Like most merchants at this time, Fine & Rare Wines are in the midst of their Burgundy 2000 campaign, but they are also having a bit of a clear-out of older vintages, with some attractive discounts on Burgundies from the previous few vintages, as well as odd parcels of older wines. These include top-notch domaines as you will see below.
Fine & Rare sent me up a few sample bottles from the sale, and my notes on these follow, along with a run-down of some other wines that look particularly interesting. The sale prices are given in pounds sterling (approximately £5=$7.50US), and the original price is shown in brackets. Please note: these prices are in bond, and ex-VAT. That means approximately £14 must be added per case, plus 17.5% VAT added to this total. The sale includes cases and odd bottles, and approximate quantities available are given for each wine. Fine & Rare’s minimum order value is £200 ex-VAT, and delivery is £10 per order. Overseas delivery is available.
Colin-Deleger Maranges la Fussière 1er Cru 1996
£76 per case (£95); £6.35 per bottle (£8.00)
I’m a huge fan of Colin-Deleger’s much better-known whites, where they are one of the leading Burgundy estates. Maranges is in the Côte-de-Beaune, close to Santenay. Nice garnet colour with a little warmth. Decent red cherry fruit on the nose, hints of spice and nuances of exotic incense and briar. The palate is crisply defined by good acidity, some tannins and plenty of juicy black fruits, showing just a little smoky oak warmth in the finish. Balanced and tangy, this is actually delightful stuff – especially at less than £9 a bottle including VAT. Very good indeed. 28 cases, 6 Bottles available.
Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets 1998
£185 per case (£225) ; £16.00 per bottle (£19.00)
This very fine estate has produced a lovely medium-density, ruby coloured wine with an immediately appealing nose of spicy oak and warming berry fruits, with just a hint of tobacco and leather. There’s also a little nuance of a higher, floral or perhaps raspberry fruit note. On the palate it is quite grippy and serious at first, as an initial thrust of tight, dry, oaky tannins and good acidity grip, but then a broad, soft red fruit character floods over the palate. Creamy and densely-textured, this has good concentration and bags of class. Lovely stuff. Very good indeed/excellent – and £32.95 a bottle in Harrods earlier today! 5 Cases, 8 Bottles available. The Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers 1998 is equally impressive and has perhaps a touch more minerality and length at £210 per case (£245) ; £18.00 per bottle (£21.00). 2 Cases, 9 Bottles available.
Henri Perrot-Minot Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte 1998
£240 per case (£295)
My first tasting of a wine from this estate, said to be impressively transformed in recent years. Beautifully vivid ruby/crimson colour. Quite subdued, but warm, feminine, elegant nose. Gentle floral notes, strawberry, soft raspberry and just a little undertow of hedgerows and forest floor backed up by gentle oak. Quite a silky, savoury palate with creamy oak emerging over elegant but ripe red and black cherry fruit. Little spice nuances of clove and pepper, and a tobacco-tinged warmth. Really very nice Burgundy, and works out at less than £25 per bottle include taxes, whilst it is £36 in another UK merchant. Very good indeed. 2 Cases available.
Comte Senard Corton Grand Cru Clos des Meix 1991 – (£20.00) £15.00
Lovely pale, ruby red trurning tawny on a broad rim. Fine, delicate Burgundy perfume of undergrowth and truffle, spices and damp earth, with little notes of autumnal berry fruits. Beautiful sweet attack on the palate, followed up by quite a firm structure with incisive tannins and crisp acidity. This wine is very composed, offering a savoury, svelte, tight black fruit and black olive character, some minerality and a nicely silky texture. Spicy elements show through into the finish, and there is good length with power and precision maintained into the finish. A focused and tight style, rather than open and flamboyant, but really rather good and £15 ex-VAT for a 10-year-old Grand Cru is quite a price. Drink now and over the next three years in case the fruit does not outlast that tannin/acid axis. Very good/very good indeed. 10 Bottles available.