TN: 1996 Amiot Gevrey Chambertin, "Les Combottes".

Ciao Berzerkers,

I was invited to a friend’s place for dinner the other day and the menu was roast rabbit with Italian sausage, polenta with gorgonzola cheese and broccoli rabe. Rather than the usual Italian vino I decided to go with the one bottle of Burgundy in my possession, the 1996 Pierre Amiot Gevrey Chambertin, 1er Cru, “Les Combottes”. This was a wine given to me by Professor Frank Deis back in the day when we swapped some of my Barolo for some of Professor D’s odds and ends. This was a win/win because it broadened my cellar and experience, and Professor D could always be relied upon to give me some choice wine. For example, one was a 1999 Truchard Cabernet which I thought was fantastic about a year or so ago.

I love rabbit especially roasted or grilled, and it is a perfect match for lighter colored reds such as mature Barolo or Barbaresco, mature Chianti or in this case red Burgundy.

I decanted the wine at my place to ensure it was not flawed, then put it back in it’s bottle a few hours before dinner. An excellent cork was removed and a small deposit of sediment separated from the wine.

By dinner time the wine was groovin’ like a hippie in San Francisco during the summer of love. The color was a beautiful light cherry red, similar to a mature Barolo, an autumnal color. The nose is awesome, smoky, incensy red fruit and spice, some earth, penetrating and expansive, in it’s own way just as impressive as a fine Barolo or Barbaresco. On the palate, delicious, spicy red fruits, like cherry and raspberry, but not exactly, (wish I had better winespeak for Burgundy), lean and lithe structure, no fat, no hint of new oak, silky texture, light tannins, and a wonderful match for the rabbit. This wine makes me appreciate red Burgundy more than before, and I can begin to see why people often compare it to a fine B&B. The wine was polished off with just a few grunts of pleasure from the three participants, no need for expansive comments beyond “this is really nice”. The rabbit was excellent and the polenta with gorgonzola helped set off the wine as well.

Thanks to Professor D for a great bottle and my friends for a great dinner.

The wine is drinking beautifully now but more time in bottle can’t hurt it. Grade: solid A.

Thanks for the note. Nice to see your Amiot showing well. Your impressions are similar to mine from one year ago, in fact, this wine (actually the “Combottes” [wink.gif]) was the subject of the first TN I posted on WB. Being a Burg fan with little knowledge of Piedmont wines, I had to chuckle at your “in it’s own way just as impressive as a fine Barolo or Barbaresco” observation. [snort.gif] I would probably make a similar observation after tasting a good Barolo, as I tend to try to relate a wine I’m tasting to those that I know best. The good news is that while Amiot is a solid Burgundy producer, you might find many others who are even more impressive.

Dave, thank you for the note. Sounds like a classic 1996 Burgundy, a vintage I very much like, as I do for 1996 Piedmont’s which I am a novice to… In my experience it is not a big step to move from Piedmont to Burgundy and visa versa. Cheers Mike


Thanks for the correction. I had it written down properly but my brain just said “e” in place of “o”. dc.

Yes, I agree that 1996 is a classic vintage in Piedmont, the wines being capable of long aging. dc

Certainly both in Burgundy and Piedmont 96 is an excellent, structured vintage for the long haul, glad to see your Burg performing well Dave.
Thanks for the note.