I just don’t get burgundy

@kevin Byrne - have you ever been to Burgundy EP tastings to get a feel for what you might like, to perhaps try some GCs, and sample some older bottles? I assume not, although would be interested to hear....

I'm curious about what made you buy Burgundy (and even Rousseau) in the first place if it was not something you had ever particularly enjoyed?
I have a case of 2006 Potel Clos de la Roche that has been nothing but disappointing thus far. I'm holding on to the rest of the bottles in the hope of a miraculous transformation but don't hold out much hope. But, I've also had numerous bottles of red Burgundy from Potel and others that have been utterly bewitching. It's a bit like seeing the Fall back in the day - depending which Mark E turned up on the night you could come away thinking you never wanted to attend another gig or feel as if your feet weren't touching the ground.
@kevin Byrne - have you ever been to Burgundy EP tastings to get a feel for what you might like, to perhaps try some GCs, and sample some older bottles? I assume not, although would be interested to hear....

I'm curious about what made you buy Burgundy (and even Rousseau) in the first place if it was not something you had ever particularly enjoyed?
I haven’t, and the honest answer is that it used to be cheap and when you get into anything for the first time you are very much guided by the opinions of others (burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo etc), well I was anyway. (Anyone remember when they used to say burgundy would never reach the price points of Bordeaux because it wasn’t an investors wine because the volumes were not sufficient to create a viable secondary market? ), the price for burgundy back then was not at all prohibitive, for the price it is now I’d not consider it for a moment and for anyone twenty years younger than me who feels they’ve missed out,
don’t worry I really don’t think you have.
The trouble is (stand by for earth shaking revelation)… Burgundy is now really expensive. And to really enjoy it, I think it helps to have drunk a really wide variety of it. Young, old and in between, modest and grand, from lots of different makers all over the region. That’s the only way to really get the pleasure of the ‘lesser’ wines alongside the great, and to enjoy the extraordinary variation between wines made from grapes grown so close to each other.

I really love Burgundy. But I’m very constrained in what I can purchase now by virtue of not being a squillionaire. And the idea of learning about it from scratch in today’s market is (to put it mildly) rather intimidating.

I would suggest trying to experience variety. And treating them as pleasurable food wines, not luxuries (even if that is what they are now). Life is long. Burgundy is one of the things that cannot ever be exhausted.
This is a great thread.

You're right, Rousseau is utter shite, I'll give you a tenner for the lot.
Forget that - I'll stretch to 12 quid.
and there's no earthly reason why we all have to like burgundy or Chateauneuf any more than we all have to like liver or Crunchie bars.
And as you said further above livers aren't indestructible, although Crunchie bars probably are.
It's a bit like seeing the Fall back in the day
Being a veteran of at least 35 Fall gigs I can totally concur with this. I also feel very privileged to have attended what I am sure was the last Fall gig ever. Only really got Brix and The Extricated to quench my Fall thirst now, sadly. It even got to the stage once that when they were playing the Arches in Glasgow that I drove through with the intention of only buying a ticket if the ticket desk could confirm that MES was actually in the building. He was and it was a stonking gig. However, comparing him with red Burgundy is perfectly valid - will he/it turn up? If he/it does, will they actually perform? Will they disappear mid-gig, never to return? Or will he just come back for the encore? Or will he/it sit and sulk, but still sing at the back of the stage? Perhaps that's why I loved The Fall and why I love red Burgundy.

Being slightly more serious, I had my first real introduction to red Burgundy when the wine merchant, Cockburns of Leith was closing their shops, to merge with another iconic Edinburgh wine merchant, Jimmy Hogg, at the wine warehouse (iirc) at Haymarket, and they put on quite a large tasting in their Stockbridge shop. The only thing that sticks in my mind to this day (and that must have been around 1991) was one of the staff saying, "you must try a glass of this, Paul". I sniffed it and thought "wow, this is something special". A couple more swirls and took a mouthful and it blew my mind. "This is the best red wine I have ever tasted", I thought. "What is it?" I asked. He showed me the bottle. Richebourg 1985, DRC. I hadn't a clue who DRC were and what/where Richebourg was. But I knew this was something special. I very quickly discovered what I could about red Burgundy and spent many a holiday there, plus most of the kids' inheritance trying to recreate that experience, fully knowing by then that I could never afford such a wine, ever. It never stopped me trying though and Burgundy (both red and white, in spite of the pox and ever-increasing prices) has been my crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. It has brought me great joy and excitement, as well as deep disappointments. There's no denying it has been a roller-coaster, and an expensive one, but I would repeat the journey again.
The main thing is that, while I never touched the magical experience of Richebourg 1985 DRC, I have had some seriously good and interesting wines and met a load of welcoming and generous producers and for that I am truly grateful, and it has kept my runaway Burgundy train still firmly on the rails and I'm sure will continue to do so until I pass from this mortal coil.

