Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#1 Post by Maxwell A. » October 15th, 2018, 11:51 pm

Quick Intro: I'm quite early on in my wine buying and drinking career and have already found myself entranced with Burgundy. It seems to be arguably the most intellectually stimulating region and I love the taste of the wines. 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. I've been keeping an eye out for newer/up and coming/less known value producers but usually end up going with the trusty established producers since there is less information on the new guys and even if I taste the wines I don't always know how well they'll develop in 10+ years.

From those of you with a bit more experience with Burgundy, here are some questions:

What are your philosophies, opinions, and experiences with buying and consuming Burgundy?
How do you choose between buying different producers, vintages, and quality levels?
How does value factor in for you?

Do you buy 3 bottles of village wine or 1 bottle of Premier/Grand Cru?
Are you more likely to wish that you bought a bottle or two of Grand Cru/Premier Cru instead of the village wines or wish that you had bought 3-6 bottles of village wine instead of the Grand/Premier Cru(s) that turned out to not be $THAT$ much better or pleasurable.

Is it worth getting a few bottles here and there from great producers like Roumier, Dujac, Rousseau, Grivot, Roulot, Raveneau even with how expensive they can be?
DRC, Leroy, Coche etc out of the price range and I worry that these other producers may soon be too which is part of the reason I've tried to buy some of their wines here and there. Everyone says producer is most important in Burgundy but when do the wines of these legendary producers become so expensive that it's not worth it anymore unless you've got $$$$$?

I've come across people that only buy deep in "great" vintages and avoid "off" or "weaker" years. I see the appeal of many of the "great" vintages but isn't part of the fun finding great deals in the "lesser" or less popular vintages, usually from the best producers? Or am I just inexperienced and should be loading up on only 2015 reds and 2014 whites? How special really are the "great" vintages? Are the best wines mind blowingly better than the best of other years?

I know this will be different for everyone and there are many factors that go into this such as how much money you have to spend on wine, why and when you drink etc. but I wanted to get some opinions and see how others think about these questions. I greatly appreciate any comments and advice you all can contribute! [cheers.gif]
Last edited by Maxwell A. on October 16th, 2018, 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Gerhard P.
Posts: 4865
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 11:06 pm
Location: Graz/Austria

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#2 Post by Gerhard P. » 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 ...
Gerhard Pr@esent
composer / AT

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#3 Post by Howard Cooper » October 16th, 2018, 5:26 am

I was hoping that there would be an answer "all of the above".

I drink more Burgundy than anything else. By a lot. I have had the opportunity over the last 40 years ago to taste a lot of different Burgundies from a lot of different producers and vintages and can say that my tastes do not necessarily always agree with the general consensus. That does not mean I am right and everyone else is wrong, but rather I need to buy within my own budget and preferences and not go to the crowd.

For example, I love DRC, but don't buy them because of cost. By contrast, I don't really find the wines of Leroy to my taste. The wines all taste to much like Leroy to me and not as much like their terroir. They also tend to be bigger wines than I am looking for in Burgundy.

I drink everything from Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc to Grand Crus. I will buy the great vintages (probably in greater quantities) and the middle vintages but not the bottom vintages. I have little 2004 and 2011 for example and probably wish I had less. But, I am perfectly happy drinking vintages like 2006, 2007 and 2008 from well chosen producers and esp. from vintages like 2000 and 2001. Probably the biggest change in wines since I began drinking wines in the 70s is the improvement of wines from what I call the middle vintages - over the last 20 years, everything that is not 1999, 2005 and 2010 on the one end or 2004 on the other end. And, most people continue to miss this completely and just talk about great vintages and lesser vintages.

The top 10 red Burgundy producers in my cellar by quantity of bottles owned are, in order, Truchot, Jadot, Rossignol-Trapet, Dublere, Chandon des Briailles, Hudelot-Noellat, Henri Jouan, Michel Gaunoux (probably should not be, I like these wines but do not love them and probably should have purchased fewer), Bouchard and then Cecile Tremblay and Mugneret-Gibourg tied. So, a combination of your categories.

For whites, my top four (much lower quantities) are Ramonet, Dublere, Bernard Moreau, and PYCM. PYCM would move to second if you treat his wines and those of his wife as one winery - don't know yet whether that makes sense to do.

My overall philosophy for someone just getting into Burgundy is to taste - taste as widely as you can. Don't buy too much too soon. There will always be another vintage. Buy what you like. For example, vintages 2012, 2013 and 2014 are probably about the same in quality, but very different in style. You are likely to like one of these vintages a great deal more than the other two - which one, I don't know and you won't either by reading my notes or those of anyone else. Also, on my list above, the wines of say Rossignol-Trapet, Dublere and Chandon des Briailles are extremely different from each other in style. Which will you like best. Only you would know and only by tasting - and only by tasting over years as the wines mature.

As to drinking wines young vs. old, I often like young lesser appellation wines with fish like salmon or tuna. For example, a Bourgogne Rouge from Hudelot-Noellat or Jouan or a Chorey les Beaune from Dublere can be perfect with salmon on a weeknight. But, I tend to like my wines from higher classifications with some age to them. Probably at least 10-15 years old. Very dependent on vintage. I have been enjoying some premier crus and grand crus from 2007 and 2008 now, although they probably are not yet fully mature. By contrast, my 2005 Bourgogne Rouge from Truchot is just beginning to get mature.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
GregT
Posts: 8068
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#4 Post by GregT » October 16th, 2018, 7:56 am

I'm quite early on in my wine buying and drinking career and have already found myself entranced with Burgundy. It seems to be arguably the most intellectually stimulating region
These two don't go together all that well - if you're early on then it's only the most intellectually stimulating region of the few you've tried, and there's an entire planet to consider.

You might take all of what Howard said into consideration, but don't decide that there's no need to look elsewhere. There's a lot of interesting and intellectually stimulating wine made these days, so while exploring, it's a good idea to remain open to discovering regions new to you. [cheers.gif]
G . T a t a r

[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

User avatar
c fu
Moderator
<dfn>Moderator</dfn>
Posts: 30896
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:26 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#5 Post by c fu » October 16th, 2018, 8:05 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 5:26 am

For whites, my top four (much lower quantities) are Ramonet, Dublere, Bernard Moreau, and PYCM. PYCM would move to second if you treat his wines and those of his wife as one winery - don't know yet whether that makes sense to do
Two different wineries. She has her own vines and makes the wines herself. So doesn’t make sense to put them together.
Ch@rlie F|_|
"Roulot is Roulot"©

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/clayfu.wine

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#6 Post by Howard Cooper » October 16th, 2018, 8:30 am

c fu wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 8:05 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 5:26 am

For whites, my top four (much lower quantities) are Ramonet, Dublere, Bernard Moreau, and PYCM. PYCM would move to second if you treat his wines and those of his wife as one winery - don't know yet whether that makes sense to do
Two different wineries. She has her own vines and makes the wines herself. So doesn’t make sense to put them together.
My guess is that they each contribute a good bit to the other's wines. When her wines are a couple of years older it will be easier to judge how differently they are really made.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Kirk.Grant
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3226
Joined: May 27th, 2012, 1:29 pm
Location: Bangor, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#7 Post by Kirk.Grant » October 16th, 2018, 8:37 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 5:26 am
I was hoping that there would be an answer "all of the above".
This post really hits home for me. I cut it down to save space on the forum...but Howard really hit the head on the nail for me. While my collection is not as large or diverse as many that love Burgundy I'm finding that it's getting more challenging to put to words the wines I like to a specific style. I love A. et P. de Villaine for the feminine beauty that they show with 5-8 years from vintage. I also enjoy Maume from top to bottom in quality prior to Marchand & Tawse taking over the winery lands yet found the Pascal Marchand has more oak than I'm looking for in Burgundy while I liked an Anne Gros Echezeaux Les Loachausses the other day when I heard from someone I respect that they're "more modern". So I think in many ways I'm trying to get as diverse an experience as possible like Howard was saying. I'm learning that I like Pommard more in it's youth than with age...and so on down the line. In the end, I think what makes Burgundy so interesting is that to learn you really have to seek a breadth of experiences from top to bottom.
Cellartracker:Kirk Grant

