winemaker Paul Zinetti
  • Clos des Epeneaux

"This morning started off with a trip to Pommard to visit Comte Armand, owner of the famed monopole in Pommard - Clos des Epeneaux. Paul Zinetti, winemaker since 2014, was kind enough to share barrel samples of 2016 Clos des Epeneaux despite losing 80% of their crop to frost. To further understand the terroir of Clos des Epeneaux and see the stylistic difference of the past generations, Paul sampled us on 2014, 2010, 2005, 2003, 1996, and 1993. The power of Pommard was present in varying degrees from vintage to vintage." #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #Pommard #Pinotnoir #ClosDesEpeneaux #GetSomm

  • Burgundy Winemaker Frederic Lafarge
  • Biodynamic Farming
  • Frederic Lafarge with Vintages

"Next up, we hopped over to Volnay to visit with Frederic Lafarge of Domaine Lafarge. Before tasting his wines, we were able to spend some time in his monopole, Clos du Chateau de Duc. Frederic farms biodynamically since 1997 and uses chickens to assist with pest problems in the vineyard. For our tasting with Frederic he was kind enough to share multiple vintages ('11, '03, '97, '91) of Clos des Chenes, the other Volnay 1er Cru that Lafarge produces. Absolutely joyous selections showcasing elegance and richness without sacrificing the expression of terroir. #SommTale #SommChat#Burgundy #Bourgogne #Volnay #ClosDesChenes #ClosDuChateauDesDucs #PinotNoir #GetSomm

  • Burgundy Vintages
  • Burgundy Vintages

"Last night's tutored tasting with Allen Meadows #Burghound, was a look into vintages that took some time to come around or will require patience to show us what the wine could truly offered based on what the vintage provided. The 1988 from Jean Tardy and 1999 Billard-Gonet were prime examples. 1999 was a "miracle" vintage in that there were high yields and normally that doesn't correlate with high quality, but many of the wines exhibit freshness and aging potential. At the time most critics didn't give this vintage much love but upon revisiting, there is a lot to enjoy here (as we saw earlier with the Voillot Volnay 1er Cru 1999 earlier). As for the 1988, the reds started off in their youth quite structure forward and the tannic signature of this vintage continues to linger, but time has allowed everything else to evolve with the tannins with the development of sous bois and the acid dropping a bit to allow the wine to showcase a softer side that only time would allow. Tasting older wines and understanding these vintages has been quite the experience!" #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #Chardonnay #PinotNoir #Saintaubin #chassagnemontrachet #pulignymontrachet #volnay #pommard #moreystdenis #gevreychambertin #savignylesbeaune #nuitsstgeorges #GetSomm

  • Clos de la Marechale owner Frederic Mugnier
  • Clos de la Marechale

"This morning we found ourselves in Nuits-St-George at the first Premier Cru that one encounters as one leaves the Beaune, a monopole by the name of Clos de la Marechale. Clos de la Marechale is owned by J-F Mugnier and spans 9.8 ha, makings it the largest monopole in Cotes d'Or. The majority of the Clos is planted on clay over some limestone but as you move south along the Clos you find alluvial soils. 9.5 ha is planted with Pinot Noir .3 ha planted to Chardonnay. Frederic Mugnier does not adjust his winemaking for his terroir or vintage, allowing a transparency to the terroir and vintage as we experienced tasting through a vertical of Clos de la Marechale from 2012-2005." #SommTale #SommChat #Bourgogne #Burgundy #nuitsstgeorges #closdelamarechale #PinotNoir #GetSomm

  • Burgundy Winemaker Etienne Grivot
  • Tasting Vintages with #Burgundy Winemaker Etienne Grivot
  • Viewing #Burgundy Map With Winemaker Etienne Grivot
  • #Burgundy Wine Tasting with #Winemaker  Etienne Grivot
  • #Burgundy Vineyard View from Grivot Winery

