Drinking Young Burg

As I Read through threads from"What Bottle Did You Open Tonight" to multiple baller dinner TNs, I see a lot of YOUNG red burg being opened. 2012 Chambertin, 2005-2010’s from high quality producers, etc, very few with a “I killed this baby in the name of science” caveat. I don’t judge wrong or right but it just seems, for lack of a better term, surprising, given the investment.

Just wondering thoughts. Is this like drinking young bordeaux in barrel or Barolo when the wall of tannins kicks you in the face and all you can hear in your ears is the ringing sound of Bill Klapp laughing? Or is it somehow different?

I think grand cry burgundy needs 15 years (at least) to show the complexity, spice, interest that is why you buy this kind of wine. Younger the wines are very good, but more one note. I had a 1993 Rousseau Chambertin last weekend. It was just starting it peak. It needs another few years to be at its best IMHO.

I drink young burgundy but it is more Marsannay than Chambertin.

I like to pop one young and age the other five bottles (or the other three, or even sometimes the other two). First, they are delicious and enjoyable to drink, despite not yet able to give the full “return on investment” that comes with age. Second, I gain a perspective on the wine that enhances the later experiences with the other bottles. Third, I gain knowledge that helps guide future purchases. I’m really baffled with the practice of buying wines vintage after vintage without tasting. That is such a huge risk, but seems to be quite common here at W/B.

This isn’t directed at the OP so much as others who I think inspired the post, but I’m much more intrigued by the condescending histrionics from people who worry too goddamn much about how others drink their wines than I am those who drink them too young. And I prefer my Burgundy with age.

But I know others with good palates and decades of experience who prefer the vibrant fruit and exuberance of young Burgundy. I’ve had enough great ones blind to be able to attest that while a young La Tache won’t show all that it will be in the fullness of time, young ones can be thrilling in their own way.

I’m fortunate to drink with several people with preferences for young wines, as I get to follow wines through their evolution while mine slumber until they approach the age I prefer. I’m also fortunate to have gotten into wine at a young age, so though I’m in my early 40’s, I have a decent stash of Burgundy I bought on release from 1990 forward.

I recall the difficult choice of drinking young wines or playing the secondary market lottery. I’m grateful for having a third option, and the older wine lovers who welcomed me at tastings where they brought mature wines and appreciated the young wines I brought because it was what I had, so now I get to do the same for others.

Humans have been enjoying young Pinot Noir from Burgundy for about 2000 years. If one can afford it I see no reason to stop now. It can be quite delicious.

While one has to admit the complexity and unique qualities found in aged red burgundy are pretty much unbeatable, very young burgundy also can have unique floral qualities that are lost with bottle age. Its both pleasurable and intellectually fascinating to explore both sides of the coin.

All this is of course with the caveat that someone is either oak tolerant or drinking producers who moderate oak. If one doesn’t like strong oak notes then some producers virtually impose some aging on the wines.

This is spot on for me Lewis! Well said! Additionally, I don’t have a deep cellar with aged burgundy, therefore, when it comes time to celebrate a birthday with close wine friends, we can only open what’s in our cellar - which tends to be more young than aged. But in doing so, as Lewis mentioned, it provides a perspective/benchmark on the wine and helps guide either future purchases or future experiences.


Love young Burgs, guilty as charged. Even though I still have some old Burgs in the cellar, different sorts of pleasure, I love them both. Too bad Grand Crus are so expensive these days or I will open more young Burgs frequently, now mainly in Villages and 1er Crus.

There are some exceptions, but in general I find young Burgundy much easier to drink and more rewarding than young Bordeaux or Barolo.

Bill is going to laugh at us no matter what. It’s too late to worry about that.

Agreed if I’d buy several vintages without ever having tasted that particular wine. But in practice, I simply don’t have the chance to taste most Burgs I buy before I buy them. The offer comes out, I have an allocation and if I don’t take it, it’s gone (e.g. Mortet, Fourrier, Mugneret-Gibourg, Gerard Mugneret, etc.). I always drink one bottle young out of a six pack or even a three pack and have to say that it’s usually a real pleasure. But if I simply forget to drink one bottle young or if I have only one or two bottles (rare 1er Crus or Grand Crus), I still don’t see it as very risky buying it each year if it comes from a reliable producer and I have liked it in past vintages.

This sums it up for me.
Nice post Mike.

Im guilty. I dont have a deep cellar of aged Burgundy, as I just started really getting into it 3 or 4 years ago. I dont have a choice but to drink it young. I steer towards the village/bourgogne level wines as much as I can, and try to keep the 1ers/GCs in the cellar to age for as long as possible.

I have been guilty of popping more of the young GC/1ers recently as I have learned life can be very short (my brother passed in January at age 44, suddenly from a heart attack). So, not knowing when my number is going to get called, what the hell good is a deep cellar of Grand Cru burg that I have only limited experience in tasting because I was waiting 20 years for it to mature?

Some of you Berserkers are just plain, berserk.

I love young burg, and I love mature burg. I tend to drink lesser wines younger, and stash the grander ones. Why?

  1. Unlike all the super-tasters on this board, I am not confident that I can appreciate the difference in class (and price) young, especially blind. The nuances and texture become clearer with time for me.

  2. Oak - Many grander burgs see a lot more oak than their lesser brethren, and I’m oak sensitive.

There are exceptions. There are a few GC natural burgs that I think show brilliantly young, and I’m okay opening those. But even these cost less than upper-tier makers’ villages.

Right now we drink 80% young and 20% mature burgs. If I had an ideal cellar that ratio would change dramatically. Sadly I don’t. (Yet)

All that said, more power to those who want to try their grand wines young. I internally cringe when I know it’s likely to be oaky, tannic, or closed based on my experience, but many should be fine. Just don’t pretend you’re taking one for the team. :wink:

Isn’t this why there is California pinot? pileon [rofl.gif]


Oh. I have been trying to figure out why there is California pinot. Thanks for the help. newhere [pillow-fight.gif]

no, I don’t drink it young even if I have a case of it. Misses too much of the potential and I don’t like too much tannin. I am very patient and often rewarded. One can backfill to get the older mature stuff.

+1. I really don’t understand why people want to dictate the “correct” way to drink wine. It is more fun to drink the 09, 10 or 12 then 99. The 90 La Tache is not ready yet so if you purchased at release, you have waited thirty plus years.

In general I find young Burgs easier to drink than most everything else of comparable age. This is especially true of the '10 vintage. I don’t know when I am going to stop drinking my '10 Burgs so I keep buying more.

Nothing wrong with trying a bottle here and there. But constantly drinking big, expensive wines that are no where near ready shows a lack of understanding and appreciation for the wines. But no real surprise as it is not about the wines anyway.