Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2005 Burgundy - at last!

2005 Burgundy!

Like most wine lovers I've been awaiting the arrival of the 2005 vintage of Burgundy with baited breath. With every virtually perfect vintage in France that's hyped by the trade media, I ask: Will the wines live up to the hype? To the prices? Will they drink on release? Will they cellar forever? How much should I buy? How much should I drink? Well, the time has come to answer these questions - sort of - once again. So I made my first foray north to pick out a case of 2005 Burgundy at Garnet on the Upper East Side, and to get my feet wet in this venerable (or venerably hyped) vintage.

For this first flight of 2005s I picked out two wines from Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils: the village level Morey-Saint-Denis and its premier cru cousin "Aux Charmes." I also picked out an Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru "La Chappelle" from Jean & Gilles Lafouge. (For an in-depth appraisal of Lafouge's many wines, check out Brooklynwineguy's blog at: Brooklynguy's Wine and Food Blog: 2004 Lafouge Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses.)

Amiot and Lafouge are two of my favorite Burgundy producers every year. In 2005 I tasted each of these wines at release from the 2002 vintage - another outstanding and outstandingly-hyped year for Burgundy - and I put a couple bottles from that vintage in the cellar. Today the 2002 Morey-Saint-Denis ** is showing beautifully, with stewed plums and sweetly dried cranberries The 2002 Auxey Duress 1er Cru "La Chapelle" is still a gorgeous wine, with cherry and dried herbs, The question was whether Amiot's 2005 Morey-Saint-Denis would live up to the hype.

2005 Domaine Pierre Amiot & Fils Morey-Saint-Denis * Jell-O cherry color. Very restrained nose, with strawberry and cranberry. This finishes a bit tight and sharp without enough fruit to really hold it together. The Aux Charmes is a much better wine for the money.

2005 Domaine Pierre Amiot & Fils - Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru "Aux Charmes" *** Velvet purple with minor iridescence. Earth and blood on the nose. Refreshing acidity with dried flowers, stewed plums, and strawberry licorice. Nice earth scents round this out. Much much better than the village level, and a bargain at this price. 3 stars.

2005 Domaine Jean & Gilles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru "La Chapelle" ** Deep purple and red. Heady and sweet nose of ultra-fresh red fruit. Medium bodied and robust, with red licorice, mellow wild cherry, warm blood and sweet plum. 2 stars.

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