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Burgundy for drinking now

This is exactly what I felt when I was tasting Weekend drinking( 26-28th February 2021) I pulled out a lot of positive characteristics but felt it was not VFM due to historical preference for other characteristics.

This is perhaps the experience and realigned attributes that takes a while to acquire


I perhaps mistakenly described understanding of subtler wines as a product of experience. That’s how I came to enjoy Burgundy, as well as serving it at the correct temperature. But one might just not be so interested in the aromas and like more the pleasures derived from the palate, in which case you are likely to enjoy Rhône or Bordeaux or warmer climate wines more than Burgundy.


I personally am attracted by the nose indeed, and the higher acidity compared to other red wines, that make Burgundy (Pinot Noir) a very versatile/good food companion - at least to my taste.


Thanks for the further explanation. Rather than attribute it to personal preference, I usually find my enjoyment is primarily stymied via lack of understanding and familiarity. As with music or other pleasures, it is through some repetition that we finally grow and understand how to appreciate it. Until we find something else we like more…


Yes indeed. I think Churchill said of beer “The dislike of bitter on first tasting is a prejudice many people have been able to overcome.”

Also our palates evolve.As children we like sweet things, as adults we may start to enjoy savoury or bitter things. We may loose some capacities and prefer sweeter things when much older. In the pub young men may start beer drinking with mild and then go on to bitter. The old men then go back to mild!

As you suggest, there are many people or CDs one may not like at first but one appreciates, even loves, after more acquaintance or listening. Love at first sight is possible too but rare.”


I’ve had a couple of red burgundies from Dujac and Rousseau that I wish I could have bottled the nose as an eau de parfum.

I might have even massaged a few drops behind my ears.


Thanks for your comments here. A great insight with which I l totally agree. It has taken a while maybe 25 years of wine drinking to see the light, lots of odd bottles wasted, drunk too young, too warm, popped and poured.
I think perhaps of all areas Burgundy is one which requires a visit to full see the picture. Such a wonderful place, which reeks of wine making. How lovely a walk through the vineyards today would be!


Blimey, this forum must be better than therapy or perhaps it is therapy. Since I got it off of my chest the thought of selling has dissipated. The Dujac was served in a restaurant (BYOB) and from memory I think they decanted and then put back in the bottle. The bottle had been left with them in advance and was not served warm. I was happy with that at the time and that’s my mistake. I try and serve red burgundy at below room temperature and would not decant them. I agree with wine.arbitrageurs comments entirely that you have to work at understanding and that it will not come along on its own. Through your comments and others I think I might have come a step further in my knowledge and will try again. Tough life, eh?


Yes a visit is so rewarding. The Côte D’Or is one of the best demonstrations of terroir. You think its complicated but its quite simple. Its easy to understand when you see it. The best vineyards are in the middle of the slope where all the quality factors are united in a virtuous circle (less clay so better drained so warmer, and less vigorous soil so lower yields, more interception of light on the slope than the flat, frost protection as cold air drains down the slope…etc). Those east of the main road, are usually classed as Bourgognes, the N974, which runs along the bottom of the slope, are flatter, wetter, have more clay which is again colder and wetter yet it encourages higher yields. So a vicious circle of reduced ripening capacity but increased production.


Fine to decant if there is sediment but do it just before serving. Double decanting back into the bottle may have removed some aroma.


Dujac and Rousseau are two the the great Côte de Nuits names that have year after year produced outstanding wines. There are a handful of Burgundian names, such as Roumier, Roulot, Coche-Dury, Leroy, Gouges, Huledot-Noellat, Barthod, Fourrier, Dugat, D’Angerville, Comte Armand, PYCM, Leflaive, Comte Lafon, and of course DRC who like Dujac and Rousseau manage it year on year. (There are a few others).

But, what has always struck me is the grumpy adolescence that seems to afflict Burgundy (reds usually) and you can never quite tell when it starts and when it is going to finish. There is a phrase sometimes invoked that says “drink it on the fruit.” Which is a convenient shorthand for “try it within a year or two of bottling, when the primary fruit flavours are still fresh and you might get the benefit of a touch of nice oak before it closes down and goes from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan some years later.” The “ugly duckling” is a tart thin wine slightly stalky with a short finish.

I opened a bottle of Ghislaine Barthod 2017 BR last night and it still had a slightly bitter finish but was really gaining complexity and more weight. I bring it up from the cellar still quite cool, and uncork it, pour out two glasses and try a sip then wait for 20-30 mins and it is still a little bit cool but much more open. Another few months needed in the cellar.

