Bouchard P & F Les Vignees Pinot Noir 99

I wasn't going to post notes on this because it is a cheapie and the missus and I are not really PN people (no flaming please). We've never really liked a wine through which we can clearly see the bottle of the glass.

A friend brought this bottle to a dinner on Saturday (a Canadian tradition, one always brings wine to a dinner but one almost never drinks it that night), and we were having sushi, Chinese nibbles and noodles with the kids so decided to risk it. There was nothing horribly wrong with it, but neither was there anything particularly good. Simple, bland Burgundy plonk. Something to serve your non-wine-appreciating friends, the ones who always bug you about your love of wine, and for whom you cannot be bothered to try to educate them on the finer things in life. You know who I mean.
Original Post
The first really good Burgundy I ever had was from Bouchard Pere. I had it in 1978 and it was a Grand Cru, but I can't remember which one. As far as the color goes, Pinot Noir, to my knowledge is the only red wine varietal that can be relatively light in color and still produce great wine.
At the risk of a (possibly well-deserved) serious flaming, I'll say that we are still looking for my first affordable pinot noir that either she or I really like, or can even say that we don't dislike. Trouble is probably a combination of limited selection in Ontario, and, simply, our preference for big reds and chards. We've only been serious wine drinkers for about 5 years, maybe our tastes will evolve.....
Bman - I went through a similar evolution in my wine preferences with regards to Pinot. At first it was Cab, cab, cab for a few years. Then I started doing some serious wine tastings with wines from all over the world. Appreciating Pinot came with a wide variety of tasting and drinking. Then the trip to Burgundy and it was all over.

Now it's French burgundy (red and white) and zins for me. The only cab I've been buying is a few assorted bottles of CA's here and there and some Bordeaux for the cellar.

So try it, you'll like it. Pinot is like a beautiful song that you might have to strain to hear the notes but it all comes together nicely.
Oh Winetex,

You are a man of my heart...pinot and burg! I wish I could afford more though.
Being from Texas, we must get together!

It does not get better than that. The problem with pinot, as we know, is that either it is great (and very expensive usually) or it is horrible (and cheap). I have noticed that many people that do not like pinot have not truly tried a fine one--which reminds me of seduction, roses, sweet floral aromas, elegance, etc. You get the picture.

Additionally, too many people do not like the sour cheery flavor associate with cheap pinot. I can see this...
Doc,

this may sound incredible but I've never had a Burgundy PN. The ones with high ratings are way out of my price range and I've heard too many scary stories about the cheap ones to waste any money on them.

Can you recommend any good Burgundy PN at $20 or less that won't scare me away from Burgundy once and for all?

Thanks. AX
If you look at the WS home page today, there's a feature article on Seven Inexpensive Burgundies under $30. There are actually 3 on the list @$20 or under. I can't vouch for any of these, because I haven't tasted them. But if you have any confidence in WS ratings, it's probably not a bad place to start.
CrisisMode,

I had already looked at the $30 or less smart buys from Burgundy. I often rely on WS ratings when choosing where to spend my wine $$$ but I do have certain "rules of thumb". One of them is not to spend more than $12 [or so] for anything rated 86 or less.

I apologize for not being more specific in my earlier post. I should had stated the fact that I was seeking an inspiring Burgundy for $20 or less, not just a better than average wine. Come to think of it, it just may not exist.

But thanks anyway. AX
I'm still looking for whatever it is that Pinot drinkers like about it. After all, I'll always be an Oregonian.
Aug '96 I went to a NW Wine Fest at the Herb Farm in Fall City, WA. I went in planning on trying plenty of Pinots & Chards, since I figured that was my chance without spending $30-40/bottle. Of course, I wanted to try as many Cabs & Merlots as possible too.
After trying Argyle, Drouhin & Adelsheim Pinot Noirs, I still didn't get it, & moved on. I then had a Cab from a little local winery that I had never heard of, which totally blew me away. I tried several others, but kept coming back to the Quilceda Creek.
I have bought QC every year since. I had missed the 92, but saw some advertised in Chicago, so bought it & had it shipped here. The saleswoman had no idea where Snohomish, WA was, but got a kick out of the fact that I was buying wine made here to ship from there.
Anyway, I'm still drinking Pinot now & then, & looking to catch the bug. Not likely I'll spend much money on the real thing, though--Burgundy--any more than I do on Bordeaux or tawney Ports. [Wink]
All a matter of personal taste... [Smile]
For the record, had a glass of this last night and just finished off the bottle tonight. Still thin and weak and not worth the effort at all. There's gotta be better stuff out there for CAD$15.

