Travel: Wine country Burgundy DRC
A super belated post from last summer which was one of the highlights to wine country and drinking directly from these barrels to understand the potential of these DRC wines. While everyone was raving about the Romanée Conti and La tache, my favourite from these recently barrelled wines was the Richebourg. Well, what do I know about wines – that was my favourite of the lot. And we enjoyed a bottle of Batard Montracher 2005 from his private collection, no labels, just some pen squiggles.
My first question as a plebeian amongst all the oenophiles was about the candles – who knew they kept the medieval tradition of lighting candles when they came to check on the oxidisation of the wines. It was the only way to tell the low oxygen levels in the cellar when the flame went out – which meant that everyone had better exit, otherwise you’ll have people passing out without oxygen in the cellar and found too late.
Betrand de Villaine, nephew of Monsieur Aubert de Villaine was super lovely switching easily between French and English, giving us all the interesting anecdotes from preparing the soil for the vines – planting root vegetables like turnips, carrots, yams so that they dig deep into the soil and layers of earth to prepare the lazy vines to take root deeper down – which allows for the complexity and characteristics – best of the terrior.
He gave us a personal tour and took us through the family’s private cellar – all the best and wonderful bottles not for sale, produced in limited quantities. So grateful for the privilege to enter sacred grounds. Massive thanks to the chef fraternity circle for getting chef and I the chance of a lifetime to visit.
As we left, a flamboyant Italian couple rocked up in their Ferrari asking for DRC and a visit, without any appointment or insider relationships to work. Bertrand didn’t introduce himself but quite straightforwardly told him private property, no visits allowed.
Even without an instagram husband, I indulged in a narcissistic selfie by the poetic street of “lost time” à la Proust.
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