Tonight, on the spur of the moment, Kerry descended into the cellar and brought up a bottle of Meursault 1er Cru “Charmes” 1990 from Bitouzet-Prieur to enjoy with our dinner (a couple of steamed lobsters). It is a remarkable experience to enjoy a fine white Burgundy at the age of 22 years, one that is vibrant, so alive and expressive that we were forced to speculate on how many more years of pleasure the remainder of our stock of this wine will give. Vincent Bitouzet is a master of Meursault and whose understated but proud attitude is on evidence in every bottle of his that we have drunk over the thirty plus years we have worked together. A wine like the Meursault Charmes ’90 provides a stark reminder that all the technological advances, all the new materials that are in evidence in so many cellars and caves are not necessary to produce profound, age-worthy, satisfying wines.
This is not a nostalgic paean to the past; it is merely an acknowledgment that often, perhaps almost always, “less is more”; that the fundamental greatness of wine lies in its geographical position, nature’s whimsy and diligent work in the vineyard.
NIR … 12 April 2012