Having spouted all of that nonsense, it does sound like you had a bum deal, Kevin, with the wine you tasted. Its not a top vintage (but, in most cases it shouldn't matter, as it is really the producer that is what should guide your selection) and Charmes-Chambertin is arguably on the fringe of Grand Cru status and Crottin (using the name of Potel) is probably below average, so the odds were stacked against you. All I can say is keep persevering but if, as you say, your 'best' Burgundys have been at village level, then just stick to them to avoid further disappointment.
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When I think of burgundy I’m reminded of opera. I prefer the ballet because if you get bored with the music you can still be amused by the dancing. I’ve always suspected that of the audience for opera there is a small group with the refined sensibility to really understand and appreciate it, with the majority just there to be seen, anyway i’m in the second category and I’ve just outed myself . I’m sure there are bottles and producers I’ve not tried, but really it it shouldn’t be that hard.
The big thing is that Burgundy is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Bordeaux is Cabernet and Merlot: they are four varieties that can be, and are, grown in many places. Whenever varietal tastings are held comparing Burgundies and Bordeaux with the same varieties from elsewhere in the world the interlopers invariably come out on top, or very close to it.

Even if the Burgundy or Bordeaux is rated narrowly top they are invariably 20 to 40 times more expensive. What other commodity in the world would people be prepared to pay 25 times more for the 98/100 example compared to the 97/100 option?

There are more factors at play here than purely quality.
I have some of that Potel Charmes '06 and it is just a really, really dull wine.

In fact, I don't think I have had a really positive 'in bottle' experience with Potel/Bellene beyond some youthful BR '09. A producer I have long put a question over (reviewed) wines in barrel to bottle and I would only buy as a punt in a sale.

The other thing was I bought the Potel wines because they were relatively cheap -£40 in about 2011 and Volnay Clos des Chenes for sub £20 - which is rarely the recipe for success in Burgundy outside the cellar door.

It would indeed be boring if we all just liked the same thing and no reason to persevere with an area for the sake of it, especially with so much fantastic Pinot Noir to explore elsewhere.

One of the reasons I could live on Red Burgundy alone myself is the myriad of styles and approaches, classifications, different villages, climats, terroirs and vintages. Then the ability to drink them on the glorious fruit or in full decay, chilled in the summer or on a cold winters day. Yes please!
I long ago decided Burgundy lost quite a bit of its magic around 1969 (my favourite vintage), after they stopped adding a little Chateauneuf to Musigny.

Does anyone make a Pinot/Syrah or Grenache blend? I’d be a buyer.

Yes, in Hunter Valley, it’s called Hunter Burgundy with Pinot/Syrah. I tasted a couple of them when visited the area in ‘18. They were quite interesting,

On a side note, I have hardly ever bought any Potel wines only have some Petit Monts (‘05/’09/‘10) and Beze Chambertin (‘10). Only opened ‘10 Petit Monts which were very good and quite a bargain.
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So speaking against myself I’ve always understood burgundy to be the most sophisticated wine and I’ve always wanted to think as myself as being sophisticated , so my thinking has been if I don’t understand it it’s my fault and I need to work harder but I guess if I don’t understand it now I probably never will, Incidentally the wines I’ve always enjoyed most have been at village level. And when I speak of burgundy I’m referring to the reds, the best wine of any kind I have ever had was a white burgundy which I’ll never forget (it was one of a case the worst of which because of premox tasted like death), I generally only buy it now in restaurants when I know I can send it back.
Diam is a solution to the pox. Buy white Burgundy closed with Diam.
For clarity, Nicolas Potel was still making the decisions in 2006 - he sold the business in 2004 to the Cottin brothers but the real change happened after he left the business abruptly in 2009
I own quite a few of his Grand wines (Malconsorts etc)from the 2005 Vintage but have yet to broach any . How do these stand up Jasper ? Thanks in advance.
I started buying plenty of Potel and Fourrier over 15 years ago because they were cheap. I kept on buying Fourrier (despite price increases when I could) and I stopped buying Potel. I have had excellent Potel ...but also poor ones without being in a position to guess which will be good or not (negociant may not always be choosers).
The Charmes C 2006 was sold by Waitrose for 40 £ and I bought a box on-25% week. Not a great wine. Many people bought it actually if I remember well.
I would not carry out judgment on Burg because of this "grand cru" bottle.
(if you have any Rousseau...)
I had a similar experience some years ago. Not knowing anything about Burgundy we went with some friends to a Wine Society Burgundy tasting dinner. Over the evening we tasted young and old, cheap(ish) and expensive Burgundy. The four of us all said that there was not one wine that we would buy. However after tasting some really good American Pinot’s (I know you can’t really compare the two, but) I have revisited Burgundy since and have found a few that I really like (and can afford!). Perversely I have almost stopped buying US Pinot as the prices for anything decent are now out of reach. Burgundy really is a minefield though and really easy to buy poor wine, in my limited experience. I have found two or three growers/wine makers whose wines we really like and tend to stick to those.
For clarity, Nicolas Potel was still making the decisions in 2006 - he sold the business in 2004 to the Cottin brothers but the real change happened after he left the business abruptly in 2009
Indeed- I don't know about this wine but I do know Nicolas has disowned some bottles with an 06 label, for whatever reason.
I have had some outstanding Nicolas Potel bottles but they really, really need time. I wonder if any 99s have come around yet? there are brilliant wines from 97 and 98 though the latter vintage in particular can suffer from the awfulness of the corks at the time.
Potel was one of the first producers I latched onto when I started to explore Burgundy and I have since built up a pretty big collection of his more modest wines, with a few Grands Crus mixed in, as well as a few of the Collection Bellenum wines. For the most part I've enjoyed them and in some cases I've really, really enjoyed them - and they have been, almost without exception, extremely well priced. The Collection Bellenum wines were among the first older Burgs I tried and confirmed to me that I really do like aged Pinot. Yes, there have been some definite misfires in there, but I've never really regretted focusing so much of my buying on that particular maker. I've had plenty of wines from good vineyards and good producers that have been disappointing - and were a lot more expensive.

Thankfully, I bought quite a lot of Burgundy from across the spectrum over the past decade or so, before the prices got too silly, so I can now sit back smugly and slowly explore my collection as it matures, selling off anything that disappoints - probably for a profit.
The point of Nicolas Potel's original business (negociant) model was that he offered wines from very good vineyards based on his margin above the cost price for the grapes, which worked at a time that the raw material had not escalated to prices which defeated his model. Thus it was possible to offer Malconsorts etc at very fair prices.

David, I have not had a Potel 2005 for too long to know if they are on form or not - I felt at the time that he had done a good job, having learned from 1999 which he got slightly wrong I thought. I see that BBR offered En Primeur both Vosne Gaudichots and Clos de la Roche 2005 at 270/6 (sounds like the close of play score for old fashioned test cricket). It also shows how cautious we all used to be and how pointless drink dates are as both wines were advertised as 2012-2018.

Antoine, if the Waitrose offer for Charmes-Chambertin 2006 was in the last ten years then there is a greater chance that this would be a post Nicolas wine, subsequently purchased in bottle by the Cottins and sold under the NP label.
There were some Collection Bellenum gems, not least old vintages of Meursault Perrieres, presumed to be ex Ampeau
I’ve been interested in fine wine for 25 years, I have a small collection of grand cru burgundy because I know i should, line up for friend’s birthday drink this afternoon. The champagne is lovely the d’yquem is sublime but the burgundy? Yet another burgundy grand cru that is just so underwhelming, my only thought is I really must get round to listing my remaining “good” burgundy on vine-exchange. Am I missing something?
Kevin, I can only say I am glad that you speak out. I thought it‘s my problem. ;)
If a 25 years fine wine drinker like you also struggle, a five years drinker can feel relief.

I remember I had this conversation with someone:
"I rarely get a Burgundy that I understand"
"You need to get good ones"
(but I can‘t afford good ones)

So I am kind of at a give-up mode, "Cote what?" . In the end, learning about it but not able to buy is not much fun.