Thursday, October 4, 2007
These Burgundies ARE good. Why? Because I say so, dangit!
I do not have tasting notes in front of me, but I think I should remember these wines well enough to properly paint a picture for you all. I'm only describing red burgs today. These are all good values for their respective prices, in some cases really good values.
2005 Domaine Vincent Sauvestre Bourgogne Rouge - Cheap ($13) red burg for gamay fans! That is, there is a certain pleasing earthiness to this wine that reminds me of good 'ol, real Beaujolais grown in granitic soil. Rustic but a good table wine, which is probably why I like this more than many anonymous tasting $20 Bourgogne Rouge wines out there.
2005 Domaine Bart Marsannay 'Les Longuieres' - Man, this is tasty Pinot! A real textural pleasure, this. There is an abundance of fleshy, dark cherry fruit, delivered in a wine whose mouthfeel is so incredibly velvety, and at the same time slightly thick - even for this ideal, ripe vintage. Tannins are very smooth, and the wine finishes with just a hint of allspice on the finish. Terrific stuff from someone making serious wines in an unfortunately less than seriously regarded village. For about $21 this is a deal.
2005 Domaine Patrick Size Mercurey 1er cru 'Clos de Montagne' - This is another wine with a darker cherry fruit profile and a similar mouthfeel to the above. It is still tight, though it does not come across as being tannic in any way. This wine has a really interesting, spiciness that does not seem to be derived from new oak as much as it is the soil where it grows. Sort of reminds me of village Meursault if it were a red wine. Should improve for at least 7 years. At $29 it's a winner.
2005 Bachey Legros Bourgogne Rouge - The one generic Bourgogne Rouge on this list is really quite good. There is all the density and depth of flavor that any winemaker could deliver in Burgundy's '05 vintage, but an added weight and structure on the palate that makes this wine stand out. $20.
2005 Domaine Paul Miset (Varoilles) Chambolle-Musigny - Definitely an up-and-coming estate, methinks. This wine smells of strawberries, real root beer (not A&W) and clove. On the palate there is a similar spicy red fruit character that is delicious and distinctive, with good length and well-integrated tannins. $42 and worth it.
2005 Domaine des Varoilles Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru 'Clos des Varoilles' - I do not remember the cost of this wine and do not think that any more is available in this country. Man, it was good though! Very lively blackberry flavors, incredibly focused and pure, pure pure. Very intensely flavored and super long on the finish.
Here were three wines which disappointed:
2004 DRC Echezeaux Grand Cru - Of course it was infanticide to crack this one open, but I was not there when the guilty party committed the act, and then left behind the bottle for me and my co-workers to taste. As a general rule, if there happens to be a bottle of DRC laying around, open, you kind of have to taste it. It's your duty as as a wine drinker. I am not the least bit experienced in DRC (this was my first encounter), though the wine struck me as being super tight, which is not surprising. Beneath all the tannin and structure, it was difficult for me to ascertain much beyond a bit of exotic spice (cumin, cloves) and dark fruit.
1999 Domaine Marechal Savigny Les Beaune Vielles Vigne - Another infanticide. This was definitely pretty, intense, pure PN. No doubt. But maybe I was just expecting a little further development, some more secondary flavors presenting themselves. This was super refined for a Savigny, which I guess is no surprise given this excellent domaine's rep. If you have this in your cellar, I'd sit on it for another few years.
2000 Domaine Pierre Morey Pommard 1er cru 'Grands Epenot' - Many '00 burgs are apparently drinking very well right now. Well this had very fleshy, cherry fruit and that Pommard sense of density and weight on the palate. But again, that was it. Very primary, and just a little boring. Good fruit intensity is a good thing, but I'd like some more in the way of floral and mineral notes in my wine.
A near revelation:
2004 De Montille Volnay 1er cru "Taillepieds" - This was as close to a 'WOW' experience as I've had in tasting red burgundy. Apparently I really like this vineyard; I remember tasting an '02 Bouchard from the same vineyard that was also good. But not this good. Very floral, with an amazing layered array of roses, raspberries, cherries, and mineral. Very lithe and supple on the palate. I could drink this every night and not tire of it. Unfortunately it's $80. But a splurge that is worth every penny.
I must say the good thing about tasting a number of wines from the same region is that you (or your friendly wine merchant) can make some general observations about what you like and dislike, as far as vineyard sites, vintages, producer's style, etc. Closing in on the end of 2007, a year which constituted a very good primer on Burgundy for me, I have discovered that I prefer softer, more feminine styled red burgs. And if they're from traditional producers and more classic vintages, so much the better.