Mystery of Burgundy Strikes Again

Dotoré IGTY and tBoW workinit

Burgundy and Barolo are possibly the greatest red wines and certainly the most vexing. When they are great they are the BEST OF WINES. And when they are not ready they can produce more frustration than a Fox news host getting philosophical. Here is the Burgundy dilemma. They are rarely bad wines…with exceptions and we have written about those here. But they can simply be…not ready. Which is almost worse than being bad or flawed [ed. from Flod? near Bosche?]

Pinot Bistro is a Valley restaurant with bistro verisimilitude and savois-faire hosting. Most impotantly, they do not charge any corkage. Their only downfall is the kitchen. The food is not awful. Just considerably less than inspired. But that’s OK because we don’t need inspired tonight. Dotoré and tBoW have two special bottles of Burgundy wine and they should provide all the “special” any table of four needs. Ironically each diner ordered the “special” which beyond the bistro-like red cookpot was anything but.

2002 Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure ‘Monopole’ $65: This is pretty fancy wine. Big ticket for the value stricken. Just in case, I put the aerator in the bag. I thought. We forgot the aerator. I feared we might need it having become aware of the sometimes recalcitrant behavior of cru Burgs. We needed it. The wine has a modest nose. The flavors are tight, even lean. The fruit is there but locked up in a small space. We eat salad and soup. We talk about the history: 700 year old vineyard planted by monks. Prieuré is French for priory. Thoughts of monks in cassocks working in the cellar. As a monopole this house gets the entire production for this vineyard. Sure wish we could taste it. 20 minutes pass and it begins to open. Good because we are out of history. There IS fruit. It tastes like Pinot Noir. There IS a nose. It smells like dark cherries with some spice. The wine continues to open for the entire meal. We finish the bottle…disappointed. I’ve had more pleasant traffic tickets.

2006 Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey Chambertin Place des Lois $60: More fancy and presumably suitable company for the Vougeot. A Becky Wasserman selection we purchased at one of those great WHWC tastings. Should be coming along nicely. We liked it enough to buy in 2009 so this should be a treat. We covered it almost a year ago and we loved it. But not tonight. Our lover has gone into a deep sleep. She slumbers quietly like an old hound at our feet. There is no nose. No fruit. No nothing. This wine went dumb. We feel like dumb and dumber. Why does Burgundy do this? Why us? Why! We take what remains – 2 glasses, the wine is so silent we stopped trying to communicate with it – home in a bag. It is hard to believe the wines were more disappointing than the meal. At least we expected the meal to be no great shakes. The next evening I pour a glass. She has awakened and shows all the charms we wrote about in March 2011. She has matured. We likened her then to Charlotte Rampling and the image prevails. The wine is sexy, exotic, firm. She’s been working out! Probably Pilates. 13%


2010 Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot Noir $15: “Hey Daddy. Can you get more of this? Those other wines we had were too lean.” This is what happens when great wines get temperamental. I opened a holiday gift bottle left on the bar knowing it would show well. Wild Horse makes very good wines at very attractive price points. I still recall the 1997 Merlot we picked up at the winery ($15) as they were going through the BIG SALE when ownership turned over and they were cleaning out the cellars. Here is what I did not know: “fruit grown in Bien Nacido, Premier and Ashley’s vineyards in Santa Barbara County, coupled with contributions from Edna Ranch, Live Oak and Opolo vineyards in San Luis Obispo, makeup the Central Coast Pinot Noir.” So when we lay out the BIG DOUGH for a high priced low end Burgundy we always keep in mind there are many California Pinot Noirs with GOOD PEDIGREE that cost MUCH LESS and that are MORE APPEALING. Contemplate that at your next yoga class. 13.9%

Go home. Take him home! Get him outta here. You’re doing yourself a favor. Forget it tBoW. It’s Burgundy.


  1. Wavatar
    Mouse says:

    Burg rules. The Giants should winning by 10+ (it’s the half)

  2. Wavatar
    igty says:

    thanks for inviting me to pinot bistro…..
    selfish lout. i had a romney rally that night anyway, and the kool-aid was fabulous….tasted a lot like tea. if we get a mormon president, then no wine served at the white house, prices will collapse. when there’s blood in the streets, we can all buy great california pinot noir for nothing. lipton, however, will go through the roof.

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