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#8 Post by Sh@n A » October 16th, 2018, 8:43 am

Survey responses thus far imply the best experience is (i) drinking mature burgundy, (ii) from a great producer/classification, (iii) from a great vintage -- in that order. A little bit poetic that maturity trumps vintage. Keen to know how folks define "mature" burgundy.
/ @ g r @ \

Richard Leland
Posts: 562
Joined: August 14th, 2009, 2:20 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#9 Post by Richard Leland » October 16th, 2018, 9:06 am

Buying and consuming Burgundy? In my rather extensive experience I'm very clear about one thing: the "consuming" part is much more fun than the "buying" part.
Richard

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 6129
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#10 Post by Markus S » October 16th, 2018, 10:04 am

[popcorn.gif]
$ _ € ® e . k @

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#11 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 10:16 am

Hey Everyone, thanks for all the responses so far! They've been very helpful.
I just took down the poll, as a few of you have mentioned the best answer really is "All of the Above" It was late last night when I was writing this post and got excited at the idea of creating a poll but I don't think it was necessary after all. Of course the magic of Burgundy is to explore the different vintages, producers, vineyards, and quality levels.

I know when starting out especially it is vital to taste as much as possible to identify styles of producers and vintages that you may find a preference for. I have tasted lots of wines from different regions all over the world and plan on continuing to do so. I love Champagne, German Riesling, Austrian whites, Northern Rhone Syrah, Barolo, Barbaresco to name some favorites. I have producers from Spain, the U.S., and other countries in my cellar as well. Burgundy just happens to be my favorite.

I think what I'm looking for most in this post is some reassurance and guidance in deciding what producers to buy when taking into account scarcity, price, and value (assuming it's a style you like). With the prices of many of the top producers going up more and more every year, how do I justify buying any of them? My first thought is that these are the benchmarks/classics and that I should have at least some from most of these producers. With prices going up every year, I'd like to grab some before they are too far out of reach. For me, buying these top producers hinders my tasting and buying of newer/more value oriented producers but the last thing I want is to realize in 10-20 years that I wish I'd bought more of the greats/classics.

I suppose a question to ask you all is do you think the prices and rarity of top level Burgundy will keep increasing? I assume at some point there will be a "correction" of sorts but I can't imagine it'll bring prices anywhere near affordable. I can't imagine that the most famous producers will ever be any more affordable in the future than they will today.
Last edited by Maxwell A. on October 16th, 2018, 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#12 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 10:34 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 5:26 am
I was hoping that there would be an answer "all of the above".

I drink more Burgundy than anything else. By a lot. I have had the opportunity over the last 40 years ago to taste a lot of different Burgundies from a lot of different producers and vintages and can say that my tastes do not necessarily always agree with the general consensus. That does not mean I am right and everyone else is wrong, but rather I need to buy within my own budget and preferences and not go to the crowd.

For example, I love DRC, but don't buy them because of cost. By contrast, I don't really find the wines of Leroy to my taste. The wines all taste to much like Leroy to me and not as much like their terroir. They also tend to be bigger wines than I am looking for in Burgundy.

I drink everything from Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc to Grand Crus. I will buy the great vintages (probably in greater quantities) and the middle vintages but not the bottom vintages. I have little 2004 and 2011 for example and probably wish I had less. But, I am perfectly happy drinking vintages like 2006, 2007 and 2008 from well chosen producers and esp. from vintages like 2000 and 2001. Probably the biggest change in wines since I began drinking wines in the 70s is the improvement of wines from what I call the middle vintages - over the last 20 years, everything that is not 1999, 2005 and 2010 on the one end or 2004 on the other end. And, most people continue to miss this completely and just talk about great vintages and lesser vintages.

The top 10 red Burgundy producers in my cellar by quantity of bottles owned are, in order, Truchot, Jadot, Rossignol-Trapet, Dublere, Chandon des Briailles, Hudelot-Noellat, Henri Jouan, Michel Gaunoux (probably should not be, I like these wines but do not love them and probably should have purchased fewer), Bouchard and then Cecile Tremblay and Mugneret-Gibourg tied. So, a combination of your categories.

For whites, my top four (much lower quantities) are Ramonet, Dublere, Bernard Moreau, and PYCM. PYCM would move to second if you treat his wines and those of his wife as one winery - don't know yet whether that makes sense to do.

My overall philosophy for someone just getting into Burgundy is to taste - taste as widely as you can. Don't buy too much too soon. There will always be another vintage. Buy what you like. For example, vintages 2012, 2013 and 2014 are probably about the same in quality, but very different in style. You are likely to like one of these vintages a great deal more than the other two - which one, I don't know and you won't either by reading my notes or those of anyone else. Also, on my list above, the wines of say Rossignol-Trapet, Dublere and Chandon des Briailles are extremely different from each other in style. Which will you like best. Only you would know and only by tasting - and only by tasting over years as the wines mature.

As to drinking wines young vs. old, I often like young lesser appellation wines with fish like salmon or tuna. For example, a Bourgogne Rouge from Hudelot-Noellat or Jouan or a Chorey les Beaune from Dublere can be perfect with salmon on a weeknight. But, I tend to like my wines from higher classifications with some age to them. Probably at least 10-15 years old. Very dependent on vintage. I have been enjoying some premier crus and grand crus from 2007 and 2008 now, although they probably are not yet fully mature. By contrast, my 2005 Bourgogne Rouge from Truchot is just beginning to get mature.
Howard, this is helpful, thank you for taking the time to write all this! I find what you wrote about vintages especially insightful. A lot of the time I feel like people don't pay enough attention to the "lesser" vintages and it can be tough to see things clearly when critics and everyone around is going head-over-heels for the "great" vintages. I do find that this effects me sometimes. I like the style of the 2014 Reds quite a bit (and definitely the whites) but with all they hype the 2015 Reds generated it sometimes makes me think twice. I guess one question I have related to this is when is it worth paying more for a "great" vintage?
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

User avatar
Craig G
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 14799
Joined: March 6th, 2011, 10:57 am
Location: Town of Cats

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#13 Post by Craig G » October 16th, 2018, 11:27 am

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 ...
This seems like good advice for just about any wine region that produces age worthy wine. It’s more or less the approach I’ve taken with Burgundy after reading a lot of advice and opinions on WB. If you just read the critics, I think it tends to lead in a different direction - trying to cherry pick vintages as well as spreading too thin across many producers.
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

C. Gle@son

Danius Barzdukas
Posts: 251
Joined: September 25th, 2009, 7:49 pm
Location: Falls Church, VA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#14 Post by Danius Barzdukas » October 16th, 2018, 11:44 am

It also depends on what your budget is. If your monthly wine budget is $300, then you are pretty limited by what you can buy and it will be impossible to get on anyone’s premier allocation list. That will limit your choices and the advice that someone can give you.

User avatar
YacobovE
Posts: 348
Joined: March 29th, 2012, 6:45 am
Location: New York City

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#15 Post by YacobovE » October 16th, 2018, 12:03 pm

Danius Barzdukas wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 11:44 am
It also depends on what your budget is. If your monthly wine budget is $300, then you are pretty limited by what you can buy and it will be impossible to get on anyone’s premier allocation list. That will limit your choices and the advice that someone can give you.
Video footage of latest premier allocation list member...
Image
E+d*a-n Y+a-c*o~b^o+v*s-k~y - not a lawyer, but I played one in a community theater rendition of My Cousin Vinny

R. Frankel
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1639
Joined: January 24th, 2014, 11:07 pm

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#16 Post by R. Frankel » October 16th, 2018, 12:28 pm

As usual, Howard nailed it in his post. I’d add just a few things.

