Saturday, December 22, 2007

High End Burgundies: Côte-d'Or, Côte de Beaune

"It is good to have good friends, and even better to have good friends who love wine, but it is absolutely spectacular when those good friends love the really, really good stuff and want to share." - Joe

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on an evening of spectacular wines with a spectacular friend. There was no specific theme for tonight - Cosme and I just wanted to get together and "open something". It turned out that we opened "somethings", very special somethings from Burgundy.

The oldest wine tonight was the 2000 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin (more at The Burgundy Report). Cherry red in the glass, it started all Coca-Cola, maybe more Dr. Pepper, on the nose. Closed all night, the nose was rather simple and uncomplex. On the palate it was a beautiful, easy drinking red - soft, fleshy, dare I say modern? A short finish, this elegant, balanced, and beautifully textured Pinot is ready to drink now.
cork. 13% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: ~C$90

The 2001 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny is a legendary, historic estate, one that can trace its roots over 550 years and the 20th generation of the family curretly runs the estate. It doesn't get more "old world" than this (more here). A bright cherry red in the glass, this was the deepest, darkest wine of the three. Closed at first, milk chocolatey, later showing nice spicy raspberry, earthy, smoky, subtle floral aromas and some sweet caramel. A very nice, long cherry finish, rich and velvety, elegant, such perfect balance...mmm. Will probably keep for many years in the cellar, but nice today.
cork. 13% alcohol
Score: 18.5/20
Price: $$$

My contribution, and the youngest of the evening, was the 2002 Bouchard Père et Fils "Le Corton" - the sole representative from the Beaune (more here). A light cherry red in the glass, it was crisp and minerally on the nose, with raspberry, mushroom, smoke and wet earth. Lively acidity, velvety tannins, nice persistency, becoming richer and juicier over the evening, but always forcused, never jammy. This is my style of Burgundy, and a relative bargain in this crowd. I would stick this away for a few years if you can wait.
cork. 13.5% alcohol
Score: 18/20
Price: C$80 (SAQ)

Overall, I was a bit surprised by the two Cote de Nuits wines - I have very little experience with them, and I found them much softer and less "focused" than I expected. Very elegant, very complex, but I am not sure I like the style - something to explore in future tastings. That being said, drinking a legend is a very special wine moment, and the Comte de Vogue delivered.

These were tasted unblinded - I wonder what would have happened if these were unblinded?


Edward said...


I'm hoping Santa leaves some Vogüé under my Christmas tree, I think I've been very very good all year :)

What a great tasting. I always feel that great bottles must be shared. Part of the pleasure is the company and the stories that great bottles seem to create.

Barry said...

A Burgundy wine tasting and I was not invited..they do call me Mr. could have least let me smell them down the phone.I drank a Musigny Joseph Drouhin 2000 last year which was perhaps a little better than your 2000..which is a highly rated vintage..and it still needed to fill was missing that 'UMPHF' in the middle flavour.
I'm not surprised you liked the Vogue..
The Côte de Beaune Le Corton has always been realiable even when the house were making 'bad' wines many years ago.
Nice tasting..but as I said..I'm only down the road..


oh yes...Merry Xmas....

Joe said...

Hi Edward - I checked with Santa, and you were on the naughty list, sorry. Yes, there is nothing like opening the good stuff with people who appreciate it. That is why our tasting group is so successful - I open stuff with them I would never open for myself.
Barry - yes, Mr. Pinot (NOT Mr. Aligote) would definitely be welcome, but it was a last minute thing. Is your private jet available on such short notice? The Musigny we had was missing that UMPHF in the middle flavour - so good, but at that price it is hard to impress.

Merry Christmas to both of you - I have more Burgundies and Pinots to talk about soon...Cheers!

Edward said...


I wonder which misdemeanor pushed me over the line :)


Can you make sure there's a spot for me on the private jet. . .

Brooklynguy said...

nicely done old chap. and you had no idea when the night began that you would be tasting 3 Grand Crus and a volnay caillarets (whose Volnay was it?) hmm. really? that's fantastic! sounds like the rousseay underwhelmed you, which is too bad. could it be that the bottle is in a middle stage of its like, and not all that interesting right now? or, it could simply be that this is an underwhelming effort from a great producer. your description of the Corton is interesting to me, as i think of those wines as animalistic and furry pheramonal wild wines, tight as hell when young. you're sounds like it was ready to go though. nice. i'm jealous.

happy holidays to you and yours joe- neil

Joe said...

Hi Neil - I have to say I was thinking about you as I drank these - you're my Burgundy guy! The Volnay was a Pousse d'Or - I just sent you the label. The problem was that I was in no condition to write anything about that wine, so I let it slide. I should have known you would notice! The Rousseau was not bad, just less complex than the others - it drank really well, and a late arrival (who loves California Pinot, by the way) loved the Rousseau...Don't get me wrong about the Corton - it was tight, but I really liked that (after a good decant). Don't be jealous - one day you will join us! Happy holidays, and all the best in 2008.