Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Burgundy - worth the price of admission?



Not Ron Burgundy of Anchorman fame (to which I would respond with a resounding 'yes') but Burgundy as in the famed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based wines of France. I must admit, though I've been tasting more and more of these wines, most of them current or recent release, some of them older, I am consistently underwhelmed. Well, maybe 'underwhelmed' is a little harsh. What is on my mind when I taste Burgundy, though, is the following: Why have I had so few wines that I find to be truly interesting, that are distinctive and that I can easily remember how it tastes, its texture on the palate, what make it unique from other Burgundies, etc? OK, once again a stretch. I know Meursault when I taste it, I know Puligny Montrachet when I taste it. Gevrey Chambertin vs Chambolle-Musigny, or Volnay? No problem. I'm speaking about generic Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc, and a good many village wines as well. Maybe it's just that I don't appreciate these grape varietals. I can say with certainty that I don't much care for Chardonnay, unless it is from Chablis or Champagne.

Even wines I've tasted from the amazing '05 vintage, while they are very well-made, have often times struck me as being tasty, well-made, nice wines. Nothing more. Here is a list of wines I'd rather spend money on then 99% of Bourgogne Rouge or Blanc:

REDS

Good nebbiolo
Traditional Rioja (La Rioja Alta, LdH)
Cru Beaujolais
Loire Vally Cab Franc
Mondeuse
Poulsard
Pesquera
Cerasuolo di Vittoria

WHITES

Muscadet
German and Austrian Riesling
Vouvray
Gruner Veltliner
Pacherenc
Jurancon
Sancerre...

...and plenty others. Why have I yet to have a revelation, a Burgundy that makes me say "Yeah!!! That's what it's about it, now I get it." Maybe I need to have my palate checked, could it be fatally flawed? Perhaps I'm just a hater, a Francophile hater. Maybe I need to hang out with more wine geeks. Wine geeks with deeper cellars. Wine geeks with deeper pockets than me.

I can appreciate peoples obsession's with Burgundy, without a doubt. But I just don't find them to be particularly exciting wines, at least without spending a good chunk of change. And I'd rather have an excellent producer's benchmark wine from a less fashionable region than some mid-end village Burg at twice the price. That's just me. Now let the hate mail and nasty Burghead posts begin....

Next post, I'll review some red burgundies whose taste I actually remember and write up one near revelatory Burgundian Pinot Noir experience I had several months ago.

2 comments:

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