I continued my countdown-to-500 this week with another sixteen wines, sampling between Burgundy and Bordeaux. In my Tuesday course it was a continuation of Burgundy, tracing the map further south along the Côtes de Beaune, the Mâcon and Pouilly Fuissé and concluding our travels in Beaujolais.

We tasted the following:

08  Deux Montille Soeur, Pernand-Vergelesses

08 Ch. Puligny Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet

08 Ch. Puligny Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet

08 Ch. Puligny Montrachet, Meursault

04 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine “Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon

94 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine (Sample)

07 Domaine Manciat-Poncet Pouilly-Fuissé “Le Crays”

95 Domaine de la Chanaise Morgon

07 Domaine Piron-Lameloise  Chenaz Quarts

Of the set we sampled there was one standout, among the many well-crafted wines that night, it belonged to the second set that we tasted, standing apart from it’s brethren by emitting unabashed odors of asparagus and baby corn—unique. On the tongue the 2004 Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon was dry, painting the inside of my cheeks with medium high acidity, boasting a shapely figure (med. bodied) and yielding strong flavors of aspargus, baby corn and some baked apple that were slow to leave the palate. It was a swan among ducks.

The following night we had our last all-about-Bordeaux class, where we would say goodbye to the Southwest of France by tasting the white and dessert wines of Bordeaux and leave on a sweet note.

The white wines of Bordeaux are paid little attention in America, favoring the hulking reds of Bordeaux, with one exception… the wines of Sauternes and Barsac. Collectors’ wines. The sweet wines of Sauternes are comprised of botrytis[ed] Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and maybe even a splash of Muscadelle.

Botyrtis Cinera is a spore of fungus that leeches the water from grapes, dehydrating them, and in turn ramping the sugar levels of each fruit that is affected. This is a beneficial process when it is done to perfection, dubbed Noble Rot; if it fails to produce the coveted sweet wines then it is referred to as Grey Rot. The method of making Sauternes and Barsac is labor-intensive and a passion of love, enshrined in history.

I mention they are collectors’ wines because of their aging ability, often spanning a normal lifetime and beyond if they cellared in the proper conditions.

Wednesday night we tasted:

09 Festival (Ch. Le Gay, Pomerol)

09 Ch. L’Hoste, Entre-Deux-Mers

07 Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion

08 Ch. Thieuly

07 Ch. Sigalas Rabaud

99 Ch Julien Cabernet Sauvignon from Monterey

07 Ch. Du Seuil, Graves

The Sauterne was the showstopper of Wednesday evening; in comparison to the white wines that came before, it was unrivaled, making it hard to perform the customary spit that follows each sampling. The esters of the wine jumped from the glass delivering honeysuckle and honeycomb aromas straight to the olfactory. The viscous golden liquid only got better on the tongue with honey, vanilla, almonds and apricots coating and lingering in my mouth. An interesting note about Sauternes is that there is a fair amount of acidity but it is hard to detect because of the greater amount of residual sugar masking it.

It was bon voyage to Bordeaux and Burgundy, for now, with sixteen wines behind me in two days and 432 left to taste before the year’s end; I just made it on to the freeway and am looking to get to 500 on the quick. Worth sticking around… it’s only going to get tastier.