Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:43 PM

A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and (even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles. Sign up now!


Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.


Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.


2009 Saint-Aubin, 1er Cru “Le Champlot” – Sylvain Langoureau
Saint-Aubin is a village just west of a swath of vineyards that all have “Montrachet” in their names. The vineyards of the appellation begin near the village itself in the west, and spiral around several hillsides, the hamlet of Gamay, and finally, down to the border of those celebrated Montrachet vineyards. The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard is perched on a hillside facing southwest just above the village of Gamay. Interesting to note that the southeastern slope of the same hill is in Puligny-Montrachet. The resulting wine has a mineral distinction and sleekness similar to that of its eastern neighbor. Langoureau’s efforts with his 8.5 hectares has placed him in the upper echelon of Saint-Aubin producers. This 2009 Le Champlot displays rich fruit and mineral aromas; a fresh, lively, well balanced mouth feel; and a crisp finish of mineral, fruit, and spice. Drink now through 2016.

2004 Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru “Clos des Argillières” – Domaine Bertrand Ambroise
Located in Premeaux-Prissey just south of the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges, you’ll find Maison Bertrand Ambroise. Bertrand’s terroir-driven wines have zest and gusto, much like the man. Within the des Argillières vineyard (in Premeaux-Prissey) is an enclosed vineyard, the sweet spot, the Clos. It is a special piece of terroir within the vineyard. This 2004 Nuits-Saint-Georges shows pretty aromas of cherry cola, underbrush, sarsaparilla, and cigar box. On the palate, the wine is medium in body with fresh, zippy red fruit akin to tangy currants framed by earth and forest floor. The tannins are fine and the finish is lively and long. Its slightly brickish color may suggest that it is mature and ready to go, though its structure indicates that it could easily be enjoyed for another 5-10 years. If you drink it now, an hour’s decanting should do the trick. Serve it with a hearty stew or Osso Buco. – Peter Zavialoff

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2006 Bertrand Ambroise Nuits Saint Georges

Monday, March 28, 2011 10:59 AM

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: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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