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Robin Garr

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December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Robin Garr » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:55 am

What better way to end the year than with something special? Burgundy works for me, and I hope it does for you, too. The whole range of Burgundy is open to us this month: Bring your Romanée-Conti, if you've got it, or bring a Bourgogne Pinot Noir or Bourgogne Chardonnay if that's your style, as it probably is mine. Or bring any level of Burgundy - red or white - that suits your fancy. Come and talk about Burgundy, ask questions about Burgundy, it's all on the table as we round out 2019 in Wine Focus.

PS: Technically, Beaujolais is a Burgundy, too, although Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, had something to say about that in 1395. I'll leave the eligibility of Beaujo for this wine focus up to the wisdom of the group. :twisted:
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Tim York » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 am

I was casting round for a pairing last night for veal liver with its traditional Belgian onions and apples. I have successfully paired it before with Rhône, Loire and right bank Bordeaux but, with this WF in mind, wondered about Burgundy and consulted the web. I found a recommendation not only for red Burgundy but, more precisely, for a young one from Santenay. So that's what I chose. This is a warning about the dubious value about such recommendations and about closed phases in young(ish) red Burgundy.

2014 Frères Muzard Santenay 1er Cru Les Cabottes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay 1er Cru (12/1/2019)
What a difference from the bottle about 6 months ago! Light in colour and quite light in body but with little bouquet on the nose and aromatic expression on the palate but with plenty of acidity. The overall impression was quite lean and mean, if elegant. Admittedly a too sweet pairing of veal liver, onions and apple purée did not help (although recommended by a site called VinVignes??!). However I wrote something similar last time but found the wine delightful before and after; this time not. It's odd to have so much bottle variation in a wine so young and in so short a time but I could detect no flaws. Fair.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Rahsaan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:13 pm

Tim York wrote:2014 Frères Muzard Santenay 1er Cru Les Cabottes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay 1er Cru (12/1/2019)
What a difference from the bottle about 6 months ago! Light in colour and quite light in body but with little bouquet on the nose and aromatic expression on the palate but with plenty of acidity. The overall impression was quite lean and mean, if elegant. Admittedly a too sweet pairing of veal liver, onions and apple purée did not help (although recommended by a site called VinVignes??!). However I wrote something similar last time but found the wine delightful before and after; this time not. It's odd to have so much bottle variation in a wine so young and in so short a time but I could detect no flaws. Fair.
Posted from CellarTracker


Not corked? Absence of fruit would suggest that.

But of course bottle variation is also part of the infinite glory of wine, especially Burgundy. And a lot can happen in 6 months.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Jenise » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:21 pm

Sounds like it needs a nap. Good pinots acting shy at 5-6 years old are often just sleep-deprived.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Tim York » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:29 am

Jenise wrote:Sounds like it needs a nap. Good pinots acting shy at 5-6 years old are often just sleep-deprived.


24 hours later, a glass full (c.12cl) left at the bottom of the bottle overnight in the fridge proved much better with more expressive aromas of griotte cherry and fine minerals together with greater depth and length.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:47 am

I am trying to be hands off my 2014s, as the last couple have been grumpy.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Jenise » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:22 pm

Will open a burg or two as soon as I'm over this cold. At the moment, I have no sense of smell.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:26 pm

I'm just too damn cold! I want Zin and things like that right now.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by ben.hopper » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:41 pm

My favorites are Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru 2009 – Domaine Tollot Beault and Monthélie 1er Cru Les Champs Fulliot 2012 – Domaine Guy Dubuet & Fils
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:06 pm

Burgundy...but white!

2012 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (12/5/2019)
God bless the DIAM cork that has kept this wine sound for several years. Seashell, citrus zest, and a squirt of lemon get carried on a wave of fresh acidity. It’s just yummy.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:54 am

Rep downtown was pouring the NV Albert Bichon Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose. Nice bouquet of flowers and cherry. Quite light in color but still attractive. Light bodied on the palate but still pleasing.
Acidity was good, think it sold quite well.
*** tonite the annual Best Bang for your Buck Tasting, with usual 60 participants.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:51 pm

2013 Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Boudriotte Rouge - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (12/7/2019)
Over three years since the last time I tried this, and it’s still effortlessly youthful, and fresh. 2013 was my first introduction to Maltroye, but I grabbed a couple more in 2014 and 2016. I will have a greater inclination to age them. This is lovely stuff, and not terribly expensive.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Andrew Burge » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:22 am

Hello, I drop by every so often to see whats happening, and I happened to drink a white burg last night. A really good one too.

