- 2003 Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir ($15): This is a very light tasting, mass-produced Pinot Noir that is bottled for the American market by this giant negociant. After all, when was the last time you saw a bottle of French Burgundy that was actually labeled Pinot Noir? These folks are reportedly riding the post-Sideways Pinot Noir wave, having shipped double their normal amount of Burgundy Rouge to the U.S., and backfilling for DeLoach winery (one of their holdings), who completely sold out of Pinot Noir last year.
Of the 12 attendees, 10 tasters completed their rating sheets. There were six bottles in the blind tasting. Two came from the 1998 vintage (considered an uneven vintage) and both were from the Gevrey-Chambertin; they finished in first and third place. The other four bottles were from the (very hot and ripe) 2003 vintage, and came from various other locations within the Cote d'Or. Note that prices marked below with the tilde (~) are estimated by me based on some web searching.
- 1998 Geantet-Pansiot Vieilles Vignes Gevrey-Chambertin ($45): 21 points (5 first, 2 second, 0 last) With 50% of all the first place votes, this wine was the clear favorite of the evening. It had a wonderful bouquet of fruit and pencil lead, with medium body, nice complexity and a good finish. (Wine Spectator: 94 pts)
2003 Dom. Rodolphe Demougeot Bourgogne Vieille Vignes ($19): 27 points (1 first, 4 second, 0 last) This wine had a big aroma and lush fruit flavor, but it seemed to have a relatively short finish. It was quite good for the price, and really was the best buy of the evening.
1998 Laboure-Roi Gevrey-Chambertin (~$25): 34 points (2 first, 1 second, 1 last) This wine had a lovely aroma, along with good complexity and finish. It has a nice acid balance that helps make it a good food match.
2003 Dom. Bertagna Les Dames Huguettes Bourgogne Hautes Cotes De Nuits ($30): 41 points (0 first, 2 second, 1 last) This wine had much less aroma than the others, and it had rather light, delicate flavors.
2003 Vincent Girardin Clos Des Loyeres Maranges 1er Cru ($23): 43 points (2 first, 0 second, 5 last) Interesting split votes for this wine. Although it had good aroma, it seemed to have a somewhat odd taste. It really deserved last place, but the two first place votes kept it out of the cellar by 1 point.
2003 Chateau de la Charriere Santenay La Maladiere 1er Cru ($30): 44 points (0 first, 1 second, 3 last) This was not really a bad wine. In fact, it was quite appealing with nice body and a decent finish.
- 2002 Chateau Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon-Rochefort Les Rayelles (~$20): This botrytized Chenin Blanc dessert wine from the Loire was quite a find. It was very good quality; tasty, silky and had an endless finish. If you like classy white dessert wine, try to find more of this one.