"Our last visit for the day was in Vosne-Romanee with Etienne Grivot of @domainegrivot. Etienne took over in 1992 after stints at Lalande de Pomerol and Rutherford Hill. We started off the tasting with NSG 1er Cru Aux Boudots 2015, which neighbors the Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru of Aux Malconsorts. This is the last year that vines from their original planting in 1925 will be used as 50% of the vineyard was replanted in 2016. We would then make our way through a few more of Grivot's holdings including Les Beaux Monts, Bossieres, Clos Vougeot, and Echezeaux before being treated to a mini vertical of Richebourg. Following the theme of vintages, we learned how Etienne and Richebourg dealt with the trials that were offered in the 2007, 2003, 1994, and 1991 vintages. The 2007 showed it's ripeness and elevated acidity in Richebourg's silky, floral frame, while 2003 has more weight and ripeness in the fruit quality with the acidity providing a nice balance to the fruit intensity. The 1994 was showcasing the trademark tannin structure but that was balanced with the formation of sous bois notes underlining the elegance of this wine. Lastly the 1991 was a stunner, showcasing what the early stages of what a mature Richebourg has to offer with umami notes weaving through the core of fruit, floral, and spice of the wine." #SommTale #SommChat #Bourgogne #Burgundy #nuitsstgeorges #vosneromanee #auxboudots #beauxmonts #bossieres #closvougeot #echezeaux #richebourg #grivot #GetSomm

@sommsayhai: "Already on Cloud 9 due to the Richebourg tasting from earlier today, things quickly were pushed to 11. The evening's dinner was hosted by David Croix (2001-2016; current winemaker at #domainedescroix and #domaineroulot) and Carel Voorhuis of Camille Giroud. Camille Giroud was founded in 1865 and had a reputation of long barrel aging and high extraction but its real story begins in the early part of the 21st century when with the help of Becky Wasserman, David Croix was put into place to improve the wines of this domaine. It was clear throughout the dinner that David is a gifted winemaker and one who was modest in nature. Once in his comfort zone, his brilliance was evident and infectious. His successor, Carel, seemed more than capable of grasping the reign and continuing the legacy that was build during David's time. We started with a specific parcel of Morgeot (there are 23 that make up the larger 1er Cru) known as Tete du Clos in Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay 1er Cru Clos du Rousseau. Things quickly escalated as we enjoyed 2009 Corton, 2005 Chambertin, and 2001 Romanee-St-Vivant, all wines during David's tenure. To provide us insight into the wines of the brothers Giroud, we had the pleasure of trying Beaune 1er Cru Teurons, NSG 1er Cru Les Saint Georges, and Corton Perrieres from 1993. Finally, in an evening that was already memorable, we experienced near perfect examples of 1949 Musigny and 1937 Hospice de Beaune Volnay. Epic!" #sommtale #sommchat #bourgogne #burgundy #chassagnemontrachet #santenay #romaneestvivant #nuitsstgeorges #lessaintgeorges #corton #perrieres #chambertin #musigny #volnay #GetSomm

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  • Christophe Perrot-Minot
  • Mazoyères-Chambertin at Perrot-Minot
  • Morey-Saint-Denis at Perrot-Minot

"The last day of our vintage symposium takes us to Morey-Saint-Denis with Christophe Perrot-Minot of #DomainePerrotMinot. Christophe took over the domaine in 1993 and his style has evolved since that time with 2006 being a turning point for him, where we see him backing off the new oak, extraction via pigeage (punchdown), and increased focus on sorting. We tasted through the 2016 -2013 vintages of Mazoyeres-Chambertin, a Grand Cru that is more popularly labeled under the more recognizable Charmes-Chambertin. Through this tasting it was clear and often emphasized how important sorting was regardless of how great (2015) or difficult (2013/2014) the vintages might have been. As a comparison, Christophe pulled a 2015 Charmes-Chambertin for us to see the difference between Mazoyeres and Charmes, where the Charmes had more plushness and a finer texture. It is clear that Christophe is very detail oriented, thinking about how best to express the voices of each vintage and terroir." #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #mazoyereschambertin #charmeschambertin #PinotNoir #GetSomm

  • Winemakers Thierry Brouin and Boris Champy
  • Domaine des Lambrays Cellar
  • Winemaker Thierry Brouin
  • Domaine des Lambrays
  • Clos des Lambrays
  • Tasting in Cellar

"Our next stop was a quick walk down the hill from Perrot-Minot to Domaine des Lambrays, where Thierry Brouin (winemaker since 1979) and Boris Champy (next winemaker after Thierry retires) welcomed us to this historic property. The domaine is the proud owner of 8.66 of the 8.84 ha of Clos des Lambrays (the remainder .18 ha is held by Taupenot-Merme and is rarely made). Despite being lauded by George Lavalle in the 19th century for its prestige, it wasn't until 1981 that this Clos received Grand Cru status because during the ownership of Rene Cusson (1930s-1970s), he wanted to avoid the tax ramifications. Shortly before achieving Grand Cru status, Thierry had been hired as winemaker and helped turn this domaine around and showcasing Clos des Lambrays as a truly unique terroir. In the cellars, built in the 17th and 18th centuries, we got to compare multiple vintages (2016, 2015, 2014, and 2009) of their Morey-St-Denis next to the Clos des Lambrays. For an encore, Thierry would bring out a 1989 Clos des Lambrays and 1994 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres that showed the ageability of both of these wines from the domaine. Clos des Lambrays showcases an elegance that is supported with power (iron fist in a velvet glove analogy). This was the one domaine that we visited where the cellars were not shockingly sparse due to the frost/hail in 2016 sparring MSD, with this being the largest harvest for them since 1999." #SommTale #SommChat #moreystdenis #closdelambrays #grandcru #Burgundy #Bourgogne #GetSomm