Tasting - while it’s great to sample aged bottles, that may be hard to do as much as you’d like. But I’ve found the tasting new release wines for Burgundy is a great guide. Wines that I like young I tend to like with age. It’s a real ‘listen to your own palate’ kind of thing.

Tasting part 2: join a wine group/go to offlines. This site has a section devoted to offlines. Don’t be shy!

Bourgogne - village - 1er - GC. Howard mentioned this but I wanted to emphasize buying across the price spectrum. Not only will it help you learn the villages/producers but it will fill your cellar with wines with different aging arcs. If you only buy GCs and like your wine with a lot of age you will have nothing to drink for a long time!
Rich Frankel

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#17 Post by Howard Cooper » October 16th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:34 am
I like the style of the 2014 Reds quite a bit (and definitely the whites) but with all they hype the 2015 Reds generated it sometimes makes me think twice. I guess one question I have related to this is when is it worth paying more for a "great" vintage?
Depends. I also like the style of the 2014 vintage, and, for me, the great vintage of recent date in that style is 2010. I have a lot more 2010s than I do 2014s (a lot of this is because at my age I am trying to cut back on buying young Burgundy), but clearly if they were the same price I would be buying 2010s over 2014s. I think it would be worth paying more for a 2010 than for the same 2014. 2015 is another fabulous vintage but one I think of as more in the style of 1999, a vintage I also love but perhaps not as much as 2010 - I will know better when the 2010s mature and I can see if I was correct about the promise I have initially seen.

You really won't know if you like 2014s or 2015s better for many years, so as others have suggested, you probably should buy some of both. My guess is that 2015 will always be considered objectively as a better vintage for red Burgundies than 2014, but you are drinking subjectively, not objectively. Also, you probably want to hedge your risks and not go all in on any one vintage. The flaws in 2004s were not apparent to most critics until a couple of years after harvest. And, after a couple of years after harvest, vintages like 2000 and 2001 began putting on weight and have become much better than anyone thought at the outset.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#18 Post by Howard Cooper » October 16th, 2018, 4:02 pm

I should comment that the one change I would make to the Burgundies I buy is to focus more on a smaller number of producers. I have too much wine from producers where I bought into the hype from store emails, wine magazines, etc. I guess some of this is a natural result of trying to figure out what I like, but I did it too much, IMHO.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Kirk.Grant
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3226
Joined: May 27th, 2012, 1:29 pm
Location: Bangor, Maine

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#19 Post by Kirk.Grant » October 16th, 2018, 4:36 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:16 am
Hey Everyone, thanks for all the responses so far! They've been very helpful.
I just took down the poll, as a few of you have mentioned the best answer really is "All of the Above" It was late last night when I was writing this post and got excited at the idea of creating a poll but I don't think it was necessary after all. Of course the magic of Burgundy is to explore the different vintages, producers, vineyards, and quality levels.

I know when starting out especially it is vital to taste as much as possible to identify styles of producers and vintages that you may find a preference for. I have tasted lots of wines from different regions all over the world and plan on continuing to do so. I love Champagne, German Riesling, Austrian whites, Northern Rhone Syrah, Barolo, Barbaresco to name some favorites. I have producers from Spain, the U.S., and other countries in my cellar as well. Burgundy just happens to be my favorite.

I think what I'm looking for most in this post is some reassurance and guidance in deciding what producers to buy when taking into account scarcity, price, and value (assuming it's a style you like). With the prices of many of the top producers going up more and more every year, how do I justify buying any of them? My first thought is that these are the benchmarks/classics and that I should have at least some from most of these producers. With prices going up every year, I'd like to grab some before they are too far out of reach. For me, buying these top producers hinders my tasting and buying of newer/more value oriented producers but the last thing I want is to realize in 10-20 years that I wish I'd bought more of the greats/classics.

I suppose a question to ask you all is do you think the prices and rarity of top level Burgundy will keep increasing? I assume at some point there will be a "correction" of sorts but I can't imagine it'll bring prices anywhere near affordable. I can't imagine that the most famous producers will ever be any more affordable in the future than they will today.

Ok, so a few thoughts. I think it was Alan Rath that said he wished he had focused on wider purchases at all levels and less focus on the Grand Crus. With that, I'll say that I'm doing what you are also. I buy as many of the Grand Crus as I can afford...it means less 1ers & village level wines. Yet, I'm also working with limited space. So for what I can afford now...I'm trying to source a bottle (or 3) of as many of the GCs in Burgundy that I can afford and only 30% is 1er Cru and about 22% is Village level or below. With this as a focus, I've gotten some great deals of some of the wines...but it still hurts to look at a vintage like 2015 and be buying less wine than I want to ensure that I have a few bottles of truly great wines to check back in on in my retirement. If I had more space I'd probably have fewer GC's and more 1ers but space decides that for me. I think 1er Crus are already at (if they aren't surpassing) prices that are what many GC's were only 5-8 years ago.

Sorry back to your other questions:

Yes, I think the Grand Crus will keep going up to a level that many of us will find absurd in another decade or two. Just look at how some producers are treated now as near impossible and difficult to buy in ANY quantity beyond one or two bottles.

As for your questions about what you're buying...I'd say as long as you think you're doing the best you can with what you have then you're on your journey. Are you happy with the purchases you're making? Hopefully you are enjoying and trying the full range (village to GC) and you like seeing the differences along the way.

I hope this was helpful...from your post I think you're spot on and where you want to be in this process. It sounds like we're in the same camp pretty much...
Cellartracker:Kirk Grant

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 11864
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#20 Post by alan weinberg » October 16th, 2018, 6:08 pm

the other Alan may also have said it but I said that my one regret in Burgundy was not buying more “lesser” wines, as the difference in quality between grand and premier cru often is less with age.

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#21 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:49 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:34 am
I like the style of the 2014 Reds quite a bit (and definitely the whites) but with all they hype the 2015 Reds generated it sometimes makes me think twice. I guess one question I have related to this is when is it worth paying more for a "great" vintage?
Depends. I also like the style of the 2014 vintage, and, for me, the great vintage of recent date in that style is 2010. I have a lot more 2010s than I do 2014s (a lot of this is because at my age I am trying to cut back on buying young Burgundy), but clearly if they were the same price I would be buying 2010s over 2014s. I think it would be worth paying more for a 2010 than for the same 2014. 2015 is another fabulous vintage but one I think of as more in the style of 1999, a vintage I also love but perhaps not as much as 2010 - I will know better when the 2010s mature and I can see if I was correct about the promise I have initially seen.

You really won't know if you like 2014s or 2015s better for many years, so as others have suggested, you probably should buy some of both. My guess is that 2015 will always be considered objectively as a better vintage for red Burgundies than 2014, but you are drinking subjectively, not objectively. Also, you probably want to hedge your risks and not go all in on any one vintage. The flaws in 2004s were not apparent to most critics until a couple of years after harvest. And, after a couple of years after harvest, vintages like 2000 and 2001 began putting on weight and have become much better than anyone thought at the outset.
Thanks for the input again, Howard. I love the style of the 2010s, it's definitely my favorite vintage of the last decade from what I've experienced. So far I've been buying each vintage but just more or less depending on how I like the style. There are certain producers that I'll buy almost every vintage but I'll buy different producers depending on what I read and taste. The hardest part for me is guessing or knowing what they'll be like with age since I'm earlier on in my wine journey. I'm not always sure how to deal with vintages like 2004 and 2011 since some people avoid them like the plague and others enjoy them (knowing how to pick out the wines not effected as much by the poor weather I assume). For example I've heard Aubert de Villaine likes his 2004s a lot but I know that's not the best example for this point. Anyway, your comments about the behavior of different vintages is really helpful. That's the kind of advice I'm looking for.
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#22 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 7:10 pm

Kirk.Grant wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 4:36 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:16 am
Hey Everyone, thanks for all the responses so far! They've been very helpful.
I just took down the poll, as a few of you have mentioned the best answer really is "All of the Above" It was late last night when I was writing this post and got excited at the idea of creating a poll but I don't think it was necessary after all. Of course the magic of Burgundy is to explore the different vintages, producers, vineyards, and quality levels.

