2011 Thierry & Pascale Matrot, Bourgogne Blanc

LB_Thierry_Matrot_B_163346c Domaine Matrot is based in Meursault, and is run by Thierry and his wife Pascale.  For legal reason there are two domaines here. One carries the name of Thierry’s father, Pierre Matrot, under which the red and white wines from Blagny are bottled, and then there is this Theirry and Pascale Matrot label for the rest.

The domaine’s substantial holding of 19 hectares, includes plots from the Meursault’s finest Premier Cru vineyards, with nearly a hectare in Meursault’s “Les Charmes” and a half hectare in “Les Perrieres“. Additionally, the family also has some small parcels of  Premier Crus in neighboring Puligny-Montrachet within the “Les Garennes” and “Les Combettes” climates. But by far, the family’s largest holdings are 5 hectares in Meursault spanning 11 parcels, and the nearly 3.6 hectares of Bourgogne-appellated vineyards just below the village of Meursault.

The Chardonnay vines for this Bourgogne average a mature 30 years. Thierry has worked his vineyards  lutte raisonnée, (reasoned struggle) for the past twenty years, with all  treatments to the vines being organic. and plowing rather than using herbicides to control growth between the rows.

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Matrot really cuts no corners with his Bourgogne, giving it much the same treatment as his other more prestigious vineyards. This juice is pressed into barrique (15%-20% new- the same percentage as all of his whites), where it ferments on its own yeast, and goes through secondary.  Matrot stirs the lee’s (batonnage); how much he does this depends on the vintage. Typically he bottles this Bourgogne after racking at 11 months  in screw cap. The early bottling and screw cap are likely efforts to preserve freshness and fruit. He has been quoted as thinking that the screw cap is the way of the future.

2011 Thierry et Pascale Matrot, Bourgogne Blanc

$18-$21

Here is a Bourgogne that serves it straight-up. Golden apples, honey, cooked cream, river stones, fine herbs, and notes of vanilla. Medium in weight, with fresh apple and pear fruit, a touch of lavender-scented honey, again wet stones, jicama, sliced anise bulb, and soft notes of lemonade. This Matrot Bourgogne has good verve and moderate complexity, with enough fruit to round out the palate, It is richer and fruitier when served warm.

The bottom line: This is a good, solid Bourgogne, in a the fresh apple-y style that is currently in vogue. but not quite enough fruit and concentration to make me say wow. If it fills out in six months and gains some richer honeyed, nutty notes on the mid-palate (like Meursault is prone to,) this will certainly warrant a higher score. However, I’m not sure there is enough ripeness or concentration to allow that to happen, and the mineral component will likely dominate as the fruit dries out. That said, this still has two or three years of good drinking ahead of it.  87 points

photo of Thierry Matrot courtesy of DN.no Vinguiden

http://www.dn.no/vinguiden/article2013438.ece

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Diary of a Winebuyer

About Me: Thirty years ago, I graduated with a degree in political science from the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Having grown up at the height of the Cold War, I still have vivid remembrances of being instructed to hide under our elementary school desk, covering our heads. The young, white, female teacher, training us without explanation, to face away from the windows. I suppose it is not all that surprising that I had a particular interest in the realpolitik of international relations. My fascination grew with the discovery that certain conditions almost uniformly exist where all revolutions ferment. Did this mean that the revolutions which had occurred in the first half century were revolutions which had been usurped by Marxists who were in the right place at the right time? Probably. A favorite professor was A. J. Gregor. This was a man who, while rakishly wearing a Gestapo-styled black leather motorcycle jacket, exuded expertise on fascism (which he looked the part) and Marxism. Improbably, he did it with a significant swagger. Then in my last semester, I had the blind luck to take a class on Asian Marxist revolution, and the professor, who just happened to be visiting that year while he worked on some unnamed project, was Chalmers Johnson. In retrospect, I should have known his name, as he was a luminary in the political science community but at that time, I did not. It was a remarkable opportunity to experience the ivory tower, but I seem to remember being anxious to get on with life. After college, I drifted through a few of jobs that were of interest to me. One of my former high school teachers said to me. "If I were in your shoes, I'd get a job as a flight attendant." So in order to be young while I could still afford to, I accepted a job serving chicken or beef at Pan American. With that airline losing money faster than it could sell its routes, I got a job doing cellar work at David Bruce Winery. This was the beginning of my wine career. All during this period, I wrote a still unpublished novel about homegrown terrorists the U.C. Berkeley campus, attempting to use some of what I learned in school, weaving in the Vietnamese political and military strategies of Dau Tranh as professor Johnson had lectured years before. Since the early 1990's, I have been involved in the wine industry, selling fine wine in both the retail and wholesale arenas. I have approached learning about wine, by always challenging myself to question how I know what I think I know? And in an effort to try to find answers I've turned, with varying degrees of success to wine books. Overall, I've not been happy with the quality of most wine writing, finding the authors either to lack any deep knowledge, or unable to move much past what I consider to be superficial information. I recognize that wine writers have to monetize their work, but I believe this has dramatically held back our knowledge and understanding of wine. I have set out to add to our industry's base of knowledge where I can. My first series, 'The Terroir of Burgundy' (which I should probably re-edit and complete some kind of conclusion, but I got involved in this project), can be viewed here. I currently work as a sales and marketing manager for a Burgundy and Bordeaux importer based in Atherton, California.

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