I never decant red Burgundy.

Alas, I have a poor sense of smell, but what makes it for me with red Burgundy is the elegant silky texture, sweetened very slightly by the glycerol, and the red and black fruit which turns darker and more complex with age.
Yes, there have been disappointments and faulty bottles, but that is life.

Other reasons make me fascinated about Burgundy. It is (mostly) an area of small artisan growers, who welcome you into their cellars and will cheerfully sell you a bottle or two.

In 2019 I spent 4 days staying in Beaune and each day walking through the vineyards. (85 kilometers in that period) chatting occasionally to vineyard workers. Reaching Clos Vougeot was extraordinary. Seeing the medieval wine presses in the Chateau, looking at its majestic uneven sweep down to the RN974 was captivating. Studying Burgundy’s history from the time the Nibelung family drifted down to it, the Merovingian and Carolingian rulers, then going to the Hospice de Beaune brought home an historical continuity.

Walking from Beaune to Meursault through Pommard and Volnay and then back to Pommard, wandering into the Café opposite the smart hotel/restuarant and being offered a free espresso when the café owner asked me where I had been…

I am sure other wine areas have that sort of close knit community spirit, the Barolo region being one, but somehow Burgundy just has a combination of history that the others don’t. That medieval monastic world that carried on when the romans left off, being a prime example. ( Part of Germany has monastic wine origins but they were both originally part of the Carolingian empire when it all got going). There is a Domaine that makes wine near Cluny in the traditional monastic way: Clos des Vignes du Maynes Cuvée 910 made by Julien Guillot, 910 is the year of the founding of the abbey at Cluny. I shall open a bottle tomorrow and post a photo and tasting note…

So I confess to some element of non-wine reasons for being fascinated by Burgundy.


Toby, Many thanks for your interest and preparedness to help.

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Regarding Ghislaine Barthod 2017 BR, I sometimes find, counter intuitively, that if one goes higher up the quality hierarchy, to say premiers crus, they can be more ready earlier because they often have a higher fruit to structure ratio than a Bourgogne. So when the wine is just recovering from shutting down and the fruit is coming back there is proportionally more fruit on a PC than a Bourgogne. One may have to wait a little longer for the Bourgogne to come round.


Hi Toby

Just wondering, what are your thoughts on Brochon in light of this? I’m eyeing up Chanson’s Côte de Nuits-Villages and a superficial look at Hugh Jancis’s map suggests that a couple of those vineyards near the top share a very similar position on the slope to some of Gevrey’s snazzier vineyards that fetch a king’s ransom less than a mile away.

Does the soil change? Is it genuinely inferior land, or has an injustice of history given us (relative) bargains today?


I’m going to call you slightly on that, in that I think you need a caveat of “that you’ve studied/are interested in”. The lands between Florence and Sienna have a rich history and pride/sense of place in their wine making. While I’ll happy accept that the wine makers care little for anything pre-1855 (and corporate Bordeaux is a very different culture to that of Borgogne), the Roman province of Aquatania being gifted to the goths through the back and forth between various Frankish/Norman/English kings to the Girondins in the revolution. I’d go as far as to say you could pick any famous wine region and find a very long and rich history both of wine and politics/religion, it’s just that Burgundy is the one that’s (entirely and understandably) piqued your interest.


Its a bargain. Queue de Hareng is also where Denis Bachelet’s excellent Côte de Nuits Villages comes from. He took me there once and its a lovely slope. Jancis in Atlas of Wine says the growers in Brochon way back when planted gamay to supply the markets in Dijon, which of course yields much more than pinot so the village became known as a "well of wine " ! I think it is a quirk of history that it is classified as Côte de Nuits Villages, but I do not know about the soil, but judging on those two wines the quality is very good.


Perhaps the exception is the Médoc in Bordeaux, which was a swamp until the Dutch engineers drained in the 15/16th century, can’t remember exactly when. Compare with St Emilion where Romans made wine.


Thanks for your thoughts Toby.

I’m sold, Chanson’s going in the basket! :clinking_glasses:


What always gets me is in a cellar tasting the vineyard differences often show.Then you can go outside and see the lay of the land !


Does anyone have any knowledge of the below wine:

Bourgogne Aligoté, Gilbert et Christine Felettig

Feel myself going down a bit of a Burgundy rabbit hole now, but realised I’ve neglected to try any Aligoté and this was well priced. Or if anyone had any recommendations? I know then Pataille’s will be offered at some point and will have an eye on those


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