Pignatiello speaking to some of the evening's 44 guests
Pignatiello speaking to some of the evening’s 44 guests

C onsidering there are over 3,200 wine domaines in France’s Burgundy region it’s nice to have a guide like Steve Pignatiello. Pignatiello was the presenter Thursday night at Calvert’s Burgundy Wine Dinner.
Known as The Burgundy Wine Man, Pignatiello had the good fortune of traveling to France as a student from Darthmouth College, making lots of friends who as they grew older, became some of the finest winemakers in France. Now those friendships have enabled him to become the importer of some of Burgundy’s finest and sometimes most limited production wines.
Being owner of P. Comms Int’l isn’t his only title. He is also a sommelier.

Steve Pignatiello
Steve Pignatiello

There were 44 guests for the evening’s meal. The Burgundy inspired menu included Burgundy Trio/Crevettes Mariette, Gougere and Escargots, Salade de Troute and Canard du Vin (duck). Craig Calvert and his staff pulled it off nicely. Considering the majority of the seven wines were white, the guests were treated with wines they might not normally associate with later courses in a meal. The Burgundy region is predominantly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. But the terrior varies considerably from village to village and when combined with the winemakers skills you have varietals that provide a great range of wine to food pairings. Only the last two main courses were paired with red wines, of course Pinot Noir.

The third course, Salade de Troute, was paired with two Chardonnays that illustrated how much the same varietals can differ. Both were elegant wines.

Pignatiello operates his importing business from Asheville, NC. All wine notes and label images below are from Pignatiello’s website. The site has a “Burgandy 101” section so you can improve your knowledge of the region. You can also read about his escorted tours of the Burgundy region.

011713CalvertsDonnaNarrowAnd it was fitting that this was such a successful dinner as this was the last wine dinner planned by Donna Thompson for Ninth Street Wine Market. Donna has teamed with Calvert’s for many years, producing some of the most memorable wine dinners in Augusta. We wish her good luck in her future endeavors.

Where: Calvert’s Restaurant, 475 Highland Ave., Augusta, GA 30909 (706) 738-4514
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013.

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Greeting
Jean-Luc Joillot Cremant de Bourgogne NV
Paired with: Light hors d’oeuvres
Tasting Notes: Sparkling wine from Burgundy. Produced only with the traditional grapes (70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay) used to make true Champagnes. Also, the traditional method for making Champagne is used for this Cremant. It is aged over 16 months on the lees, which is more than most entry-level Champagnes. In fact, in blind taste tests, people choose this Cremant over many famous Champagnes. It’s like a true Champagne at half the cost. It has nice pinpoint bubbles. Big creamy mousse, with bright citrus and apple fruit. Clean and refreshing. Terrific value. Only 900 cases made. It can be paired with appertifs, salad, shellfish, fresh fruit.
Winery: Jean-Luc Joillot


 

Course 1
Domaine de Chene-Colombe Macon Villages 2010
Paired with: Burgundy Trio/Crevettes Mariette, Gougere and Escargots

Domaine de Chene-Colombe Macon Villages
Domaine de Chene-Colombe Macon Villages

Tasting Notes: The Domaine Chene Colombe is a family estate located in the northernmost part of the Macon region, just south of the Cotes Chalonnaise. The 3-hectare vineyard is planted entirely with Chardonnay on south-facing slopes at an average altitude of 200 meters. The soil is a thin cover of clay over a bed of limestone, covered with small white pebbles and numerous fossils; it is deep and cool, which makes for a slow ripening process and the development of complex flavors and aromas in the wine.
After three hours of pre-maceration and skin-contact, the grapes are quickly pressed in a state-of-the-art bladder press. This process extracts all the fruit and aromas while avoiding any bitterness. Two-thirds of the juice ferments in temperature-controlled, stainless steel cuves, but the balance of the juice ferments in oak casks. The wine is bottled after the malolactic fermentation finishes in the late spring. It is released for sale after four months of bottle age.
The Chene Colombe Macon Villages is a text book example of a good, crisp, and persistent Chardonnay. It is the perfect aperatif wine. In fact, it is a wonderful all-purpose wine. This Macon Villages has a lively bouquet of green apples and flowers (acacia is notable). Please serve it chilled, but not ice cold. This pleasant Chardonnay goes particularly well with lighter fish and fowl dishes, shrimp and crab, as well as cold meats. The wine simply sends a “wake-up call” to your senses.
Winery: Domaine de Chene-Colombe


 

Course 2
Domaine Alain Patriarche Bourgogne Chardonnay “La Monatine” 2010
Paired with: Soupe au Pisto

La Monatine
La Monatine

Tasting Notes: The Monatine vineyard lies entirely within the village of Meursault. Alain’s vines are from the oldest part of the vineyard, but lie about 30 ft outside the boundary to be designated a village-level wine. He can therefore only market the wine as a regional Bourgogne, even though it has all the characteristics of a village Meursault. A top value that many sommeliers call, the “Baby Meursault”. It has toast, almond, citrus and pear on the nose. Nice body and structure in the mouth, with some minerality and lemony acidity in youth. This wine is aged 50% in stainless steel and 50% in old oak. A very well-made wine, this wine can be cellared 3-5 years.
Winery: Domaine Alain Patriarche


 

Course 3
This course featured two wines, both Chardonnays.
Paired with: Salade de Troute
Francois Servin Chablis “Montee de Tonnerre” 1er Cru 2009
Tasting Notes: The Montee de Tonnerre vineyard is right next to the Grand Cru Blanchot vineyard, and is generally considered the best of the Premier Crus. Francois’ personal vines are located in the heart of the oldest section of this vineyard. Always one of the first wines to sell out. Stunning! A bit more splashy in character, with bright tangerine, tropical and citrus fruit. Balanced acidity, light minerality, and nice length to the finish. Only 100 cases made.
Winery: Francois Servin

Jean-Luc Joillot Bourgogne Haute Cote de Beaune 2010
Tasting Notes: The Chardonnay vineyards for this wine are just barely across the line and into the Haute Cote de Beaune. They are not far from the Clos des Mouches vineyard. This great location gives the wine its creaminess and body. It is medium-full bodied. Just enough oak to frame the pineapple and tropical fruit, along with cream, almond, hazelnut. Very nice balance.
Winery: Jean-Luc Joillot


 

Course 4
Claudie Jobard Rully Chaume 2009
Paired with: Canard du Vin
Tasting Notes Soft entry, with bright ripe black cherry fruit leading the way. The structure comes through on the back end, with some earthy spice showing as well. 2,500 cases are made. It can be cellared 4-7 years. Can be paired with duck, venison, roast, salmon.
Winery: Claudie Jobard


 

Course 5
Francois Leclerc Gevrey Chambertin 2009
Paired with: Cotes du Boeuf
Tasting Notes: Francois gives me right of first refusal to buy all of his wines. I usually take all he makes. Francois’ style is similar to his father’s style with emphasis on the fruit. Yet, he “americanizes” his wines a little. Those who enjoy American Pinot Noirs are usually very impressed with his wines. It has good color and concentration, with red fruits, berry, floral and earthy aromas. Nice character and expression of terroir. 175 cases of this wine are made.
Winery: Francois Leclerc


 

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