Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finding Great Values in Burgundy

Sometimes people don't think it's possible to find great affordable values in Burgundy. But you can and I'm not talking about an $80 wine that drinks better than some $150 wines. The secret is finding a good producer.  Look for a 'Domaine' label of a producer who grows his own grapes, makes his own wines and does it well. Look on the label to see where the producer is located. If the Domaine is in Meursault, chances are most of their holdings are in Meursault. Then look for their Bourgogne appellation label. The fruit is usually from their main holdings, but from younger vines, or from barrels that don't quite measure up to the quality of other barrels. Of course, one key is to buy these wines in good vintages so that the quality trickles down to the lower classifications.

We opened a perfect example the other day, a Bourgogne Blanc 2005 from Domaine Xavier Monnot. The wine sells in the mid to upper $20's, which is an outstanding price for top quality Chardonnay, be it from Burgundy or California. The majority of the fruit comes from 20-25 year old vines in Meursault according to the importer, Robert Kacher.

When the wine was opened, it showed bright citrus notes with good acidity and hints of richness. The 4 year old Chardonnay needed some time to develop. As we revisited the wine over the next few hours, it continued to reveal layers of complex  flavors over medium to full body textures on the palate. (How many New World Chard's will perform like this?) After being open for 4 hours, the wine showed rich citrus over light notes of hazelnut with a long rich, slightly oily finish. Classic Meursault flavors. 

This wine is a spectacular value, available at an affordable price and yielding performance well beyond expectation. Of course, the easiest way to find these values is to find a wine guy you trust. If he has enough inventory, he might even sell you some!

1 comment:

  1. Bobby Kacher continues to find excellents wines at all price points in my opinion.

    I will open one today!