2012 Comte Lafon Clos de la Barre

Oh wow. Grapefruit, green pineapple, honeydew, creamy cashew, white flowers and gingery spice - perhaps a little viognier like in that way. Pulpy fruit tannin puckers the cheeks and lips a little, and a needle like lemon acid line still punctures the expanse of the finish. Complete and balanced and in an excellent place right now. Stunningly good wine.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Tim York » Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:55 am

Andrew Burge wrote:Hello, I drop by every so often to see whats happening, and I happened to drink a white burg last night. A really good one too.

2012 Comte Lafon Clos de la Barre

Oh wow. Grapefruit, green pineapple, honeydew, creamy cashew, white flowers and gingery spice - perhaps a little viognier like in that way. Pulpy fruit tannin puckers the cheeks and lips a little, and a needle like lemon acid line still punctures the expanse of the finish. Complete and balanced and in an excellent place right now. Stunningly good wine.


Presumably that's a Meursault white. Jadot produces a red Clos de la Barre under the appellation Volnay.

Here's a recent TN on a 1996 Pommard. Some people claim that most 96s are spoiled by excessive acidity. I didn't feel that here.

1996 Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru (11/17/2019)
My archives tell me that I have had in my cellar bottles of 93, 94, 96 & 97. I left broaching 93 & 96 till recently and am happy about my patience. This bottle of 96 is the best of the lot so far though a 93 a few months ago ran it close. Medium bodied and beautifully balanced with subtle pinot aromas overlaying some still present primary cherry tinged fruit, fine minerals, a little forest floor, mouth-watering but non-astringent acidity, silky texture and residual backbone. The whole was seamless and elegant yet quite intense. No signs of imminent decline so no hurry with my two remaining bottles. Excellent.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:59 am

I think there has been talk of upgrading Epeneaux to Grand Cru.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Andrew Burge » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:02 pm

Tim York wrote:
Andrew Burge wrote:Hello, I drop by every so often to see whats happening, and I happened to drink a white burg last night. A really good one too.

2012 Comte Lafon Clos de la Barre

Oh wow. Grapefruit, green pineapple, honeydew, creamy cashew, white flowers and gingery spice - perhaps a little viognier like in that way. Pulpy fruit tannin puckers the cheeks and lips a little, and a needle like lemon acid line still punctures the expanse of the finish. Complete and balanced and in an excellent place right now. Stunningly good wine.


Presumably that's a Meursault white. Jadot produces a red Clos de la Barre under the appellation Volnay.

Here's a recent TN on a 1996 Pommard. Some people claim that most 96s are spoiled by excessive acidity. I didn't feel that here.



It is. Village level monopole close the the village of Mersault, different vineyard to the Clos de la Barre that Jadot makes,
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Rahsaan » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:12 pm

2017 Guillemot Savigny-lès-Beaune VV

Third bottle over the past few months and they have all been pretty consistent. Fresh bright tart (cran) berry fruit that screams Côte de Beaune. But nothing too sour (at least for my palate) because there is enough depth to hold my interest and lovely elegance and mouth-filling perfume. Of course it goes well with dinner and it is a fine bottle of wine for drinking now. Not sure I see the need to age these, although others may think differently.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Robin Garr » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:03 am

Joseph Faiveley 2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir ($27.99)

This is a rather light, but bright and pretty ruby red, typical of Bourgogne Pinot Noir. Delicious scents of fresh, ripe raspberries and a darker hint of cranberry fill the nose and carry over into a simple but pleasant red-fruit flavor shaped by crisp acidity and soft but persistent tannins with a moderate 13% alcohol. Good red-berry flavors and zippy acidity hang on in a long finish. Summing up, it offers a good introduction to red Burgundy and makes a fine food wine. U.S. importer: Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., NYC. (Dec. 5, 2019)

FOOD MATCH: Red meat, rare steaks or good roast beef, are the natural companion of Burgundy as most Pinot Noirs; but Pinot is a versatile food wine and will work with a surprising range of fare from wild salmon to mushrooms and cheese. We paired it with great success with roasted brown mushrooms, potatoes and onions sprinkled with long grated shreds of Parmigiano-Reggiano

WHEN TO DRINK: Pinot Noir is difficult to predict in the cellar, but we shouldn’t expect a long life out of simple Bourgogne Pinot Noir. That said, though, this wine’s good fruit, acidity and tannins suggest that it should hold, and could possibly improve, into the early 2020s.

VALUE:
My local price adds a significant bump to Wine-Searcher.com’s $23 average U.S. retail, and quite a few Wine-Searcher vendors show it for less than $20, so shop around if you can; and don’t delay, as heavy U.S. tariffs on French wine may drop soon. Bottom line, Burgundy isn’t cheap, not even low-end Bourgognes, but if you want it, at least for a holiday treat, it’s worth paying for.

