Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

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Sh@n A
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#51 Post by Sh@n A » October 18th, 2018, 5:57 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 11:57 pm
I would suggest buying every wine produced in Burgundy in every vintage, wait 15 years, and sell everything you don’t like.
That is taking the concept to the extreme, but taking concepts to the extreme is a valid test of underlying logic. In this case, I think the statement is logical... just impractical. There must be at least one whale out there somewhere, doing exactly this?
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#52 Post by Robert Grenley » October 18th, 2018, 9:01 am

For 30 years I have been buying Burgundy, at least 90% of which I never tasted before I bought it. I did not have the ability to travel to Burgundy every year before buying, nor the access to any kind of industry tastings, etc. I also thought it worthwhile to purchase the wines mainly as prearrivals, both for better pricing and just to be able to access wines that were likely to be in greater demand and may not be available to buy later except at much higher orices if at all. I therefore relied upon the reviews as mentioned earlier...early on only Tanzer, later adding the others mentioned. I also backfilled vintages as wines occasionally became available at decent pricing. Later on I was able to taste some examples of a vintage to get a better idea of whether the vintage was to my liking, but of course still well over 90% of what I bought was bought untasted.

Buying after tasting is always better if you have the ability to do so, but there are not many of us who do...unless you really limit your purchases to wines that are more readily available...and in Burgundy, depending upon your market area, that can be VERY limiting.

So remember, I am not saying anything against buying wines that you have not tasted...in Burgundy that can be a very expensive and, as mentioned, limiting endeavor depending upon your access and location and resources. Nor anything against the thought that wines you don’t like years later can be sold. I am just saying that the idea of trading in Burgundy like one would trade stocks, or hoping to buy Burgundy and sell later to capture profits that can be reinvested in Burgundy, treating Burgundy like investment capital, strikes me as somewhat bizarre.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#53 Post by Markus S » October 18th, 2018, 9:22 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 9:01 am
... I am just saying that the idea of trading in Burgundy like one would trade stocks, or hoping to buy Burgundy and sell later to capture profits that can be reinvested in Burgundy, treating Burgundy like investment capital, strikes me as somewhat bizarre.
I think a lot of what was considered bizarre is now the new normal, everywhere. [swoon.gif]

I think my percentage of buying Burgundy without tasting is closer to 100%, not counting producers that I've had in the past and have a feel for the wines.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#54 Post by Robert Grenley » October 18th, 2018, 12:01 pm

Yeah, me too. I was being generous when I said at least 90%. I think it closer to 99.9% for me too.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#55 Post by Oliver V » October 18th, 2018, 12:52 pm

My approach to Burgundy is as follows:

1) Buy a cheap mixed lot at auction of a bunch of producers I've never heard of.
2) Taste them and find the best one
3) Look for further examples from that producer to taste across their range
4) Find out their cheapest bottling is $300 a bottle
5) Cry in a corner for a bit
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#56 Post by MitchTallan » October 18th, 2018, 1:12 pm

My thoughts on buying and consuming Burgundy is that you can save yourself a lot of heartache and regret if you buy Cru Bojo instead. I am dead serious. I have bought a fair amount of Burgs over the years and continue to cellar quite a bit. In terms of sheer drinking pleasure, the cost to experience ratio favors Cru Bojo significantly. The flavor profiles are similar but different, sure. And yes, that one in fifty orgasmic blow-your-mind experience will only come from Burgundy. But at such a high cost! It aint worth it. A very wise man, Bertrand Russell I believe said, "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#57 Post by Howard Cooper » October 18th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 12:01 pm
Yeah, me too. I was being generous when I said at least 90%. I think it closer to 99.9% for me too.
What is the percentage of Burgundies you are buying from producers you have never tasted before. Sure, most of us have to buy wines we have not tasted. But, if you like a producer from other vintages, doesn't that help your odds a great deal? If not, would you consider it useful to buy and open a less expensive bottle from a producer whose Burgundies you have not tasted before (say a Bourgogne rouge) before committing serious money to buying a bunch of grand crus from the producer?
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#58 Post by Howard Cooper » October 18th, 2018, 3:03 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 1:12 pm
My thoughts on buying and consuming Burgundy is that you can save yourself a lot of heartache and regret if you buy Cru Bojo instead. I am dead serious. I have bought a fair amount of Burgs over the years and continue to cellar quite a bit. In terms of sheer drinking pleasure, the cost to experience ratio favors Cru Bojo significantly. The flavor profiles are similar but different, sure. And yes, that one in fifty orgasmic blow-your-mind experience will only come from Burgundy. But at such a high cost! It aint worth it. A very wise man, Bertrand Russell I believe said, "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”
Everyone has their own taste preferences but I would rather have a Bourgogne Rouge from a producer like Hudelot-Noellat or Henri Jouan than almost all Cru Beaujolais I have had. You do not have to agree with me, but I don't think Beaujolais (including Cru Beaujolais) and Burgundy taste that much alike.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#59 Post by MitchTallan » October 18th, 2018, 6:59 pm

Yes Howard, Gamay and pinot noir are different. Who woulda thunk? But when pinot does not hit the mark, it is flacid or green or leathery/flat. It has to be spot-on to shine. I am drinking a $30 bottle of '16 Sunier Fleurie right now and it is all you could want-vibrant, intriguing, crisp but fruity, no leather, no lack of verve (which is what I mean by "flacid"), it is 100% fun. It is similar to Burgundy but different. And for the price, better. IMHO of course.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#60 Post by Greg K » October 18th, 2018, 7:27 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 6:59 pm
Yes Howard, Gamay and pinot noir are different. Who woulda thunk? But when pinot does not hit the mark, it is flacid or green or leathery/flat. It has to be spot-on to shine. I am drinking a $30 bottle of '16 Sunier Fleurie right now and it is all you could want-vibrant, intriguing, crisp but fruity, no leather, no lack of verve (which is what I mean by "flacid"), it is 100% fun. It is similar to Burgundy but different. And for the price, better. IMHO of course.
I think this is a purely personal perspective. To me, drinking Bojo instead of burgundy to scratch a similar itch would be no different than drinking Condrieu instead of Cornas because they’re close to each other.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#61 Post by Maxwell A. » October 18th, 2018, 8:15 pm

and I'm drinking some Chevillon Passetoutgrain as we speak haha...

I agree, Beaujolais can be a good QPR option if you're looking for a lighter high acid red, but I definitely think of Beaujolais and Red Burgundy - Pinot Noir, as two seperate categories. When I have a taste for red burgundy I'm not thinking Beaujolais. So I wouldn't suggest Beaujolais as a replacement for Burgundy but as an alternative red that has some similar structure/characteristics.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#62 Post by Tom Reddick » October 18th, 2018, 9:49 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:51 pm
I've been fortunate to taste a lot of Burgundy already, including some of the big names: DRC, Roumier, Dujac, Leflaive, Raveneau etc. As I have begun to buy wine to cellar over the last few years, I've done my best to snag bottles from the most lauded producers while also including those more affordable: Jadot, Faiveley, Bouchard, Drouhin, Fevre, Chevillon, Gouges etc.
Good evening,

Great questions and great thread. I have waited to reply so I could think on your post because the very real, and unfortunate, fact is that the way I- and many seasoned tasters on this board- learned burgundy is virtually impossible today unless you truly have an unlimited budget. My approach- and the best starting point- is taste, taste, taste. And I tasted everything at release when I got started- including wines like La Tache and Roumier Musigny. They were available and affordable back then. Not so today.

However, even that approach is not infallible because at that early stage you do not know how the wines are going to mature, nor indeed do most people really have a sense of how often and in what setting they will be drinking their burgundies. These latter two points are as important to your buying decisions as your stylistic preferences. Setting is particularly important because 20 years ago when I got started, wine was not the popular thing it is now. You did not buy bottles for tastings or tasting events- but for the dinner table. It is no mistake that many of the more "modern", as they are called, wines are better suited to group blind tastings than as an accompaniment to a meal.

That said, here is what I would do in the current environment- and note that many of these suggestions would have been good ones 20 years ago too,

1. Pick a vintage that is new, still generally available, showing well young and is of good quality- 2014 and 2015 are both excellent choices- and taste a sample of at least 12 wines from that vintage, each from a different producer. Here are some producers I would suggest you include in that mix, covering the whole spectrum of very traditional to very modern and also a nice range of styles. There are other possibilities, but this the list I propose based on my own experience. And BTW- you can choose the Bourgognes or the village level wines- in fact you should where possible. This first exercise is about producer approach more than anything else,

Grivot
Hudelot-Noellat
Roumier (only if your eventual budget will allow $500+ per bottle on the premier and grand crus)
Fourrier
Dugat
Drouhin
Angerville
Sauzet (stunning Bourgogne blanc- along with Leroy, one you can cellar for several years and see some great things develop)
Jadot
Meo-Camuzet
Bouchard
Faiveley
Ramonet
Henri Boillot
Parent
Liger-Belair
Dujac
PYCM
Niellon
Pernot

The above exercise will give you a good sense of what general styles you might like over time. I have omitted a number of good options where even the entry level wines are today incredibly expensive or hard to obtain.

2. Consider your potential sources for the wines- including checking your local market very carefully.

Once you have an idea what producers you generally like, consider where you plan to buy most of your wines. And look very closely at local options. With the burgundy markets so heated, many small merchants with good burgundy connections keep that very quiet with the best wines never going on the shelf- but rather straight into the hands of local customers. This is usually where you get the best prices and the best assurances of getting the wines every year. But the caveat is no cherry picking. Generally speaking, those who skip vintages go to the back of the line.

Compare those options with what you like, as well as what you want to spend, and then you can pretty quickly figure out your sweet spot producers- meaning those who make wines you like, wines in your price range, and wines you can obtain easily on an ongoing basis. There is enough great burgundy in the world that even in these crazy times this approach can form the backbone of a great burgundy cellar at the lowest cost without you constantly chasing around in the secondary market looking for bottles.

These people who "go deep" on the big vintages and ignore the rest are never going to really understand or appreciate Burgundy at all, quite frankly. And they pay a huge price to cherry pick because you have to be a secondary market buyer in order to only purchase the best- unless you are part of a rare crowd that gets huge local allocations annually and can then flip the "off vintages" (usually at a loss though- because in the current secondary market the top vintages are marked up excessively and "lesser years" are sold at or near cost.)

There are good uses for most vintages. The 1992s were lovely young and middle-aged as luncheon wines. 1994s are just now starting to unfurl and will be suitable for gamey dishes or cheese platters. In the past 30 years the only vintage I have truly disliked is 1997- but even there I have found many positive upside surprises with time. Burgundy does not have to be a dominating force in your life, but if it is an important part at the dinner table- even if only rarely- just about every vintage has a worthwhile purpose.

3. Stay the hell away from 2005.

Great vintage? Yes. But as much a creature of vintage as terroir. The wines will be incredible- in 30+ years. But they are of a volume and scale that- like 2000 Bordeaux- is unprecedented in our lifetime. One reason so many non-burgundy drinkers like 2005 is that the vintage is so very un-burgundy in its power and size. Worth cellaring some once you know what producers you favor, but these are extremely expensive wines and not good representative examples on which to make significant buying decisions about other vintages. Better to cut your teeth on what is normal and then later buy a few of these as special bottles if you are so inclined.

4. Vineyards

Once you have gone through 1 and 2, the next step I would recommend is to consider some of the major appellations and buy a few older bottles. This is where you are going to start spending some serious money, but it is critical to see wines that are maturing or at maturity when their true characters begin to emerge.

Good vintage choices in the current marketplace are 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2009. These are not necessarily mature, but approachable to some degree in many cases (there is no way to give a perfect list where anything you get will show well), plus I have also put some emphasis on vintages that are not as expensive as years like 1999 or 2005.

Also, here I would stick with premier cru and above. You want to see wines of particular site distinction. The goal here is the same as in 1- to get a sense of what you really like at the present time so you can focus there. Some suggested wines to consider,

Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques
Grivot Vosne-Romanee Beauxmonts
Roumier Chambolle Musigny AC or 1er cru Le Cras
Jadot Vosne-Romanee Suchots or Beauxmonts, Pommard Rugiens, Chambolle Les Fuees
Angerville Volnay Champans
Parent Cortons and Pommards
Ramonet Chassagne Morgeot and Caillerets- Ruchottes too, but that one shuts down hard so you need one 10+ yrs old and that is pricey
Niellon Chassagne Vergers
Meo-Camuzet Nuits St. Georges Boudots or Murgers- latter shuts down pretty hard, so avoid recent vintages unless young enough for exercise 1 above
Fourrier- just about anything
Dujac- Chambolle or Morey St. Denis
Drouhin- just about anything except Musigny or Bonnes-Mares which shut down hard

5. Going to back to the piece of your original post I quoted above.

Who is famous in burgundy is driven by a lot of factors that will not necessarily match up with your personal reality and what you like. Leroy's fame in the US is due in large part to the heaps of praise from Robert Parker and Matt Kramer, and also a little contest based out of Texas a good 30 years ago when two collectors wanted to see who could buy the most Leroy. Granted her prices would have eventually gotten where they are now, but that latter phenomenon contributed to the demand and price levels at the time which set the stage for present day fame.

I am with Howard on Leroy. When they are on- and fully mature- they are incredible, but I also find them to have a very heavy signature. You can easily spot them with some tasting experience. And because they are made to take so long to mature, you have a greater risk. The reward is greater too when things go well, but a lot can happen to a wine in 30+ years and I have seen my share of Leroy wines going out of balance or becoming excessively hard with age.

On the other hand, "those more affordable" as you call them (and as many of us would call them- it is a fair comment), also have their high points. In fact, a few of the Domaines on your more affordable list with which I am most familiar happen to make- in my opinion- either the greatest wine or one of the 2-3 greatest wines in a well known vineyard. That list includes,

Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin (one of the greatest wines in Burgundy)
Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches (blanc and rouge)
Drouhin Vosne-Romanee Petit Monts
Drouhin Bonnes-Mares
Bouchard Beaune-Greves Vigne de L'Enfant Jesus
Jadot Clos St. Denis
Jadot Chambolle Amoureuses
Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles
Drouhin Batard-Montrachet
Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers
Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees

Many label chasers would sneer at the selections above- but they happen to be incredible wines. I know you were not sneering when you wrote your post- I am just pointing out that even in today's market there are a number of first class wines that are largely ignored by the buyers who are driving prices ever higher.

Recent market trends are increasingly irrational to many of us who have followed this region for a long time. So many things that are so much more expensive than makes sense. But the good news is that irrationality cuts both ways- and even today there are bargains out there.

That was long, and more could be said. Hope this is helpful to you.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#63 Post by Robert Grenley » October 18th, 2018, 11:34 pm

You know, to drink the great Burgundies nowadays, you either have to be rich, or have bought a fair amount of Burgundy years ago when it was slightly affordable, or know someone who is the former or did the latter. Even the list of “affordable” burgs includes wines that are now $300+ per bottle like the Drouhin VR Petit Monts, or $500+ per bottle like the Drouhin Bonnes Mares. There ain’t no deals no more!

Thank God I am not starting to collect now. But all is not lost!
If you have unlimited funds, you have no problem...just buy all the great Burgs regardless of price.

However, if I were starting to buy now, with some realistic limitation of funds, I think I would not be spending a few hundred dollars per bottle to drink the great wines. I am not sure that is worth it. During my years of collecting I did not buy DRC, though I tasted a few...they were great, but just too expensive. I never regretted not buying them at those prices. If I were starting now, I think I would try to forget the wines I had been reading about that were supposed to be so great...Rousseau Chambertin, and Beze and CSJ, and Roumie BM and Dujac BM and CSD and CdlR, and Mugnier Musigny, etc., etc. I would put them in that conceptual box and set it aside, and search for tomorrow’s excellent (and more reasonably priced) producers and exceptional wines. Tiny production and enormous demand has raised prices to absurd levels, and chasing those wines just doesn’t make sense unles one is fairly wealthy.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#64 Post by James R » October 19th, 2018, 2:49 am

Tom, as someone who is also looking to start laying down more Burgundy, your response is a great help. Thank you for taking the time to include a list of producers in it as well.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#65 Post by g.colangelo » October 19th, 2018, 3:52 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 9:49 pm
(...)

3. Stay the hell away from 2005.

Great vintage? Yes. But as much a creature of vintage as terroir. The wines will be incredible- in 30+ years. But they are of a volume and scale that- like 2000 Bordeaux- is unprecedented in our lifetime. One reason so many non-burgundy drinkers like 2005 is that the vintage is so very un-burgundy in its power and size. Worth cellaring some once you know what producers you favor, but these are extremely expensive wines and not good representative examples on which to make significant buying decisions about other vintages. Better to cut your teeth on what is normal and then later buy a few of these as special bottles if you are so inclined.

(...)

That was long, and more could be said. Hope this is helpful to you.
Great post, Tom! If only one could be that rational when pursuing a passion...

A question to your point 3, quoted above. I didn't have a chance to taste much of the 2005 as I started buying and visiting Burgundy a while later. 2006 and later vintage were available, but 2005 was basically sold out everywhere in Europe. But my impression is that your description above applies equally well to 2015, a vintage which is very atypical for Burgundy and which I have difficulties to call a great one, despite all the praise.
Your opinion?
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#66 Post by MitchTallan » October 19th, 2018, 6:32 am

Greg K wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 7:27 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 6:59 pm
Yes Howard, Gamay and pinot noir are different. Who woulda thunk? But when pinot does not hit the mark, it is flacid or green or leathery/flat. It has to be spot-on to shine. I am drinking a $30 bottle of '16 Sunier Fleurie right now and it is all you could want-vibrant, intriguing, crisp but fruity, no leather, no lack of verve (which is what I mean by "flacid"), it is 100% fun. It is similar to Burgundy but different. And for the price, better. IMHO of course.
I think this is a purely personal perspective. To me, drinking Bojo instead of burgundy to scratch a similar itch would be no different than drinking Condrieu instead of Cornas because they’re close to each other.
So where should the line be drawn? Should Cote Chalonnaise and Marsannay be excluded since they are lesser Burgundies?

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#67 Post by Greg K » October 19th, 2018, 6:34 am

MitchTallan wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 6:32 am
Greg K wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 7:27 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 6:59 pm
Yes Howard, Gamay and pinot noir are different. Who woulda thunk? But when pinot does not hit the mark, it is flacid or green or leathery/flat. It has to be spot-on to shine. I am drinking a $30 bottle of '16 Sunier Fleurie right now and it is all you could want-vibrant, intriguing, crisp but fruity, no leather, no lack of verve (which is what I mean by "flacid"), it is 100% fun. It is similar to Burgundy but different. And for the price, better. IMHO of course.
I think this is a purely personal perspective. To me, drinking Bojo instead of burgundy to scratch a similar itch would be no different than drinking Condrieu instead of Cornas because they’re close to each other.
So where should the line be drawn? Should Cote Chalonnaise and Marsannay be excluded since they are lesser Burgundies?
The reason I referred to Condrieu and not, say, Cote Rotie, is the difference in grapes.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#68 Post by Sh@n A » October 19th, 2018, 7:27 am

I took the reds from the "affordable wines" above and dropped into WS Pro. This is what I found for the reds in the US (2016, or 2015 if 2016 not available):

Drouhin Bonnes-Mares - $700
Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin - $600
Drouhin Vosne-Romanee Petit Monts - $400
Jadot Chambolle Amoureuses - $300
Jadot Clos St. Denis - $200
Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees - $190
Bouchard Beaune-Greves Vigne de L'Enfant Jesus - $110
Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers - $110

My first reaction was "bummer". I am priced out of producers I didn't expect (e.g., in this case Drouhin or even Jadot).

But my more thoughtful, post-FOMO, reaction is a chunk of those wines are still within budget for my "top" end bottles. So the chase continues!

I think I will need to make a list of each major producer, their major production lines, and price each line out. Not to blindly buy them, but figure out which producers are too expensive for me. when starting this journey I knew I had to rule out DRC etc., but I think I need to become smarter and figure out whether I should be automatically blocking many, many other producers from my mindspace. My budget has gone up and up and up the more I learned over the past few months... but it's now maxed out. And truth of it is, for me, I'm excited by the recent Faiveley, Duroche, Lignier and Arlaud I've picked up.
Last edited by Sh@n A on October 19th, 2018, 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#69 Post by MitchTallan » October 19th, 2018, 7:39 am

I will tell you what I do fwiw (admittedly little). Get on Robert Panzer's (Down to Earth Wines) email list and read his sales blurbs and try the reasonably priced wines he raves about. You might very well-like me-find happiness and maintain some semblance of financial sanity.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#70 Post by Maxwell A. » October 19th, 2018, 9:11 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 9:49 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:51 pm
I've been fortunate to taste a lot of Burgundy already, including some of the big names: DRC, Roumier, Dujac, Leflaive, Raveneau etc. As I have begun to buy wine to cellar over the last few years, I've done my best to snag bottles from the most lauded producers while also including those more affordable: Jadot, Faiveley, Bouchard, Drouhin, Fevre, Chevillon, Gouges etc.
1. Pick a vintage that is new, still generally available, showing well young and is of good quality- 2014 and 2015 are both excellent choices- and taste a sample of at least 12 wines from that vintage, each from a different producer. Here are some producers I would suggest you include in that mix, covering the whole spectrum of very traditional to very modern and also a nice range of styles. There are other possibilities, but this the list I propose based on my own experience. And BTW- you can choose the Bourgognes or the village level wines- in fact you should where possible. This first exercise is about producer approach more than anything else,

Grivot
Hudelot-Noellat
Roumier (only if your eventual budget will allow $500+ per bottle on the premier and grand crus)
Fourrier
Dugat
Drouhin
Angerville
Sauzet (stunning Bourgogne blanc- along with Leroy, one you can cellar for several years and see some great things develop)
Jadot
Meo-Camuzet
Bouchard
Faiveley
Ramonet
Henri Boillot
Parent
Liger-Belair
Dujac
PYCM
Niellon
Pernot

The above exercise will give you a good sense of what general styles you might like over time. I have omitted a number of good options where even the entry level wines are today incredibly expensive or hard to obtain.
Tom, that was incredibly helpful and well thought out. Thanks for taking the time to write that. Your comment about tasting La Tache and Roumier Musigny on release back then - pretty crazy. The names of those wines and "affordable" and "available" don't appear in the same sentence too often these days... I don't get upset when I hear the stories of how these wines used to be affordable (at least compared to now) and available since there is nothing I can do about it. I'm thankful that I can at least hear from people that had the chance to taste and experience these wines when they were starting out. In lieu of tasting these wines I'm depending mostly on piecing together what I hear from others to contribute to my burgundy education. I don't say that to mean I won't taste as much as I can or that I'm not going to value tasting these wines when possible. It's just that I'm using what I hear from you guys to fill in the gaps of my ever-ongoing burgundy education. That is why it's important for me to ask and why I value the responses I've got in this post.

All of your points were good but I wanted to ask about the producers you mentioned. I've tasted wine from almost all of those producers, but in some cases only 1-2 wines while for others many. I've only had mature or close to mature examples from a couple. What I'd like to ask is where those producers would lie on the spectrum of traditional to modern and or what some key features of their styles would be. For some of the producers I know it's more clear but for others I've heard conflicting reports. I understand some of this could be subjective too but it'd be helpful if you or anyone could comment on this.

Lastly, I also was wondering, like Gilberto who posted earlier, if you'd put the 2015 vintage in the same category as the 2005s.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#71 Post by Robert Grenley » October 19th, 2018, 9:21 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 7:27 am
I took the reds from the "affordable wines" above and dropped into WS Pro. This is what I found for the reds in the US (2016, or 2015 if 2016 not available):

Drouhin Bonnes-Mares - $700
Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin - $600
Drouhin Vosne-Romanee Petit Monts - $400
Jadot Chambolle Amoureuses - $300
Jadot Clos St. Denis - $200
Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees - $190
Bouchard Beaune-Greves Vigne de L'Enfant Jesus - $110
Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers - $110

My first reaction was "bummer". I am priced out of producers I didn't expect (e.g., in this case Drouhin or even Jadot).

But my more thoughtful, post-FOMO, reaction is a chunk of those wines are still within budget for my "top" end bottles. So the chase continues!

I think I will need to make a list of each major producer, their major production lines, and price each line out. Not to blindly buy them, but figure out which producers are too expensive for me. when starting this journey I knew I had to rule out DRC etc., but I think I need to become smarter and figure out whether I should be automatically blocking many, many other producers from my mindspace. And truth of it is, for me, I'm excited by the recent Faiveley, Duroche, Lignier and Arlaud I've picked up.
Yes, as in my suggestion above, unless funds are unlimited, someone starting a Burgundy collection and passion today needs to do so with a new paradigm. There is plenty of excellent Burgundy out there to be had and new producers to discover that will not break the bank. The “old” greats (or at least the top wines in the stables of the “old” greats and even the “latest” greats that everyone is seeking out) are priced out of contention. Drouhin and Jadot used to be bargains, but no more...at least for their top domaine wines. It is better, as you implied, to get over sulking over the producers and wines that are out of reach and be excited about the producers you know and those you will learn about that are within reach. And what’s exciting is that there are a larger number of excellent wines being made today as techniques have improved and the next generation has taken over a number of estates and elevated their winemaking. Artaud, I believe, is just one example of a previously “middlin” producer whose status (and prices) are on the rise as the son has taken over and rejeuvenated the domaine. Speculating in Burgundy, however...trying to buy wines that will reliably escalate in value as an “investment” of sorts for later resale...will probably be hit or miss unless one buys the “blue chip” wines and producers at their now inflated prices. But I think that is beside the point of buying Burgundy anyway.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#72 Post by Maxwell A. » October 19th, 2018, 9:37 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 11:34 pm
You know, to drink the great Burgundies nowadays, you either have to be rich, or have bought a fair amount of Burgundy years ago when it was slightly affordable, or know someone who is the former or did the latter. Even the list of “affordable” burgs includes wines that are now $300+ per bottle like the Drouhin VR Petit Monts, or $500+ per bottle like the Drouhin Bonnes Mares. There ain’t no deals no more!

Thank God I am not starting to collect now. But all is not lost!
If you have unlimited funds, you have no problem...just buy all the great Burgs regardless of price.

However, if I were starting to buy now, with some realistic limitation of funds, I think I would not be spending a few hundred dollars per bottle to drink the great wines. I am not sure that is worth it. During my years of collecting I did not buy DRC, though I tasted a few...they were great, but just too expensive. I never regretted not buying them at those prices. If I were starting now, I think I would try to forget the wines I had been reading about that were supposed to be so great...Rousseau Chambertin, and Beze and CSJ, and Roumie BM and Dujac BM and CSD and CdlR, and Mugnier Musigny, etc., etc. I would put them in that conceptual box and set it aside, and search for tomorrow’s excellent (and more reasonably priced) producers and exceptional wines. Tiny production and enormous demand has raised prices to absurd levels, and chasing those wines just doesn’t make sense unles one is fairly wealthy.
I think it's too late for me to "forget" or put those wines into the "conceptual box" but either way, your comment does help balance my developing perspective.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#73 Post by David Glasser » October 19th, 2018, 11:29 am

Even though I'm not a burghead (used to love the whites, gave up when premox hit), I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment so thoughtfully and in such detail. This has been a fun read and one of the best threads in a while.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#74 Post by Subu Ramachandran » October 19th, 2018, 11:34 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 7:27 am
I took the reds from the "affordable wines" above and dropped into WS Pro. This is what I found for the reds in the US (2016, or 2015 if 2016 not available):

Drouhin Bonnes-Mares - $700
Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin - $600
Drouhin Vosne-Romanee Petit Monts - $400
Jadot Chambolle Amoureuses - $300
Jadot Clos St. Denis - $200
Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees - $190
Bouchard Beaune-Greves Vigne de L'Enfant Jesus - $110
Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers - $110

My first reaction was "bummer". I am priced out of producers I didn't expect (e.g., in this case Drouhin or even Jadot).
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#75 Post by David_K » October 19th, 2018, 12:39 pm

Lots of great Burgundy for sub-$50. You just have to live with not drinking much Cote de Nuits. I also find that aside from the trophy producers and very top wines, you can find most wines for less a few years after release.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#76 Post by Robert Grenley » October 19th, 2018, 4:37 pm

David_K wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 12:39 pm
Lots of great Burgundy for sub-$50. You just have to live with not drinking much Cote de Nuits. I also find that aside from the trophy producers and very top wines, you can find most wines for less a few years after release.
Yes, as soon as the next vintage of the century comes out, the prices on the last vintage of the century seem to cool off a bit (and those of the lesser "vintages-of-only-the-decade" cool off even more). And even for those that don't, the price escalation of the latest "it" vintage will make them seem relatively more reasonable. But then if you wait too many years, the fact that they have age on them makes the price start to climb again. The trick is to find an underrated vintage that you like (for me, 2001 is an example) and strike while the interest level is low, hopefully before too many positive vintage reassessments are published.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#77 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » October 19th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Gerhard P. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 2:49 am
Just very shortly some of my experiences:
- you will not understand Burgundy if you only buy/drink one level (e.g. Village or Grand Cru), you should try and follow all or most ... and from different Villages
- you will not understand Burgundy if you only buy/drink TOP vintages, you should taste all vintages (and some have the advantage reaching maturity earlier)
- you will not understand Burgundy if you only buy/drink the top (most expensive/reknowned) producers, you should also try less famous (but good) producers
- you will not understand Burgundy if you only buy/drink young (immature) wines, taste also wines at their apogee (15-30+ years)
- you will not understand Burgundy if you only buy/drink one style (modern/traditional etc.)

I would suggest to find some producers with a style to your likes, follow these thru all vintages and all levels, and also try to find some mature examples.
In addition try wines from other producers (and styles) as many as possible to compare ...

The true magic of Burgundy lies (imho) in mature examples from good vineyards and good producers ... usually (but not always) from good vintages ...
Great post. +1
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#78 Post by Sh@n A » October 19th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Is it that easy to backfill more desirable burgundy at prices close to release pricing? It hasn’t struck me as that easy to do.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#79 Post by Tom Reddick » October 19th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 9:11 am
All of your points were good but I wanted to ask about the producers you mentioned. I've tasted wine from almost all of those producers, but in some cases only 1-2 wines while for others many. I've only had mature or close to mature examples from a couple. What I'd like to ask is where those producers would lie on the spectrum of traditional to modern and or what some key features of their styles would be. For some of the producers I know it's more clear but for others I've heard conflicting reports. I understand some of this could be subjective too but it'd be helpful if you or anyone could comment on this.

Lastly, I also was wondering, like Gilberto who posted earlier, if you'd put the 2015 vintage in the same category as the 2005s.
Thanks everyone for your kind words.

To answer the question on 2015 that you and a couple of others posed, I have not had many 2015s yet. It has been a busy year and I actually have quite a pile of them I need to taste soon.

But based on some smaller wines tasted in trade settings and then on a more extended visit with 2015 Parent Corton-Renardes (which is a rare example of a magnificent bottle of Burgundy that can be had for under $150 in the 2015 vintage), 2015- great as it is- is still nowhere near the scale of 2005. The 2005s are truly huge wines- the few I have had anyway. They are massive- so massive that a seasoned Burgundy taster would have to try them to fully comprehend just how big they are.

Perfect example- at release, I did something for the first and probably only time in my entire life- I put on a tasting of the entire range of 2006 DRC wines for a small group of friends. For all of us except for one seasoned ITBer, it was the first time we had ever experienced that. It was incredible. And then once that was done, we dug into some wines brought by other people. Included in that was a small flight of Roumier- 2005 Chambolle AC and 2005 Bonnes-Mares. Once upon a time, we got a lot of Roumier in Texas, and so I have TNs for Chambolle and/or Bonnes Mares at release in almost every vintage from 2005 back to 1992. The 2005s were huge. The 2005 Chambolle was- in scale- just as big as Bonnes Mares is in many vintages. The wines were not necessarily more nuanced or better than usual - it is just everything was magnified to a degree I never could have imagined. They did not blow the DRCs away, not by a long shot, but their scale was so far beyond them.

2015 is not like that. It is a magnificent vintage I think- though time will tell- and incredibly balanced with great ripeness, but the sheer size of 2005 is not there. 2009 comes closer, but 2015 is more classically restrained than 2009 for me. In a sense it is the best of both worlds- good ripe, cuddly fruit and good terroir definition. I need to try more wines first, but so far for me it is a combo of the best attributes of 1993 and 1995, if not quite as deep and savage as the best 1993s were at release.

As for ranking the producers on modern vs traditional- that is tricky. Let me just say this- I prefer the old way of things in many sense. I prefer wines that will be harmonious with a meal over wines of scale that will show better against other wines. I prize aromatics over fruit (though of course both are necessary), and I prefer an experience that is intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving in subtle ways versus more hedonistic or jaw-dropping.

I would prefer to have dinner with Sian Phillips or Geraldine Page over Marilyn Monroe or Doris Day- though if I could have dinner once a week I would put everyone in the rotation with varying frequency :)

On that note, my current go-to producers are,

Drouhin
Jadot
Meo-Camuzet
Parent
Bouzereau (white burgs- worth trying to find, but not easy- hence not listed above)
Angerville
Ramonet
Sauzet
Faiveley
Leroy Bourgogne Blanc- in the age of premox, it is good to keep this on hand to drink young and really get a nice white burg thrill without the risk

Were it not for current pricing and availability, DRC, Roumier and Rousseau would also be on that list. Maybe Grivot too- though the occasional encounter with his wines of late has left me thinking them a bit flashier than I remember from the past, or would like.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#80 Post by Gary Zimberg » October 20th, 2018, 2:09 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 2:43 pm
Don't skip Hudelot-Noellat.
or Chevillon... the '15 Bourgogne is an over achiever. I recently opened an '05 village, also punches much above its pedigree.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#81 Post by Sanjay Nandurkar » October 20th, 2018, 2:57 pm

Excellent posts Tom.

As everyone has said getting into Burgundy now and tasting top producers is difficult because they are scarce ( i.e. highly allocated) and very expensive. If money is no object you can still achieve your objective albeit more not as easily as before. However, I think it is important to taste great wines from great producers with some to understand 'greatness'. It helps to calibrate the palate.

There are still some nice producers which are up and coming and not as fashionable now and hence not over-priced and trying them widely is a great option. It depends upon which ones you can access.

All producer have different signatures and hence taste widely. And please don't just rely on critics notes as they only tell you that the wine is 'well made' but not whether you will like the way it is made.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#82 Post by Maxwell A. » October 20th, 2018, 7:15 pm

Tom Reddick wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 9:19 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 9:11 am
All of your points were good but I wanted to ask about the producers you mentioned. I've tasted wine from almost all of those producers, but in some cases only 1-2 wines while for others many. I've only had mature or close to mature examples from a couple. What I'd like to ask is where those producers would lie on the spectrum of traditional to modern and or what some key features of their styles would be. For some of the producers I know it's more clear but for others I've heard conflicting reports. I understand some of this could be subjective too but it'd be helpful if you or anyone could comment on this.

Lastly, I also was wondering, like Gilberto who posted earlier, if you'd put the 2015 vintage in the same category as the 2005s.
Thanks everyone for your kind words.

To answer the question on 2015 that you and a couple of others posed, I have not had many 2015s yet. It has been a busy year and I actually have quite a pile of them I need to taste soon.

But based on some smaller wines tasted in trade settings and then on a more extended visit with 2015 Parent Corton-Renardes (which is a rare example of a magnificent bottle of Burgundy that can be had for under $150 in the 2015 vintage), 2015- great as it is- is still nowhere near the scale of 2005. The 2005s are truly huge wines- the few I have had anyway. They are massive- so massive that a seasoned Burgundy taster would have to try them to fully comprehend just how big they are.

Perfect example- at release, I did something for the first and probably only time in my entire life- I put on a tasting of the entire range of 2006 DRC wines for a small group of friends. For all of us except for one seasoned ITBer, it was the first time we had ever experienced that. It was incredible. And then once that was done, we dug into some wines brought by other people. Included in that was a small flight of Roumier- 2005 Chambolle AC and 2005 Bonnes-Mares. Once upon a time, we got a lot of Roumier in Texas, and so I have TNs for Chambolle and/or Bonnes Mares at release in almost every vintage from 2005 back to 1992. The 2005s were huge. The 2005 Chambolle was- in scale- just as big as Bonnes Mares is in many vintages. The wines were not necessarily more nuanced or better than usual - it is just everything was magnified to a degree I never could have imagined. They did not blow the DRCs away, not by a long shot, but their scale was so far beyond them.

2015 is not like that. It is a magnificent vintage I think- though time will tell- and incredibly balanced with great ripeness, but the sheer size of 2005 is not there. 2009 comes closer, but 2015 is more classically restrained than 2009 for me. In a sense it is the best of both worlds- good ripe, cuddly fruit and good terroir definition. I need to try more wines first, but so far for me it is a combo of the best attributes of 1993 and 1995, if not quite as deep and savage as the best 1993s were at release.

As for ranking the producers on modern vs traditional- that is tricky. Let me just say this- I prefer the old way of things in many sense. I prefer wines that will be harmonious with a meal over wines of scale that will show better against other wines. I prize aromatics over fruit (though of course both are necessary), and I prefer an experience that is intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving in subtle ways versus more hedonistic or jaw-dropping.

I would prefer to have dinner with Sian Phillips or Geraldine Page over Marilyn Monroe or Doris Day- though if I could have dinner once a week I would put everyone in the rotation with varying frequency :)

On that note, my current go-to producers are,

Drouhin
Jadot
Meo-Camuzet
Parent
Bouzereau (white burgs- worth trying to find, but not easy- hence not listed above)
Angerville
Ramonet
Sauzet
Faiveley
Leroy Bourgogne Blanc- in the age of premox, it is good to keep this on hand to drink young and really get a nice white burg thrill without the risk

Were it not for current pricing and availability, DRC, Roumier and Rousseau would also be on that list. Maybe Grivot too- though the occasional encounter with his wines of late has left me thinking them a bit flashier than I remember from the past, or would like.
Wow, 2005 must have been a pretty crazy vintage. I've not much experience at all tasting the wines but I'm curious to see how they stick out compared to other vintages. Good to hear your comments about 2015. From what I've tasted, I've found some very promising wines and producers so I've been buying as much as I can afford.

Thanks for the list of producers. I have plenty of experience with Drouhin and Jadot and happen to like both producers. Less experience with Faiveley but I've bought some of the 2015s, like the Cazetiers.

What are your thoughts on white burgundy cellaring right now? My heart longs for the aged white burgundy experience but even with the many steps producers have made to fight premox, I still hear so many disheartening stories. Gilman's article " The 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 White Burgundy Vintages: Is It Time To Start Drinking These Lovely Wines?" (issue 73) firmly supports drinking up bottles before 6-8 years after the vintage, even with his strong preference for mature wines.

"And, I would not leave more than ten percent of my cellar cache of 2014 white Burgundies around to see their eighth birthdays, so I would drink them with serious exertion once 2019 arrives and plan to finish up the vintage by the end of 2021 or so."

Throughout the article he repeats this, stating that he expects only about 10% of white burgundies to mature and develop as they would before the times of premox. I'm guessing there are many posts about premox here so no need for a super in depth answer, but I'm curious to hear of how you and anyone else following this post treats white burgundy these days.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#83 Post by Kirk.Grant » October 20th, 2018, 7:36 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 20th, 2018, 7:15 pm
Wow, 2005 must have been a pretty crazy vintage. I've not much experience at all tasting the wines but I'm curious to see how they stick out compared to other vintages. Good to hear your comments about 2015. From what I've tasted, I've found some very promising wines and producers so I've been buying as much as I can afford.

Thanks for the list of producers. I have plenty of experience with Drouhin and Jadot and happen to like both producers. Less experience with Faiveley but I've bought some of the 2015s, like the Cazetiers.

What are your thoughts on white burgundy cellaring right now? My heart longs for the aged white burgundy experience but even with the many steps producers have made to fight premox, I still hear so many disheartening stories. Gilman's article " The 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 White Burgundy Vintages: Is It Time To Start Drinking These Lovely Wines?" (issue 73) firmly supports drinking up bottles before 6-8 years after the vintage, even with his strong preference for mature wines.

"And, I would not leave more than ten percent of my cellar cache of 2014 white Burgundies around to see their eighth birthdays, so I would drink them with serious exertion once 2019 arrives and plan to finish up the vintage by the end of 2021 or so."

Throughout the article he repeats this, stating that he expects only about 10% of white burgundies to mature and develop as they would before the times of premox. I'm guessing there are many posts about premox here so no need for a super in depth answer, but I'm curious to hear of how you and anyone else following this post treats white burgundy these days.

I buy them and drink them in 1-3 years. I will pick out one or two bottles to age and see what they become...but that's 1 or 2 bottles total, not per vintage. I don't have anything past 2014 and I expect I'll hold from another vintage like 2015 or 2016 given how much I love 2014 I'm not risking any of mine.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#84 Post by Robert Grenley » October 20th, 2018, 11:49 pm

I won’t buy white Burgundies anymore to cellar more than a few years...I have poured too many dollars down the sink due to premox. And, since I feel that upper level and very expensive WB’s are only worth their premium due to what they become with sufficient bottle age, I went from buying them about equal to how much red Burgundy I bought to essentially buying none over the past several years. Despite what everyone says about the premox problem getting better, it is IMO still pervasive if you age the wines as one did before the plague. So I buy lesser wines and Bourgognes for early drinking. Sadly, I would be drinking the 2014’s no later than maybe 2019-2020...or age them properly and just expect to pour a certain percentage down the sink.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#85 Post by Tim McCracken » October 21st, 2018, 3:56 am

I have a slightly different strategy than most of what has been written above. Besides looking at great producers, I like to explore an appellation that I have consistently liked. This means multiple producers, and in particular smaller domaines that are not mentioned among the big ones.

My top three appellations that I focus much of my buying on are Volnay, Ladoix and Saint Aubin (all in Cote du Beaune). None have Grand Crus, both all have an interesting selection of Premier Crus and Villages. I also splurge on some of the Grand Crus of the Cote de Nuits (e.g. Echezeaux, Chambertin) but those are the exceptions.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#86 Post by Howard Cooper » October 21st, 2018, 4:44 am

I know that one must pay at least $500 a bottle to get a decent bottle of Burgundy as is apparent from the lists of some people who have posted on this thread. But somehow, I guess by miracle, last night I had a Michel Juillot 2015 Bourgogne rouge that was quite enjoyable. I think I paid somewhere between $20 and $25 for the bottle. No, the earth did not shake as I drank the wine. It did not change my life (but I don't think my life really needs changing). It did not have gobs and gobs of fruit or a finish that lasted forever. But, it did taste yummy and was very enjoyable with dinner.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#87 Post by Glen Gold » October 21st, 2018, 7:50 am

This has been a great thread for neophytes like me, and your post, Tom, is a really useful primer/strategy/place to start. I've been buying the Bourgogne-level juice from very good producers and I've been happy with them so far.

As a guy who is mostly standing outside with his nose pressed up against the window, I've noticed an odd (to me) thing about Burgundy reviews that I've read when trying to assess whether it's worth taking a shot at something: unlike Bordeaux, California Cabs, Barolo or a lot of Rhone tasting notes, it seems like the scale for professional Burg reviewers ends around 95/96 points. I'm not a point chaser, but I've just been curious how it is that professional critics don't bestow something closer to "perfection" (whatever that is) here as opposed to other places. It's not just that Suckling doesn't grade here, right?
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#88 Post by Philip Laub » October 21st, 2018, 8:20 am

I have also wondered why California/Bordeaux/Rhone and other wines routinely get 99-100 point scores, and red and white Burgundies never seem to. As the above poster said, there appears to be a different scale being applied.

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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#89 Post by Sebastian C. » October 21st, 2018, 10:11 am

Philip Laub wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 8:20 am
I have also wondered why California/Bordeaux/Rhone and other wines routinely get 99-100 point scores, and red and white Burgundies never seem to. As the above poster said, there appears to be a different scale being applied.
My impression is that it is because burgundy does not need ratings thus vignerons dont care to submit samples. And to rate this wines out of your own pocket can be pretty expensive.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#90 Post by Howard Cooper » October 21st, 2018, 10:35 am

Burgundy was never big enough for Robert Parker, and Allen Meadows and John Gilman are much more conservative scorers than Parker. There was an era in the 90s when a number of Burgundy producers were trying to make bigger, more intensely colored wines with more new oak to satisfy Parker, but thankfully that school of winemaking seems to have largely been rejected.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#91 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 21st, 2018, 11:03 am

MitchTallan wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 7:39 am
I will tell you what I do fwiw (admittedly little). Get on Robert Panzer's (Down to Earth Wines) email list and read his sales blurbs and try the reasonably priced wines he raves about. You might very well-like me-find happiness and maintain some semblance of financial sanity.
And here we agree for a change. I look at all of Robert’s red burg offerings, and grab quite a bit of inexpensive (for Burgundy) wine that tastes very, very good. I get a few cherries here and there, but rarely grand cru, more likely premier cru from NSG or “smaller” premier cru from other villages.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#92 Post by Maxwell A. » October 21st, 2018, 4:05 pm

Well, after hearing everyone's responses I guess I'm gonna be opening up a lot of white burgundies over the next few years that I previously was going to try to hang onto for a bit longer. I'll probably hang onto a few bottles here and there in hopes of experiencing some mature white burgundies but I'll be careful with what bottles I choose to risk. I was already leaning in this direction but still trying to hang onto the idea that maybe bottles from recent vintages may not be as susceptible to premox. I thank you all for nudging me more towards opening these bottles sooner. I'd rather be safe than miss out on experiencing some of the bottles I have in my cellar. With only 1-2 bottles each of some wines like Raveneau premier and grand crus, I'd rather be able to experience the wines young than not at all.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#93 Post by Craig G » October 21st, 2018, 5:42 pm

You’re probably more likely to have corked Raveneau than premoxed. I don’t see the point in rushing to consume producers who have good premox records.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#94 Post by G. Bienstock » October 21st, 2018, 5:48 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 4:05 pm
I thank you all for nudging me more towards opening these bottles sooner. I'd rather be safe than miss out on experiencing some of the bottles I have in my cellar. With only 1-2 bottles each of some wines like Raveneau premier and grand crus, I'd rather be able to experience the wines young than not at all.
Open some mid level wines now along with the less expensive stuff. You will set a standard that should continue to expand with experience and more bottle age. Wait on the best bottles, Burgundy takes decades to fully shine.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#95 Post by Tom Reddick » October 21st, 2018, 7:35 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 20th, 2018, 7:15 pm
What are your thoughts on white burgundy cellaring right now? My heart longs for the aged white burgundy experience but even with the many steps producers have made to fight premox, I still hear so many disheartening stories. Gilman's article " The 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 White Burgundy Vintages: Is It Time To Start Drinking These Lovely Wines?" (issue 73) firmly supports drinking up bottles before 6-8 years after the vintage, even with his strong preference for mature wines.

"And, I would not leave more than ten percent of my cellar cache of 2014 white Burgundies around to see their eighth birthdays, so I would drink them with serious exertion once 2019 arrives and plan to finish up the vintage by the end of 2021 or so."

Throughout the article he repeats this, stating that he expects only about 10% of white burgundies to mature and develop as they would before the times of premox. I'm guessing there are many posts about premox here so no need for a super in depth answer, but I'm curious to hear of how you and anyone else following this post treats white burgundy these days.
Ah, the dreaded question. Here is my answer in its simplest form,

1. Premox has always existed. And prior to 1995 there are period where producers had horrible bouts of it- Amiot being the poster child. Pretty much every late 80s and 90s Montrachet I have opened at more than 8-10 years of age was premoxed. Ramonet has admitted to issues with some 1989s. More often though, it was a one-off kind of thing- and it was fairly rare.

2. Premox suddenly got a lot worse and more widespread with the 1995 vintage. We still do not know why.

3. No way am I buying grand cru burgundy, or even many premier crus, and drinking them in 3-6 years just to be safe. That is a waste of money IMHO- you are missing out on what you are really paying for that can only come with years of cellaring. Either buy them and cellar them or don't is my advice. There are plenty of lusty CA Chardonnays you get drink in youth for less money if you need the Chardonnay fix.

4. I buy very selectively the Domaines I really love, and instead of 3 bottles of each I will buy 6. These producers are now Drouhin and Bouzereau. Ramonet and Sauzet used to be in the mix, but I am not paying $600+ for Batard and Bienvenue. I got off that train in 2015 when those topped $500.

5. Provenance does not create premox, but I do think it might exacerbate the problem. This is purely anecdotal, but I have observed much higher premox rates in poorly stored bottles, as well as bottles that have come through secondary market sources that took years to deliver and thus might have not been properly stored long term. There is a difference between premoxed and cooked- and I know the difference. I think #6 comes into play here.

6. I think the issue is in the bottle/closure and not in the wine. There is no other way for the various premox patterns to logically co-exist as they do. I am aware new attention is being given to the notion of the bottle being part of the problem, and from what I know of glassmaking and molded products in general, there could be some validity in it. Time will tell, but that is the only new promising theory I have heard of late.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#96 Post by Craig G » October 21st, 2018, 8:07 pm

I’m not sure this is quite the right advice for this audience, but what I’ve been telling people who are complete Burgundy novices is to try any Faiveley red made after around 2008, in whatever price range you are comfortable with. In my experience the wines are all good and many are really excellent. They drink beautifully young and I expect they will age well. I love the top Mercureys which are about $40 now (though they made a special selection of Clos du Roy this year for $60). It’s not just Domaine wines, either: I bought some 2010 Village Chambolle, Vosne and Gevrey and those wines are really good right now.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#97 Post by Maxwell A. » October 21st, 2018, 8:27 pm

Tom Reddick wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 7:35 pm

3. No way am I buying grand cru burgundy, or even many premier crus, and drinking them in 3-6 years just to be safe. That is a waste of money IMHO- you are missing out on what you are really paying for that can only come with years of cellaring. Either buy them and cellar them or don't is my advice. There are plenty of lusty CA Chardonnays you get drink in youth for less money if you need the Chardonnay fix.
Thanks for the response, Tom. I am feeling the same about your point in #3 - I don't think it makes sense or is worthwhile to buy premier and grand cru if they aren't to be aged and consumed when mature. With what I have in my cellar, I'll have to make the tough decisions of whether to drink them early or take the risk and age them. I don't plan on buying many higher level white burgundies anymore for this reason.

As Craig mentioned a few comments ago, different producers seem to have been affected significantly more or less over different periods of time. I've heard people say that there has been a very low incidence of premox in Raveneau vs many other producers, for example. I know certain producers have had spans of years with very high premox incidence. For a while I was thinking of just trying to stick to the producers that seem to have the lowest premox rates but I've heard from so many experienced Burgundy drinkers that say no producer is immune, and that they've suffered premox'd bottles so many times that they've stopped buying them to age.

In the end, I guess it just depends how much risk you are comfortable taking. From all that I've heard and read, I've found much more in support of not cellaring white burgundy anymore. So even though I'd very much prefer to buy white burgundy to cellar until maturity, it doesn't seem like it's worth the risk. I'm sure I'll go back and forth on this from time to time, and maybe I won't give it up completely until I learn the hard way and have my own bad premox experiences, but I figure the best thing to do right now is to follow the advice I get from those who have been drinking burgundy much longer than I have.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#98 Post by Tom Reddick » October 21st, 2018, 9:29 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 8:27 pm
Tom Reddick wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 7:35 pm

3. No way am I buying grand cru burgundy, or even many premier crus, and drinking them in 3-6 years just to be safe. That is a waste of money IMHO- you are missing out on what you are really paying for that can only come with years of cellaring. Either buy them and cellar them or don't is my advice. There are plenty of lusty CA Chardonnays you get drink in youth for less money if you need the Chardonnay fix.
Thanks for the response, Tom. I am feeling the same about your point in #3 - I don't think it makes sense or is worthwhile to buy premier and grand cru if they aren't to be aged and consumed when mature. With what I have in my cellar, I'll have to make the tough decisions of whether to drink them early or take the risk and age them. I don't plan on buying many higher level white burgundies anymore for this reason.

As Craig mentioned a few comments ago, different producers seem to have been affected significantly more or less over different periods of time. I've heard people say that there has been a very low incidence of premox in Raveneau vs many other producers, for example. I know certain producers have had spans of years with very high premox incidence. For a while I was thinking of just trying to stick to the producers that seem to have the lowest premox rates but I've heard from so many experienced Burgundy drinkers that say no producer is immune, and that they've suffered premox'd bottles so many times that they've stopped buying them to age.

In the end, I guess it just depends how much risk you are comfortable taking. From all that I've heard and read, I've found much more in support of not cellaring white burgundy anymore. So even though I'd very much prefer to buy white burgundy to cellar until maturity, it doesn't seem like it's worth the risk. I'm sure I'll go back and forth on this from time to time, and maybe I won't give it up completely until I learn the hard way and have my own bad premox experiences, but I figure the best thing to do right now is to follow the advice I get from those who have been drinking burgundy much longer than I have.
On Craig's comment- that, plus my own thoughts on the glories of aged white burgundy versus drinking them young, is why you have to make a decision every time you buy white burgundy. And that decision is to ask yourself if you still want to buy the wine if you were to add 30% to the purchase price per bottle in your head and in real life buy a couple of extra bottles. And also do this knowing that they might all premox. 100% is not unheard of. I shared a case of a very rare 2002 Montrachet with a friend that ended up being a 100% loss.

To be more clear- Craig is exactly right, and the premox problem child of today- known 10 years after the fact- might have inadvertently fixed the problem in the meantime and current wines are fine. The reverse is true as well. Leflaive was always expensive, but I do not think it is a coincidence that their prices got REALLY high in the late 2000s when they had a very clean premox record from the late 90s and early 2000s.

Well, guess what- they are now one of the worst for premox starting in the late 2000s. If you were buying up Leflaive in the late 2000s and laughing at people who were buying Ramonet (which appears much improved), then the joke is really on you.

That is a big part of why I set the dollar thresholds I did on white burgundy purchases. It is not just the fact I am winding down- in fact as I wind down my bottle purchases are dropping but average per bottle is going way up because of burgundy price increases- but also when I add that 30% in my head to the price of a $500 bottle of wine- I just cannot do it. Even giving the decision consideration seems absurd to me at times because I remember when only Romanee-Conti and Petrus were $500 (aside from a few German Auction TBAs sold in tiny quantities). It wasn't that long ago- and now here I am saying, gee should I spend $500 on a bottle of white wine that has a pretty solid 20-30% chance of being vinegar long before it is mature?
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#99 Post by Markus S » October 22nd, 2018, 5:00 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 4:44 am
... It did not change my life (but I don't think my life really needs changing).
People forget that earthquakes, hurricanes, and wars are "life changing events" and not necessarily good ones!
If you become entranced with life changing wine, you will spend ridiculous amounts of money and be more disappointed than not, and feel sad that you cannot find your next quixotic fix.
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Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#100 Post by Robert Grenley » November 10th, 2018, 8:53 am

Markus S wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 5:00 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 4:44 am
... It did not change my life (but I don't think my life really needs changing).
People forget that earthquakes, hurricanes, and wars are "life changing events" and not necessarily good ones!
If you become entranced with life changing wine, you will spend ridiculous amounts of money and be more disappointed than not, and feel sad that you cannot find your next quixotic fix.
Absolutely true, and what I was trying to say earlier. It is so easy to read reviews that make a wine sound utterly magical and then be drawn into greater and greater overspending trying to capture for yourself that ethereal experience. (Or perhaps duplicate that ethereal experience you had years ago when a friend opened a Romanee-Conti for you.) And more times than not you will find that the wine you overspent for was really excellent but not necessarily worth $500 or $800 or $1500 or whatever you spent on it.
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