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Beautifully crafted wine. Brilliantly clear purple-ruby color with multiple persistent legs. The nose is all youthful cherry-berry fruit with overtones of violet, mineral, mushroom and gunmetal. On the attack the very forward, big fruit is all plush raspberry and bing cherry, medium-to-big-bodied, with vanilla and oak nuances; very fine-grained and well-integrated tannins on a long satin finish. Definitely ready to drink now, this baby has the stiffing to last at least 10 more years. WA rates this 93-95, and it’s a solid 94 in my book.
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I had this at a restaurant last night thus the abbreviated TN. Paired with a duck sausage, sun died cherry balsamic demi-glase over spinach and an entree of a grilled rosemary and sage porterhouse steak with with a merlot wine reduction.

Purchased directly from Vincent Girardin after a recent visit. 13.5% alcohol.

Dark ruby purple. Multiple medium thick legs. Expressive cascading nose shows plenty of wild raspberries, Italian truffles, rose petals and old leather. A tad short on a palate of sweet cherries and perfume, but missing the pepper I was expecting on the finish. Excellent balance between fruit and acidity, this is a medium to full bodied exquisitely integrated and well balanced example of burgundy winemaking. The potential is there for this to develop into an exceptional wine, but currently needs time. 91 points, drink between 2006-2012.
I'm truly amazed at the amount of young Burgundy that is consumed far before its prime. I do understand that some of you haven't been collecting for long and don't have many mature wines, but I'd love to see your faces when you first open one of the '99 Girardins at 10-15 years of age. You'll chastize yourselves for drinking these in their youth. Mature Burgundy is a thing of immense beauty.
Board-O, got any for me to try? [Big Grin] Seriously, if you've never had a Burg with 15+ yrs. on it, how do you know how great it can be? This wine in particular (and most grand crus) does need time to show well. But I think most wines today are made so that they can be consumed on release and be very, very good. Since I have had this one, I can tell you that it is fantastic right now, but may be better in 2-5 yrs. After that, I dunno. I'm not a pro on guessing drinking windows.

I am not a Burgundy expert either, but isn't its big problem the small plateau of maturity (compared to Bordeaux & Cal cabs) and its tendency to fall apart instead of declining gracefully? I have not had a lot of the grand crus but I recall a quote from a now-forgotten source that it's hard to go wrong consuming pinot noir at 6 years.

When I have consumed aged Burgundy (some of the 1990's by Angerville, Roumier & Grivot most recently), I have discussed with the guys at the wine store (who have already tasted it) the optimal drinking period, and they almost always gave me a window of merely a year or two. I concur that guessing the peak is very tricky, and the price and the limited quantity of most Burgundies can make anyone sqeamish, and willing to compromise on catching it on the way up as opposed to down.
I agree TR99, on the way up, instead of the way down. That is the part of the Burg equation that Board-O is not seeing, IMO. Pinot being the delicate flower it is, can fall apart faster than a cockroach scattering when the lights come on. I will always drink on the way up. Case in point, when my buddy invited me over for his anniversary dinner and opened a bottle of '98 Bzikot Puligny Montrachet Les Referts (I think) and the damn thing was freaking awful. It was probably great 5 yrs ago. I know it was a white , but Burgundy is not Bordeaux. It is rare for a Pinot to last 15 yrs and still be fresh and full of fruit, as well as the little complexities we all hope for.

jb, in my opinion, the best Burgundies from great years need at least ten years to open, maybe 15 or 20. The very best Burgundies I've ever had have all been over 15 years old- '34 Romanee-Conti, '59 Chambertin (Armand Rousseau), and '59 La Tache. In fact, I still have a '59 La Tache. I understand your point, but an elegant, complex, expansive, floral, mature Burgundy, in my opinion, is far better than a young powerhouse.
I don't think DRC, Leroy, La Tache, etc. will ever touch my lips. Those are the greatest wines in the world, IMO, and are absolutely worthy of 20 years of more in the cellar. As for the rest of the great wines of Burgundy, I am not so sure. Pinot doesn't usually have the tannins for that kind of long haul. But I will take your word for it Board-O. [Big Grin]

Board-O, I'm with you. Most Burgundy is drunk far too early. What is difficult is figuring out which will stand the test of time and which will fall apart. In addition, I think you need to appreciate the combination of fruit and non-fruit driven flavors to really appreciate pinot in general and Burgundy in particular.

Unfortunately I don't have any fifteen year old bottles hanging around, but I'm not touching my 95s and 96s for several more years. You folks are right about one thing though, it is best to have friends with lots of mature Burgundies, and the opportunity to help drink them! [Big Grin]
Today is my wife's birthday and we had a 1994 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir "La Bauge aux Dessus" that we brought back from CA in 1996. This wine was far better than it was 3 years ago. The tannin and fruit had melded into an expansive, elegant wine, nothing outstanding, but an 88 or 89 point wine. In its youth, this wine was flavorful, but just another PN with a harsh edge. If this needed 8 years, imagine what a good Grand Cru needs.
OK, Board-O, you convinced me. I was going to bring 3 bottles of grand cru to dinner Sun. for Revlis and ojeffso. Now it's village wine for everyone!! [Razz] [Big Grin]

Watch for TN's and detail of this dinner on Mon. It's going to be a wild one. Burgundy blind tasting (white and red), Italians, Clos Mimi Syrah, Riedels, winos, non-winos, barnyard animals, power tools. It's going to be insane. [Big Grin]


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