Friday, May 25, 2012 4:59 PM

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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.

2010 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “Le Champlot”

The 2010 vintage in Burgundy saw production reduced by some 30-50% compared to 2009; so when Sylvain Langoureau’s 1er Cru landed, we knew we had to act fast to get it into your hands before it all sold. To remind you, Saint-Aubin is a village just west of the several vineyards that all have “Montrachet” in their names, including the Grands Crus themselves. The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard sits on a hillside facing southwest just above the village of Gamay. If one were to walk along the same hillside to the east, they would eventually find themselves in Puligny-Montrachet. Langoureau’s 2010 Le Champlot very much resembles his 2008, a benchmark vintage for White Burgundy. The seductive aromas are of blossom, mineral, and spicy pears. On the palate, the wine truly shines with great weight and a full body sensation balanced by dazzling acidity. Drink now through 2020.

2005 Domaine Richard Manière Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Les Damodes”

Once upon a time, we imported the Burgundies from Manière-Noirot from Vosne-Romanée. That was back in the late 1980’s, when Richard Manière’s parents ran the Domaine. Richard has had full control of the property for several vintages now. And what do we have here? None other than a 2005 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes! The Les Damodes vineyard sits on the border of Vosne-Romanée, very near the superstar La Tache vineyard. The 2005 vintage for Red Burgundy is, and will be a highly celebrated vintage for years and years to come. The wines have depth and strength, yet reveal concentrated fruit which will greatly reward a minimum of 10 years of cellaring. Guess what? We’ve taken care of the first 7 of those 10 years for you, so the task is easier. Manière’s style is to let the terroir speak through the fruit. He got good color and flavor from his fruit, no need to over-extract, especially in a vintage like this. Expressive and structured, this wine will be at its peak from 2015 through 2025. – Peter Zavialoff

2008 Red Burgundy: Domaine Francois Lamarche

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:26 PM

Tasting the 2008’s just after the ’09s at Lamarche this past January was a revelation. When looking back at my notes from a year earlier, I noted the same beautiful core of fruit, but in their year of elevage, every single wine had gained in precision and focus, like re-watching an old movie in high-def.

2008 is turning out to be quite a beautiful vintage at Lamarche, from the lovely, lighter-bodied yet strikingly scented Hautes Côtes de Nuits all the way up to the big daddy, La Grande Rue. It was a vintage that didn’t show all its stuff early, probably due to the long, slow malolactic fermentations.

The Vosne Suchots is a case in point. Last year, it was in a slightly reductive state, stunting the bouquet some, and making the finish a little rough, but now, it’s just singing, with all that gorgeous fragrance the vineyard is known for and a nice fleshy middle. As always, the Nuits Les Cras has more of an animal, black fruit character, completely different from the elegant cherry spice of the Vosnes. Among the Grand Cru wines, the Echézeaux shows rich red fruit and spice, while the Clos Vougeot is a wine of more power and structure. This is a particularly strong lineup, and further evidence that 2008, at the top addresses, is a compelling vintage for red Burgundy. – David Netzer

2008 Lamarche Hautes-Cotes de Nuits

Saturday, May 28, 2011 6:14 PM

Whew! Things sure have been exciting around here these days.Each day my inbox is full of Bordeaux Futures offers; we’re on top of the situation, as many of you have let us know which chateaux may be of interest, and we are buying accordingly. (If you are interested in any particular 2010 Futures and haven’t let us know, please do. No obligation, especially in light of the sensitivity of pricing!) The campaign has just begun, look for more offerings regularly over the next 6 weeks. Anyway, it’s all Bordeaux in my world these days. (You should see the living room in the treehouse right now.) But thanks to the arrival of a recent container,I’ve discovered a more than fairly priced gem of a wine from France’s other “Big-B”, Burgundy!

Having started here at TWH in the month of February several years ago, I was immediately regaled by coworkers with tales from the most recent holiday party. Unlike some corporate holiday parties, the tales were not about who did what, but were about what they drank. Being the Burgundy novice I was at the time, I was immediately interested in a name that kept popping up,Domaine Francois Lamarche. The first thing that interested me was that their prized vineyard is the monopole “La Grande Rue” situated between La Tache and La Romanee Conti! You don’t need to be able to read French to know that’s a pretty valuable piece of property! Anyhoo, that new container had the latest Lamarche releases on it! Sure, for you collectors, we’ve got the fancy Premiers and Grand Cru wines. Something new for us this year is the 2008 Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits.

We’re always on the lookout for great deals. That’s particularly tricky when it comes to Red Burgundy. I have to say that I was pretty psyched when I took the 2008 Lamarche Hautes-Cotes de Nuits out for a ride! For me, it started when I cut the foil. I still use the corkscrew that Morgan Twain Peterson accidentally left here when he poured us some samples a couple of years ago. As I lifted the foil off, I saw the top of the cork spotted with something moldy. Before anyone gags, it should be known that Burgundy is cold. Damp. Dark. When you store bottles in these conditions, mold will grow on the corks. When I saw those spots, I got romantic … ah, Burgundy. A quick pour in my glass and swirl revealed dazzling Old World aromatics of cedar, tobacco, cherry cola fruit, incense, and a healthy dose of earth. On the palate, it is distinctly Old World in style. More of that woodsy-ness, with bright red fruit reminiscent of that fruity/tart crunch of fresh raspberries. It has lively acidity that almost makes you miss the earthiness, but oh, it’s there. The finish is soft, mellow, and balanced. There is white pepper, then the soft raspberry, strawberry fruit that stays with you a long, long time. So yes, to me, this wine is long on character; very long. I can see why David said yes to this one, that’s for sure. I’m thinking that there’s a rotisserie chicken with grilled artichokes and a bottle of 2008 Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits from Domaine Francois Lamarche in my near future!

Ah Sunday. A day off. A day to just hang out and to try not thinking about Bordeaux. It’s difficult for me. I even have dreams about Bordeaux. It beats nightmares. But dreaming about work is not necessarily what I would call a healthy practice. Hmmm. One sure-fire way to not dream about Bordeaux? Drink some Burgundy before dinner. That’s what I’m doing! Sante!Peter Zavialoff

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