Red Burgundy 2011, Part 1

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How is the 2011 Red Burgundy vintage? These are wines that are delicious now and have very good aging potential.  Michel Lafarge compares it to 1952, which to this day is a great vintage.  Another distinguished winemaker compares it to 1985 and 2002, two fantastic vintages that are still drinking beautifully. All of these vintages have superb ripe fruit and drank well when they were young, and did not shut down and go dumb. A friend in Burgundy called it the Marilyn Monroe vintage. He said "Everyone knew she was beautiful but no one realized how smart she was."

 

The red wines have lots of fruit up front, and then there is this wonderful spine of acidity, which illustrates that these wines have the structure for long life.  It is not just a pretty vintage – it’s a really good, solid vintage with fine aging potential. Unfortunately there is not a lot of wine to be had.  There was a bit more red wine produced than in 2010, but a lot less than in 2009.  There was an early flowering - according to the Lafarges in Volnay it happened on the 27th of May.  Overall the summer weather was kind; there was not disastrous hail, and the 2011 Red Burgundy vintage was a success. JBT

 

Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Grèves

The Beaune-Grèves is more powerful than the Aigrots; it is earthier and has darker fruit. There is a lot of mouth-weight and tannin, and that wonderful 2011 acidity that comes out on the finish. Like most of Lafarge's wines, this could age for a long time. A great effort! JBT

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $99.99

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Bachelet, Denis 2011 Bourgogne Rouge

Denis Bachelet is one of the greatest producers in Gevrey-Chambertin. This is just his Bourgogne Rouge – and like all of the GREAT growers of Burgundy, his Bourgogne Rouge is a very, very special wine crafted from low yields, great farming, and careful vinification. An extremely delicious wine that is certainly better than many, many wines labelled Gevrey-Chambertin. This wine can be cellared or enjoyed now. Decant. JBT

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  • $46.99

Bachelet, Denis 2011 Cote de Nuits-Villages

Dark fruit, spice, earthy, woodsy – great minerality – this is an exceptional Côte de Nuits-Villages. It has that wonderful spine of acidity on the finish that is a hallmark of the 2011 vintage. It has great tension and energy. JBT  

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

Bart 2011 Marsannay Les Echezots

Martin Bart makes some of the best value wines in Burgundy at his small estate in Marsannay. Les Echezots is a upper-slope vineyard in the northern part of Marsannay. The 2011 has bright, earthy, herbal strawberry aromas. The palate has dense but light-bodied citrusy red fruits with nice saline acids and fruit in the finsh. Best in two to three years, perhaps, but lovely now, served cool.

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

Bart 2011 Marsannay Les Champs Salomon

2011 is an excellent vintage for Martin Bart's Champs Solomon, a great mid-slope vineyard always giving full, structured wines. Elegant and earthy strawberry/cherry aromas, the palate is deep with dark fruits, hints of spice and a long earthy finish. A serious Burgundy for twenty-five bucks, best in three to five years, but great now as well served with grilled meats or flavorful cheeses...

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  • red
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  • $24.99

Chandon de Briailles 2011 Savigny-les-Beaune

Recently Chandon de Briailles has adjusted their stem use during fermentation and in fact the 2011 Savigny Villages does not feature whole-cluster fermentation. There was some trouble in this vintage harvesting clusters with ripe stems, and it was decided that a pretty and more open, accessible wine would result from fermentation without stems. The wine is pretty, sleek, open, and somewhat easier-going on the palate than the Domaine's other bottlings. Fresh and lithe on the palate with tasty purple fruit, this wine is for drinking now or cellaring 5 years or less. -msb

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  • $39.99

Chandon de Briailles 2011 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavières

Chandon de Briailles' Savigny Lavières is consistently a wonderful achievement for the Domaine... along similar lines to "Ils de Vergelesses" (another top 1er Cru), but showing the brambly character of Savigny. Quite structured right now and tightly coiled, the wine has beautiful sweet cherry and ripe, red plum fruit, but is (of course) by no means a fruity wine. The tannins are fine but assertive at this point in the wine's life. Tasting Lavières as a young wine helps us understand why it matures so gracefully in the cellar. It's delicious, but we might suggest Fournaux or even Pernand "Les Vergelesses" for immediate drinking. -msb

