Sunday, October 3, 2010

2005 Burgundy - trust the vintage

Crepes with shredded duck meat, with mushrooms and creme sauce.
Pan-fried foie gras with blueberry sauce.
Tuna tar tar with a splash of soy sauce and sesame.

The other night I was celebrating a friend's birthday the Russian style at a French restaurant in Burlingame, called La Boheme. What was common among all of the above dishes besides being French'ish?

Red Burgundy. It matches all three dishes like butter on toast, shmear on bagel, peanut butter on jelly, ... you get the point.

2005 Bourgogne's (regional level red Burgundies) at 5 years old are now starting to hit their stride, showing beautiful balance of the great 2005 vintage and signs of secondary flavors of wines entering maturity, while Premier and Grand Cru's need more time.

It got me thinking... The more I drink and learn about wine, the more I believe in criticality of a vintage, above a vineyard or a producer, particularly in France and Italy. In other words, in bad years, even great producers make bad wines from great vineyards. But in good years, even average producers make good wines from average vineyards. Buying wines from a good vintage stacks the odds of enjoyment down the road in your favor. Especially if you are getting wines from proven producers. I know there are exceptions, and if you taste something from a bad vintage that you like, by all means, go for it.

The 2005 Bourgogne Rouge from Le Moine was terrific - rich, with great fruit and acidity, starting to show nice secondary flavors, underscoring the importance of a vintage, 2005 being the best one of the past decade in Burgundy. Too bad the cost of 2005 Burgundy is now higher than two years ago (a clear indicator of a good vintage). My advise - stack up on wines when a great vintages comes around, and stay out in inferior years.


Hampers said...

The British wine critic Jancis Robinson emphasizes that "price is an extremely unreliable guide", so please tell me, what is the best wine u've had in your oppinion and how much did it cost ?

Iron Chevsky said...

I must say - this is a type of question that frustrates many wine lovers. There is no best wine - it depends on so many things. But in general, my favorite wines are Barolos and Barbarescos, and Burgundies (both white and red). Also, perhaps Champagne and Franciacorta. The best value price-point is around $50-100 a bottle.

Send Champagne said...

The crepes sound delicious! I wish I had more wine knowledge to know what to drink with different dishes. Thanks for your tips.

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