Follow up: “Bargain” Grand Crus

Reading this thread I’m wondering if we’re getting to the point where any top GC say $500 or under is considered a “bargain”. At least by those who play in the $1000+ space. Which I suppose it would be for them, relatively speaking!

For those of us who haven’t really haven’t had the top and most expensive GCs it’s hard to participate in the discussion because I have no idea what the quality level of those top wines is - is it a secret society of super-Burgundies that bear no comparison to the great experiences I’ve had with more lowly cuvees?

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(1) Yeah - there is that luxury old vine cuvée that’s been offered in recent years. I’ve never had it. Based on the prices on wine-searcher for their CdlR, I’m certain that if Dujac slapped a few Roman numerals on a selection of CdlR and called it a special bottling, it would go for a lot more than the Lignier. Keep in mind that as far as Dujac goes, CdlR is seen as the 4th best wine. Dujac’s top wines are priced way above Lignier’s top wines. That’s not even close.

(2) Yup. You personal preference clearly came through from your posts, as did mine I’m sure.

this was always true, just that the $500 was lower. the elite wines (leroy, drc, rousseau, etc.) have always commanded a premium. that % premium may have gone up - not sure. but the trend is the same. the only difference is our individual ability/desire to pay the spot price. when spot was $100 it was easy for more people.

For those of us who haven’t really had the top and most expensive GCs it’s hard to participate in the discussion because I have no idea what the quality level of those top wines is - is it a secret society of super-Burgundies that bear no comparison to the great experiences I’ve had with more lowly cuvees?

to a large extent, IMO; yes. and that may be unfortunate if you look at the world a certain way - a very reasonable way for most.

i’ve come to the conclusion that absent becoming quite wealthy, my ability to drink the best wines will be limited. it has also altered how i approach buying burgundy. given the high price of merely very good wines, i’d rather have much fewer experiences and try and focus on what i consider the best.

I think at the ~$500 price point there’s an expectation that a wine has at least an extra gear than your $1-200 wines, if not being world class. Looking at the last few bottles in this class, I’d probably agree ever they met that description, with some being world class.

2001 Haut Brion
1989 Yquem
2001 Trapet Chambertin
2013 Rousseau CDLR
2001 Yquem

Once you elevate things to the >1000 range the same becomes even more true.

Guillemot’s Corton Le Rognet is generally well priced also.


Presumably you mean Chambertin, bm, csd, than cdlr? I think you could only make an argument with the last two that they are the best producer in that vineyard.

Well, I think that’s exactly wrong. What vintages of Ponsot do you think compete? The ‘99 Ponsot CSD looked like it was gonna be great then fell off a cliff. 97/98/01 all of huge variability issues across the top bottlings. The 05s are very odd right now and there were so many disappointments that I stopped after that. Can’t imagine that Laurent leaving is great but I can’t speak to it. But what wines specifically are you talking about? Which vintages of Ponsot?

RSV. Have you had a lot of the Chambertin and the RSV? Which vintages?

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I don’t really cellar ponsot (or dujac) so I’m certainly not the best authority but I’d say if ones I’ve tried, 2009 CSD TVV was pretty spectacular on an recent early look. 15 cdlr (I think Laurent’s last vintage?) was pretty fantastic too.

I haven’t had the RSV. I have had the 09 Chambertin which was great but not close to as good as the Rousseau tasted immediately after.

I haven’t had the dujac RSV. I have had Arnoux, Leroy, and DRC, which were all pretty spectacular, so it certainly would have tough competition to be the best and I haven’t heard anyone suggest that.

Noah, I tried this strategy a number of years ago, and finally decided that I was just ending up with a bunch of mediocre wines. there’s a reason most of the cheaper “grand crus” are cheap, and my decision was that it wasn’t worth paying for the “grand cru” on the label to get a wine that’s just middling. I’ve been much better off buying medium to good producers’ top premier crus, but also good/great producers’ mid level premier crus. I’ve been quite happy drinking LSG in NSG (as well as Vaucrains and Cailles), but also several producers’ Boudots; CSJ in Gevrey, but also Lavaux SJ, Cazetiers, etc., and one could go on and on.

Yup that has been my recent revelation as well. There are a few cuvées that fly under the radar, but most of the off-brand GCs I’ve had have been underwhelming. This year I’m focusing on blue chip producers only.

Ponsot CdlR 2002 and 2009 were all one could long for

2002 - horrendously variable. Lots of bottles with VA. Not as disastrous as some of the late 90s bottlings that had issues, but if you got a good one then consider yourself lucky.

I had 2 good ones of 2002 …

Completely agree with this! Best QPR in grand cru burgundy for me. As I understand one of these best plots on the hill.

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Have you seen the secondary prices on these now? They have gone up substantially, taking them past their quality level in my opinion.

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Oh my goodness! I bought the 1999 Florent de Merode Corton Clos du Roi at auction for $116 in 2018, and I see it’s now in the $500 range. To be fair though, it was one of the top wines at an offline we had that year

there are maybe a few domaines that produce reasonably priced good quality grand crus that are cheaper than the top tier premier crus, Rossignol Trapet, Trapet and CLF come to mind.

I’m generally fairly happy adding the top grand crus from those producers to my cellar since I find their pricing reasonable compared to the top premier crus from say Fourrier or Grivot

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Will do a first hand evaluation soon. I have a 2002 ready to go.