There are many great Burgundies that I've had over the years, some that are so rare and transcendent that I feel fortunate just to have had the chance to get even one sip.
But the ones I always think the most fondly of, and this is true for all categories of wine, are the ones that made me think 'Oh, I get it now', or something along those lines.
'Ah-ha Wines', if you will.
And these usually aren't the legendary wines from the extreme high-end of the quality and price spectrum. Rather, they are relatively wines of great quality that, when tasted, made me (at least begin to) understand what all the fuss was about.
Alain Burguet's Gevrey Chambertin VV 'Mes Favorites' was definitely one of those wines, in this case it was the 1999 vintage which, at the time, was a couple of vintages old. Even in its young-ish state, it really grabbed my attention.
The Mes Favorites is 'just' a villages wine, but it's one of those (like the Gevrey VVs of Fourrier or Bachelet) that punches above its weight.
It wasn't just the high-quality of the wine relative to its (at the time) modest pricing, it was the style. All proper Gevrey, to me, have a subtle element of rustic masculinity to them, but this one really brought that to the front. Though still primary, it was meaty, earthy, pungent and firmly tannic, the word that immediately popped into my mind in that moment was 'surly' (in a good way, of course).
It reminded me of an old French chef who, on first meet may seem a bit ill-tempered, but quickly warms up when given the chance, and it was the first time that the idea of a wine having a personality, rather than just a flavor profile, really hit home.
Most of Burguet's wines have an element of that ruggedness-meets-finesse to them.
Now that Alain's sons, Jean-Luc and Eric are at the helm, the wines have taken on a more genteel personality, but their personality continues to shine through nonetheless. The purity and finesse they show, aided by their use of less new oak and SO2, will only allow that rugged personality to shine through even more as this as this set of absolutely stunning 2015s evolves in the coming decades.
Even the modest Bourgone Pince Vin is a wine that will age beautifully, especially from a vintage like this. I've had the 1996 a couple of times in the last year and it was one of most joyful wines I've had in recent memory.
From the Pince Vin all the way up to the Clos de Beze, you cannot make a bad purchase from this estate in 2015.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street
MCF Rare Wine Ltd.