Sunday, July 19, 2009

The wine experience that will make me buy more red Burgundy

Last evening, the stars were aligned for me to feel strongly for a beautiful, unmistakable, delectable red Burgundy.

I don't often drink red Burgundy - and I don't have nearly enough experience with high end red Burgundy, nor do I know enough about it....... but I knew enough to tell myself I needed to experience more of what Volnay is...... and I knew enough to not believe in the concept of "not great vintages" and I knew enough to know that Comtes Lafon is a great producer.

And finally, I knew enough to ask Samantha Dugan at The Wine Country for advice when it comes to choosing a red Burgundy.

The 2004 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay pictured above is a bottle that initially purchased last year, close to Christmastime when I was working my last few days at The Wine Country - the plan was to bring this and a few other bottles to Canada and share with my in-laws who are really into red Burgundy, especially my mother-in-law who doesn't particularly love Italian reds or Bordeaux or other such heavier reds, but loves red Burgundy. Well, I can understand her palate and I thought this wine would be perfect to share with her and the father-in-law and the hubby.

This bottle also happened to be on sale at the time, if I recall correctly, and I thought, oh, what a bargain.... and I also loved how it was an 04 vintage, but I knew that the 2005 vintage was being heralded as the perfect vintage, and though I like wines from perfect vintages, I often love wines from less than perfect vintages. They are like the pound puppies I plan to adopt, so loveable and cute and surprisingly great, compared to the perfect purebreds that will give you exactly what you asked for at a hefty, premium price.

As an aside, earlier in the year when I went to a special restaurant and tried to order a 2004 Burgundy, I was steered by the sommelier to the 2005 of the same wine.... I always wondered if I should have stuck to my guns and gotten the 2004, but of course the 2005 was perfect, and everyone at the table loved the wine....... but last night, I got my personal justification that there is nothing wrong with 2004 red Burgundy. Nothing!

The 2004 Comte Lafon Volnay was one of those wines that took my breath away at the first inhale..... the first inhale told me that this is a Burgundy, unmatched by Pinot Noir produced anywhere else, though still with the characteristic qualities of the some similarity to Pinot Noir elsewhere but not the same. Does that make sense? This aroma was captivating and the flavor on the palate fantastic, not too fleshy, not too thin, not to oaky, not anything too anything, just perfect.

This was a wine that went well with all our dinners at Marche Moderne, a wine that followed our Champagne wonderfully, a wine that thankfully we did not gulp too quickly such that after we finished our food, we still had a full glass each to enjoy on its own.

Now that this bottle is just a memory for me, my plan is to go back to The Wine Country, peruse the Burgundy section, and the sale bin, and pick up what might possibly be left of vintage 2004..... this is what wine loving is about.


Samantha Dugan said...

Um...Yay! I love Lafon and I think 2004 was not an "off" vintage, it was a correct one. Not flashy or rich just perfectly Bugundian...matter of fact I find that the 2005 that the press blew their wad on, those wines are shutting down and tasting kinda like poo right now...that 04 is lovely!
So glad you loved it, I did too.

Nancy Deprez said...

Hi Samantha,

Excellent - that's awesome. I was starting to wonder why I thought 2004 was an "off" vintage, then I remembered how many "wine people" told me it wasn't a great vintage in Burgundy, and 2005 was what I should be looking at as good wine. Pul-eez!