WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

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WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

Postby Agostino Berti » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:27 pm

I bought these wines today at the famous foods store in Milan known as Peck. A very high-falutin' store with a good reputation and very high prices. In the basement they have an excellent wine store run by a competent man I've known for years (he used to work at a less well-known wine shop in Milan) - to his credit, although I stop in once every one or two years (this is not the place to get a good deal), he remembers me. I do know that although the prices are high, at least the selection is truly international, which in Italy is hard to find, and old bottles have been stored properly in their own cellars.

Chateau de Fonsalette reserve 2006 - Cotes du Rhone
This is made by the famed Rayas people. I was curious about how they would make a CdR so I bought a bottle even if very expensive (Euro 59).
I am impressed. Their website says 50% Grenache - 35% Cinsault - 15% Syrah. Truffles folks! I get a clear, high beam of truffles in the nose. Impressive. Truffles without any accompanying barnyard. (they must put some truffle extract in there :D you never know - as the song goes "What people do for money".
I'm glad they kept in the Cinsault - that's a good call - I love Cinsault. And it might be responsible for the strong truffle note.
Later.....the truffle note stands. So, if you're out of season and you're craving truffle or you cannot book a trip to Italy or Croatia (or France, if you want the lowly black truffle) then just lay down some bucks for this wine!

Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Fery-Meunier - 2002
Good year, good storage, decent price because you can trust the storage (Euro 97). It's either buy a 2010 for less and wait ten years or go to Peck. I opened it and poured it and guess what? I couldn't believe it. Delicious, elegant, complex pinot noir from the get-go. Pretty impressive, as old bottles usually need an hour breathing to revitalize. Delicious, so easy to drink. Everything resolved. Wonderful wine...but...130 bucks? It's a light, delicious wine with some complexity - 20,25 bucks is enough. Anything else is BULLSHIT. Hey, I know how the market works, the hype, the history - but I will not budge from my position that good wine should be 10 bucks, very good wine 20, exceptional wine 30. That's it. That's how it used to be before Parker, before this vast discrepancy between rich and poor, etc. The Fonsalette is just as fine, delicate and it smells like truffle!!! That could be 130 bucks....but it's only 85 :x Ha,ha. The world is for the rich, folks, the rest can just eat cake. :cry:
later....Smokey, smoke, nice, excellent pinot, lots going on, the smoke might come from charred barrels but it's so delicate I think it might come from the grapes - still not worth the price in the overall scheme of things, but this is pretty wonderful stuff. You can actually get pretty close to this in Oregon. Imagine Burgundian peasants caning this stuff down while playing cards (kind of like the light stuff peasants still cane down) and then realizing some rich sods will pay outrageous prices for it. Ha, ha. But I'm glad I bought it for educational purposes...


Closing thoughts:
Once in a while it's good to splurge. I am actually happy that the wines are good because oftentimes you buy an expensive wine and it is damn disappointing. A comment on famous expensive shops in big cities: if they do their jobs right and are truly professional, then they have a place. If they scam and they take advantage of gullible foreign consumers then no. Peck is fine. They rake in the money but these two wines are good.
“Seekers of gold dig up much earth and find little.”
― Heraclitus
Agostino Berti
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Re: WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

Postby Lou Kessler » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:01 pm

I remember visiting Peck back in the 80s when we were in Milano for a few days. Really a fabulous place to browse in but not for the cheap at heart. I think we bought some cheeses and ate them while driving through the countryside in Northern Italy.
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Re: WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:53 am

Agostino Berti wrote:Charmes-Chambertin, Grand Cru, Fery-Meunier - 2002
Good year, good storage, decent price because you can trust the storage (Euro 97)..


But what about producer? I've not heard of them. And then of course Charmes is known for being big and having more than its share of underperforming/mediocre wines.
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Re: WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

Postby Agostino Berti » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:23 am

Ha Rahsaan! I was hoping you'd chime in, cause I know you know more about burgundy than myself. This thing was a charmer, light in a good way - but for a famous vineyard probably disappointing to some. I'm guessing if this thing was a properly made Charmes-chambertin and not overly cropped it would be three times the price, am I right?

And who the heck is Fery-Meunier? Well, I wanted to stay away from the famous domaines so I trusted that this store would not put crap on their shelves and I also trusted the sales guy whom I knew from way back. I figured there a lot of very small producers in burgundy and only a pretty decent one would be allowed on the vaunted shelves of Peck!

But what about the Rayas/Fonsalette - is that a wine you admire?
“Seekers of gold dig up much earth and find little.”
― Heraclitus
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Re: WTN: Fonsalette/Charmes-Chambertin

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:03 am

Agostino Berti wrote:I'm guessing if this thing was a properly made Charmes-chambertin and not overly cropped it would be three times the price, am I right?


It can go that high, but if you check winesearcher you'll find quite the range for 2002 Charmes.

And who the heck is Fery-Meunier? Well, I wanted to stay away from the famous domaines so I trusted that this store would not put crap on their shelves and I also trusted the sales guy whom I knew from way back.


Rayas is clearly a big name and while I'm often reluctant to buy Burgundy from unknown domaines, if you can really trust the retailer then you have the opportunity to enjoy a bargain. It sounds like you made a good decision.
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