WEB LINK
Here's a brief fact sheet on Faively Bourgogne Pinot Noir from importer Frederick Wildman.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find information, vendors, and prices for dozens of other Bourgogne Pinot Noir wines.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:31 pm

Good value until the 100% tariff hits the next vintage.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:18 pm

2005 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges (12/18/2019)
Just barely starting to eke into maturity, with a decent dose of damp earth to accompany still fresh red fruit. The structure is still evident, even from half bottle, so more time is warranted.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by ChaimShraga » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:26 am

David M. Bueker wrote:I think there has been talk of upgrading Epeneaux to Grand Cru.


You will be able to run that quote in syndication for another couple of decades.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by David M. Bueker » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:31 pm

2012 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru (12/20/2019)
After several years of drinking Raveneau wines too young due to premox fears, I gave in to just letting it ride. Still early, but even a little patience was well worth it. The richness and depth of the wine were far beyond what I had experienced with new release or near release bottles, and the aromatic complexity exceeded even my lofty expectations. The kicker was the sheer length of the wine. It just lingered, and not like a ghost, but with nearly its full intensity, and all the fruit and savory character that came from the first sip. Extraordinary wine.
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by ChaimShraga » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:41 pm

Domaine Buisson-Charles, Meursault Vieilles Vignes, 2014

Everyone should have a go-to Meursault. Of course, they're not cheap, anymore - never were, actually. But this is decently priced, as far as Meursaults go, both when Bourgogne Crown was carrying them as well as under their new importer, Wine Route. This is always (in my experience) a handsome Meursault, all the more so in a vibrant vintage like 2014, where the plump body typical of the appellation is balanced by tangy acidity that makes for a full and delicious impact on the taste buds, enough weight to make sure you won't mistake it for a lesser appellation. The nose is green apples and pears with smoky notes of minerals dry grass, almost Chassagne-like, decent complexity without a lot of fanfare. (Dec. 10, 2019)

Domaine Pierre Duroche, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Lavaut St. Jacques, 2013

This, like Clos St. Jacques, is one of the most touted of the Gevrey Premier Crus. It’s deep and floral, very vibrant, fresh and pure, strains of flowers, smoke, wet leaves and black fruit making for complex aromas and subtle, yet gripping, texture. The acidity is uplifting and provides peach flavors. The mark of quality is in its complete and perfect poise and grace, more than anything else. (Dec. 12, 2019)

Domaine Matrot, Blagny Premier Cru, La Pièce-sous-le-Bois, 2014

Blagny is a hamlet neighboring Meursault. The appellation laws are a nightmare. The white premier crus are labelled Meursault-Blagny 1er, the red premier simply Blagny 1er. For some reason, they're always a little more expensive than I expect, at least the ones I run into. But I can forgive it here, because I've loved Matrot ever since Lifshitz started importing it and I used to buy this red even before he started importing it. My thoughts about its quality and typicality are as follows.

When you move up from village level to premier cru level (and later grand cru level), you factor qualities like weight, intensity, complexity, depth. I won't go through them all, but this is definitely in premier cru territory, in the lower-middle ranks, for its complexity, breadth and silky composure. I think I'd peg it as a Cote de Beaune in a blind tasting, but only as a result of elimination: it doesn't fit the profile of any Cote de Nuits village and it's too filigree for the Chalonnaise. It has smoky red fruit with strong notes of iron and damp topsoil, its acidity driven, with enough tannins for an elegant grip without the feminine rasp of Volnay or the iron-driven savoriness of Pommard. (Dec. 13, 2019)

Domaine Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St. Georges Premier Cru, Les Perrières, 2008

This was very intense and spicy when I drank it over four years ago, definitely more intense than I'd expected from a 2008. Four years ago, it was so intense and spicy - with a lot of notes of iron, still present in fact - that I kidded it about it being a Bourgogne for Barolo lovers. It was, even then, very Nuits in character, and it's moreso today, with lovely acidity-driven fruit, nose and palate leavened with suggestions of truffles, and much more tannins that I think would be typical for 2008. The finish is rusty, needing a few more years to soften, and reminds me of the late Rene Engel's Grand Echezeaux. (Dec. 17, 2019)

Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, Fixin, 2016

Formerly Denis Berthaut, the name having changes with a merger of sorts with Domaine François Gerbet (more or less coinciding with daughter Amelie taking over winemaking duties). One day I'll go back and fix the blog labels. This is excellent value, red/black fruit with a touch of floral greenness that reminds me of the forest in spring, not the sweet autumnal rot. It has enough structure for aging, but for all that, the fruit feels svelte and silky. Complexity will come with age, though - relish the freshness and vitality for now. (Dec. 21, 2019)
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Re: December Wine Focus: Burgundy!

by Rahsaan » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:58 pm

ChaimShraga wrote:... with a lot of notes of iron, still present in fact - that I kidded it about it being a Bourgogne for Barolo lovers. It was, even then, very Nuits in character...


Definitely not the first time one has made that Barolo/Nuits comparison!
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