Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Red Burgundy from the Martin Scott Portfolio

I am still talking about the Martin Scott Portfolio Tasting, but I'm changing it up here at Brooklynguy's place. When I get to go to a tasting like Martin Scott's, I get really excited, and in my excitement I shared lots of my personal wine scores in previous posts. But you're not reading this because you care about my personal scoring of wines.

How do I know this? Well, first of all, you could hear crickets chirping on the other posts - silence. There were no comments, except one, which read "hey Brooklynguy, can you please cut the crap with the lists of 20 wines and scores, and actually share something interesting about your experience?" And that one was from me when I re-read the post.

So this time I will tell you about only a few red Burgs from the tasting, wines that were really special to me. I will also tell you about a couple of wines that I didn't like, merely to balance things out.

One thing I want to say right here and right now is that I think you can spend between $30-$60 per bottle and get a case of stupendous 2005 red Burgundy. Yup, I think you can spend about $500 and get a case of beautiful and age worthy Burgundy wine from "The Vintage of the Century." But the Cote de Beaune is the place to go. Most village level wine from the Cote de Nuits, never mind the 1ers and higher, are going for lots more money, and although some might be better than, say, the utterly gorgeous 2005 Simon Bize Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Fornaux that I tasted, are they five times better? Okay, I suppose it's possible, if they are strong 1er Cru or Grand Cru wines. But good luck getting hold of them, and start looking for a second job now, 'cause that bottle is gonna COST you, pal.

That 2005 Simon Bize was really beautiful. Deeply funky on the nose, but also floral, with fresh earth and pine. And sweet ripe cherry fruit on the palate, primary but absolutely delicious. With decanting you could drink it now, or instead save a few bottles for 5+ years, and when you get around to tasting it, send your notes of appreciation to Brooklynguy at Chateau Brooklynguy, Brooklyn. Wine searcher shows three places selling this stuff on pre-arrival, with Woodland Hills Wine Company in California offering the best price at $43 per bottle. Crush and Chambers Street both offer this wine here in NYC, but for $57 and $64 respectively. If you live on the east coast, shipping a few bottles from Cali rings the cost to the Crush level, I would bet.

I wonder how the other 2005 Bize wines are...anyone taste them yet?

I also really liked the 2005 Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux, with its deep floral nose and the rich smoky depth of the palate, which had a definite sense of movement, and great balance and acidity. But at upwards of $140 a bottle (best prices are Blicker-Pierce-Wagner out west, and Crush here in NYC), I will enjoy from the sidelines.

The 2005 Denis Bachelet Gevrey Chambertin Vielle Vignes is another wine that I loved. It had a deep violet perfume with lots of forest smells too, and lovely fresh fruit and minerality. Very sturdy and firm but also very elegant, this is beautiful stuff, but again you're shelling out $105 for this, only at Crush, as far as I can tell.

Here is one from the Cote de Nuits that is not astronomically priced, although it certainly ain't cheap. The 2005 Domaine de Montille Nuits St George 1er Cru Aux Thorey was a savage but beautiful wine, and who knows - maybe you are the one who will tame it. Earth and animal fur on the nose, with flowers and pine. The palate starts bitter, but quickly gives way to fresh dark fruit and herbs, well balanced, firmly structured, haunting in a just-saw-a-leopard-pacing-in-a-cage-at-the-zoo kind of way. Makes you sad, angry, ashamed, but you also need another look...And $70 at Vinopolis in Portland, Oregon, or $75 at Wally's in Cali will make it happen for you.

A few big-shot wines that were underwhelming, all 2005s: Mugnier Nuits St Georges 1er Clos de la Marechale. The second vintage since Mugnier reclaimed this vineyard, and not very auspicious as a beginning, in my book. Dujac Morey St Denis was just eh, to me. And the Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnes, was so tightly wound up, Joba Chamberlain could throw it 98 miles per hour straight down the plate. Try as I might, I just couldn't figure anything out about that wine.

Okay, so that's it. If you're putting together a stash of 05 Burgundy, and you're a value conscious Burg buyer, I would unhesitatingly buy a couple of Simon Bize Aux Forneaux bottles. Add these to your Paul Pernot and Lafouge bottles, you're really in great shape in value '05 Burgundy.

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