WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

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WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:04 pm

We tried the other week (3/3/13) some French & Calif Burgundies:
1. Verse Chard WeeksVnyd/SonomaCoast (12.9%) 2011: Light yellow color; rather steely/metallic light
appley/melony/Chard rather fragrant almost R-like nose; very tart/lean steely/metallic rather
appley/melony/Chard bit perfumed talc/spicy very attractive flavor; very long/lingering light steely/
metallic some appley/melony/Chard quite tart/bracing finish; almost like a Riesling in character; doesn't
taste thin/eviscerated like some; in a Chablis style but lacks the minerality/chalky character of Chablis.
$25.00
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2. Arnot-Roberts Chard SantaCruzMtns (35 yr old dry-farmed Wente clone; 12 brls; 12.7%) 2011: Light gold color;
some earthy/mineral/chalky light melony/Chard light toasty/oak fairly fragrant nose; rather tart/lean bit
metallic/steely spicy/melony/Chard some earthy/mineral flavor; long very tart/lean bit eviscerated/tight slight
melony/Chard finish; some slight SCM/chalky/mineral character but seems rather lean/eviscerated; not sure
what age will do for this wine. $30.00
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3. Arnot-Roberts Chard WatsonRanch/NapaVlly (30 yr old vines; 13 brls; 13%) Healdsburg 2011: Med.light gold
color; rather ripe/lush/melony/Chard quite fragrant/perfumey light toasty/oak lovely nose; somewhat tart
rather rich/lush/ripe/melony/Chard/spicy light toasty/oak flavor; fairly long tart lush/ripe/melony/Chard/spicy
light toasty/oak finish; good balance & acidity; a good/mainstream Chard at a good price. $30.00
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4. LouisLatour AC: Chassagne-Montrachet (13.5%) Beaune 2009: Med.gold color; somewhat buttery bit toasty/oak
some earthy/minerally/appley/Chard/perfumed talk bit complex rather low-key/quiet nose; soft some buttery/
toasty/oak light mineral/appley/Chard slight Christmas candy pleasant flavor; very long caramel/butterscotch/
candied some melony/appley/Chard finish; a very nice/drinkable/attractive Chard. $41.00 (SFW&S)
_____________________
5. PaulPernot et ses Fils AC: Puligny-Montrachet (13.5%; MeBalP) 2009: Med.gold color; rather pungent/SO2/skunky/
stinky/reduced slightly pineapply/Chard nose that clears only slightly; fairly tart/tangy/metalliv very light
pineapple/Chard/mango almost vapid/watery flavor; med.short some tart/tangy/grapefruity light pineapple/
mango/Chard rather vapid/watery finish; move along folks/nothing to see here; way overpriced at $60.00 (AV)
_____________________
6. LouisLatour AC: Corton-Charlemagne GrandCru (14%) 2010: Med.gold color; strong perfumed/ripe/melony/Chard
bit Mosel valve oil/R-like/gunflint/spicy light pencilly/oak very attractive nose; fairly soft some melony/
Chard/perfumed/mango light pencilly/oak bit mineral/gunflint attractive flavor; long fairly lush ripe/melony/
Chard/mango light pencilly/oak finish; quite a lovely nose but doesn't deliver quite as much on the palate;
quite an attractive Chard but don't see it as anything profound; some suggested that it would become something
magnificant w/ age but I can't see that in what I taste. $90.00 (AV)
_____________________
7. Drew PinotNoir FogEater/AndersonVlly (13.6%; www.DrewWines.com; 50% BaloVnyd/MorningDewVnyd; Clones:
50% Rochioli, 25% Pommard, 14% 777, 8% 828, 3% Martini; TA: 0.63, pH: 3.53; 210 cs) 2010
: Med.dark color; lovely
floral/violets/PN/cherry light smokey/toasty/oak some wild berries/herbal quite aromatic some complex nose;
somewhat tart bright/black cherry/floral/violets/PN/cherry light toasty/smokey/pungent/oak balanced flavor w/
modest tannins; very long bright/cherry/black cherry/PN/floral/violets slight earthy/dusty light pungent/smokey/oak
finish w/ some smooth/integrated tannins; can probably use several yrs of age; a very lovely Calif Pinot. $42.00
