I've been smitten on Oregon grapes from shea vineyard, santa lucia highland fruit and the pacific coastal ranges from sonoma to santa barbara. Of course the traditionalists all rag on me for my fruit forward 'new world tastes' and plead w/ me to venture out to the old world of pinot noir. The terrior-buffed claims w/ ancient vines and minerally laced goodness have echoed in my ear w/ every bottle of gary's vineyard pinot I pick up....
Anyways, I've tried numerous Pommard and Satenay bottles (from relatively generic Domaines) w/ nothing but an acid-laiden mouthwash residue for my dollars. I refuse to anty up hundreds of dollars to a La Tache to finally taste the greatness of Burgundy, but I continue to have no success w/ reasonably priced Burgundy fair. Before I give up on the old world of Pinot, anyone have any suggestions to make me a believer w/o having to take out a bank loan?!
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Good Burgundy at a reasonable price is definetly a challenge. The 2002 vintage is an excellent place to start. Critics are hailing it Burgundy's best vintage since 1990. There are a number of bottles available in the $20 to $40 range. These should give you a solid intro into the depth of Burgundian Pinot. Keep in mind these prices are in Canadian funds. CHOREY-LES-BEAUNE 2002 - $19.95, LA BUXYNOISE PINOT NOIR 2002 - $16.95, BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2002 - $25.95, DOMAINE NUDANT LADOIX 1ER CRU 'LES BUIS' 2002 - $27.95, BEAUNE LES GREVES 1ER CRU 2002 - $39.95, MERCUREY 2002 - $24.95, RAOUL CLERGET GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN 2002 - $28.95, BOUCHARD PERE & FILS LA VIGNEE BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR - $17.05. This last entry is from the 2003 vintage but is definetly worth checking out, great price legendary producer. I have searched high and low for most of these bottles and have been fortunate enough to find a small handful of them. Each of them worth every second of time spent. Good luck on your search, don't hesitate these beautiues are going fast!
Thanks for the lengthy reply fivetooth. You are definitely right about the limited availability and the luck of the draw in finding any of them....I will keep a very clear eye out for them. Limited availability is what makes elusive pinot fun though, I actually snagged a few bottles of Sea Smoke in the '04 futures because I think I have NO chance of getting them in any other fashion.
One more question on Burgundy w/ regards to age. From my understanding, Burgundy takes time. Could have to do w/ the higher levels of acidity (or in warmer vintages, riper tannins), but w/ the 02 and 03's, I would imagine them to be 4-5 years off maturation...what do you think?
It is correct that most of the 02's and 03's would reward with three plus years in proper cellar conditions. While others are very approachable now. I have found that most Pinots are very easy to enjoy no matter what their age. I usually try and pick up a few bottles if available. One to enjoy now and another to lay down. Something to look forward to. The 03 La Vignee is very drinkable and widely available, give it a whirl. Congrats on the Sea Smoke, it's nearly impossible to get in Canada.

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