I know when starting out especially it is vital to taste as much as possible to identify styles of producers and vintages that you may find a preference for. I have tasted lots of wines from different regions all over the world and plan on continuing to do so. I love Champagne, German Riesling, Austrian whites, Northern Rhone Syrah, Barolo, Barbaresco to name some favorites. I have producers from Spain, the U.S., and other countries in my cellar as well. Burgundy just happens to be my favorite.

I think what I'm looking for most in this post is some reassurance and guidance in deciding what producers to buy when taking into account scarcity, price, and value (assuming it's a style you like). With the prices of many of the top producers going up more and more every year, how do I justify buying any of them? My first thought is that these are the benchmarks/classics and that I should have at least some from most of these producers. With prices going up every year, I'd like to grab some before they are too far out of reach. For me, buying these top producers hinders my tasting and buying of newer/more value oriented producers but the last thing I want is to realize in 10-20 years that I wish I'd bought more of the greats/classics.

I suppose a question to ask you all is do you think the prices and rarity of top level Burgundy will keep increasing? I assume at some point there will be a "correction" of sorts but I can't imagine it'll bring prices anywhere near affordable. I can't imagine that the most famous producers will ever be any more affordable in the future than they will today.

Ok, so a few thoughts. I think it was Alan Rath that said he wished he had focused on wider purchases at all levels and less focus on the Grand Crus. With that, I'll say that I'm doing what you are also. I buy as many of the Grand Crus as I can afford...it means less 1ers & village level wines. Yet, I'm also working with limited space. So for what I can afford now...I'm trying to source a bottle (or 3) of as many of the GCs in Burgundy that I can afford and only 30% is 1er Cru and about 22% is Village level or below. With this as a focus, I've gotten some great deals of some of the wines...but it still hurts to look at a vintage like 2015 and be buying less wine than I want to ensure that I have a few bottles of truly great wines to check back in on in my retirement. If I had more space I'd probably have fewer GC's and more 1ers but space decides that for me. I think 1er Crus are already at (if they aren't surpassing) prices that are what many GC's were only 5-8 years ago.

Sorry back to your other questions:

Yes, I think the Grand Crus will keep going up to a level that many of us will find absurd in another decade or two. Just look at how some producers are treated now as near impossible and difficult to buy in ANY quantity beyond one or two bottles.

As for your questions about what you're buying...I'd say as long as you think you're doing the best you can with what you have then you're on your journey. Are you happy with the purchases you're making? Hopefully you are enjoying and trying the full range (village to GC) and you like seeing the differences along the way.

I hope this was helpful...from your post I think you're spot on and where you want to be in this process. It sounds like we're in the same camp pretty much...
Kirk, I agree, I think we're on the same page. I have limited space as well. Also, I can't afford to buy as much as I'd like through each quality level, so I'm more likely to go for less village wines, and get a few Premier or Grand Cru in place of them. This isn't saying I ignore village or regional level but I'm not buying 6-12 bottles of a wine. This also relates to the pricing as you mentioned. It's not going any lower, so I feel like I should definitely focus on snagging some 1ers and GC now, even if it means sacrificing some village and regional wine buying. Thanks for your post, it's helpful to hear from people in a similar situation!
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#23 Post by Howard Cooper » October 16th, 2018, 7:12 pm

Why take a chance on 2004 or 2011 (except for wines you taste and like) when you can more reliably buy other vintages.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#24 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 7:22 pm

R. Frankel wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 12:28 pm
As usual, Howard nailed it in his post. I’d add just a few things.

Tasting - while it’s great to sample aged bottles, that may be hard to do as much as you’d like. But I’ve found the tasting new release wines for Burgundy is a great guide. Wines that I like young I tend to like with age. It’s a real ‘listen to your own palate’ kind of thing.

Tasting part 2: join a wine group/go to offlines. This site has a section devoted to offlines. Don’t be shy!

Bourgogne - village - 1er - GC. Howard mentioned this but I wanted to emphasize buying across the price spectrum. Not only will it help you learn the villages/producers but it will fill your cellar with wines with different aging arcs. If you only buy GCs and like your wine with a lot of age you will have nothing to drink for a long time!
Good to know, Rich. The wine group/offline comment is a good idea. I've always leaned towards the "if you like the wines on release/when they're young, you're most likely going to like them when they're mature" as you say. I was a little confused by the 2015 reds however, after tasting some producers that I usually enjoy and the wines seemed overly fruity or in a "modern style". I wasn't sure if it was the vintage or because the wines were/are young and are showing so much fruit. I much prefer mature wines but I've enjoyed drinking other vintages younger than many 2015s because they showed less overt fruit. I still bought 2015s but just made sure to lean towards cooler terroirs and producers that didn't produce an overly fruity/modern/extracted style.
Thanks for your input!
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#25 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 7:27 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Why take a chance on 2004 or 2011 (except for wines you taste and like) when you can more reliably buy other vintages.
Good point. Makes sense to me. On the topic of vintages, and I know you said you're not buying as much young wine these days, but do you have any thoughts on 2016?
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#26 Post by Maxwell A. » October 16th, 2018, 7:35 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:49 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:34 am
The flaws in 2004s were not apparent to most critics until a couple of years after harvest. And, after a couple of years after harvest, vintages like 2000 and 2001 began putting on weight and have become much better than anyone thought at the outset.
Howard, any critics you've found more or less reliable over the years? I know the most important critic is yourself and what you taste, but if you have no choice but to go from someone else's advice, who would you pay most attention to?
I guess the best thing to do is to follow the critic that has the palate and preferences closest to yours, but still, no one will line up exactly with yours and all critics have differing levels of objectivity and subjectivity in their reviews.
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#27 Post by Robert Grenley » October 16th, 2018, 11:45 pm

As mentioned before, a lot comes down to your budget and your available space. If you had unlimited funds, why not buy a bunch of the great producers’ great wines, and just for breadth of scope buy the better premier crus they make as well. And buy them in great, good, and average vintages to see how they differ? Of course, many of us don’t have unlimited funds, and must therefore make some decisions. Those decisions become more difficult if you have $1000 a month to sink into your Burgundy cellar than if you had $10,000 or $100,000.

I am not saying that you cannot build an excellent Burgundy cellar with more limited funds, one that you will enjoy and learn from over your lifetime. But the great producers we all know about have gotten prohibitively expensive, so your question about whether you should buy the “classics” just comes down to whether you can afford them, and how much the experience of drinking a fabulous bottle of wine is worth to you. Would you pay $1,000 per bottle? $5,000?

Personally I love great Burgundy, but I have come to the conclusion that no wine experience is worth that much to me. You can get seduced into overspending when you read the sublime language of the reviewers’ tasting notes. Yes, a $100,000 stereo sounds better than a $10,000 stereo, but by how much?

I was lucky enough to put together my Burgundy cellar back when the great wines by the great producers were expensive but not absurd (though not early enough for them to be inexpensive or even reasonable), and the great producers have that reputation for a reason...which is why there is no reason for someone with an unlimited budget to deny themselves. Others of us need to decide how we spend our wine dollars. I would never sell my Rousseau’s now, regardless of their market price, but I would never pay market price for them now...big difference.

