BURGUNDY, A QUIET LAND of tiny, medieval stone villages and pocket-sized vineyards in eastern France, makes some of the world’s greatest wines, and it does so using only two varietals. Whites are made totally from Chardonnay, and reds are made totally from Pinot Noir. Other countries plant the same grapes, and many make exceptionally fine wines from them, but none quite achieves the mystique of Burgundy. Only in Burgundy do these grapes produce wines as sensuous as liquid silk.
Part of Burgundy’s individual character comes from its soils and from its cold winters and warm but rarely hot summers, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly. In 2015 Burgundy experienced a particularly fine growing season. As a result, the wines of 2015 have been hailed as exceptional. I recently tasted a number of them and did, indeed, find them impressive. Here, in limited space, are a few.
Among the whites, Olivier Leflaive Chassagne-Montrachet ($78) is a distinctive, opulent, rich, balanced wine. Domaine Faiveley Meursault Blagny, 1er Cru ($90), a bright wine showing both floral and stony qualities, offers a delicious finish. Domaine Christian Moreau Père & Fils Chablis “Vaudésir,” Grand Cru ($107) is an elegant, racy, crisp, well-balanced wine with apple and floral hints.
For reds, consider Domaine du Comte Armand Auxey-Duresses Rouge ($52), a vibrant wine with finesse. One of Burgundy’s finest producers of Volnay offers Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay “Vendanges Sélecionnées” ($78), a truly beautiful example of the wine which presents the concentrated flavors of red berries; a fine structure; a light minerality; and a long, satisfying finish. Domaine Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux, 1er Cru ($142.50) is a fine, focused and rich wine with juicy fruit flavors. Domaine Sylvain Cathiard & Fils Nuits St. Georges “Aux Thorey,” 1er Cru ($240) offers a charming wine with dark red fruit flavors, ample body and a hint of vanilla and spice.
Like all fine Burgundy wines, they are not inexpensive. But if you want to splurge on a special bottle for a special occasion and decide to make it a Burgundy 2015, you’ll likely feel it was money well-spent.
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