_____________________
8. Peay PinotNoir SonomaCoast (13.8%; 875 cs; Drk: 3/12-3/15-3/19) 2010: Med.light color; slight violets/floral/PN
rather musty/corked/TCA-lashed nose; way too corked to get much from it. $42.00
_____________________
9. Failla PinotNoir KeeferRanch/RRV (600 cs; 14.1%) 2007: Med.color w/ slight bricking; rather earthy/dusty/pungent/
loamy slight black cherry/PN rather charred/toasty/oak bit funky nose; soft rather charred/burnt/oak slight black
cherry/cherry pie/PN some earthy/loamy/herbal flavor w/ rough/coarse tannins; long rather charred/toasty/burnt/oak
some black cherry compote/cherry pie/PN somewhat earthy/loamy finish w/ ample tannins; a strange earthy sort of Pinot
that was much better/brighter several hrs later. $51.00
_____________________
10. Mongeard-Mugneret AC: Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Verglelsses (MeBaD; 13%) 2010: Med.light color; slight earthy/
mushroomy rather fragrant violets/lilacs/PN/spicy slight volatile/EA quite spicy/fragrant very light toasty/oak nose;
fairly tart light very spicy/floral/violets light pencilly/smokey/oak flavor w/ light tannins; med.long bright/
floral/violets/lilacs slight earthy/mushroomy light pencilly/oak finish w/ light tannins; quite a pretty Pinot in
sort of a Calif style; about the level of a basic Siduri RRV Pinot. $47.50 (SFW&S)
_____________________
11. Dom. de Montille AC: Nuits St.Georges (13%) Volnay 2009: Med.color; very dusty/walnutty/green walnuts/earthy
very charred/burnt/oak nose w/ virtually no fruit; soft rather earthy/dusty/loamy/green walnuts very slight
cherry/PN some charred/burnt/smokey/oak flavor w/ modest/bitey tannins; med.short strong charred/burnt/oak
some earthy/loamy/walnutty some tannic finish; a real paucity of Pinot fruit and more like an underripe
OR Pinot than RedBurg; very disappointing. $68.00 (LCSWS)
_____________________
12. Dupont-Tisserandot AC: Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru LesCazetiers (MeBaD; 13.5%) 2010: Med.light color; bit
pungent/smokey/toasty/oak/charred very slight black cherry/PN some complex/old Burgundian nose; tart bit
lean/hard/bitey rather pungent/smokey/oak light cherry/bright/Pinot somewhat lean/hard/tannic flavor;
med.long hard/tannic tart/lean/austere light cherry/floral/Pinot some toasty/pungent/smokey/oak finish;
pretty tight now and needs some age; probably the most old-timey Burgundian wine that I recall from the
days of yore; may develop into something magnificant w/ age but takes a real leap of faith. $85.00 (AV)
_____________________
13. Peay PinotNoir Pomarium Estate SonomaCoast (14.1%) 2010: Med.light color; lovely very perfumed/aromatic strong
floral/violets/cherry/PN light pencilly/oak slight earthy/mineral/herbal very fragrant nose; rather tart
very strong floral/violets/PN/cherry/bright/very spicy light pencilly/oak/toasty very perfumed flavor w/
light/lithe tannins; very long/lingering bright/cherry/PN/floral/violets/lilacs light pencilly/oak slight
earthy/herbal finish w/ modest tannins; can use several yrs of age; a beautiful Caalif Pinot. $60.00
_____________________
14. Stonestreet Chard GravelBank/AlexMtnEstate (272 cs; 14.5%) 2008: Med.light gold color; strong ripe/melony/
Chard/pineapple/mango rather toasty/caramel/oak light earthy/mineral quite attractive nose; fairly tart/lean
ripe/melony/Chard/mango/pineapple/spicy bit metallic/mineral/gravelly some toasty/caramel/oak flavor; rather
long ripe/melony/Chard/mango/pineapple some toasty/caramel/oak finish; lots of ripeness but the structure
to support all that fruit; this kind of Chard is what keeps me to returning to that variety. $50.00 (vSC)
_____________________
15. DomaineBertagna AC: Clos St.Denis GrandCru (13.5%) 1995: Med.color w/ some bricking; rather aged/tired/old red
some earthy/mushroomy/truffly/root cellar some pencilly/cedary/old wine complex nose; soft rather tired/old
red cedary/pencilly/old wine light smoky/oak/pencilly some mushroomy/root cellar somewhat complex old wine
flavor w/ light/bitey tannins; long slight smoky/cedary/pencilly/old red bit mushroomy/truffly/loamy finish