Although how I bought Burgundy over the years worked for me in accumulating a good cellar, I would not recommend it. I did not have the opportunity to taste much before buying, unlike others on these boards, so I bought based on reviews that I trusted, being Tanzer starting in about the 1988-1990 vintages, and adding Burghound and Gilman later. Based on consensus I bought widely, usually in 3 bottle increments, and bought from a wide range of well-regarded producers, generally cherry picking their best grand crus and best premier crus. Some might say that my purchases were skewed in some way, and lacked overall context, but it allowed me to cellar some great wines, and over time I did find what appealed to me stylistically. One mistake I made was not to taste each wine upon or near purchase. If I had bought in 4’s I could have tasted one early, put the rest away for some years, and learned more over time. The wines I wanted were too expensive for me to buy in 6-12 bottle quantities, for the most part, but following them over time would have been a great learning experience. All along I aimed for the top producers, except for DRC which i felt was too expensive, while keeping my eyes open for the newer up and coming ones, and that I do not regret. Some people talk about buying in every vintage, or buying in all but the lousiest vintages, but again it comes down to allocation of funds. I am glad I bought heavily in 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010, and fairly well in 1996, 2001, and 2002, and sparingly and very selectively in 1995, and 1998, and little to none in 1997 and 2003, and I am happy to have totally bypassed 2004 and 2011. In my opinion, Burgundy is expensive, even in lessor vintages, and although there is educational value in experiencing them all, again it comes down to allocation of limited funds. And there is always great fun in backfilling as you discover that less heralded vintages you may have paid less attention to are coming along nicely. In my opinion, if you must allocate resources, there is nothing wrong in being selective and going for quality of producer and of vintage and of wines in their stable, as long as you provide yourself some context of experience and are open to figuring out which styles you like and which you don’t.

Lastly, I would say that a case of excellent premier crus is worth more than the same amount of money spent on a single bottle that is supposed to be “ethereal”, and despite the seductive language of the critics’ tasting notes, that ethereal experience is elusive and rare despite how much money you spend per bottle chasing it. And the more you spend per bottle, and the harder you have to work to procure it, and the longer you cherish it in your cellar, the loftier your expectations. Burgundy, and maybe all wine, is like baseball...if you bat .300 in a bottle living up to your expectations, you are really doing well. So only spend as much on a bottle as you are willing to lose.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

Gary York
Posts: 8008
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#28 Post by Gary York » October 17th, 2018, 3:10 am

The wines can be frighteningly inconsistent and very vintage dependent. And the prices seem heavily tied to any increase in quality. Good producers make good wines. It sounds simple, but no where is this more important. Taste many different producers to get a feel for what each brings to the bottle. If you buy the best producers, from the best sites, in the best years you can afford, the odds are stacked in your favor. The "best" will have to be determined/discovered by you. The wines need time. And really seem to reveal themselves after a good number of years. I rarely find pleasure in any red Burgundy above entry level that is not ten years old. A good glass is something that can really help showcase the wines. As can being slightly below room temperature.
ITB

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#29 Post by Howard Cooper » October 17th, 2018, 4:09 am

Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:35 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:49 pm
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 10:34 am
The flaws in 2004s were not apparent to most critics until a couple of years after harvest. And, after a couple of years after harvest, vintages like 2000 and 2001 began putting on weight and have become much better than anyone thought at the outset.
Howard, any critics you've found more or less reliable over the years? I know the most important critic is yourself and what you taste, but if you have no choice but to go from someone else's advice, who would you pay most attention to?
I guess the best thing to do is to follow the critic that has the palate and preferences closest to yours, but still, no one will line up exactly with yours and all critics have differing levels of objectivity and subjectivity in their reviews.
I think John Gilman and Allen Meadows both do an excellent job, but are very different. John is extremely subjective, favoring the more traditional style he (and I) like and downgrading wines made in a more modern style. Allen is much more objective, which seems on surface to be more correct, but in some ways makes it harder to be able to tell which wines you actually will like. While I like both a lot, do note that neither saw the problem with 2004 Burgundies and, at least John, still does not.

On this board, there are a number of excellent posters on Burgundy. Do not ignore them. A great thread is viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119762 However, there also are several supposed experts on Burgundy on this board who seem to drink Burgundy from more of a Bordeaux lens. They always tend to favor bigger and richer over more seductive. Beware of their recommendations unless your palate matches up with theirs more than mine. Note, that I know a couple of the people I am thinking about here and the recommendations they make and the points they give are their real beliefs but when we taste together I often like different wines than they do. Not denigrating the persons, just disagreeing with their preferences.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#30 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 6:14 am

What is the proper response in the following situation:

Background: You taste a producer you like, say Arlaud Charmes Chambertin 2015. Admit you are not a bonafide expert on liking Arlaud as a producer versus the whole universe of producers, or Charmes Chambertin on the whole universe of villages -- but you have some basic education you like the wine. Also admit, you are not an expert (nor will you become even basically educated) on 2016 vs. 2015 vs. 2014 vs. 2013. Lastly, you have means to buy bottles and hold onto them for 5-15 years while you figure things out. Finally, you find a reputable retailer who offers prices on Chambertin at new release prices, and admit that back filling in 5YRs will just be very difficult or much more expensive.

Do You:
1) Do nothing at this time: you need to taste, taste, taste a lot more
2) Buy 3-6x bottles of the 2015 Charmes Chambertin
3) Buy 1-2x of Charmes Chambertin from this producer across a few different years to cellar (so 3-6x across 2013-16 depending on pricing)
4) Buy 1-2x of Charmes Chambertin across a few different years, plus additional bottles across a range that you have some experience with and know you will generally like (e.g., Clos de la Roche, or village level Gevrey.. across those same years)

This is the practical question I run into. I am tasting as much as I can, and will be going to Paulee to help facilitate tasting many different producers. But my palette won't be really honed for many years. So does that mean sitting on ones hands and waiting it out for many years -- when this stuff is so difficult to purchase at reasonable prices? Or does that mean selectively building 1-2 cases for a producer when you find (i) something you generally like and (ii) are obtaining reasonable pricing on it?

I'm sure there is no "right" answer. But I wonder what the smarter/practical answer is (other than "wait 5 years till you are are smart enough to buying new releases for yourself")
Last edited by Sh@n A on October 17th, 2018, 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
/ @ g r @ \

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#31 Post by Robert Grenley » October 17th, 2018, 7:01 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 6:14 am
What is the proper response in the following situation:

Background: You taste a producer you like, say Arlaud Charmes Chambertin 2015. Admit you are not a bonafide expert on liking Arlaud as a producer versus the whole universe of producers, or Charmes Chambertin on the whole universe of villages -- but you have some basic education you like the wine. Also admit, you are not an expert (nor will you become even basically educated) on 2016 vs. 2015 vs. 2014 vs. 2013. Lastly, you have means to buy bottles and hold onto them for 5-15 years while you figure things out. Finally, you find a reputable retailer who offers prices on Chambertin at new release prices, and admit that back filling in 5YRs will just be very difficult or much more expensive.

Do You:
1) Do nothing at this time: you need to taste, taste, taste a lot more
2) Buy 3-6x bottles of the 2015 Charmes Chambertin
3) Buy 1-2x of Charmes Chambertin from this producer across a few different years to cellar (so 3-6x across 2013-16 depending on pricing)
3) Buy 1-2x of Charmes Chambertin across a few different years, plus additional bottles across a range that you have some experience with and know you will generally like (e.g., Clos de la Roche, or village level Gevrey.. across those same years)

This is the practical question I run into. I am tasting as much as I can, and will be going to Paulee to help facilitate tasting many different producers. But my palette won't be really honed for many years. So does that mean sitting on ones hands and waiting it out for many years -- when this stuff is so difficult to purchase at reasonable prices? Or does that mean selectively building 1-2 cases for a producer when you find (i) something you generally like and (ii) are obtaining reasonable pricing on it?

