Thursday, February 4, 2010

A votre animable attention, Arthur Barolet

This surely must be the week of co-worker appreciation here. Earlier in the week , I mentioned that Jason bestowed upon me the gift of espelette peppers. Today, it's back to wine and an example from the universally strong 1978 vintage. Through the generous gift of another co-worker, I was recently able to sample a true curiosity.

Dr. Arthur Barolet, a quality oriented, smaller negociant based in Savigny-les-Beaune, passed away in 1969, apparently leaving 200 228 liter casks of maturing wine to his sister; the oldest of these containing wine from the 1954 vintage. So clearly, the man preferred to take his time aging the wines he bought. I am not sure if the 1978 Barolet et Fils Savigny les Beaune "Le Village" was similarly aged for a long period of time. Though I do know that it has what I so relish in wine a few decades of age or older: mature yet still lively fruit, savory, meaty and/or earthy complexity (in this case that aged Burgundian jambon quality), a softer texture (i.e. tannins that are either fully resolved or at least balanced) and a harmonious balance between all the aforementioned flavor components. If I were more successful in researching the wines of Barolet, I'd offer more information about their wines but this has proven to be difficult to come by (at least online, anyway). I'll have to consult Mr. Clive Coates at some point today for more information. I imagine that Dr. Arthur Barolet is one of those names whose history and wines are known by relatively few, passed along through sheer anectodal knowledge and the occasional appearance on the auction block.

1 comment:

Jon said...


Nice story regarding Dr. Barolet. I have searched out older Burgundies for years and currently have a 1926 Henri de Villamont Beaune Collection du Docteur Barolet in my cellar that I'm waiting to drink with the right group. "There's no burg like an old burg!" Personally I tend to wait 20 years typically before enjoying most red burgundies....although at 55 years old I cant do that much longer! rats...

Let me know when you are in SoCal and we could share an old bottle or two...