Monday, April 27, 2009

Re-visting an '05 Bourgogne Rouge

2005 Confuron Coteconfused?

So last night I re-visited a humble bourgone rouge from the much praised '05 vintage. It was a 2005 Confuron Cotetidot (a tiny domaine based in Vosne-Romanee), and all I can remember is being somewhat impressed when I first tasted the wine a year and a half or so ago. I bought a few bottles. Though for me to buy anything from Burgundy that's not older is a bit of a rare occasion (much prefer most anything else to young Burgundy). So I looked forward to seeing how these wines would age. Upon cracking the bottle open, the wine was all over the place. Initially very clumsy smelling and tasting. Ripe, four square, coarse. While it opened over the next 20 minutes in the glass, showing a bit more tonal variety, some subtle mineral and floral notes lurking underneath the murky plummy fruit, the wine would unfortunately not improve further. It was slowly degrading further when re-visited tonight, not opening up.

Perhaps of most concern, however, was the lack of acidity from this bottle's start to finish. For those of you who drink more red burgundy than I do, does this lack of acid in the '05's concern you? Balanced (leaning towards higher) acidity isn't always needed to see a wine through mid to long term ageing, but 99% of the time it doesn't hurt. Does acidity go through a latent period during the course of a wine's evolution in bottle? I seem to remember this being a much livelier, higher acid wine. I should mention that the bottle was in no way compromised, corked or cooked.

I look forward to making one of my few young red burg purchases for the year shortly - gonna get some '06 Dom Gabriel Billard Bourgogne Rouge. And I look forward to repeating this experiment 12-18 months down the line with what well might be wine from a vintage that is more my cup of tea (or glass of Burgundy, as it were).


Anonymous said...

05' burgs are just clumsy for mosts!!
Too hot of a vintage, everytime i open a bottle, it's a disapointment..06 seem more of a regular burg vintage, acidity and all!!

Anonymous said...

The Billard is a good choice. I need to grab a few more bottles of it. '05 is too rich for my blood, so it's good to know that someone dissapproves of it.

Eric said...

Basically the acidity level in wine doesn't change; it's a constant. The perception of it can as flavors develop. Flavor balances acid and vice versa. The only caveat is if the wine is not cold stable in bottle, some acid could precipitate out if the wine is subjected to cold temperatures. One would see tartrates in the bottle however. Generally wines that have gone through two Winters in a Burgundy cellar are cold stable.

As far as '05 goes, my experience is that they've been hard to drink with the acid, tannin and fruit not at all integrated. I don't think '05 is viewed as a soft vintage like '03 and '06.

Joe Manekin said...

Guillhaume - true.

Cory - looks like more than just the 2 of us who disapprove of these wines at this point. But then again, wine in general and red burg in particular goes through some pretty interesting, tough to predict transformations in bottle....

Eric - thanks for the insight. '05 may not be soft, but I also wonder if it's sufficiently balanced. Isn't there some truth to the concept that in order for a wine to age gracefully and become better balanced, it needs to be balanced to begin with?

Brooklynguy said...

i've had some great 05s, but mostly a few ears ago before they shut down. i think that 05 is not a typical vintage, as Guillaume said. it's riper than most, and many of the wines by producers that i usually like, have been over ripe. That said, i haven't tried any of the more impressive 1er crus yet - letting them sleep.

on the whole, the more i learn,the more i appreciate and buy vintages like 2007 over 2005.

when i was there in december, i heard several well respected producers say things like "yeah, 2005 was ripe and easy, but it is a vintage for very long aging, and not necessarily what real burgundy is all about."

Joe Manekin said...

Neil -

Thanks for the comments. I heard similar comments today ('05 is unusual, not for drinking now, etc) at a Wilson Daniels tasting. I understand this, but I also have to say that I'm not sure whether these wines will ever be terrific. Look at '96 as an example, supposedly top flight, and still considered so by many, but my (very) limited experience with this vintage has echoed Alice Feiring's take: "just fruit and acid." In other words, little complexity, intrigue and typicity.

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