I'm sure there is no "right" answer. But I wonder what the smarter/practical answer is (other than "wait 5 years till you are are smart enough to buying new releases for yourself")
My head is spinning with the possible approaches.
What worked for me is this...taste as much as you can, find an excellent retailer near you and let them know of your interest, etc., etc., of course. Decide on a wine writer whose palate you think you can trust...this may change as your tastes develop. For me it started and has continued with Tanzer, and over time I added Burghound and Gilman, and more recently Neal Martin. You will find there will be general agreement among them on the better and best producers, the hierarchy of wines in each of their stables, and to a large extent vintages. Buy the best wines you can afford from the best producers you can afford in the best vintages you can afford in the quantities you can afford. As you find over the years that your tastes develop and there are producers you no longer prefer, you should be able to unload those wines...and if they are from good producers in good vintages that should not be difficult. It is simply a fact of life that those wines with higher ratings in better vintages will, with many exceptions of course, have a greater chance of pleasing you, and if they do not, will be easier to unload.
Years from now you will find that you have accumulated an excellent Burgundy cellar of wines that are becoming ready to drink and enjoy
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#32 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 8:04 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 7:01 am

What worked for me is this...taste as much as you can, find an excellent retailer near you and let them know of your interest, etc., etc., of course. Decide on a wine writer whose palate you think you can trust...this may change as your tastes develop. For me it started and has continued with Tanzer, and over time I added Burghound and Gilman, and more recently Neal Martin. You will find there will be general agreement among them on the better and best producers, the hierarchy of wines in each of their stables, and to a large extent vintages. Buy the best wines you can afford from the best producers you can afford in the best vintages you can afford in the quantities you can afford. As you find over the years that your tastes develop and there are producers you no longer prefer, you should be able to unload those wines...and if they are from good producers in good vintages that should not be difficult. It is simply a fact of life that those wines with higher ratings in better vintages will, with many exceptions of course, have a greater chance of pleasing you, and if they do not, will be easier to unload.
Years from now you will find that you have accumulated an excellent Burgundy cellar of wines that are becoming ready to drink and enjoy
1. Excellent Retailer
Thought I would consolidate purchases with 2-3 retailers, but this is too difficult for now. Stocks and pricing differs so much
across them. And I'm not convinced any retailer I've purchased from will give me preferred allocations of more difficult to
source stuff just yet. 2018 will be the test. Regarding learning preferences, right now I am just trying to get that via taste, taste, taste.

2. I subscribe to Vinous
Got the sense their reviews were the most objective (given a very low bar)

3. Be OK trying to sell in future
This is EXACTLY what I am TRYING to do. I figured I am tying up capital, but that's OK, if I am buying stuff that I can unload in the future. Unfortunately, with the price of Burgs so high, I have strayed a little bit from this. 2015s from the "best" producers, at this point in sourcing them, is frankly too difficult. I will not going to purchase $300/bottle wine for the most part... and my sweet spot is $75-225. Accordingly, Mugnerets, DRC, etc. are all largely out of my reach. So far I have purchased Faiveley (across the range), Arlaud (across the range) and L'Arlot (1er) -- and trying to cancel most of my L'Arlot purchases realizing I strayed too much from a blue chip with a producer I am too unfamilar with. Purchased only a half case of Duroche, although I really liked the single bottle I tried so expect to drink most of these. I purchased a 6 pack of 2015 H. Lignier VV because (i) i know i like CdlR, and (ii) the one Lignier I tried (although a Pommard) made sense to me of producer style... should be able to unload these at my cost. I think have room for 3 more producers beyond Faiveley/Arlaud, and am trying to wait till La Paulee to round it out. By 2018 vintage, I will be smarter I hope, and will focus on adding on the same producers or rotating onto new ones. I'll try to sell my 2013-16s at that time, but if I cannot make my cost... will continue to professionally store them and try again in 5YRs.

As an example of Faiveley:
My Faiveleys "to store" are weighted #1 2016 (60%), #2 2014 (30%), and #3 2015 (10%). This is largely because of pricing/inventory I was able to secure vs. CT cost data. And I have a bunch of the older stuff 2001-2012 that I've picked up to drink over coming years as well, while I figure out what do to with my 2014-16s. I have some Clos Beze which is above my price point as well, in mag format as well, which I see sold quite quickly on Commerce Corner as well. Accordingly, by 2018 I will be smarter on (a) do I want/need to add 2018 Faiveleys and (b) if so, which ones. Further, over time, I hope I will be able to sell professionally stored Mazi/Beze, at least at my cost, and backfill Latricieries, Corton or Fuees if that's where my head is at. Or buy more than the 6 pack of 2016 Cazetiers I procured (which I quite enjoyed).

I purchased Faiveley from a single store, who I believe will give me good pre-sale pricing in 2018. I have also now identified two other retailers (one I buy from and one I do not) that have nice Faiveley inventory & price (although limited 2015).

My Faiveley strategy is not ideal, but in lieu of an offline of folks bringing a range of Faiveley or a La Paulee... I bit the bullet on this one to get started. And by 2018 I will be much, much smarter -- and hopefully can rebalance my Faiveley portfolio at that time.
/ @ g r @ \

Gary York
Posts: 8008
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#33 Post by Gary York » October 17th, 2018, 8:12 am

For me: #2 or the first #3. Probably #2 if I liked the vintage.
ITB

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#34 Post by Robert Grenley » October 17th, 2018, 8:31 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 8:04 am
Robert Grenley wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 7:01 am

What worked for me is this...taste as much as you can, find an excellent retailer near you and let them know of your interest, etc., etc., of course. Decide on a wine writer whose palate you think you can trust...this may change as your tastes develop. For me it started and has continued with Tanzer, and over time I added Burghound and Gilman, and more recently Neal Martin. You will find there will be general agreement among them on the better and best producers, the hierarchy of wines in each of their stables, and to a large extent vintages. Buy the best wines you can afford from the best producers you can afford in the best vintages you can afford in the quantities you can afford. As you find over the years that your tastes develop and there are producers you no longer prefer, you should be able to unload those wines...and if they are from good producers in good vintages that should not be difficult. It is simply a fact of life that those wines with higher ratings in better vintages will, with many exceptions of course, have a greater chance of pleasing you, and if they do not, will be easier to unload.
Years from now you will find that you have accumulated an excellent Burgundy cellar of wines that are becoming ready to drink and enjoy
1. Excellent Retailer
Thought I would consolidate purchases with 2-3 retailers, but this is too difficult for now. Stocks and pricing differs so much
across them. And I'm not convinced any retailer I've purchased from will give me preferred allocations of more difficult to
source stuff just yet. 2018 will be the test. Regarding learning preferences, right now I am just trying to get that via taste, taste, taste.

2. I subscribe to Vinous
Got the sense their reviews were the most objective (given a very low bar)

3. Be OK trying to sell in future
This is EXACTLY what I am TRYING to do. I figured I am tying up capital, but that's OK, if I am buying stuff that I can unload in the future. Unfortunately, with the price of Burgs so high, I have strayed a little bit from this. 2015s from the "best" producers, at this point in sourcing them, is frankly too difficult. I will not going to purchase $300/bottle wine for the most part... and my sweet spot is $75-225. Accordingly, Mugnerets, DRC, etc. are all largely out of my reach. So far I have purchased Faiveley (across the range), Arlaud (across the range) and L'Arlot (1er) -- and trying to cancel most of my L'Arlot purchases realizing I strayed too much from a blue chip with a producer I am too unfamilar with. Purchased only a half case of Duroche, although I really liked the single bottle I tried so expect to drink most of these. I purchased a 6 pack of 2015 H. Lignier VV because (i) i know i like CdlR, and (ii) the one Lignier I tried (although a Pommard) made sense to me of producer style... should be able to unload these at my cost. I think have room for 3 more producers beyond Faiveley/Arlaud, and am trying to wait till La Paulee to round it out. By 2018 vintage, I will be smarter I hope, and will focus on adding on the same producers or rotating onto new ones. I'll try to sell my 2013-16s at that time, but if I cannot make my cost... will continue to professionally store them and try again in 5YRs.

