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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Burgundy Uncorked

Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them. ~ Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin 
When I purchased these wines the other day [the one you see pictured above and the one just below] Ken, the store owner asked me if I had an addictive personality. I hastily replied "no not really, but why do you ask" he said "because once you put two feet inside the door of Burgundy, it's hard to find your way back" a word to the wise, perhaps.

His question did give me some pause, but I assured him that, "no-no I'm just an explorer on the vine-covered trail" and that this excursion would be no different than any of many others I've taken before. But his admonition got me thinking, are those possibly famous last words [gulp] in light of having been awe-struck by both bottles in very different ways. I'm already considering replenishing those two bottles.

The 2009 Les Longeroies seen above is the third wine from Marsannay, which I've experienced in just the last few weeks. This bottle while not expensive, a mere $27 was no slouch in the delicious category. A wine boasting of the rich, ripe fruit [but not flabby] many of wines of this vintage experienced, a wonderfully terroir-driven wine, that while very exuberant in style, it had a nice counter balance of acidity driving the wine home. I scored this wine 90 points, it's highly recommended.

The color of the surprised me a bit, thinking it would look lighter, but in the glass it looked like a ripe summer plum. Mrs. Cuvee and I paired this beauty with a freshly baked Shepard's Pie, our ticket to tasty town.
As you can see from the map above both wines are from nearly both ends of the Burgundian spectrum Marsannay in the north and Chassagne-Montrachet in the south. In the southern end of Burgundy is where you [surprisingly to some] find the majority of the white-Burgundy coming from and in the north is where most of the red-Burgundy is found. It does seem a bit counter intuitive, but nonetheless that is the case.

As many of already know Chassagne-Montrachet is in the Côte de Beaune and, is famous for its great white-wines [Chardonnay]. The most famous of these is of course Montrachet, known to many as the king of white wines, seeing these wines can fetch some lofty prices.

While 60% of the production is white-wines, that leaves a good percentage red-wines [Pinot Noir] produced here that cannot compete with their northern neighbors. But while they may not be able to compete, these wines are no slouch, especially in great vintages like 2009 and 2010. Of course, that fact will greatly benefit the average vino-sapien looking for reasonably priced Burgundy.

To find a Chassagne-Montrachet rouge is pretty rare in the first place and the price was pretty uncommon as well [under $25]. Seeing most of the white wines bearing this appellation name typically sell for prices much more than what I paid for the bottle you see pictured below.

This [2010 Chassagne-Montrachet] wine was very light in color, more like a light cranberry/strawberry. The nose jumped from the glass right away, fresh summer strawberries, raspberry puree, rich-earth, dried-florals and even a whiff of rhubarb. I didn't want to take my nose away even to grab my first slurp, but I resisted, dove right in and wow everything I experience in the nose exploded across my palate like a broad-side from a pirate-ship of old.

This wine danced to the tune of sweet cherry-pie and threw in some crushed stone just for good measure. I was completely taken by this wines power and strength, but I was done in by its finesse. Wow, what a thrill ride where the price of admission, has you saying like a six-year at Disney-Land "can I do that again, can I huh, please". My score for this wine is 92 points.

I didn't have to spend to much coin either, both wines make for quite the amazing tasting adventure, one I would highly recommend you taking soon yourself. Mrs. Cuvee was out of town, so yes I took one for the team and finished the bottle. I paired this wine with baked-salmon, a freshly chopped spinach salad and a mushroom risotto. 

Until next time folks remember to slurp long and prosper cheers!

Full Disclosure: Neither of the wines above was given to me as a sample, both were paid for via my own funds.

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