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges Vieilles Vignes

On a very hot summer day in 2012, I visited Bernard Chevillon in his extremely cold cellar, which was built in the 18th Century. For his 2011 vintage, all grapes were completely destemmed, they had a one week soak, and three weeks of fermentation. About his Nuits St Georges VV he said, "My current baby, a nice surprise.” This wine has very rich red fruit and woodsy aromas good mouthweight and a long finish. A nice solid Nuits St Georges. JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Bousselots

Very good, very dark fruit like blackberries, very powerful and rich. "Tres mure, tres masculin" said Bernard.  JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Cailles

This has real power under all of the fruit and lots of very ripe, silky tannins. Very supple and lots of energy and power lurking here. These are from Chevillon's oldest vines, over 75 years old. Bernard considers Vaucrains, Porret St Georges, Les St Georges and Cailles equals in stature as the best vineyards in Nuits St Georges. JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Chaignots

Red and dark fruits and medium bodied, less "sauvage", definitely Nuits St Georges leaning toward the Vosne Romanee side of the spectrum. JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Perrieres

Very, very mineral from the rocks, the limestone, more power, red fruits and a long finish with a hint of bitterness on the finish. This will age brilliantly. Made from vines over 40 years old. JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Pruliers

Primarily red fruits here and more structure, with the tannins more present and with nice acidity on the finish. JBT

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Chevillon, Robert 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Roncieres

Red fruits dominate, yet this is powerful and earthy, very middle of Nuits. Good tannin and acidity, and persistence of flavor and length. JBT

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Digioia-Royer 2011 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

This Bourgogne Rouge offers a ton of complexity — a lovely wine that combines the earthy, dark fruited muscularity of Morey-Saint-Denis with the bright, high toned flavors and finesse of Chambolle-Musigny. There is excellent breed and structure here. Great fruit upfront and a long finish with great acidity. A super bottle of red burgundy for not a lot of money. JBT

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  • red
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  • $26.99

Digioia-Royer 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers

This is a third generation Chambolle-Musigny based domaine that Michel Digioia has been running since 1999. When he took over, he quickly stopped using systematic treatments (preferring a lutte raisonnee approach) in his vineyards, with absolutely no herbicides, instead preferring to work the soil through plowing. Michel Digioia's wines are very pure and fine; he tries to grow the best grapes that he can and then do as little as possible in the cellar. He uses minimal new oak.

Gruenchers is a great 1er Cru of Chambolle Musigny located just below Les Fuées. The other producers of Gruenchers are Dujac, Fourrier, and Barthod. Here is a great example of les Gruenchers that you could buy today! JBT

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  • $119.99

Digioia-Royer 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Groseilles

This is the smallest domaine in Chambolle-Musigny. Chambers Street Wines gets one case of 1er Cru les Groseilles a year, the entire NY State allocation! You owe it to yourself to try these wines; buy some of the Bourgogne Rouge and cellar some of the 1er Crus. His wines have a remarkable purity and the unmistakable perfume of Chambolle. JBT

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Lafarge 2011 Volnay

The Lafarge Volnay AC is closer to Meursault and closer to Pommard than the Volnay Vendange Selectionées, which comes from vines located below the village of Volnay. This wine is dominated by red fruit and spice. It is very pure and clean and has great balance and nice crisp acidity on the finish. Lafarge makes textbook Volnays across the board and this is their entry level wine, which is to say that it is one of the best Volnays produced. Lafarge wines have the ability to age for years and years. JBT

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  • Biodynamic

Lafarge 2011 Volnay Vendanges Selectionnées

Volnay Vendange Selectionées comes from vines located below the village of Volnay. This wine is powerful and rich, and very similar to the Volnay AC but it is bigger and has more fruit. Medium bodied, red and black fruits, lots of minerality, good tension, and a long finish. JBT