w/ light tannins; some glimpses of great RedBurg therein but a bit on the tired/lifeless side. (vSS)
_____________________
16. Siduri PinotNoir Rosella'sVnyd/SantaLuciaHighlands (14.6%) 2002: Dark color w/ slight bricking; strong
pencilly/smokey/oak/classic Siduri oak slight volatile/perfumed some herbal/PN/black cherry/cherry pie nose;
soft strong pencilly/smokey/oak/Siduri oak some herbal/PN/black cherry bit dried-out flavor; med.long strong
smokey/pencilly/oak some herbal/black cherry/PN biit earthy finish w/ light/drying tannins; a pretty classic
fully-mature or over-mature Siduri Pinot w/ the Siduri signature oak. (vLA)
____________________________________________________________________________________
And the usual stuff from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. I go way back w/ French Burgundy (well...not from the very start) to the early-70's when you could
buy PremierCrus in the low $teens and GrandCrus not that much more expensive. Recall DRC LaTache &
Richebourg at HappyHollow in KansasCity around $25. Bertagna GrandCru in the upper teens. Barolets in
the $20-$50 price range going way back in yrs. And, of course, TonyRodent down below $10.
Those were some of my most memorable of wines. But, as the prices dramatically escalated and I was
no longer willing to pay those $$'s, I pretty much turned my back on Burgundy. Over the yrs, as friends have
laid a Burg on me from time to time, I would see glimpses of what once drew me to Burgundy...until I find
out the price.
There has been a lot of buzz about how a new generation of winemakers have been making waves in Burgundy
and raising the bar to new heights. So I felt it was time for me to revisit Burgundy...which was the idea
of this tasting. Having been out of the Burgundy market for so many yrs, I was pretty much flying blind.
I was not going to spend days & days reading BurgHound to find out what's hot. I mainly went w/ old-time
names that I recalled as making good Burgs in days of yore, plus relied heavily on the recommendations from
the three shop owners I bought from locally. Onviously, the prices were all below $100, so I wasn't tasting
the creme de la creme from Burgundy.
I thought it would be interesting to pair the wines w/ some from Calif....not to determine, once & for all,
who makes the best Burgundies in the world...but to see where the respective Burgundy worlds stood. I selected
the Calif reps as folks who were solidy in the "In Pursuit of Balance" crowd; a group who reportedly make
wines of lower alcohol and more an old-world style (whatever the heck that means...lower in alcohol, I guess).
So...what was my take-away from this tasting (being a LosAlamos guy....we make WAG's and highly confident
extrapolations based on one, sometimes zero, data points)?? I saw no compelling reason to jump back into
buying Burgundies again. It can be argued that all these wines need time to develop...that I wasn't willing
to pay the big $$'s to get the really good stuff....that I only picked the low-end/TonyRodent-level Burg
producers...that I picked the wrong vintages...yada/yada/yada. That said...I will probably be putting more
French Burgs in my tastings. We'll do this again w/ LarryArchibald picking the French ones so we'll know
we get good ones...rather than the schlock I picked out. Maybe my palate has been so shot by high-octane
Calif Zins that I can no longer appreciate the finesse & nuance that characterize Burgs? Maybe I'm going
to have to raise my pain level to over $100/btl if I'm going to drink Burgundy. But there is enough passionate
folks out there for Burgundy that I plan to continue (cautiously) try Burgs in hopes I'll find something that
will inspire me for the genre like they once did. Or...maybe....by the end of the day I'll just blow off,
like I have w/ Barolo/Barbaresco. the entire genre as not worth my time and $$'s. That it's just not a
category that my palate can appreciate. That you have to kiss too many frogs to find a prince. I swear....
it's a minefield out there.
Tom
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:57 pm

