Frédéric Magnien 2003 Bourgogne "Graviers"

"Freddy" Magnien, a Burgundy producer who owns no vineyards but is gaining quite a reputation for creating estimable Burgundies from purchased fruit, hits the market with this new item from the 2003 vintage, a generic Bourgogne with the name "Graviers" that evokes, but doesn't quite match, the premier cru vineyard Les Gravières in Santenay. I find no information about this wine on the U.S. importer's Website, but let's just say that it's a ripe - almost overripe - slurpy and gulpable example of the torrid vintage. Very dark reddish-purple, almost black at the core, it's remarkably dark for a Burgundy, and its ripe and plummy black-fruit aromas with a backnote of "grilled meat" are as reminiscent of the Rhone (or Central Coast California Syrah) as Bourgogne Pinot Noir. Full and ripe flavors, mouth-filling "sweet" red fruit, are appealing and easy to quaff, but lack the acidic "snap" of cooler vintages. Very California-like in style, it's big and lush and likeable, but it will surely be controversial because it's so idiosyncratic that traditionalists will be horrified. US Importer: North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, Calif. (Jun 19, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: It would find its natural match in rare, grilled beef, but also served mighty well with a fresh baked ham.



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