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  • Biodynamic

Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Les Aigrots

The 1er Cru Les Aigrots is on the mid-to-upper slope on the Pommard side of Beaune, as opposed to the Savigny-les-Beaune side. Aigrots is bordered by Les Clos des Mouches, Les Vignes Franches, Pertuisots, Les Sizies, and Champs Pimont. Domaine Lafarge's vines are about 40 years old and Frederic Lafarge says the vines are very unusual; they are growing in a different way from vine to vine to vine, some are very bushy and some have sparse foliage, which may be because of the great variety of plant material in this vineyard. He said that while some growers removed leaves to promote better air circulation, he likes to leave them on to protect the grapes from the near inevitability of a hailstorm. This wine has great fruit upfront and then tannins and astringency—a big structure and all of the components for a long life. JBT

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Lafarge 2011 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain l'Exception

Passetoutgrain is a very Burgundian thing, a lighter wine made of a combination of Gamay and Pinot Noir. The locals will refer to it as "rinse cochon", something to have with simple fare at lunch. Of course the Lafarge version is much, much more—50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay, all from vines more than 80 years old! This is a very complex wine; it is super fresh and has a very long finish. There is a lot of tension and energy; it is a medium bodied wine with great, tangy fruit flavors, and crisp acidity. You could drink this over the next ten years. An exceptional wine from perhaps the greatest producer of Passetoutgrains on the whole Côte d'Or. I used to buy Meo-Camuzet's Passetoutgrains but they ripped out their Gamay vines. Boo hoo. JBT

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Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses

The Lafouge vines in Les Duresses are high on the slope in thin soil giving a firm, well-structured wine that is particularly good in 2011. The fruit is dark and pretty—black fruits predominate and the palate shows more earth and mineral flavors than La Chapelle. Lovely black fruits with smoke and saline minerals and terrific length—this is a complex and well-built glass of Burgundy at a great price. Decant if drinking now or cellar 3 to 5 years, should keep well till 2025.

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Lafouge 2011 Pommard 1er Cru Les Chanlins

As we didn't taste the 2011 Chanlins last Spring, we offer this review from John Gilman in "The View from the Cellar" (watch out for the gamebirds) "The 2011 Pommard “les Chanlins” from Domaine Gilles Lafouge is absolutely superb in this vintage and will give the outstanding 2010 version a run for its money over the next few decades. The reserved and very classy nose offers up a complex blend of red and black cherries, woodsmoke, coffee, a superb base of soil, gamebirds, a touch of nutskin and a lovely base of cedar from its thirty percent new oak this year. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and rock solid at the core, with ripe tannins, lovely focus and balance, and great soil drive on the long, tangy and very refined finish. Chanlins is one of the most elegant premier crus in all of Pommard, and in the hands of Gilles Lafouge, it makes one of the best premier crus in the entire village!"

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Magnien, Stephane 2011 Chambolle-Musigny

A superb Chambolle in the Magnien style with a pretty melange of bright strawberry, red currant and cherry fruit aromas. The palate has sweet berry fruits, balanced and refreshing, wrapped in chalky acids and is light and lovely at 12% alcohol. Really delicious now, probably best 2018 to 2023. Yum!

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Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles

The Pernand-Vergelesses vineyard "Les Belles Filles" is a northern extension of "Iles des Vergelesses" and "En Carradeux" facing east and rarely giving a fat, full-bodied wine. What one gets here are lovely aromas, light body and good mineral acidity — wines that will accompany lighter foods, even fish, and that should be served quite cool.

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Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses

Ile des Vergelesses is certainly one of the best premier cru vineyards in Burgundy — a perfectly exposed mid-slope vineyard on limestone and iron-rich soils, steep enough for ideal drainage, producing wines that age beautifully for 15 to 20 years. The 2011 is a superb young wine with subtle red-currant aromas, with floral, spice and berry notes emerging. Lovely deep but high-toned fruit on the palate, really elegant and bright, wrapped in seamless tannin and acidity. Terrific length of berry fruits and saline acids. Decant to enjoy now for it's bright, youthful fruit and terroir expression — ideally hold for 6 to 8 years and enjoy until 2030.

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