Tuesday, April 24, 2007

2004 Lafouge Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses

The quest continues - to identify and share high quality value-priced Pinot. I will admit that I have a serious soft spot for Domaine Jean et Gilles Lafouge, as BrooklynLady and I had such a wonderful visit during our Burgundy trip last November. Soft spot or no, they make very good wine, sometimes excellent wine, and always at reasonable prices.

We agreed previously that $25 would be the cutoff for value-priced Pinot, and that is tough my friends, tough. There just isn't that much out there to recommend at that price point. Well, if you can find it (and if you live in the NYC area, go to Chambers Street Wines - they have it), the 2004 Domaine Jean et Gilles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses is a very good wine and it clocks in at exactly $25. I bet it's less out of NYC too, so those of you who do not suffer the weight of NYC pricing - knock yourselves out.

Auxey-Duresses is a village in the Cote de Beaune, a neighbor of Meursault, Monthelie, and Saint Aubin. There are only a few 1er Cru vineyards in Auxey-Duresses, Les Duresses and Bas du Duresses are the two at the southern most part of the appellation. A lot of people think Auxey-Duresses is under rated as a Burgundy village, that it is too much in the shadow of the big three (Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne). I am not expert enough to weigh in on that one, but I can say that I have tasted several examples of white and red wines from the village and I like them in general. As always, the producer is more important than the classification of the wine (Bourgogne, 1er Cru, etc). And Lafouge is one of my favorites. The 2005 Lafouge wines are hitting retail now, or very soon, so it might be a good time to grab whatever is left of the 2004 bottles. The new wines might not be as inexpensive - you know, slap a "2005" on the bottle and everyone seems to go nuts.

2004 Domaine Jean et Gilles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses, $25.
Crystal clear ruby, very pretty color. High toned aromas of cranberry and sour cherry, some earth. A little cedar on the palate at first, but that dissipates quickly. Flavors of cranberry and sweet red berries, some pine, and a nice acidity, kind of like apple skins. A light-medium bodied wine, this is not in any way muscle-bound, and not an elegant and velvet wine either. It is somewhat in between, and this is probably representative of Auxey-Duresses terroir. That's why the wines don't command the same respect as do those from Pommard or Volnay, two higher profile (for reds) Cote de Beaune appellations. In an unspectacular vintage like 2004, the wines can seem hollow in the mid palate. This wine never felt hollow - Lafouge is too skilled for that, but it doesn't have the substance of Lafouge's 2004 Pommards, for example. It is a very good Pinot in the lighter style, and at $25, it is certainly worth the money. Make sure to enjoy it with food though, the flavors come alive and the acidity works better while eating.


Sonadora said...

Hey Brooklynguy-

Did you see this article? http://tinyurl.com/yuso5k

It was in today's Post. I though maybe you had something to do with these areas in Brooklyn being the "bloggiest" :).

Brooklynguy said...

hey sonadora - i did see it, and i like to think that i contributed in my little way.

Unknown said...

Who imports Lafouge?

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Black Pep -

I believe it is Jean-Marie de Champs, and unless I update this withing 24 hours, it is her. I will dig into the cellar and check later.

Unknown said...

Have you tried Lafouges Meursault les miex chavaux 2008? I brought a bottle home from Rockwood and Perry while I was working there. My first Meursault and at around $40 a bottle it seemed like a good value for a wine from an excellent lieu dit. Next time I stop in I'll have to try the Auxey-duresse. Peter Rockwood direct imports. Loved working there, and learned a lot. Also the manager Chris is passionate about Riesling. Never had a bad wine there. Really enjoyed working up there in Westchester.