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Monthly Archives: May 2011

What the hell, let’s talk Pinot Noir. The grape that shucked Merlot sales in 2004 with the advent of Sideways. That beautiful, beautiful grape with intense sensual earthiness, derived always from terroir when it is good, and richness and depth behind its pale color and delicate floral aromatics. Who on earth doesn’t love this wine? I sure do. And it’ll make a perfect recommendation while I continue to roll out the video format. Coming soon, dear readers.

Generally, Gevrey-Chambertin is known as the most esteemed source of quality Pinot Noir. Exceptional terroir, this is the largest appellation in the Côte de Nuits (comprising the northern half of the Côte d’Or, or Golden Hills, the finest region for Burgundy). It also produces one of the finest red Burgundies around, Chambertin – also one of the finest red wines in existence, depending on who you ask. In the case of the red Burgundy discussed here, the man who made it is as remarkable as the region.

The producer, Joseph Roty, is known as being something of an enfant terrible, a batshit crazy grower and vintner with iconoclastic tendencies and a fierce hold on tradition. Somewhat overstated, but I am trying to honor the man who made the wine. Since his family has been working the same vineyards in Burgundy for over three centuries, however, he does possess some level of authority on the subject of winemaking. Roty maintains a very small production (less than 100 cases apiece for his three best cuvees), and nobody knows much about his techniques beyond his immediate family and acquaintances. Awesome.

A nice garnet color in the glass, the 2000 “Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire” tees off with aromas of red berries, currants, loam, crushed herbs, and a slight gaminess. The mouthfeel is soft like silk; the acidity toight like a toiger. Amazing finish for wine at this level, delicious overall. Enjoy now with braised duck, venison, or Hen of the Woods mushroom risotto. Silly levels of goodness at $13 a bottle.

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What’s better than a normal bottle of wine? Yep, a big bottle of wine. Today’s brief review brings us an Austrian red that brings 1 liter of delicious to the table. And like the wine itself, this post is low on depth but extremely dense in fun. Biodynamically made by Gerhard Pittnauer in the Burgenland region of Austria, this wine is a blend of the grape varietals Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and St. Laurent.

Austrian reds tend to be lighter in style, and this is no exception. Very fruity, but dry, not sweet. Brick red in the glass. Nice dark fruit too, like plum and juicy cherry, with a good earthy note and a distinct umami that complements the fruit, like a slab of smoked bacon, but then this dissipates fast into subtle mineral. On the whole, the 2009 Burgenländer Rot is a light-bodied wine, nothing to take too seriously, but it offers some taut acidity to stay bright, and finishes well enough.

Don’t decant this; I think it gains more from being poured straight into the glass. Pair with pork chops, mashed potatoes steamed vegetables to highlight this wine. $13 for the whole liter. Once again, that’s 1L. Go for it.