  • Burgundy Winemakers Bruno Clair and Philippe Brun
  • #Burgundy Vineyard Map discussion with #Winemaker Bruno Clair
  • #Burgundy Winemaker Bruno Clair
  • Tasting in Bruno Clair Cellar in #Burgundy

"Our last visit finds us up in Marsannay with Bruno Clair and Philippe Brun of Domaine Bruno Clair. With holdings spanning over 23 ha, Bruno Clair makes wine that showcase their attention to detail in and out of the vineyards, showcasing the terroir to its fullest. This was evidenced by the verticals of Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cazetiers and Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos-St-Jacques (2012-2009, 2005, 2002, 1994). Even though most of the vines were planted at the same time with the same plant material, there is one big difference where Bruno Clair's holdings of Cazetiers is at the top of the slope on white marl, while the Clos-St-Jacques rows run from the top to bottom. The higher elevation and warmer growing conditions of Cazetiers was evident from vintage to vintage as it showcased riper more approachable fruit characteristics while the CSJ highlighted red/dark fruit noted with more pronounced structure and power. Both Bruno and Philippe agreed that CSJ always takes longer to come around, while Cazetiers will come around sooner and maintain. To properly send us off, Bruno would blind us on 2009 Chambertin-Clos de Beze and 2010 Bonne Mares. Bruno Clair's Bonne Mares is completely on the side of Morey-St-Denis giving it a unique expression from the terre blanche soils found here. What a perfect way to finish off a series of visits!" #SommTale #SommChat #marsannay #gevreychambertin #premiercru #cazetiers #clossaintjacques #chambertin #closdebeze #bonnemares #grandcru #Bourgogne #Burgundy #GetSomm

  • Dinner with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair
  • Liger-Belair Family Vintages
  • Liger-Belair La Romanee

"Finishing off our symposium with a bang! Our dinner host this evening was Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, current generation of the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. The Liger-Belair family has a glorious history in Burgundy since 1815 when General Louis Liger-Belair acquired a part of what was to become La Romanee (officially in 1827 with the efforts of his successor Louis-Charles). Louis-Michel weaved an entertaining and emotional recount of his family's history as we enjoyed selections from his family's Domaine: Vosne-Romanee Clos du Chateau 2009, NSG 1er Cru Aux Cras 2007, Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2004, Echezeaux 2006, and their crown jewel, La Romanee 2002. 2002 is a special vintage as it was the first official vintage that Louis-Michel was involved with La Romanee, a real special treat to be able to share with Louis-Michel." #SommTale #SommChat #vosneromanee #nuitsstgeorges #echezeaux #laromanee #Bourgogne #Burgundy #GetSomm

Hai Tran with Russell Hone in #Burgundy

"My last day in Burgundy and I was asked what I wanted to do. I answered, "I would love to see the land and get in the vineyards. Later I would like to explore Beaune and take in the culture." These are two important parts to wine that pulled me into this world. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide than the man, Russell Hone, himself driving me to all the major sites in the Cotes de Nuit, with a quick start at Corton." #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #GetSomm

Hill of Corton with Bonneau du Martray

"Looking up at glory from the entrance to Bonneau du Martray's holdings on the hill of Corton." #SommTale #SommChat #corton #cortoncharlemagne #Chardonnay #PinotNoir #GetSomm

Hai Tran, Becky Wasserman, and Russell Hone in Bouilland

"Words cannot express enough how grateful I am to have been able to be on such a trip. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience thanks to @KeeperColl and @beckywasserman.co. It was all made that much better due to the passion and hospitality that Becky and Russell displayed to us throughout the week of the symposium. I leave Burgundy with a deeper appreciation for the wine, the vineyards, and most importantly the people that help define this historic region." #SommTale #SommChat #Burgundy #Bourgogne #GetSomm