As an example of Faiveley:
My Faiveleys "to store" are weighted #1 2016 (60%), #2 2014 (30%), and #3 2015 (10%). This is largely because of pricing/inventory I was able to secure vs. CT cost data. And I have a bunch of the older stuff 2001-2012 that I've picked up to drink over coming years as well, while I figure out what do to with my 2014-16s. I have some Clos Beze which is above my price point as well, in mag format as well, which I see sold quite quickly on Commerce Corner as well. Accordingly, by 2018 I will be smarter on (a) do I want/need to add 2018 Faiveleys and (b) if so, which ones. Further, over time, I hope I will be able to sell professionally stored Mazi/Beze, at least at my cost, and backfill Latricieries, Corton or Fuees if that's where my head is at. Or buy more than the 6 pack of 2016 Cazetiers I procured (which I quite enjoyed).

I purchased Faiveley from a single store, who I believe will give me good pre-sale pricing in 2018. I have also now identified two other retailers (one I buy from and one I do not) that have nice Faiveley inventory & price (although limited 2015).

My Faiveley strategy is not ideal, but in lieu of an offline of folks bringing a range of Faiveley or a La Paulee... I bit the bullet on this one to get started. And by 2018 I will be much, much smarter -- and hopefully can rebalance my Faiveley portfolio at that time.
Given my comments on selling/unloading wine, I should say that I have rarely sold wine, actually none for many years since I sold off a lot of Bordeaux and collectible CA stuff as I realized my tastes had changed, and I have almost never sold any Burgundy. My point was that, if you find producers you do not, years later in retrospect, care as much for stylistically, if they had good ratings (unfortunately true) from good producers in good vintages then they would be easier to unload. The way you describe your approach sounds more like day trading stocks. As to tying up capital, that is essentially what collaring wine is, and if you have chosen wisely, then your capital will not only be tied up for years but completely but pleasantly consumed and peed out.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#35 Post by Robert Grenley » October 17th, 2018, 8:35 am

In other words, I would never buy a wine planning to sell it down the line. That just makes no sense to me.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#36 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 10:17 am

My intent is not to sell them. But I am looking to that as a form of downside protection as tastes or budgets change. I am hoping that purchasing and storing well will allow me to break even.
/ @ g r @ \

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#37 Post by Robert Grenley » October 17th, 2018, 10:30 am

I get the first sentence, and it is nice to know that your investment might be at least partially recoverable should you find that some wines are not to your taste. The break even part is what confuses me, as it implies that by careful buying and selling, you may be able to finance the purchases you keep and drink with the profit on those that you sell. Although conceivable, probably unlikely, and there’s is something about approaching Burgundy as a commodity to be leveraged, invested in, sold, etc. that I find kinda distasteful. But perhaps that is not what you were trying to say.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#38 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 10:35 am

Break even as: I paid 170 for 2015 H Lignier VV ba CellarTracker average cost of 167. Store it for five years at Domaine for 15 cost. Can sell it in 2023 for 175-190. Preferably on Commerce Corner. Sounds too easy [whistle.gif]. But for now, I intend to drink them over 1-15 years
Last edited by Sh@n A on October 17th, 2018, 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
/ @ g r @ \

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 6129
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#39 Post by Markus S » October 17th, 2018, 10:35 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 8:04 am
... you should be able to unload those wines......will be easier to unload.

3. Be OK trying to sell in future
This is EXACTLY what I am TRYING to do. ... should be able to unload these at my cost. ......which I see sold quite quickly on Commerce Corner as well. ... Further, over time, I hope I will be able to sell professionally stored Mazi/Beze...
Are you a winedrinker or an arbitrager? rolleyes
$ _ € ® e . k @

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#40 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 11:02 am

I am not talking arbitrage. My question pertained to whether it makes sense to purchase more than you have tasted, if there is the ability to offload those purchases in the future; there is a cost here of brain damage, capital (opportunity cost of money sunk or different bottles not drunk), let alone the risk of declining wine prices (this feels a little like housing where folks think future vintage pricing only go up!). However, waiting 3YRs to decide I liked the Hubert Lignier 2015 VV enough to buy some may preclude me from having bought any at all. In 3-10YRs time, if I keep tasting at the rate I am... I imagine I would not need to be doing this at all, because my tastes/knowledge base will be more evolved.
/ @ g r @ \

User avatar
Markus S
Posts: 6129
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 7:27 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#41 Post by Markus S » October 17th, 2018, 11:12 am

Sh@n A wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 11:02 am
I am not talking arbitrage. My question pertained to whether it makes sense to purchase more than you have tasted, if there is the ability to offload those purchases in the future; there is a cost here of brain damage, capital (opportunity cost of money sunk or different bottles not drunk), let alone the risk of declining wine prices (this feels a little like housing where folks think future vintage pricing only go up!). However, waiting 3YRs to decide I liked the Hubert Lignier 2015 VV enough to buy some may preclude me from having bought any at all. In 3-10YRs time, if I keep tasting at the rate I am... I imagine I would not need to be doing this at all, because my tastes/knowledge base will be more evolved.
They don't call Burgundy a "minefield" for nothing! [cheers.gif]
$ _ € ® e . k @

Subu Ramachandran
Posts: 685
Joined: May 3rd, 2017, 1:16 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#42 Post by Subu Ramachandran » October 17th, 2018, 11:17 am

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.)
Burgundy is like Quantum Mechanics. To quote Feynman:

"If you think you understand Quantum Mechanics, you don't understand Quantum Mechanics."

Greg K
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 944
Joined: December 21st, 2013, 3:16 pm
Location: New York

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#43 Post by Greg K » October 17th, 2018, 11:38 am

I’ve had some older Lignier 1er cru VV - you’ll be just fine. :)
Greg Kahn

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#44 Post by Howard Cooper » October 17th, 2018, 1:27 pm

How about buying a couple of bottles of Bourgogne Rouge by Arlaud or Mercury by Faiveley or a village wine by either and open the bottles. See if you can find a 2012 or 2014 so that the wine has a bit of age to it but still are reflective of what the wineries are doing today. On both wineries, if you go back too many years, you start getting the wines of the fathers rather than of the current people and I think in both cases the current family members running things are better. I have a very close friend who is friends with Cyprien Arlaud and while he has liked wines from the domaine for a number of years, he is particularly high on the more recent vintages.

I would not load up too much on any one producer right now until you know what you like more, but sure buy some bottles of the grand crus you are interested in. Maybe mix up the grand crus a bit to try their wines from different villages. Faiveley is both a major land owner and a negociant. You probably will reduce your risk if you buy a wine from a vineyard where they own the vines. A good retailer should be able to tell you which is which.