Tell us more re this Nuits St George Volnay, fascinating! :)

Not a Latour or Bertagna fan, and never heard of Dupont-Tisserandot, but I like Pernot. But quoted price is 25% above retail .Still, it all comes down to preferences.
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Joshua Kates » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:13 pm

Hi Tom,

As always yours are interesting notes and I enjoyed your ramble/rant at the end. Not that I agree with you. I do about the Cali, and some Oregon; some lovely wines are being made in a restrained style. (Calera almost always comes through, but also Anthill, Peay, Hirsch, even Melville and many others.) Yet the right village level and even 1er Burg at 100-150% the price of these (and the 1er, admittedly, is getting more difficult to find, except among the still largely unknown producers, the Felettigs,the Lafouges, and so on) can be extraordinarily satisfying. Just a little more going on, a little more that is unexpected, more changeable in the glass and in the mouth. I mainly find these bottles on the internet; certainly not in my home state--you might have more luck in Santa Fe, but I'm not sure. Not if my recollections are any indication

Maybe when I'm there next fall we'll see? In the meantime, thanks for your notes and your thoughts.
Best,
Josh
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Tim York » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:03 am

What is Calif Burgundy? Sorry about the nitpicking :wink: .
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:45 am

Tim York wrote:What is Calif Burgundy? Sorry about the nitpicking

The California Burgundy is made out of the Pinot Noir grape while the California Champagne is usually made from the Chardonnay grape. :)
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Tom Troiano » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:57 am

Tim York wrote:What is Calif Burgundy? Sorry about the nitpicking :wink: .


I had the same reaction and I am surprised that Tom uses this term. Why not "Calif Pinot"?
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Well....

Postby TomHill » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:38 am

Well....I could say in the title line "Calif Burgundies"...or I could say "Calif Wines Made From Chardonnay/PinotBlanc/PinotNoir/PinotMeunier".
If two words can convey the same meaning as eight words, I'd prefer to do that.
I, of course, would never/ever, even in my wildest possible moment, even remotely imply, by use of "Calif Burgundy" that those wines
can even remotely be compared or hold a candle to real French Burgundy. No...no Siree....never would I ever do something that stupid & foolish. Definitely not!!! :-)
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby TomHill » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:40 am

Dale Williams wrote:Tell us more re this Nuits St George Volnay, fascinating! :)


That would be a NuitsStGeorges....but made down in Volnay...at least according to the label.
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:43 am

I like the Arnot-Roberts Chardonnays more than you do, especially the SCM bottling. Did not find it lean at all. Crisp - yes!

From November: Apples, limes and a deep minerality. This is refreshing, with minimal oak influence. The acidity is refreshing, and the finish is clean with lemon/lime accents. Very fine.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: Well....

Postby Tim York » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:51 am

TomHill wrote:Well....I could say in the title line "Calif Burgundies"...or I could say "Calif Wines Made From Chardonnay/PinotBlanc/PinotNoir/PinotMeunier".
If two words can convey the same meaning as eight words, I'd prefer to do that.
I, of course, would never/ever, even in my wildest possible moment, even remotely imply, by use of "Calif Burgundy" that those wines
can even remotely be compared or hold a candle to real French Burgundy. No...no Siree....never would I ever do something that stupid & foolish. Definitely not!!! :-)
Tom


How about "Burgundy style" or "Burgundy grapes"? I'm with the French in their trying to protect the integrity of their appellation names. That doesn't mean, for me at least, that Cali or NZ, say, Pinot or Chardonnay is necessarily inferior to Burgundy's.

Just a bit of pulpit :) .
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Tom Troiano » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:28 am

Why not:

(original) WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Tom T. WTN: Burgs & Calif Pinots... (long/boring)
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Yeah...

Postby TomHill » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:25 pm

Tim York wrote:
How about "Burgundy style" or "Burgundy grapes"? I'm with the French in their trying to protect the integrity of their appellation names. That doesn't mean, for me at least, that Cali or NZ, say, Pinot or Chardonnay is necessarily inferior to Burgundy's.
Just a bit of pulpit :) .


I can see your point, Tim. I get equally incensed when I go into a restaurant and see French Fries or BoeufBourgogne or CoquillesStJacques on the menu. :-)
And then I get really pi$$ed when I look at the wine list and see Gallo Hearty Burgundy. It's a terrible world of charltons out there.
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Re: WTN: French & Calif Burgundies...(long/boring)

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:42 pm

"... but don't call me late for supper" comes to mind.

I was in a wine shop on one occasion when a customer asked the clerk for a "pie-not no-er". He continued with the misprounciation though the clerk repeatedly, and politely, pronounced "Pinot Noir" correctly.

THAT was offensive!
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