Last Sunday, November 13th, Maslow 6 kicked off its Sunday Sommelier series with Kristie Petrullo, Chef Sommelier of Jean-Georges. Kristie’s passion is Burgundy (and Champagne!), and she brought her passion with her to Maslow 6 to share it with us – along with a few choice bottles to illustrate why she loves this region so much. It’s interesting how a Staten Island native with Sicilian heritage found the ancient French wine region of Burgundy to be her favorite, but it has happened. The progression from Staten Island to Burgundy probably began with years spend working at Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, Restaurant Daniel and Cafe Boulud. From there, Kristie worked with Tom Colicchio at Craft, and is currently running the wine program at Jean-Georges restaurant. With these wine lists to work with, it’s no small wonder why Kristie found Burgundy to be so intriguing. The lists are rich with vintages of the best producers and vineyards and Kristie has had a chance to taste most of them. Not only that, but she spent four months living and working a harvest in Burgundy.
Living in Burgundy was a bit of a change for New York City born Kristie. One morning, she woke early and headed to the kitchen for coffee only to find sheep roaming around the living room. ”I’m from Staten Island! I had no idea if sheep were friendly, if they might bite, if they were supposed to be in there! They had nudged the door open and come on in.” Maybe not a typical morning in Burgundy, but memorable, and provides a great story for telling over and over again.
Kristie spent a bit of time telling us about the history of Burgundy and how the names of the villages came to be as they are now. In 1847, the town of Gevrey appealed to have the name of their best vineyard added to the name of the town, and it has been known as Gevrey-Chambertin since. Other villages with famous Grand Cru vineyards followed suit, and now they all have their best vineyard sites incorporated into the name of the village.
We started the tasting with a bit of Cremant de Bourgogne – a sparkling wine made just like Champagne, but sourced in Burgundy. These wines can be incredible values, and they’re made just like Champagne – even the same grapes. The Roger Luquet Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV, which we served as everyone arrived at the shop, is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, so is much like a Blanc de Blancs Champagne.
Next, we moved into a series of white wines, ranging from Chablis to Chassagne-Montrachet. The Chablis was from Thierry Laffay. This Chablis had some nice fruit *(usually, it’s all mineral), which Kristie mentioned due to the warm 2009 harvest. This vintage was a great vintage in many wine regions, and Burgundy was no exception! The fruitiness of the 2009 vintage is a testament to the great weather, allowing a long, slow ripening to occur. This slow ripening is perfect for the development of complex flavors in the grapes.
From the Chablis, we moved into Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Olivier Leflaive’s Puligny-Montrachet 2009 is a textbook example of the appellation, displaying the structure and nervosity of this village. Domaine de la Maltroye’s Chassagne-Montrachet 2007 was a bit disappointing. While this wine is normally a stunning example of not only the winemaking at Maltroye but also the Chassagne-Montrachet village, this particular bottle (bottles – we opened two) had suffered from bad storage somewhere along the way. Never fear, this wine is normally worth every penny, but this particular bottling was a bit problematic. We moved on from this wine to Meo Camuzet’s Hautes Cotes de Nuits ‘Clos St. Philibert’, another wine that always over delivers!
From this, we moved on to red wines, starting with Chateau de la Maltroye’s Chassagne Montrachet la Boudriotte 1er Cru Chasssagne Montrachet 09. This really picked up where the white left off – it was GREAT!! What a value from this producer. The red wines of Chassagne, according to Kristie, offer instant joy, as you can pop them open and drink them now! Freddie Mugnier’s Clos de la Marechale 1er Cru 08 was another great red. This single parcel came back into Freddie’s grasp in time for the 2004 vintage – his first release from this vineyard after the land came back into his holdings (it had been leased for a really, really long time!). Elegant and structured, this wine is the epitome of Burgundy.
Alain Burguet’s Mes Favorites was next in the line-up, and it is a big one! Burguet makes rich, intense wines from Gevrey Chambertin, and he’s one of Kristie’s favorites. But, the Volnay really is where her heart is at – it’s her favorite appellation due to the sexiness of it. Soft, dusty tannins, subtle fruit, refreshing acidity – and all from an area that is known for white wines – Meursault! As Kristie explained, red wines from Meursault are called Volnay, and it’s a name to get to know. We tried Darviot Perrin’s Les Santenots 2006 – a great example of the appellation and a great wine in its own right.
We closed the evening in awe of Kristie’s knowledge and experience, but also with a new friend! Kristie is as friendly and endearing as she is passionate and experienced – go visit her at Jean-Georges and find out. And, come back to Maslow 6 for our second Sunday Sommelier seminar with Chris Baggetta, of Eleven Madison Park. Chris is amazing and talented, and will teach you all the tricks of tasting wines like a pro. Sunday, December 11th – come join us at 4 pm for an evening of blind tasting – don’t be afraid – it’s totally fun!!!
See you Sundays at Maslow 6.