Domaine Bernard-Bonin Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2012
Nicolas Bernard’s approach is reflected more in his wonderful Burgundy accent than in his hip appearance. He follows time-honored wine growing traditions, respecting the phases of the moon and employing minimal intervention in the cellar. Each wine expresses a personality derived from its terroir, its character fashioned by the climatic variances of the year.
The wines are aged in oak barrels for 15–18 months, during which time each barrel is tasted individually to determine the optimum exchange between wine and sediment. The wines are racked from their lees just before bottling, in synchronization with the lunar calendar, to ensure a naturally limpid and stable state, thus avoiding fining and filtration. Once in bottle, the wines mature on the micro-sediment that develops naturally. The results carry the characteristics of the finest wines of Meursault: fresh, rich, mineral and vibrant.
Known to offer a magical balance of smoothness and freshness, Meursault's quality is hard to rival. The village lies in the middle of Côte de Beaune, just south of Volnay. Meursault is said to mean “mouse’s jump” because in the past the plots producing Pinot noir and those producing Chardonnay were no more than a mouse’s jump from one another. Today the village is almost exclusively Chardonnay. A tiny bit of Pinot noir is produced here with the best coming from Les Santenots on its northern side near Volnay.
While there are no Grands Crus, Meursault’s numerous acclaimed Premiers Crus can compete with any other top-notch white Burgundy. Some to know are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Le Poruzot, Les Bouchères and Les Gouttes d’Or.
Meursault produces outstanding village level wines as well. In general great Premiers Crus and even village level Meursault (Chardonnay) have enticing aromas of lime peel, tropical fruit, crushed rocks, spice and hazelnut. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of brightness and a seductive length with flavors of white peach, pineapple and citrus.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.