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Mike Filigenzi

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Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:01 am

Well, my tasting group is doing a Burgundian theme next month. There'll be a slide show from one of the guys who worked with Mugnier over last year's harvest, lots of Burgundy-oriented food, and of course, we all need to bring bottles of good wine. Problem for me is that all I know about Burgundy is that it's pretty easy to spend a lot of money on a bottle of wine that doesn't taste good. That kind of price of admission has kept me away from the stuff for many years. So I'm wondering if some of you who know more about this stuff can recommend some bottles. As far as cost goes, I'm not going to be able to pop for any DRC, but a bottle of Gallo Hearty Burgundy won't make it with this group. (One of the members personally provided 16 bottles of various Chambolle-Musigny's for our tasting yesterday, so I want to bring a couple of pretty nice bottles for this.)

So what do y'all say? What's out there these days that comes in for under $100/bottle or so but which provides some real pleasure and as far as possible, a real sense of place? White and red suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Mike
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Bill Hooper

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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Bill Hooper » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:48 am

Mike,
For under $100 a bottle you have literally hundreds of options for good Burgundy. What would you like to accomplish? My favorite white Burgundies are Puligny-Montrachet (whose 1er Crus can all be had for under $100) and offer what is IMO, the very best mix of intense fruit and bone-crushing minerality. Chablis is considered the fillet of terroir-driven white Burgs (again, MOST can be bought for under $100). Even Meursault, the most generous white Burg, can be very site-expressive. For Grand Cru, the under $100 can be hard to come by, but you might be able to find a dusty and forgotten Batard-Montrachet or Chevalier-Montrachet (which I often prefer to the former for its relative clarity and tension) hiding on someone’s shelf. Don't overlook TOP Macon producers either. There are certainly gems to be found -sometimes for a song. Red Burgundy is equally (and VERY OFTEN MORE) affordable. If GREAT white Burgundy is harder to make, GREAT red burgundy is more sensitive to vintage. The differences in village (and producer) are not as subtle. Generalizations aren't as possible in Burgundy as in Bordeaux, but each village has defining characteristics. If you only bring one red wine, it should be from Vosne-Romanee. There is no other village which capitalizes so emphatically the tight-rope dance of elegance and intensity that Burgundy has to offer. Nuits-Saint-Georges are often brambly and assertive. Chambolle-Musigny is certainly the most stunningly beautiful of Burgundies reds (and delicate and plush), and Volnay is the sleekest and most daring. Gevrey-Chambertin is often very muscular and puglelistic. These are some of my favorites, although there are dozens of other villages, each with profound differences in terroir. However, unlike the rest of the wine world, when buying Burgundy, the priorities are: Domaine, Vintage, AOC-in that order. Some of my favorites are:
Chablis: Dauvissat (Vincent), Raveneau, Fevre.
Puligny: Louis Carillon, Etienne Sauzet
Meursault: Patrick Javillier, Matrot
Marsannay: Bruno Clair
Gevrey-Chambertin: Serafin
Vosne: DRC, Mongeard-Mugneret, Jayer-Gilles
Pouilly-Fuisse:Barraud, Eric Forest
NSG: Gouges, Bocquenet, Liger-Belair
Fortunately :D , the only real way to explore the wines of Burgundy is to start popping corks. You'll NEVER go back to California Pinot Noir AGAIN!


Prost!
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:37 am

Thanks, Bill! Your list of producers is the kind of thing I was looking for.

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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Dale Williams » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:24 am

Mike,
Might I suggest that for current drinking there's value to be found in the 2000 reds right now. Not a powerhouse vintage, but much better than its "vintage chart rating" , and less likely to be closed than the '99s, '01, or '02s. I find most '03s freaky. I've liked some '04s, but reports are bigger boys are shutting down.

Are there any stores that you particularly like to shop at with online inventories?

To Bill's white list I'd add Pernot for Puligny.

For reds:
Gevrey: Fourrier
Morey St Denis: Dujac, Lignier, (Roumier's Bussiere is good, too)
Chambolle-Musigny- Roumier, Mugnier, Dujac, maybe Groffier. Drouhin owns lots of land here and is generally pretty good in Chambolle
Vosne-Romanee - Georges Mugneret (aka Mugneret-Gibourg)
Nuits-St Georges: Chevillon is my fave J. Grivot & R. Arnoux are well-priced and good
Corton - the Bonneau de Martray Corton is often a good deal
Beaune: Jadot's 1ers can be great bargains in good years. I like Bouchard's L'Enfant Jesus also
Pommard :Count Armand, Michel Gaunoux, de Courcel
Volnay d'Angerville, Lafarge.

HTH
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:35 am

Thanks, Dale! The L'Enfant Jesus is one of the few of these wines I've had.

I appreciate the advice on the 2000 vintage. (The Chambolle-Musigny's we had were all from 2003, and there were a number of them that tasted like they came from somewhere like Gary's Vineyard.)

