I just don’t get burgundy

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
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.

Well, I think I'd need to see some statistical evidence of that! However, I fully take the point: paying £500 to drink (rather than invest in) a bottle of Burgundy is just illogical when you see what else that money could buy, be it Pinot from elsewhere in the world or lesser Burgundy. Of course, if you can afford it, then why not!
 
A very refreshing and interesting thread, I am out of the burgundy-chasing game long enough now to have forgotten all the expensive disappointments (if I hadn't read so much about DRC and Rousseau and seen the vineyards I'd think they were chancers) and only remember the transcendent bottles I was blessed to enjoy. But thinking about it all the successes were grand cru bought in the couple of years after release from decent shops and drunk immediately on fruit, and one utterly magical bottle of Engel GE 2004, 58 quid from bid for wine. I can't remember a single bottle bought mature from brokers or at auction that performed to expectation, and I eventually gave up putting it down to bad luck and closed phases, realising that given how utterly transporting and vanishingly rare great burgundy is nobody in their right minds sells it if they've tasted it, so if buying mature on the secondary market at any reasonable price you're likely only getting duds. That Engel cost me thousands in real terms when all the disappointments are taken into account. Possibly still worth it however! I ended up putting my big purchases towards Rayas, Jamet and Chave, although sadly the most appreciative thing said about those great bottles is often 'almost burgundian'! Now quite happy that with maturing vineyards, better technique and a touch of extra warmth there are many wonderful Pinot noir to choose from, without the casino element
 
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.
I bought a reasonable selection of his 99s at 1er Cru level, and was thinking about taking a look. The only ones bar the BR that I’ve broached so far is the Volnay VV which was lovely — a full case enjoyed between 2007 and 17. My note on the last bottle suggested it might be time to start looking at the premiers, so hopefully soonish…
 
I really don't understand why people persist and try to get Burgundy (or any other type of wine or indeed music) if they've decided they don't like the style/profile. Each to their own and enjoy the ones you do.

There are lots of wines I just don't get and like - the flavour profile/structure is just not for me.

That said I'm sure Burgundy knows if the drinker is a sceptic - and doesn't come out to play if they are ! :)
 
How do I just skip to the joy in abundance?
Perhaps there wouldn't be any fun in that. If one knew that every bottle one opened would be in a perfect state of deliciousness one would get bored after a couple of days, the journey being as important as the destination, and if one really likes burgundy one enjoys the disappointments too.

Having said which current prices don't factor in disappointment, which has changed things somewhat.
 
Perhaps there wouldn't be any fun in that. If one knew that every bottle one opened would be in a perfect state of deliciousness one would get bored after a couple of days, the journey being as important as the destination, and if one really likes burgundy one enjoys the disappointments too.

Having said which current prices don't factor in disappointment, which has changed things somewhat.
Isn’t that ignoring the abundance part? As in joy unending. I guess I can just hope.
 
I am just reading Auberon Waugh and came across this timely comment:

"I have been searching for some time for a good Pinot Noir from anywhere except Burgundy, so far with very little success. My cellar has perhaps 500 or 600 red Burgundies quietly maturing, but it occurred to me after completing my purchase of the 1983 vintage that red Burgundy prices have become so high in the better communes and domaines that I will probably never buy any more."
 
Is your confidence growing, Toby?

Can you envisage a scenario where mature, white burgundy is again a realistic (consistent) option?

Wouldn't that be nice.
Yes! This week a member of TWS reported on how delicious a 2009 Coche-Bizouard Bourgogne Blanc was, closed with Diam. I was an early adopter of Diam and we now have a decent track record to look at and the wines are showing well with bottle age under Diam.

I was at Burgfest two weeks ago where we tasted over 200 white Burgundies from the 2017 vintage tasted semi blind, we knew the appellation but not the grower.
We record if a wine is closed with cork or Diam or screw cap. Jasper has already reported on this on his website, but about 10% of the wines closed with cork were faulty, including TCA and oxidation. All the faulty wines were closed with natural corks. Diam wines closed with 5/10/30 showed well and were not reductive, growers have learnt how much SO2 to use. Sadly the pox phenomenon due to porous corks is still with us. I do not trust natural corks any more. A good one is a superb closure, the problem is the variability of porosity.
 
As a Tom intimates this is a Cottin freres release and I’m afraid is pretty poor so just not a good example to judge Burgundy from. What are the other grand crus? Maybe they will stand a better chance of convincing you!
Cottin was from 2007 [Edit - sorry 2008s] - unless this is a late release, it's from Nicolas. I've a bunch of magnums from 05 and 06 all bought direct - though not the 06 Charmes, which I didn't taste. Nicolas did most of the elevage of the 07s (no 2008s!) but left before bottling, and there have been many questions since that time whether what was bottled was exactly what he had elevaged...
...edited to correct date - 2008, not 2007 as these had all been bottled before NP left the building...
 
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Cottin was from 2007 - unless this is a late release it's from Nicolas. I've a bunch of magnums from 05 and 06 all bought direct. Nicolas did most of the elevage of the 07s but left before bottling, and there have been many questions since that time whether what was bottled was exactly what he had elevaged...
Bill,

Did I completely invent in my mind that you have suggested that Potel Echezeaux '97 is from a very posh source?

If I did I apologise!
 
Alex, Many have implied it, and NP won't answer the questions other than to say that for his first proper vintage (there were a small number of 96s before) some nice domaines helped him out with fruit. But 20 years on when tasting 20 grand crus including Rousseau Chambertin and other posh bottles - the 97 Echézeaux of Nicolas was my easy winner on that day. But no, I never actually said it myself...
As an aside, I did these tasting from my own cellar between the 97 and 2000 vintages but stopped a) because nobody seemed interested enough to comment and b) in a week I was drinking a decent second-hand car - it's getting closer to a new car these days :)
 
Alex, Many have implied it, and NP won't answer the questions other than to say that for his first proper vintage (there were a small number of 96s before) some nice domaines helped him out with fruit. But 20 years on when tasting 20 grand crus including Rousseau Chambertin and other posh bottles - the 97 Echézeaux of Nicolas was my easy winner on that day. But no, I never actually said it myself...
As an aside, I did these tasting from my own cellar between 97 and 2000 but stopped a) because nobody seemed interested enough to comment and b) in a week I was drinking a decent second-hand car - it's getting closer to a new car these days :)
Thanks, Bill.
 
Cottin was from 2007 - unless this is a late release, it's from Nicolas. I've a bunch of magnums from 05 and 06 all bought direct - though not the 06 Charmes, which I didn't taste. Nicolas did most of the elevage of the 07s but left before bottling, and there have been many questions since that time whether what was bottled was exactly what he had elevaged...
My understanding was that it is a later release.
 
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