In one of our blind tastings for the April issue, we came across an unusual flight. Among 30 new-release Burgundies, mostly Côte de Nuits, we were presented with eight white wines from Nuits–St–Georges. One that particularly caught my attention turned out to be Les Terres Blanches from Patrice Rion. Another flight included Le Clos Blanc from Domaine de la Vougeraie’s parcel in Clos de Vougeot. The wines made me curious. Were there more great whites from the Côte de Nuits?
Jasper Morris’s new book, Inside Burgundy, happened to arrive on my desk when that question was fresh in my mind. Morris, a Master of Wine best known for his wicked sense of humor, serves as Burgundy Director for Berry Brothers & Rudd, the London wine merchant established in 1698. I read through a few chapters of his new wine reference and decided to ask him.
Are there vineyards in the Côte de Nuits where the terroir is more appropriate to white grapes? It turns out, like most things in Burgundy, not to be a simple question. In his article for this issue, Morris suggests several reasons white wines continue to be grown on the most coveted pinot noir ground in the world. His view of the Côte de Nuits through the lens of white grapes provides a fascinating perspective on the region’s reds.
White Nuits are the sort of esoterica you might find on one of the lists of our Best New Sommeliers. Or, in the case of Thomas Pastuszak of NoMad in New York, a page of Finger Lakes rieslings. The restaurant, which opened three blocks from the W&S office, quickly became a favorite both for chef Daniel Humm’s roast chicken and for Pastuszak’s wine list. In the company of legendary Burgundies, I could find the wines I love to drink almost as much—and can afford to drink much more often. Wines like the List´n Negra from Monje on Tenerife or, closer to home, the Argetsinger Riesling from Ravines.
Pastuszak’s peers appreciate the list as well, voting himamong our six Best New Sommeliers for 2012. Morgan Harris at Corkbuzz, a short taxi ride down Broadway, also got the nod, as did Chris Gaither of Spruce and Bobby Conroy of Benu in San Francisco, Jacob Gragg of Aria in Atlanta and Chris McFall of Paggi House in Austin, Texas. We’ve been as excited to meet them as we are to present them to you. As fresh new faces in the world of wine, they are each worth getting to know for their lists, their likes and the level of service you can expect when you place yourself in their hands.
This story appears in the print issue of October 2012.
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