I'll probably take a ride out to K&L Wines to get these - http://www.klwines.com

Thanks again,

Mike
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Dale Williams » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:53 pm

Actually lots of good choices (red and white) there, and I'm sure Keith W could give good advice. And site gives lots of Burghound notes.
2 wines I've had:
The '99 Groffier Sentiers was actually excellent with some air last year.
The 90 Gagnard Santenay was very good for level several years ago, though some might find it more 1990 than Burgundy. 17 is probably pushing it for Santenay.
3 I haven't had:
Comte Armand is a producer that some love and some hate (I like, personally). That's a decent price on the 2000 Clos de Epenaux.
'99 Mongeard-Mugneret Les Cras sounds like it's drinking well now, with the bonus that you get novelty value as you see less Vougeot 1ers.
'00 Grivot NSG 1er sounds like it's drinking well. And priced so you could grab a white, too!
I haven't ordered from K&L in a while. I think your question might have cost me money! :)
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:05 pm

Dale Williams wrote:I haven't ordered from K&L in a while. I think your question might have cost me money! :)


Ooops! Sorry 'bout that! Funny how that happens around here....

Seriously, thanks very much for the recommendations. I'll let you know what I end up going with and how it drinks.


Mike
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Dan Donahue » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:12 pm

Woodland Hills has (last time I checked) the '01 Clos des Lambrays at a decent price and I've seen reports that it is drinking well now. The K&L '00 Armand Epeneaux is a good deal--I grabbed some a couple of weeks back--but I'd be tempted to let those sleep a few more years.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:32 pm

Thanks, Dan! I'll consider those as well.


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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Otto » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:25 pm

From what (much too little) I've tasted the reccoes above are great.

I would however like to stress one name: Drouhin. Usually fair prices, true to terroir, unspoofy (well ... the whites can be a bit oaky when young) and delicious. Just avoid the 2003s. It's a big brand, but that doesn't mean they don't make good wines.

If you want something in your price point but mature, try finding some Thorin-Chambert Grand Crus from the 1960's. What little I've found out, is that they were a négociant in Beaujolais (owned Clos St Jacques in Moulin-à-Vent before Jadot!), but made really nice and ageworthy stuff. Clos de Vougeot 1966 rocks - maybe not the most elegant wine ever made but drinks perfectly now and I fell in love with it.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Randy Buckner » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:04 pm

Mike, I picked up a few bottles of 2004 Philippe Chavy Bourgogne White yesterday to go with a Coquilles St. Jacques appetizer last night. There's a lot of bang for the buck here -- well delineated fruit and minerality, wrapped in a light blanket of French oak. It is imported by Scott Paul, Portland, OR.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by David M. Bueker » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:17 pm

I will echo the Chevillon recommendation. But do avoid '03. The last '03 I had tasted like something from Seasmoke.

Jadot is also very fine and reliable. Their Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques is always a fantastic bottle. The 2000 is drinking reasonably well now.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by David Creighton » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:26 pm

i notice that there are a couple of wines on bill's list that DON'T come from Vineyard Brands.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:33 pm

Thanks, guys!

On the 2003's, the tasting of '03 Chambolle-Musigny's that I mentioned above was a great education on that vintage. The 20 wines were served blind and we didn't know the theme until after we had tasted them all. No one figured it out and several of us (myself included) were thinking syrah. There was one flight that I was sure involved wines from Paso Robles. There were only a couple that (to me) tasted even close to what I expect from Burgundy.

After we had finished with the main portion of the tasting, our host popped an '03 Mugnier Musigny. That one was a different animal entirely and easily transcended the C-M's. Just gorgeous stuff and proof that even in a freakish vintage, there can be some magic. (Which you pay for, of course!)

Mike
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by JoePerry » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:19 pm

I'll add Bertheau, Barthod and Meo Camuzet to the list.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Michael K » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:59 pm

I would second the Roumier for MSD. This would be a tough one to be at that price point of about $45 a bottle.
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:32 pm

Thanks, Joe and Michael!

As always, a request for help here yields an embarrassment of riches.

Mike
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Hoke » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:39 pm

You'll NEVER go back to California Pinot Noir AGAIN!



Oh, I think he will. At least, as much as he already has.

Burgundy is fine, no doubt, no doubt, Mr. Bill, but there's a little left over in the world. True, after Burgundy, there's not much left over in the bank account..... :)
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Re: Needing some help with Burgs

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:24 pm

Hoke wrote:Oh, I think he will. At least, as much as he already has.

Burgundy is fine, no doubt, no doubt, Mr. Bill, but there's a little left over in the world. True, after Burgundy, there's not much left over in the bank account..... :)


Yeah, one needs to be pretty well-heeled to really get into Burgundy. At this point in time, my heels aren't well enough.

Thank goodness there are those of you out there who've done the homework and are willing to help folks like me with our once-in-a-while splurges!


Mike
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