MCF Rare Wine
Fully Mature Library Burgs, Just in Time for the Holidays
This time of year, for a retail business owner, is a very special time...by 'special' I mean stressful, exhausting, often overwhelming...but also fun. A full day of non-stop, 100% reactive work is exhilarating in a way...you don't even have time to consider how tired/wired you are until you lock up at night, and sit down at your desk with hours worth of 'desk work' in front of you.
For me, one of the most motivating factors has always been the special food and wine that lay on the horizon known as 6pm on Dec 24th.
If you can just make it to there, no matter how draining, Christmas Eve Dinner and the next morning are always more than worth it.
Obviously, now that I have young kids in the 'prime Christmas' years, seeing their excitement has become the biggest motivation, but being a food/wine-obsessed guy, the bottles/meal are still very much a beacon.
And while Barolo or Bordeaux are always contenders for Christmas day, nothing beats Burgundy...mature Burgundy (especially with Beef Wellington!)...and it's not very often that I can blast out nice quantities of vintage Burgundy to the entire list.
I'm not of the mindset that it's productive or fair to send an offer to many thousands of people for wines I have just a few bottles of, so most of the offers for vintage wine I send end up going out in personal emails strictly because of quantity.
...perhaps I'm old-fashioned...or stubborn...
The Robert Ampeau estate is one of those rare places in Burgundy where late-release wines are just what they do...and always have.
Given the explosion of Burgundy over the last 20 years, it's almost puzzling as to how they've managed to keep the constant market pressure at bay, and hold such unbelievable stocks of old wine.
Michel Ampeau suffered a stroke in 2014, and forty years worth of wines sat unlabeled, quietly going about their business as always.
After Michel's long road back to recovery, the releases have begun once again, to all of our benefit!
These are staunchly old-school Burgs, and they're released only 'when they're ready'...
...and when they're ready, they're very good...and, all things considered, not very expensive.
The Meursault 1er Cru Les Piece sous les Bois 2002 is a lovely example of mature Chardonnay. There's plenty of development of here, with a soft, textured, mildly nutty feel across the palate that's accentuated by wonderful, minty, spicy nuance. Through the core, though, it's still remarkably focused and linear. Considering the prices that a new-release Meursault with this kind of longevity would sell for (hint: it's more), this is a remarkable value.
Then we have three terrific reds, and I'll start with the Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavieres 1999. It's a beautiful, contented, wise old glass of Pinot Noir - delicate, fragrant and soft, but everything you could ask for in a old Burgundy that costs less than $80/btl. If you love 'em dainty and flowery, this is so lovely.
I've gotten better about it over the years, but my friends used to make fun of my rather opaque descriptions of wines. 'It has that 1998 thing going on,' I'd say, for example.
'What does that mean?'
'I dunno...taste it and find out...'
So, yeah, I've gotten better, but the only note I needed for the delicious Pommard 1999 was that it was 'very Pommard'. It's my way of shorthanding a reminder to myself of what the wine tasted like. So, by saying 'very Pommard', I was saying it was a sturdy, robust wine, with bright red fruit and lovely baking spice nuances at the edges. Still showing the firm backbone that you expect from this appellation, there's plenty of time left on this one.
The Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 2001, is classic, classic Volnay. Its cool, airy red-fruit profile is highly aromatic and transparently allows all the lovely, savory nuance to move freely about the palate. It's so very Volnay, and so very delicious. I've long been of the opinion that 2001s would some day become much more highly regarded than they were on release...
...a wine like this is a great example of how right I was... ;)
(...no, I'm serious...)
So, just in time for whatever you're looking forward to this time of year, a stash of old-school, ready-to-go, Burgundy values...
...may they guide you to the finish line!
(or be a totally sweet gift for someone in your life)
ROBERT AMPEAU (all ex-cellar)
Meursault 1er Cru La Piece sous le Bois 2002
Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavieres 1999
Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 2001
You may also order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212.255.8870.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011