2005 is being lauded, by those who laud these things, as the greatest vintage for Burgundy in a generation, if not since the dawn of time. So loud and incessant is the hype that some feel, Bear for one, that the 2004s (another outstanding year) are getting overlooked in the commotion. We have even been finding we prefer some of the ‘04s. The good news is that wines from 2004 are not only much easier to get ahold of, they are also priced within the stratosphere. If you need any more convincing, Bear, arguably one of the Northwest’s most serious Burg-hounds, has been stocking up his personal cellar with just about every ’04 Burgundy he can get his hands on. We’ve managed to hang on to two of them, one red and one white, to share with you folks this month (there is no more of either of these wines):
2004 Chauvenet-Chopin, Nuits-St.-Georges, 1er Cru, “Les Murgers”
Nuits-St.Georges, in the northern half of the Côte d’Or, is known for its sturdy, long-lived wines. Those from the vineyards of Les Murgers, which lies on the Vosne-Romanée side, are particularly known for their elegance and expression of fruit. This Pinot Noir from Chauvenet-Chopin is no exception. Hubert Chauvenet took over his father-in-law’s estate (Domaine Chopin Groffier) in 1997 and is now an up and coming young producer in his own right. Bear recommends letting this one age for at least 4 to 5 years. It was $65.75.
2004 Jean et Gilles LaFouge, Auxey-Duresses, “Les Boutonniers”
Auxey-Duresses is a village in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune. Historically, it has taken somewhat of a back seat to other, more glamorous and better-known villages in the region. But this will no doubt change, especially as domaines like LaFouge become better known. Gilles LaFouge is a rising star in Auxey-Duresses — some say one of the best-kept secrets in the region. This Chardonnay is a beautiful example of a white Burgundy: pure and expressive; floral, yet crisp. Enjoy this one while his wines are still relatively unknown in the States and still affordable ($29.75). This one is tasting lovely now, but it will really develop over the next 2 to 3 years if you have the patience.