|It was a wise customer who once told me, “One of the best things about working in the wine business is having the opportunity to drink better wines for less money.” What this customer meant is because there is so much wine produced, soooo many high-quality offerings fly under the radar, and their prices remain stable. Low and stable. While this may be true, some regions have been scoured over by journalists and critics so thoroughly that hopes of finding a diamond in the rough are nearly impossible. Like Burgundy. Specifically, Red Burgundy. David’s multiple trips to Burgundy each year have resulted in a handful of high-quality, low-priced Burgundies now sporting the “Imported by Wine House Limited” back labels. One producer fairly new to us is Domaine Bart in Marsannay. We imported a trio of their wines last year as they exemplify what I’m on about here. Quality for price. We just received our first 2010’s from them, and we popped one yesterday to see how it was showing. Well, let’s just say that if we weren’t impressed, I wouldn’t be typing this. Yesterday we tasted the 2010 Marsannay Les Echezots from Domaine Bart.
Face it, if you love Burgundy (and who doesn’t?), you love quality, inexpensive Burgundy even more. There’s always electricity in the air when our staff catches wind of Burgundy samples, and yesterday was no exception. We always wait until the end of the day to taste Burgundy, for after we close, the spitting rule changes from mandatory to optional. There’s something not right, almost criminal, about spitting Burgundy. We popped the cork on the 2010 Marsannay, and poured it around. It showed that pretty, subtle, red berry nuance that signals Pinot Noir … and a whole lot more. There was earth. There were notes of crushed apple leaves and sarsaparilla on the wine’s bouquet. We were silent as we tasted. On the palate, the wine was fresh and lively, with the acidity balancing the fruit. It was then when one could sense the vintage’s structure, like a big teddy bear giving the wine a warm hug. We all smiled around the tasting table. It had a hint of rustic charm to it. It tasted honest. It was genuine.
|Now the real good news. What does honest, genuine red Burgundy cost? Yeah. Not cheap. What if I told you that with the case discount the price of the 2010 Domaine Bart Marsannay Les Echezots would be less that $25? Seriously, less than $25!! Red Burgundy. Wow! Okay, no one is going to confuse it with Grand Cru Echezeaux, but it’s pronounced the same. So it’s got that going for it as well. So you can tell all of your wine loving friends that you got “Echezots” for less than $25 and not be lying. Implications being what they may.
The days are flying by at a frenetic pace. The Bordeaux trip has been booked, most of my appointments have been scheduled, lodging and rental car all set; but let’s not get carried away here. My heart may be in Bordeaux, but if I can drink Burgundy of this quality for this price … well, that’s just profiting from a remarkable business opportunity. In fact, I want some of these in ye olde cellar. I have a hunch they’re going to be great with about 5-10 years on them. I guess when you’re in the wine business, you find high-quality wine for a great price! – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments, especially about Burgundy, Bordeaux, my band’s gig next week, and of course, tomorrow morning’s big match against Howard Webb and his boys: peter.winehouse@