Monday, February 27, 2012

Affordable Red Burgundy...Stick to the top producers

Finding good inexpensive Pinot Noir is not an easy thing to do. Often you go to the wine shop or super market looking for these wines and you see them and say to yourself..."Are they any good"?

It's become better known that Pinot Noir is the hardest grape to grow because it's very delicate and really tricky to master for many wine makers. So how do you know what is good if you are not prepared to take a chance on a Pinot Noir and spend $30 - $70 a bottle, yet alone $100...or even picking one out at a restaurant...Don't worry. If you stick to the top producers, you can get the combination of quality and value. Is it going to be distinctive? You will have the basics; good fruit, good oak and its the perfect way to saturate the palate with pinot noir and who good years there's a sleeper wine that blows the doors off the expensive stuff.

Put it this way. If you like Pinot Noir, you are in better shape than the folks that love Bordeaux wines. It's hard enough to navigate around the Burgundy region.

Bourgogne rouge which is what it's often called on the bottle offers great value.

People will argue..."What about the location?!?" "What about the terroir?!?" Listen matters but believe me in the burgundy region where terroir is gospel. It doesn't really matter that much, because the top producers do some great stuff. Alot of it is just declassified juice from the top wines, which is just fine and made to drink now and not lay down...and when it comes to growers versus negociants, they all for the most part have made big strides to put out good Pinot Noir. These gus know what they are doing. Buy them up too because they dissapear in a blink of an eye.

Here are some to look for...Maison Champy, Maison Louis Jadot, Domain Denis Pere et Fils, Domaine Faiveley and Domaine Drouhin.

French White Bugundy...what to look for!

French Burgundy is often looked as at the benchmark for excellent chardonnay and for good reason. As well as having a good natural alcohol level. They usually have the right balance for acidity, freshness, excellent aromatics and are built for drinking now and a little bit of aging as well. Eventhough year in and year out California chardonnay gives it a run for its money and even eclipsing. It is the the cool regions of Burgundy that give the chardonnay its style to look for.

Here are the main regions and the styles that make it so classic so seek them out:

Chablis: has high acidity. Look for the top producers here if you can but one thing is for sure is that the terroir is what screams out. They are fresh and have high acidity. Limestone, chalk and steel are prevalent.

Mersault: This chardonnay is generally the most varied, a kind of interctive feel to it. It can be very crisp and clean to ripe and heavy. In Charmes they are very energetic and bouncy; while Perrieres is straightforward, intense, alive with minerality.

Puligny-Montrachet: This chardonnay is usuall the same year in and year out. I mean this in a very positive way. Just like an old friend. It's also vibrant and clean, the terroir gives this. Near the Mersault side there is that minerality as well. Pucelles is very pretty and silky with a floral nose that sometimes gives off a little botrytus.

Chassagne-Montrachet: These chardonnays are up on a higher in the slopes which make the vines struggle and push for excellence. There no other place on earth like it. In Chaumees the wines are floral, supple and spicy, the minerality is palpable. En Caillerates has this wet stone with fruitiness effect(not sweet!!!) that is ice cool and with enveloping white flowers...really!

St, Aubin: The chardonnay here is workman-like. delicious, zippy and juicy. Good stuff can be found here abound and at good prices.

Rully: These wines are generally ripe and fresh and straight forward.

Macconnais: These wines are again fresh and croud pleasing. The are well rounded with a good bit of acidity that go along way to match up with a good plate of seafood and chicken as most of these great chardonnays from Burgundy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review - The Ultimate Wine Companion 2010 – Edited By Kevin Zraly

The Ultimate Wine Companion 2010 – Edited By Kevin Zraly

Great Book! Very Elegant, nice to hold. An excellent choice of articles that hit the main points about wine. Truly a gateway book. A must have! It screams for a sequel that will focus on the next generation of wine trailblazers and educationalists.