This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, May. 4, 2007 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20070504.php.
Exploring Burgundy - Last call for our tour!
Getting right to the point, if you've been thinking about joining Burgundy tour, it's time to decide.
A group of you will be joining me July 2-7 for a memorable weeklong stay in Burgundy, featuring excellent meals and comfy accommodations, with VIP-style winery tours. But we still have a few empty places at the dinner table, and it would be a shame to go out with the group less than full.
Although the tour is still two months off, we need final commitments in order to complete the itinerary and make advance reservations. So if you've been sitting on the fence and trying to decide, I would urge you to get in touch in the next few days to sign on or ask any final questions that you may have. You can reach me directly at email@example.com, and I would be delighted to hear from you.
As I've written in several of these recent Friday "Exploring Burgundy" features, this summer is an exceptionally exciting time for a visit because just about every producer has its 2005 vintage on sale.
The more of the wines of this excellent year I taste, the more enthusiastic I am about it. In contrast with 2003, which offered highly rated but weirdly atypical Burgundies, 2005 is shaping up as a modern classic, with consistently full yet beautifully structured wines, clean and showing both lovely fruit and intriguing minerality: Burgundy at its best.
Better still, 2005 is a rising tide that lifts virtually all boats: The high-end wines are remarkable (and will reward long aging). But even the simpler villages wines and generic Bourgogne have been exceptional in 2005. Frankly, publicity about this excellent vintage has pushed up prices, making our opportunity to taste a lot of this wine during our week in Burgundy even more attractive.
Today, wrapping up the Exploring Burgundy series of articles, I'd like to share with you a full range of 2005s from Gérard Raphet, a respected producer in Morey-St.-Denis on the Côte de Nuits, which you may recall is the northern stretch of Burgundy's fabled Côte d'Or, between Beaune and Dijon.
Raphet's basic 2005 Bourgogne is one of the most delicious young Burgundies I've ever met, loaded with ripe, juicy strawberry flavors held in perfect balance by snappy acidity, with a lovely subtle minerality beneath. I picked up locally for $22.99, a price that's almost laughable for a Burgundy as good as this.
Higher up the price scale, it was my good fortune last weekend (along with a few other local wine geeks) to join David Schildknecht, a top wine expert who's writing about wine these days for Robert M. Parker's Wine Advocate, to taste through the higher end of Raphet's 2005 portfolio. Some of these wines are breathtakingly expensive, but they're also breathtakingly good. Most of us won't be able to justify buying them to drink at home ... but we'll be enjoying plenty of wines like these on our July tour.
Here are my short-form notes on all the Raphet wines, all of which are imported in the U.S. by David's former employer, Vintner Select of Mason, Ohio, and other regional importers:
Gérard Raphet 2005 Bourgogne ($22.99)
Tasted with David Schildknecht, without food, on Sunday, April 29, 2007, at Louisville's L & N Wine Bar and Bistro:
Gérard Raphet 2005 Chambolle-Musigny
Gérard Raphet 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques
Gérard Raphet 1993 Gevry-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques
Gérard Raphet 2005 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
Gérard Raphet 2005 Chambertin Clos de Beze
A pattern clearly emerges in these wines, spotlighting Raphet's reputation as a producer who lets the earth and the vineyard speak, allowing the nature of the soil and the vintage to show through without excessive manipulation in the winery. Most of us won't be able to find or afford his top wines; but that "simple" Bourgogne is a whale of a value in the lower $20s. It's worth seeking out.
FIND THESE WINES ONLINE:
ONCE MORE ABOUT OUR TOUR:
I'll be delighted to discuss the tour with you in more detail. Please don't hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org ... and if you would rather chat by phone, simply send me your number and let me know a good time to call.
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Send a wine club gift of three months or more, and Mom's first month will include:
Two bottles of hand-selected wine from Santa Barbara County's Gainey Vineyards
Each month is just $32.95 plus shipping! The first month will include this Limited Edition Gift Set, following months will include two bottles of award-winning wine and Uncorked.
Visit www.cawineclub.com or call 1-800-777-4443 to reserve your Limited Edition Mother's Day Gift Set today!
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