As for vintages, for the Grand Crus, I think 2014 and 2015 are lower risk than are 2013s. I have not tasted too many 2013s, but the 2013s I have had tend to be tannic, which makes it less clear as to drinking windows.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#45 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 1:48 pm

Thanks Howard. I've been picking up a few Bourgogne Rouge or village for 2015 and 2016, including those by Arlaud, Faiveley, Duroche, Meo, C. Dugat, Camus and 1-2 others. In retrospect, I should have looked for 2012s... but frankly it was difficult to get some 2015s and 2016s given I am new to the retail game, so I ended up buying 2015-16s when I saw them... vs. being smarter and trying to seek out 2012s. This is probably what I regret most in order-of-operations... should have bought a horizontal of Bourgognes as a first step to tasting. Re Arlaud and Faiveley, I have done exactly that (aided/informed by folks on the WB board who have posted recently and in past). And lastly, I have picked up a few other horizontals... e.g. LSG, Gouge vs. Chevillon, others. Need to set up some more WB events...
/ @ g r @ \

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16922
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#46 Post by Howard Cooper » October 17th, 2018, 2:43 pm

Don't skip Hudelot-Noellat.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#47 Post by Sh@n A » October 17th, 2018, 3:09 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 2:43 pm
Don't skip Hudelot-Noellat.
Am going to hit them at Paulee. But maybe should pick up a 2016 Bourgogne now to add to the future horizontal.
/ @ g r @ \

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#48 Post by Maxwell A. » October 17th, 2018, 7:02 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 4:09 am
Maxwell A. wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:35 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:49 pm


Howard, any critics you've found more or less reliable over the years? I know the most important critic is yourself and what you taste, but if you have no choice but to go from someone else's advice, who would you pay most attention to?
I guess the best thing to do is to follow the critic that has the palate and preferences closest to yours, but still, no one will line up exactly with yours and all critics have differing levels of objectivity and subjectivity in their reviews.
I think John Gilman and Allen Meadows both do an excellent job, but are very different. John is extremely subjective, favoring the more traditional style he (and I) like and downgrading wines made in a more modern style. Allen is much more objective, which seems on surface to be more correct, but in some ways makes it harder to be able to tell which wines you actually will like. While I like both a lot, do note that neither saw the problem with 2004 Burgundies and, at least John, still does not.

On this board, there are a number of excellent posters on Burgundy. Do not ignore them. A great thread is viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119762 However, there also are several supposed experts on Burgundy on this board who seem to drink Burgundy from more of a Bordeaux lens. They always tend to favor bigger and richer over more seductive. Beware of their recommendations unless your palate matches up with theirs more than mine. Note, that I know a couple of the people I am thinking about here and the recommendations they make and the points they give are their real beliefs but when we taste together I often like different wines than they do. Not denigrating the persons, just disagreeing with their preferences.
Good to know. I subscribe to both Gilman and Meadows and have found pretty much what you've described. My tastes do align a lot with Gilman and yours it looks like. Meadows being more objective does make things trickier for me sometimes and I try to take into account the way he is describing the style of the wine especially. I do plan on delving through the Burgundy related posts here so thank you for the heads up on people here being good resources but having different style preferences.
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

Maxwell A.
Posts: 102
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#49 Post by Maxwell A. » October 17th, 2018, 7:23 pm

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 11:45 pm
As mentioned before, a lot comes down to your budget and your available space. If you had unlimited funds, why not buy a bunch of the great producers’ great wines, and just for breadth of scope buy the better premier crus they make as well. And buy them in great, good, and average vintages to see how they differ? Of course, many of us don’t have unlimited funds, and must therefore make some decisions. Those decisions become more difficult if you have $1000 a month to sink into your Burgundy cellar than if you had $10,000 or $100,000.

I am not saying that you cannot build an excellent Burgundy cellar with more limited funds, one that you will enjoy and learn from over your lifetime. But the great producers we all know about have gotten prohibitively expensive, so your question about whether you should buy the “classics” just comes down to whether you can afford them, and how much the experience of drinking a fabulous bottle of wine is worth to you. Would you pay $1,000 per bottle? $5,000?

Personally I love great Burgundy, but I have come to the conclusion that no wine experience is worth that much to me. You can get seduced into overspending when you read the sublime language of the reviewers’ tasting notes. Yes, a $100,000 stereo sounds better than a $10,000 stereo, but by how much?

I was lucky enough to put together my Burgundy cellar back when the great wines by the great producers were expensive but not absurd (though not early enough for them to be inexpensive or even reasonable), and the great producers have that reputation for a reason...which is why there is no reason for someone with an unlimited budget to deny themselves. Others of us need to decide how we spend our wine dollars. I would never sell my Rousseau’s now, regardless of their market price, but I would never pay market price for them now...big difference.

Although how I bought Burgundy over the years worked for me in accumulating a good cellar, I would not recommend it. I did not have the opportunity to taste much before buying, unlike others on these boards, so I bought based on reviews that I trusted, being Tanzer starting in about the 1988-1990 vintages, and adding Burghound and Gilman later. Based on consensus I bought widely, usually in 3 bottle increments, and bought from a wide range of well-regarded producers, generally cherry picking their best grand crus and best premier crus. Some might say that my purchases were skewed in some way, and lacked overall context, but it allowed me to cellar some great wines, and over time I did find what appealed to me stylistically. One mistake I made was not to taste each wine upon or near purchase. If I had bought in 4’s I could have tasted one early, put the rest away for some years, and learned more over time. The wines I wanted were too expensive for me to buy in 6-12 bottle quantities, for the most part, but following them over time would have been a great learning experience. All along I aimed for the top producers, except for DRC which i felt was too expensive, while keeping my eyes open for the newer up and coming ones, and that I do not regret. Some people talk about buying in every vintage, or buying in all but the lousiest vintages, but again it comes down to allocation of funds. I am glad I bought heavily in 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010, and fairly well in 1996, 2001, and 2002, and sparingly and very selectively in 1995, and 1998, and little to none in 1997 and 2003, and I am happy to have totally bypassed 2004 and 2011. In my opinion, Burgundy is expensive, even in lessor vintages, and although there is educational value in experiencing them all, again it comes down to allocation of limited funds. And there is always great fun in backfilling as you discover that less heralded vintages you may have paid less attention to are coming along nicely. In my opinion, if you must allocate resources, there is nothing wrong in being selective and going for quality of producer and of vintage and of wines in their stable, as long as you provide yourself some context of experience and are open to figuring out which styles you like and which you don’t.

Lastly, I would say that a case of excellent premier crus is worth more than the same amount of money spent on a single bottle that is supposed to be “ethereal”, and despite the seductive language of the critics’ tasting notes, that ethereal experience is elusive and rare despite how much money you spend per bottle chasing it. And the more you spend per bottle, and the harder you have to work to procure it, and the longer you cherish it in your cellar, the loftier your expectations. Burgundy, and maybe all wine, is like baseball...if you bat .300 in a bottle living up to your expectations, you are really doing well. So only spend as much on a bottle as you are willing to lose.
This was extremely helpful. What I hoped for in this post was just what you wrote, a look into the perspective of someone who has had lots of experience making these decisions on what to buy and when it's worth it and when it's not. Of course this will be different for everyone depending on the variables you mentioned, but it helps to hear what other people have done and how it worked for them. The point about deciding how much a great wine experience, or the possibility of one is worth is very thought provoking. Also, the example of the case of premier crus vs the single "ethereal" bottle was a very enlightening. I do find that the critics flowery language push me in the direction of going for that one bottle, hoping for an amazing experience, when maybe I should instead go for a few bottles of the really good bottle that'll still be great. I don't have so much experience tasting the difference in quality between aged grand cru and premier cru and comparing it to their prices, so I must go based on what the critics have said and how I know grand cru bottles should age. I do sometimes wonder how the price difference between them correlates with the quality of the drinking experience.
Robert, thank you so much again for the valuable insights!
Max Andrle

Instagram - musignymax

User avatar
Robert Grenley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1056
Joined: November 23rd, 2009, 8:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Thoughts on Buying and Consuming BURGUNDY

#50 Post by Robert Grenley » October 17th, 2018, 11:57 pm

Sh@n A wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 11:02 am
I am not talking arbitrage. My question pertained to whether it makes sense to purchase more than you have tasted, if there is the ability to offload those purchases in the future; there is a cost here of brain damage, capital (opportunity cost of money sunk or different bottles not drunk), let alone the risk of declining wine prices (this feels a little like housing where folks think future vintage pricing only go up!). However, waiting 3YRs to decide I liked the Hubert Lignier 2015 VV enough to buy some may preclude me from having bought any at all. In 3-10YRs time, if I keep tasting at the rate I am... I imagine I would not need to be doing this at all, because my tastes/knowledge base will be more evolved.
I would suggest buying every wine produced in Burgundy in every vintage, wait 15 years, and sell everything you don’t like.
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
-Bob Dylan

"...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it."

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”