Passport? Check. Plane tickets? Check. Hotel reservation? Check. Rent-a-car? Check. Looks like all systems are go. This Bordeaux scout is ready, set and anxious to taste the 2010 vintage being unveiled to the trade starting the week of April 4. I’ve been invited to a bit of a ‘send off’ dinner party this evening, so the question becomes, “What to drink?” There’s plenty of Bordeaux in my near future, so I’ll leave that alone and take advantage of our flash 72 hour Burgundy sale and sip some nice, Old World Pinot Noir this evening. 


You may recall a write-up from last November in which I praised the unique expression of Burgundy crafted byBertrand Ambroise. I’ve been intrigued by the many wines from Ambroise ever since I saw a picture of his label in the Hachette Guide des Vins. They’re pretty stingy about whose labels they include. You pretty much have to be in the top of your class to “get your picture taken”. But there it was, so I started experimenting. What I love about the wines is their ability to speak of a place. Ambroise’s reds are rugged and structured, much like the winemaker. No one will confuse them with Russian River Pinot Noir, they have an earthy distinction, and that combined with the medium bodied fruit lead to a sensation best described as “Burgundian”.

I’m always on the lookout for a good deal, as I have more than a handful of discretionary customers who rely on me to “not miss anything great”. So keeping my budget in mind, as I scour the list of wines that are part of the weekend’s sale, the 2006 Bertrand Ambroise Nuits Saint Georgeslooks like THE DEAL to me. Originally priced at $58.29 per bottle, it is marked down to a very attractive $29.95! Yes, that’s a deal! I am often asked about the 2006 vintage in Burgundy, and one cannot really make a blanket statement about any vintage in Burgundy, but I find the wines to be charming and easy to like. I consider it a drinker’s vintage. Certainly, this Nuits Saint Georges seems to be what I look for in an affordable Burgundy. The warm earthiness and ripe red berry fruit teeter-totter the aromatics; followed by a rich, structured mouth feel with just the right amount of tannins, yum. The finish is signature Ambroise, a hint of animale along with the earthiness, buoyed by the fruit, acidity and dusty tannins. Okay, I better finish up here and get some off of the sales floor for my discretionary customers!  

It may be said that there are Burgundy peeps and there are Bordeaux peeps, kind of like there are Cub fans and there are Sox fans, and never the twain shall meet. Well, there is a litany of evidence as to where I stand, but I must say, I like Burgundy too! I might think twice about wearing a Sox hat in Cubs Park, but I’m okay with drinking and writing about Burgundy just before setting off to the magical terroir where my favorite wines originate. – Peter Zavialoff

When time allows, I will be sending updates of my impressions from Bordeaux via Facebook and Twitter, please feel free to follow along!

Also, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on Bordeaux, Burgundy, the upcoming Champions League matches, or if there is something specific that you may want me to taste of the 2010 barrel samples: