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The scent of cherry blossom and violet permeate the bouquet of the elegantly wrought 1999 Domaine Michel Goubard Mont Avril Bourgogne Pinot Noir. As this wine airs, its bouquet takes on complexity and definition. In the mouth, the wine is silky, pure and satisfying, reflecting the natural, non-invasive techniques practiced at the domaine. These gentle techniques preserve the essential character and freshness of the wine, resulting in a soft, pretty authentic Burgundian Pinot Noir, rather than the overly chaptilised, "beefed up" versions that many producers have for far too long passed off as genuine Burgundy. In this light, but lovely Cotes Chalonnaise, Goubard has continued the ethereal beauty of Burgundy: elusive scents and flavors, reminiscent of an April wood, a wild hillside orchard and the whiff of strawberry, play through the mouth before slipping away in an unobtrusive finish. We suggest serving this wine at cellar temperature (55-60 F), allowing it to air for an hour. Extended breathing time brings out the subtleties and round, gentle qualities that make this Michel Goubard offering so appealing.
The savory, sensual country fare of Burgundy is the obvious choice with the 1999 Domaine Michel Goubard "Mont Avril" Cote Chalonnaise Pinot Noir. Yet, this wine also shows a great affinity for more contemporary cuisine. A seared Asahi tuna, scallops in a light cream sauce or a compote of fresh goat cheese with roasted eggplant in a tomato coulis all provide fine choices with this Goubard offering. In a more mid-week vein, we always enjoy a plain, herb roasted chicken with the exuberant "Mont Avril". And, of course, turkey, ham and pork make wonderful accompaniments to this delightful Pinot Noir, too. On a traditional note, a well-prepared Coq au Vin provides a memorable experience, as does salmon or sea bass in a puff pastry. Enjoy!
Domaine Michel Goubard is well known in France for producing elegant, flavorful red and white Burgundies. Goubard's wines offer the consumer a rare look at authentic Burgundy, a unique commodity indeed. Consistently, this domaine turns out some of the most pleasing of this appellation's offerings, including "Mont Avril", a delicate, pure, fruit-driven Pinot Noir that reflects the supreme delicacy and charm for which the Cote Chalonnaise is justifiably famous. The wines of Domaine Goubard have graced the Cote Chalonnaise, a lovely, picturesque portion of southern Burgundy, since 1604. For four centuries, the descendants of the Honorable Francois Goubard, who is buried nearby in the tiny village chapel of Russilly, have nobly served the name by producing fine wines on the Cote Chalonnaise. Today, the gregarious Michel Goubard continues to perpetuate this family's long lineage of wine growers in this pastoral paradise. Goubard's flagship vineyard is "Mont Avril", a forty-eight acre holding whose name has always been dear to the hearts of the lovers of Burgundy. In the 19th century, the revered abbot and historian Courtepee noted, "Through the parsonage window, I discovered the village and the slopes of Mont Avril, whose wine are renowned." And, in 1990, wine critic Robert Parker wrote: "Michel Goubard has made many friends with his delicious Mont Avril red Burgundy, which is a superb wine with fresh earth and red fruit aromas." A fierce defender of the renewal of his "terroir", Michel Goubard was one of the chosen vigneron who fought for the recognition of the AOC (or individual Appellation of Origin) for the Cote Chalonnaise in 1990. The Domaine, exclusively planted with noble grapes, Pinot Noir (75%), Chardonnay (20%) and Aligote (5%), is the very example of the return to excellence of the great Burgundy wines the Cote Chalonnaise has been making for eons. Burgundy is indeed capable of producing great wines thanks to its incomparable subsoil, to its traditional grape varieties and…to its wine growers know-how. Few products offer the reflection of their creator as much as wine does. Michel Goubard is a passionate man, whose nature reflects great generosity, inner strength and joy - the very qualities he seeks to impart onto his wines. Through this sensual link to the land and the work he loves, one feels a real sense of accomplishment in the part of Goubard rather than mere achievement. Bravo!
Burgundy: A Wine As Well As A Place Since the Middle Ages, Burgundy has produced some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world: wines that are steeped in tradition as well as skullduggery, wines that are as often savored as grossly misunderstood. In reality, Burgundy is more than a single wine; it is the produce of six major regions: Chablis, and the Auxerrois, the Cotes Nuits, the Cote de Beaune, the Cote Chalonnaise, the Maconnais and Beaujolais. The name, Burgundy, alone conjures an image of a deep, dark, sometimes course potion that bears little or no resemblance to French Burgundy - the one and only real Burgundy. Burgundy is grown exclusively in central-eastern France, on the right bank of the Soane River. This is hardly the ideal climate for producing consistently great wines; and due no doubt to the frequent inclemency of the weather, pruning for high yields (which dilutes the wine), and a relatively short vatting time (the length of time the fermenting must is left on the skins to draw color and extract), Burgundy usually produces a light, delicate wine that bears no affinity to its image or to the old-fashioned domestic blends that bore the "Burgundy" name. And, what may still come, as a surprise to some is that some of Burgundy's finest wines are white as well as red. To further complicate matters, Burgundy also produces vast amounts of sparkling wine and rose, too. For the best red Burgundies, Pinot Noir is the only legal red grape, while Chardonnay (occasionally mixed with Pinot Blanc) is the flagship white varietal. Clearly, Burgundy is much more than a single wine or one great vineyard; it is a special place, a land almost entirely devoted to wine in one fashion or another. It is also the ancient realm of the Dukes of Burgundy, hallowed ground that has produced some of the world's greatest wines for over two thousand years. Although no one knows who planted the first vines in Burgundy, or whether they were indigenous, it is clear that the Romans found vines being cultivated the in the first century A.D.; and they quickly set about matching soil and climate conditions to individual grape varieties. By the time of Louis XIV and until the French Revolution, Burgundy was the preferred beverage of the Kings of France. Louis XIV, as well as Fagan, his less than adept physician, were great admirers of the suave, savory wines of Burgundy. It goes to show you, no one is all bad. After the Revolution, the great vineyards of Burgundy were sold by the state, often piecemeal. Thus, single vineyards may still exist, but they have dozens, sometimes hundreds of individual growers, producing wines of widely varying quality. What makes Goubard's Mont Avril so special is that it remains intact, primarily under one name, which has become synonymous with quality, value and honesty. A votre sante!
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