This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Monday, May. 26, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20080526.php.
Baseline 2006 Bourgogne
As we near the end of our Wine Focus month on affordable Burgundy, let's wrap it up with another report or two on that seeming oxymoron, good Burgundy in the relatively affordable range.
I've been impressed with some of the reports that have been filed, confirming that even in an inflationary era, it remains possible to find good Burgundy, if not great Burgundy, for less than $30 or even below $20.
I don't believe anyone has come up with any grand cru or premier cru Burgs in this price neighborhood, nor would it be reasonable to expect that in today's market. But we've seen submissions of decent villages wines, both red and white, and toward the lower end of the price range, quite a number of decent if Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
These generic Bourgognes may represent the best hope for finding drinkable Burgundy at affordable prices. It may require some discretion to separate the goodies from their more lackluster brethren, paying attention to vintage and to producers and importers who have built a track record for quality.
To read over the reports (and, we hope, add some of your own), click to the Wine Focus section of our WineLovers Discussion Group,
A number of posted reports seem to support the assertion that 2005 was an exceptional year in Burgundy, even at the low end. This week I ran across the first generic Bourgogne I've seen from the 2006 vintage, a year of wild weather swings that ranged from July heat to August chill and rain to a return of sunshine just in time to save the harvest. At the low end, the Moillard 2006 Pinot Noir "Tradition" is drinking quite well, showing a good balance of fruit, tart acidity and soft tannins at a very reasonable mid-teens price.
Moillard 2006 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Tradition ($16.99)
Clear ruby, not overly dark, typical of Bourgogne. Ripe cherry aromas and a discreet whiff of herbs, evocative of fresh tarragon. Good cherry and red-berry fruit nicely shaped by lip-smacking acidity, soft tannins showing up in the finish. Not overly complex, but it's a balanced, earthy low-end Bourgogne, a decent introduction to the genre at a fair price. U.S. importer: USA Wine Imports Inc., NYC. (May 22, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: Burgundy, like all good Pinot Noir, is versatile and food-friendly, finding a natural match in red meat, poultry, mushrooms and even salmon. It was very fine with naturally produced local lamb chops, sliced thick and pan-seared with garlic.
VALUE: More than reasonable for a decent generic Bourgogne in the age of $4 gasoline.
WHEN TO DRINK: Ready to drink, but it should be capable of cellaring for a few years.
WEB LINKS: Moillard's Website is available in French and English. Click the flag icons for the language of your choice.
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
Classy Soave (May 23, 2008)
Another good GV (May 21, 2008)
Introduction to GV (May 19, 2008)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Pork chops Liègoise (May 1, 2008)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: