What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

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What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#1 Post by T. Altmayer »

In the last several weeks, I have experienced the highs and lows of Burgundy. A couple of wines were absolutely wonderful, one friend proclaiming a very nice premier cru wine "brilliant" and saying it entirely changed his perspective on drinking fine wine (he is a relatively new collector). Over the same time period, I have had two Grand Crus that were really disappointing. (I am purposefully excluding the exact wines to avoid the inevitable debate about vintage, producer, etc.). Let's just say all of the wines were well reviewed by Burghound and were drank during the appropriate drinking windows.

Tonight, I had my third straight Bordeaux over the same time period that exceeded expectations. None of the three hit the highs of the best performing Burgs, but all were more than enjoyable especially for the price (between $50 to $100).

I have twice as much Burgundy as Bordeaux but am starting to regret it. It seems I am disappointed almost as much as I am happy and I'm getting tired of $100+ bottles of wine that are mediocre.

I feel like I've read similar posts over the years beginning on the Ebob Board, but always dismissed them as trolls. Now I'm not so sure.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#2 Post by alan weinberg »

let’s see specifics and reasons—cooked, corked, too young, or just not good?

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#3 Post by Chris Seiber »

Bordeaux is way more predictable and consistent. Is that a pro or a con? That’s for you to decide — I’m not implying one way or the other.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#4 Post by T. Altmayer »

alan weinberg wrote: November 1st, 2020, 8:19 pm let’s see specifics and reasons—cooked, corked, too young, or just not good?
Alan, it is a fair question and honestly I did not get into specifics because that was not intended to be the point for me. None of the wines were flawed. Sure, we can argue about the validity of each of the wines, but this is an ongoing experience for me. The highs over time are some of best wines I’ve ever had, but just as often I am disappointed especially at the price point. I’ve had d’Angervilles, Lambrays and Faiveley (probably three of my favorite producers that I would drink relatively regularly) that have rocked my world and had the same wines from similar vintages and I have been sorely disappointed. I’ve tried to use Burghound and others to preview vintages and specific wines and I’m sure there are some hits and misses using that method. Butt in the end it seems more of a crapshoot than most regions. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of these wines and while I’m not an expert by any means, I think I know what I like and dislike at this point.

Again, I have more Burgundy than any other region, but dollar for dollar I’m just been as disappointed as I am happy
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#5 Post by Tomás Costa »

I've heard Jasper Morris say that the fun in Burgundy is that you never know what you're going to get once you open a bottle. I totally see his point, but when you're spending top dollar on those bottles it really can be a drag, and makes you think twice about it.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#6 Post by Sean S y d n e y »

Without trying to get too abstract or flowery here, I do think there is an element of the transcendent and ethereal that we are seeking in great bottles of Burgundy. I don't claim to have even a fraction of the experience with either blue-chip Bordeaux or world-class Burgundy that many others here do, but the exceptional examples of aged, high-quality Bordeaux I have had I would describe more with adjectives as stately, elegant, harmonious, resolved, balanced. Whereas, with Burgundy, I would use words like achingly beautiful, transparent, delicate, exquisite, and perhaps even spiritual.

The highs are higher but the lows are lower, because there's inevitably some small expectation of the divine spark that we hope to see more and more of as we climb the classification ladder. We're constantly chasing that dragon, even in only to get a glimpse of it with perhaps a "mere" village-level wine, but there is always some level of disappointment when it's absent.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#7 Post by James Billy »

Sometimes drinking Burgundy young is the safest bet. After that it's a crapshoot. Obviously you're missing out on the highs, but your also avoiding the lows.

Non wine drinkers would be amazed that higher prices don't equate to more certainty of a positive experience.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#8 Post by c fu »

is bordeaux consistently good?
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#9 Post by James Billy »

c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
Consistently corked in my experience [swearing.gif]

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#10 Post by jordan jacobs »

Sean S y d n e y wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:02 pm Without trying to get too abstract or flowery here, I do think there is an element of the transcendent and ethereal that we are seeking in great bottles of Burgundy. I don't claim to have even a fraction of the experience with either blue-chip Bordeaux or world-class Burgundy that many others here do, but the exceptional examples of aged, high-quality Bordeaux I have had I would describe more with adjectives as stately, elegant, harmonious, resolved, balanced. Whereas, with Burgundy, I would use words like achingly beautiful, transparent, delicate, exquisite, and perhaps even spiritual.

The highs are higher but the lows are lower, because there's inevitably some small expectation of the divine spark that we hope to see more and more of as we climb the classification ladder. We're constantly chasing that dragon, even in only to get a glimpse of it with perhaps a "mere" village-level wine, but there is always some level of disappointment when it's absent.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#11 Post by J Wei »

c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
I think bordeaux is simply just more "consistent" . . . not necessary "consistently good". I suppose one can argue that if you like the particular style of any Chateau or Domaine, that producer / wine would be "consistently good" year in and year out in that person's perspective.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#12 Post by Paul @bbott »

Does it depend on the level of wine you are buying? I love both, but can’t afford the best burgundies. I do find more consistency in cru classe bordeaux, but find a lot of overworked wines at the grand bourgeois level where a village Santenay would be an easier more food friendly drink.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#13 Post by Kent Comley »

I am offering even money that this thread will exceed 1000 posts. Where's Bill Klapp when you need him.

I take it that OP is talking about classed growth Bordeaux? and not the other 95% of the wine from the region?
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#14 Post by RichardFlack »

Heart vs head yes, but not sure that really explains perceived consistency.
I wonder if scale of production is a factor too; also not relying on a single variety, at least on the left bank.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#15 Post by Julian Marshall »

I assume we're talking about reds? Don't even get me started on white Burgundy! Sean's take is excellent, but I'm with James Billy on this - I dropped out of Burgundy very early on because of all the uncertainty, after one bad bottle too many.

Bordeaux CCs have the advantage of higher production, which in the past meant lower prices, but also they are blends of different grapes, as Richard says.
Also, they have that wonderful invention called "wine consultants"! If nothing else, Rolland is certainly consistent.

But of course consistency can be boring and I'm quite prepared to accept that Burgundy is more idiosyncratic and interesting, if you're prepared to take the frogs with the princes.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#16 Post by J D o v e »

James Billy wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:51 pm
c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
Consistently corked in my experience [swearing.gif]
What do you mean?
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#17 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
No. Consistently great!
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#18 Post by Howard Cooper »

People who like Bordeaux better tend to find Bordeaux better and more consistent and people who like Burgundy better tend to find Burgundy better and more consistent. When we are talking about consistent Bordeaux, are we leaving out Rolland wines? Depends on the Bordeaux lover - Alfert hates the wines, Leve loves them. Is Bordeaux consistent? When you are talking about Bordeaux, are you just describing the classified wines and some St. Emilions, Pomerols and a few others or are you including the ocean of wine from lesser regions, some of which are great values and many of which are plonk.

And, at what age are we drinking the Bordeaux and Burgundy. Drink them both at 6 years old or so when many have lost their initial fruit and have not yet gained secondary characteristics and you will find that neither is very consistent.

I don't know of any "consistently good" wine regions in the world where I can buy wines from random producers and be happy. I know that I recently had a Clos des Lambrays 2002 that I loved (and have since it was young) and not too long ago had a 2005 Clos de l'Oratoire that surprised me - I did not like the wine that much when it was young, but it has gotten pretty good with time.

If you are paying $100+ on wines from either region and find them to be inconsistent, then you probably don't really like the wines from that region very much, you are not real good at knowing producers of that region that fit your taste preferences or you are drinking them at the wrong age. It is not really that hard to find wines from either region at that price point that are really good. The key is learning producers, and not just who is a good producer and who is a mediocre producer, but who makes wines in a style you like. Wines in Bordeaux IMHO tend to taste more similar than Burgundies, so it probably is easier to find Bordeaux that fit your palate than it is to find Burgundies that fit your palate, until you learn producers. There is one HUGE caveat to this - Rolland. Bordeaux becomes much less consistent if your palate is more like that of Alfert than is your palate is more like Leve.

It is possible that your palate is just changing and you now like Bordeaux better than Burgundy. Palate changes are a big part of wine drinking.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#19 Post by Howard Cooper »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:21 am
c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
No. Consistently great!
Maybe I should link you to some of your comments over the years on Rolland wines?
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#20 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:23 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:21 am
c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
No. Consistently great!
Maybe I should link you to some of your comments over the years on Rolland wines?
Ha. That’s not Bordeaux. That’s some modernized, international crap. [wow.gif]
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#21 Post by Howard Cooper »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:29 am
Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:23 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:21 am

No. Consistently great!
Maybe I should link you to some of your comments over the years on Rolland wines?
Ha. That’s not Bordeaux. That’s some modernized, international crap. [wow.gif]
[worship.gif] [worship.gif] [cheers.gif]

I have the perfect title for a wine thread for next April 1 - Rolland to start consulting for Baudry and other top Loire estates.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#22 Post by Kevin Porter »

Heart versus head redux; very well expressed by Sean. This will sound contradictory, as it invokes the head, but I also think that Burgs appeal more to geeks who study micro-climate; soil; subtle differences in elevage; etc. While I know that all those matter in Bordeaux I think they are more transparent (apparent?) in Burgundy.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#23 Post by Julian Marshall »

Of course, if you want idiosyncratic, exquisite and consistent, the Loire's the place to go now but shh don't tell anyone else!

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#24 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Julian Marshall wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 4:52 am Of course, if you want idiosyncratic, exquisite and consistent, the Loire's the place to go now but shh don't tell anyone else!
This, well, except for the consistent part. Weather is a bit more sketchy, though we’ve definitely had a great run recently.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#25 Post by Markus S »

Burgundy can be consistently good, but it's harder to catch "in the zone".
Bordeaux you have to spends wads of cash figuring out if the wine is made in your style or not, which is not easy when so many are made in styles all over the map. Burgundy is much more consistent and good, you can almost always expect a good wine.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#26 Post by Jürgen Steinke »

I think Burgundy is way more complicated than Bordeaux. Bordeaux Chateaux are mostly large estates producing large quantities of wine. Burgundy Domaines are very small in comparison in most cases and they produce very small quantities of wine from a dozen+ sites. To understand the area entirely takes you an entire life.

I think it is financially easier to select the best fruit from a vineyard of 50 hectares than from 1 hectare which is not unusual in Burgundy. If the vintage was good and no difficult and no risky decisions are needed to produce fine wine then most what emerges from Burgundy is between good to superb. If it was a difficult year for the one or other reason you can experience anything, even almost a disaster.

The highs and lows are not that big at Bordeaux IMO. Selection is easier and Cabernet and Merlot are more robust than Pinot Noir. Some old winemakers sometimes said: If you can make good Pinot Noir you can make everything because no other grape is more demanding and difficult than Pinot. If you can handle all these challenges you can handle all the others in a vineyard or cellar.

I like both, Burgundy and Bordeaux. And Tuscany, Spain, Northern Rhone, Beaujolais, South Afrika, Germany, Switzerland, Austria ... so many good wines are available today ... focusing on one region alone is boring IMO.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#27 Post by James Billy »

J Dove wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 3:58 am
James Billy wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:51 pm
c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
Consistently corked in my experience [swearing.gif]
What do you mean?
TCA infected corks.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#28 Post by Josh Grossman »

T. Altmayer wrote: November 1st, 2020, 8:09 pm In the last several weeks, I have experienced the highs and lows of Burgundy. A couple of wines were absolutely wonderful, one friend proclaiming a very nice premier cru wine "brilliant" and saying it entirely changed his perspective on drinking fine wine (he is a relatively new collector). Over the same time period, I have had two Grand Crus that were really disappointing. (I am purposefully excluding the exact wines to avoid the inevitable debate about vintage, producer, etc.). Let's just say all of the wines were well reviewed by Burghound and were drank during the appropriate drinking windows.

Tonight, I had my third straight Bordeaux over the same time period that exceeded expectations. None of the three hit the highs of the best performing Burgs, but all were more than enjoyable especially for the price (between $50 to $100).

I have twice as much Burgundy as Bordeaux but am starting to regret it. It seems I am disappointed almost as much as I am happy and I'm getting tired of $100+ bottles of wine that are mediocre.

I feel like I've read similar posts over the years beginning on the Ebob Board, but always dismissed them as trolls. Now I'm not so sure.
They are just different and this is a daft inquiry. "What's more consistently good: Napa or Oregon: Brunello or Barolo: Port or Sherry: Alsace or Mosel: Northern Rhone or Chinon," would be akin to what you are asking.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#29 Post by Joshua Kates »

I actually disagree with last post. Bordeaux and Burgundy in red seem to me to represent two different poles of approaches to wine--one, as others have said, based on the profile of a chateau, which blends!, and which does not have to source from contiguous vineyards and the other, much more tied to place (though I know not always a single vineyard per wine), vintage, and made in much smaller qualities. Assuming roughly the same price point, let's say $100-$200, I think it just is easier and more probable to purchase, cellar, and open a bottle of Bordeaux that you will consistently enjoy. Yet the highs are higher, imho, in Burgundy and there's the rub.
(To be clear, I enjoy and cellar both, and Cali and Oregon and Italy and Portugal and Spain and so on; but the largest percentage of my cellar is Burgundy, red and white.)
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#30 Post by T. Altmayer »

Josh Grossman wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 6:03 am They are just different and this is a daft inquiry. "What's more consistently good: Napa or Oregon: Brunello or Barolo: Port or Sherry: Alsace or Mosel: Northern Rhone or Chinon," would be akin to what you are asking.
I actually don’t think it is daft at all. Being different is not the same as a lack of consistency. As I said, the best wines I’ve ever had have been from Burgundy, but dollar for dollar they also underperform far more than Bordeaux. I will always drink Burgundy for those moments when it achieves something that for me no other region can. It is just perplexing and frustrating — again maybe it is just me — that I spend more time chasing that moment than actually experiencing it.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#31 Post by T. Altmayer »

I had one friend text me this morning after our discussion the other night and suggested that because Pinot is a more delicate grape that maybe it does not travel as well and so Americans are getting a less consistent product than France.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#32 Post by Kirk.Grant »

Sean S y d n e y wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:02 pm Without trying to get too abstract or flowery here, I do think there is an element of the transcendent and ethereal that we are seeking in great bottles of Burgundy. I don't claim to have even a fraction of the experience with either blue-chip Bordeaux or world-class Burgundy that many others here do, but the exceptional examples of aged, high-quality Bordeaux I have had I would describe more with adjectives as stately, elegant, harmonious, resolved, balanced. Whereas, with Burgundy, I would use words like achingly beautiful, transparent, delicate, exquisite, and perhaps even spiritual.

The highs are higher but the lows are lower, because there's inevitably some small expectation of the divine spark that we hope to see more and more of as we climb the classification ladder. We're constantly chasing that dragon, even in only to get a glimpse of it with perhaps a "mere" village-level wine, but there is always some level of disappointment when it's absent.
To build on this statement, I recently had a corked bottle of Richebourg and within the last year and I have to say that the disappointment for this wine being corked was far greater than a bottle of corked Bordeaux that I actually paid more for. So the disappointment was not weighted based on cost, but the loss of a potential experience. I value the lost experience of the Burgundy more than I did of the Bordeaux.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#33 Post by Howard Cooper »

Josh Grossman wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 6:03 am
T. Altmayer wrote: November 1st, 2020, 8:09 pm In the last several weeks, I have experienced the highs and lows of Burgundy. A couple of wines were absolutely wonderful, one friend proclaiming a very nice premier cru wine "brilliant" and saying it entirely changed his perspective on drinking fine wine (he is a relatively new collector). Over the same time period, I have had two Grand Crus that were really disappointing. (I am purposefully excluding the exact wines to avoid the inevitable debate about vintage, producer, etc.). Let's just say all of the wines were well reviewed by Burghound and were drank during the appropriate drinking windows.

Tonight, I had my third straight Bordeaux over the same time period that exceeded expectations. None of the three hit the highs of the best performing Burgs, but all were more than enjoyable especially for the price (between $50 to $100).

I have twice as much Burgundy as Bordeaux but am starting to regret it. It seems I am disappointed almost as much as I am happy and I'm getting tired of $100+ bottles of wine that are mediocre.

I feel like I've read similar posts over the years beginning on the Ebob Board, but always dismissed them as trolls. Now I'm not so sure.
They are just different and this is a daft inquiry. "What's more consistently good: Napa or Oregon: Brunello or Barolo: Port or Sherry: Alsace or Mosel: Northern Rhone or Chinon," would be akin to what you are asking.
Easy to answer. Whichever ones you like best. In your favorite regions, one tends to like good and great wines. In one's less favored regions, one tends to only like the great wines.

I just wish the people who don't really like Burgundy would just stop buying it. Just don't worry your pretty little heads about it and save the wine for people who love it. It boggles my mind how much money people are willing to pay for wines they don't like in the hopes that lightening will strike.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#34 Post by J D o v e »

James Billy wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 5:46 am
J Dove wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 3:58 am
James Billy wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:51 pm
Consistently corked in my experience [swearing.gif]
What do you mean?
TCA infected corks.

Sorry for your bad luck.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#35 Post by RyanC »

Bordeaux is more consistent. Burgundy is more consistently good.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#36 Post by T. Altmayer »

RyanC wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 9:04 am Bordeaux is more consistent. Burgundy is more consistently good.
I would say that Bordeaux is more consistently good than Burgundy; when it is good, Burgundy is more often great than Bordeaux.
Last edited by T. Altmayer on November 2nd, 2020, 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#37 Post by Curtis Chen »

c fu wrote: November 1st, 2020, 9:49 pm is bordeaux consistently good?
Love this 😂😂

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#38 Post by T. Altmayer »

Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 8:39 am I just wish the people who don't really like Burgundy would just stop buying it. Just don't worry your pretty little heads about it and save the wine for people who love it. It boggles my mind how much money people are willing to pay for wines they don't like in the hopes that lightening will strike.
I drink a lot of Burgundy between $50 to $75, at least a few bottles a month, and enjoy the vast majority of it. It is just at the next level up ($100+ a bottle), I experience more inconsistency than in other regions. It is entirely possible it is just me and poor buying choices.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#39 Post by A Songeur »

Fourrier is more consistently good than the whole of Bordeaux... [cheers.gif]

Mugnier is ...

Mugneret Gibourg is...

And many many others...

... consistently Good.. except when they are out of this world... which is also consistently achieved flirtysmile
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#40 Post by Howard Cooper »

T. Altmayer wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 10:04 am
Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 8:39 am I just wish the people who don't really like Burgundy would just stop buying it. Just don't worry your pretty little heads about it and save the wine for people who love it. It boggles my mind how much money people are willing to pay for wines they don't like in the hopes that lightening will strike.
I drink a lot of Burgundy between $50 to $75, at least a few bottles a month, and enjoy the vast majority of it. It is just at the next level up ($100+ a bottle), I experience more inconsistency than in other regions. It is entirely possible it is just me and poor buying choices.
Are you drinking wine from the same producers (say villages level wines in the group you like vs. premier crus from the same producers for the higher priced group) or are you going to different producers for the more expensive wines. Our Burgundy tasting group has traditionally done about a tasting a year where the theme is villages level wines. We are always surprised at just how good they are. I think there are at least two reasons to this. First, the wines tend to come from higher level producers - I think there is a tendency for all of us to try to jump to grand crus at the +100 category and go down a bit on producer since prices have risen so much (esp. since the tariff).

Next, price does not always equal quality. I tend to prize finesse in Burgundies more than power (although this is not always true). Wines from wineries like Dublere or Amiot, for example, tend not to get the big scores that wines from guys making bigger wines tend to get and so can be much better values (and wines) than wines from producers making bigger wines. The same could be happening to you - you might prize different qualities in a wine from the majority of the market. That could be good. For years I loved the wines of Jacky Truchot even though most critics did not. So, the wines were pretty reasonably priced until he retired at which point everyone on the internet seemed to fall in love with the wines at the same time and prices went soaring. You probably could find a number of threads from a small group of people on this board who have fallen in love in red wines from Chassagne Montrachet. These wines are not for everyone. But, I love the good ones.

Also, while there are exceptions, I think more village level wines tend to taste good at say around 10-15 years old while higher level wines need more time. This difference even can be true among grand crus. A few years ago I was able to buy some Rossignol-Trapet 2001 grand crus at the winery for really good prices. The Latricieres Chambertins I purchased are really good, but the Chambertin I had was not near ready yet. Yes, the Chambertin is objectively the better wine and someday will taste better but for right now I get a lot more pleasure drinking the Latricieres.

I have seen posts about how there is something wrong with a Bonnes Mares or a Corton because they don't taste really good at 10 years old. Well the wine is what it is and what it is is a wine that needs lots of time. At 10 years old, I would rather have a good villages wine than a Corton. At 25, my preferences might well be different. Not too different from Bordeaux. I am not drinking Latour or Leoville las Cases too often at 10-15 years old.

In summary, if you like the $50-75 Burgundies you are buying more than the $100+ Burgundies you are buying, buy the ones you like better. Wine is about enjoyment. If you like Bordeaux better than Burgundy, drink more Bordeaux. If you like $50 Burgundy better than $100 Burgundy, be thankful and buy what you like.
Last edited by Howard Cooper on November 2nd, 2020, 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#41 Post by J.Vizuete »

Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 11:52 am
T. Altmayer wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 10:04 am
Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 8:39 am I just wish the people who don't really like Burgundy would just stop buying it. Just don't worry your pretty little heads about it and save the wine for people who love it. It boggles my mind how much money people are willing to pay for wines they don't like in the hopes that lightening will strike.
I drink a lot of Burgundy between $50 to $75, at least a few bottles a month, and enjoy the vast majority of it. It is just at the next level up ($100+ a bottle), I experience more inconsistency than in other regions. It is entirely possible it is just me and poor buying choices.
Are you drinking wine from the same producers (say villages level wines in the group you like vs. premier crus from the same producers for the higher priced group) or are you going to different producers for the more expensive wines. Our Burgundy tasting group has traditionally done about a tasting a year where the theme is villages level wines. We are always surprised at just how good they are. I think there are at least two reasons to this. First, the wines tend to come from higher level producers - I think there is a tendency for all of us to try to jump to grand crus at the +100 category and go down a bit on producer since prices have risen so much (esp. since the tariff).

Also, while there are exceptions, I think more village level wines tend to taste good at say around 10-15 years old while higher level wines need more time. This difference even can be true among grand crus. A few years ago I was able to buy some Rossignol-Trapet 2001 grand crus at the winery for really good prices. The Latricieres Chambertins I purchased are really good, but the Chambertin I had was not near ready yet. Yes, the Chambertin is objectively the better wine and someday will taste better but for right now I get a lot more pleasure drinking the Latricieres.

I have seen posts about how there is something wrong with a Bonnes Mares or a Corton because they don't taste really good at 10 years old. Well the wine is what it is and what it is is a wine that needs lots of time. At 10 years old, I would rather have a good villages wine than a Corton. At 25, my preferences might well be different. Not too different from Bordeaux. I am not drinking Latour or Leoville las Cases too often at 10-15 years old.
+1 great post
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#42 Post by Howard Cooper »

J.Vizuete wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 11:53 am
Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 11:52 am
T. Altmayer wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 10:04 am

I drink a lot of Burgundy between $50 to $75, at least a few bottles a month, and enjoy the vast majority of it. It is just at the next level up ($100+ a bottle), I experience more inconsistency than in other regions. It is entirely possible it is just me and poor buying choices.
Are you drinking wine from the same producers (say villages level wines in the group you like vs. premier crus from the same producers for the higher priced group) or are you going to different producers for the more expensive wines. Our Burgundy tasting group has traditionally done about a tasting a year where the theme is villages level wines. We are always surprised at just how good they are. I think there are at least two reasons to this. First, the wines tend to come from higher level producers - I think there is a tendency for all of us to try to jump to grand crus at the +100 category and go down a bit on producer since prices have risen so much (esp. since the tariff).

Also, while there are exceptions, I think more village level wines tend to taste good at say around 10-15 years old while higher level wines need more time. This difference even can be true among grand crus. A few years ago I was able to buy some Rossignol-Trapet 2001 grand crus at the winery for really good prices. The Latricieres Chambertins I purchased are really good, but the Chambertin I had was not near ready yet. Yes, the Chambertin is objectively the better wine and someday will taste better but for right now I get a lot more pleasure drinking the Latricieres.

I have seen posts about how there is something wrong with a Bonnes Mares or a Corton because they don't taste really good at 10 years old. Well the wine is what it is and what it is is a wine that needs lots of time. At 10 years old, I would rather have a good villages wine than a Corton. At 25, my preferences might well be different. Not too different from Bordeaux. I am not drinking Latour or Leoville las Cases too often at 10-15 years old.
+1 great post
I added a bit to it so hopefully you still like it.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#43 Post by JLee »

My understanding was blending helps a wine be more consistent year to year.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#44 Post by Neal.Mollen »

I mean, they are two very different flavor profiles. If you "like" bordeaux and love burgundy (or vice versa) the answer is pretty easy.

For me, bdx much more consistently delivers pleasure because I refer the flavor profile. I like burgundy, own a fair amount (for me), and enjoy drinking it. It's just not my jam.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#45 Post by J.Vizuete »

Howard Cooper wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 12:03 pm
J.Vizuete wrote: November 2nd, 2020, 11:53 am +1 great post
I added a bit to it so hopefully you still like it.
Nah, points are all diluted down now.. TLDR... JK Howard, I often appreciate your insight.

I don't buy much red burgundy, maybe only 5-10% of my cellar, but often identify with the sentiment expressed in the OP and elsewhere in this thread, namely that the highs are higher with Burgundy. I once heard it expressed that if tasting through France, a new wine drinker might pick 9 of their 10 favorite wines from Bordeaux, but the one that haunts you forever (so artfully phrased by Sean) will always be Burgundy.

My cellar is pretty well rounded (at least I think) and reflects what we drink. Fifteen percent or so sparkling, 35% whites, and 50% reds from diverse regions with varying degrees of age. So when I buy red burgundy, especially a $100+ bottle, it's an effort to scratch that special dopamine itch that only RB lays claim to. The other wines I'm holding are intended to please in a different way - The volume and power of a Realm cabernet, the funk of a Cayuse syrah, the purity of a PYCM chard, the precise minerality of a Vilmart champagne. Those other genres deliver on their purpose at a very high rate.

Those with a long time interest in red burgs who have developed a complex framework may appreciate the simple elegance of a well stored village level wine from a good producer. You could open a 2001 Hudelot Noellat Chambolle for instance and be quite pleased if it shows as a resolved, mature wine of good character, even if there are no fireworks. Whereas if I buy the same wine at auction at $70, I'm likely wanting more from the wine than it has to give.

In this regard, I think the burgundy aficionados on the board have it right, because their intended purposes for buying and cellaring red burgundy are diverse and thus allow for expectations more aligned with reality.
Last edited by J.Vizuete on November 3rd, 2020, 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#46 Post by Chris Seiber »

T. Altmayer wrote: November 1st, 2020, 8:09 pm In the last several weeks, I have experienced the highs and lows of Burgundy. A couple of wines were absolutely wonderful, one friend proclaiming a very nice premier cru wine "brilliant" and saying it entirely changed his perspective on drinking fine wine (he is a relatively new collector). Over the same time period, I have had two Grand Crus that were really disappointing. (I am purposefully excluding the exact wines to avoid the inevitable debate about vintage, producer, etc.). Let's just say all of the wines were well reviewed by Burghound and were drank during the appropriate drinking windows.

Tonight, I had my third straight Bordeaux over the same time period that exceeded expectations. None of the three hit the highs of the best performing Burgs, but all were more than enjoyable especially for the price (between $50 to $100).

I have twice as much Burgundy as Bordeaux but am starting to regret it. It seems I am disappointed almost as much as I am happy and I'm getting tired of $100+ bottles of wine that are mediocre.

I feel like I've read similar posts over the years beginning on the Ebob Board, but always dismissed them as trolls. Now I'm not so sure.
When you say "consistently good," do you mean (1) if you picked out 20 random examples from the region, how many of them would be good, or (2) would a person with moderate familiarity with the region have a high likelihood of picking out producers, vintages and maturity that will turn out to be good?

I kind of doubt you meant question (1), which seems kind of pointless, as there are many good and bad wines from any region. If you meant (2), then I do think Bordeaux is much easier to predict. If you said "spend $600 on 8 bottles of wine from the region you haven't had before that will drink well," you could probably hit on 7 or 8 out of the 8 in Bordeaux without much difficulty. There are far fewer different bottlings, larger production, more consistency, more predictability about what age the wines will show well, etc.

That isn't my way of saying "Bordeaux > Burgundy" in the least, just trying to focus on the question of "consistency," at least based on my guess as to what question you are asking. Maybe "predictability" would be more what I'm really getting at than "consistency."

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#47 Post by T. Altmayer »

Yes, perhaps predictably would work better.

I admit I may be drinking wines too soon or even too late. Had an 01 Faivelely Clos Des Corton that was fine, but expected more as it lacked real complexity. I had an 05 Lambrays that a friend served and thought it would be too young (and it was), but it was also wonderful. Similarly I had a 99 d’Angerville Clos des Ducs (one of my favorite producers) which I had high hopes for and again, it was flat (not a flawed bottle from what I could tell).

I hesitated to provide examples because the focus would be on the individual wines, but this seems to happen more than I would expect. I’m not bashing Burgundy, just expressing a frustration.
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#48 Post by David Glasser »

Trying to put aside the issue of personal preference for style, once you know which styles and producers you like, I think they are equally consistently good.

The difference, and I think Juergen said it first in this thread, is that Burgundy is more complex. It takes longer to learn the territory and figure out which producers and terroirs are to your liking. If you’re starting out or throwing darts to make your picks, your perception will likely be that Bordeaux is more consistent.

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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#49 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Consistently good: Bordeaux
Sometimes mindblowingly great: Burgundy
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Re: What is More Consistently Good: Burg or Bordeaux?

#50 Post by Jay Miller »

For me the question only makes sense limiting it from the start to producers you know you like (of course all regions are inconsistent if you include the dreck).

Doing so I'll answer Bordeaux simply because Burgundy has the annoying habit of shutting down, then opening up, then shutting down again, then opening up again. Mind you I think that annoyance is worth dealing with since the payoffs are so great but it can't be denied that Bordeaux evolves in a more linear fashion and once it opens up it generally stays open.
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