One of these days I'll have a pinot that makes me sing (cover your ears when it happens [Razz] ).
bman-if you like your reds big and want to slowly adjust to pinot noir, try philippe leclerc le bons batons from a good vintage(93.95,96,97,99). this wine goes for about $8-9 in burgundy and about $15-16 here. leclerc's wines tend to be darker and more oaked than the normal burgundy. the baton is his entry level wine and can be a great value.
Andreasx,

Burg under 20 which is great? I do not know...that is tough....why not increase the bar to $30-35? I know that is 10-15 bucks more, but I really think it is worth your effort.

My policy is not to buy cheap pinot. Of course, how do you know unless you try...However, I have begin to realize that wines from other varietals that are inexpensive can be quite good to great. However, with pinot, I just do not have luck?
I don't have a problem with spending some extra $$$ to get a very good Burgundy PN. $30-$35 is out of my comfort zone but I wouldn't mind it too much if it was a rare occasion. As a matter of fact CrisisMode posted TNs on a great QPR Burgundy for $28. I'd definetely buy it if I can find it. What happens if I really like it though? I'd have to buy more...and more...and more...at $30 a bottle! Uh-oh! [Smile]

Thanks doc. I appreciate your thoughts.
It is impossible to find GREAT Burgundy for under $30. My definition of great is 90 or higher. To really get a great bottle of Burgundy you have got to usually spend in the $40-$60 range. Maybe you should hold off on a couple purchases of lesser wines and pop for a nice '99 Pommard or Volnay. Once you try an excellent Burgundy, you may have a different take on the varietal. IMO, it always takes a great bottle to open up a palate to new things. I don't fall in love with a grape by drinking medocrity.

This is primarily why I don't have the great love of Bordeaux that most of you have. I have only had cheap, sucky ones. Hopefully, I can on changing that on June 15.

jb
JB,

From another Thread I've contributed to here:

99 ECARD SAVIGNY LES BEAUNES PEUILLETS

WA gives this wine a 91, and it's available for $28 (net). Don't know if anyone out there has tasted this, and I'd like to hear if you have, but it's got to be a buy on spec alone. How many red Burg's in the 90s sell for under $30?

No Burgundy at 90+ under $30?

Hmmmmm.
another excellent burgundy under $30 is the domaine joblot givry cellier aux moines 99. wine advocate gave it a rating of 93+. i bought a case and know a store where it is still available for about $26 a bottle. short or jb, if interested let me know and i'll bring some to the tasting on friday.
OK you got me. I have not had that wine, so in my mind the jury is still out (I lve Bob's palate, but I was referring to my scale.) I have had some givry's that were supposed to be good QPR's and have been disappointed. I have never had a Savigny les Beaune. I may have to track one down.

jb
jb-most givrys are inexpensive everyday wines that sell for about $10 or less in burgundy. joblot is buy far the best producer in the region. i tried the cellier and thought it excellent, but not quite the 93+. btw, rovani tasted this and it was from bottle.
ojso,

I did have a Joblot Girvry. I hated it. It was a '97, which I know is a suspect year for Red Burg, but I HATED IT! Being a Burgundy lover, this wine was everything I loathe in a Burgundy. It was thin, diluted, herbal and nasty! I paid $26 for it and felt completely ripped off. This is why I don't trust inexpensive Burgundies. If I am only going to spend $30 on a Pinot,as Jones says, I can do better in CA or even Oregon. This is not an absolute. I just haven't had good experiences with inexpensive Burgundy.
tsunami: Thanks, but I'm not sure what we're talking about here anymore! [Confused] If it's burgundy, I think I'll pass, unless it's something spectacular for under USD $20. Like I said way back when, I'm not really a PN guy and we Canadians are only allowed to bring two bottles back duty free, everything over that is 40% or more duty, so I think I'll stick to my vintage ports. If you have something on vintage ports, well, type on!!! Please advise.

As the originator of this thread, I find it interesting that something that began as a review of a cheap and insignificant bottle of, dare I say, plonk, has turned into an almost frantic discussion of fairly expensive pinot noir. Not something completely different, but certainly a different direction. I'm not surprised, this seems almost like a case study of how threads evolve. Almost all the TN threads go only 1-8 posts, but the odd one almost takes on a life of its own, this one is now over 30 posts and long ago abandoned its original purpose. Interesting!

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