When I turn to a white Burgundy I look to enjoy a wine that is crisp, lots of minerality and great fruit but not a lot of oak. Unfortunately the 2005 Domaine des Deux Roches Saint-Veran “Rives de Longsault” ($20) did provide, in my opinion, a bit to much pure oak aromas and flavors than I would have liked but not enough to put me off. Saint-Veran was granted AOC status in 1971, and Domaine des Deux Roches is one of the finest producers in the area according to many experts.
The information on vinification and barrel aging on the website is limited to “A slow alcoholic fermentation is done in temperature controlled stainless steel vats ( 70%) and barrels (30%) in order to
preserve the freshness of the fruit and express the best soil expression. After alcoholic and malolactic fermentations we age our wine on fine lees until April.” I am not sure if only 30% remained in oak or if all of it went in after primary fermentation and what percentage was new versus used barrels. I imagine that it was a good percentage of new oak as I am to overly sensitive to the “Oak Monster” as Gary Vaynerchuk calls it.
Nose: toasty oak, pear, persimmon, butter and hazelnut
Taste: toast, citrus, wood, mineral, blue slate, apple and pear
Mouthfeel: loads of acidity, full bodied and tart
Finish: long with the acidity lingering around
As far as structure goes I think this is classic Burgundy, but again the predominance of oak at the front end of both the aroma and flavor profile surprised me. The rest of the flavors were very layered and came through quite nicely despite the oak presence. The acidity and minerality were fantastic and this would make a great pairing for shellfish. If you are a fan of Burgundy but would like a little more “new world” oak influence give this one a try, although in doing some internet searching I didn’t see too much of the ’05 out there, mostly ’06 and ’07.