This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

January 14, 2009

Disappointing Burgundies

Dinner at the Press Room.

2004 Leroy Gevrey-Chambertin - Madame Bize declassified all her wines in 2004 due to the passing of her husband, so all the harvest from Grand Cru vineyards went into the village wines. These were available for sale at prices which made them more affordable, so some of us snapped up a bunch of these. Given that the Gevrey-Chambertin is actually a blend of Chambertin, Latricières-Chambertin, Combottes and some village grapes, you can imagine our level of excitement.

Well, we knew something was weird when the wine was decanted. The unfiltered wine looked very cloudy, but the color was really, really light. It looked like strawberry/raspberry juice, or a bottle of 30+ year old Burgundy from a weak vintage.

The nose was very open and beautiful with lots of leather, grilled meats, bacon fat and even some orange/tangerine. So far so good. But the first sip of the wine made me wince - the acidity was just too much. There was nothing on the palate other than volatile acidity, and I thought I was drinking something made from lemonade. Aeration in a decanter for more than an hour did not improve the palate in any way. It's a wine that would have rated in the low 90s judging by its nose, only to have 10-15 points deducted as a result of the palate.

2000 Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin - I was also a little disappointed in this wine, because the nose never really showed well. Yes, it's a weak vintage; and yes, it's a Charmes-Chambertin so not an opulent wine. There was some sweet fruit and a bit of grilled meats in the nose. There was a lot more concentration on the palate and even a little tannic, with a reasonably long finish. But I wanted more. After all, this wasn't exactly a cheap bottle of wine!

I wish I had taken a picture of the two glasses of wine, showing the totally different shades of (pun fully intended) burgundy. Judging by the colors, one would never have guessed that the wines were made from the same grape varietal grown in the same village, with only a 4-year difference in vintage.

Full post on dinner is here.

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