Great Affordable Burgundies, for Thanksgiving or for the Cellar!

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As the vibrant and delicious 2012 Burgundies begin to arrive, we find ourselves with an outstanding selection of inexpensive wines that are drinking beautifully in their youth - many of which will also cellar well for five to ten years. The Marsannays from Martin Bart are a wonderful example - they offer exuberant, pure fruit, balanced by refeshing acidity with earth and mineral notes that will develop with time. While they will be delicious next Thursday, a few years in the cellar will be a sound investment. In a similar style are great recent arrivals from Vincent Rapet, Jean and Gilles Lafouge, Domaine Chevrot, Jean-Claude Rateau and others. These estates are producing outstanding wines at reasonable prices, all of which merit your attention. Quantities are limited on all the 2012 Burgundies and while the wines included today are not "trophies," they are simply delicious and offer excellent value.

No Longer Available

Bart 2012 Marsannay Les Echezots

From 30 year-old vines in the lower part of Echezots, a windy spot. Aged in used large and small barrels. Usually one of the lighter, brighter Marsannays from Martin Bart, the 2012 Les Echezots is insanely delicious! Intense aromas of ripe red currant and strawberry confit lead to a palate that is round and supple with dense red fruits, citrus and earth — just lovely with soft tannins and good acidity. Earthy red/black fruits linger in the finish. Serve cool, drink over the next five years.

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  • $24.99

Bart 2012 Marsannay Les Champs Salomon

Les Champs Salomon, a vineyard in a prime mid-slope position, gives one of the most dense and powerful of Marsannays, and is always the "biggest" wine in Martin Bart's portfolio. The limestone sub-soil here is similar to that in parts of Gevrey Chambertin, with clay topsoil. The vines are 35 years-old. Hand-harvested, wild yeast fermentation with a long maceration and 18 months of aging in barrels, 30% of which are new. The 2012 is remarkably aromatic and lush with ripe black raspberry and black cherry with violets, dried herbs, cocoa and a bit of toasty oak. The palate shows deep, meaty red fruits with good acidity and soft tannins. This is an opulent and delicious glass of Burgundy that is gorgeous now, but wait 3 to 5 years for the whole picture, drink until 2024.

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  • $27.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2012 Aloxe-Corton

From old vines on fairly deep iron-rich soils south of the village in three different parcels, Les Boutieres, Les Citernes and Les Combes. Always a ripe, powerful wine, the low yields of 2012 have given it a bit more depth. Deep red currant/blackberry aromas with violet, pepper, licorice and earth. The palate is dense with black fruits, brown spice, earth and citrus, framed in firm acids and with excellent length. Delicious now, in a big, brawny style, wait 5 to 10 years for a more mature expression. Serve with steak in sauce, coq au vin, full-flavored cheeses. David Lillie

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  • $39.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2012 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. In 2012, however, yields were tiny and the wine is quite concentrated, showing deep ripe strawberry and blackberry fruit perfectly framed with bright acidity and mineral notes. This is fantastically delicious to drink now and should be even better with five years of cellaring. Very little of this wine is available so don't delay...

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  • $29.99

Lafouge 2012 Auxey-Duresses Rouge

This is one of our favorite, if somewhat unknown domains of Burgundy. Jean Lafouge and his son Gilles make classic, balanced, beautiful Burgundies at affordable prices and their village level Auxey-Duresses is always lovely and a great value. The 2012 is slightly riper than usual with lovely aromas of strawberry and tart cherry, with violet, rose, citrus and spice. Medium-bodied, with citrusy red fruits on the palate with great balance and refreshing acidity, the wine shows hints of earth and mineral that will develop nicely with time. Lovely now, and a great pairing with poultry, white meats and mild cheeses, best perhaps in 5 to 8 years.

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  • $21.99

Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru La Chapelle

La Chapelle is a "climat" within Les Breterins and Reugne, on the steep slope of la Montagne de Bourdon, facing south/southeast. The vines are well-placed in mid-slope and are mostly sixty years-old, giving the most "generous" of the three Lafouge premier crus. The 2011 is a great success with pretty ripe strawberry and cherry fruit aromas. The palate is round and balanced with lovely red fruits, earth and spice. Drink this gorgeous wine over the next six to ten years as you wait for the 2010s to mature...

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  • $31.99

Rateau 2012 Beaune Les Beaux et Bons

The first vigneron in Burgundy to convert to biodynamics in 1979, Jean-Claude Rateau fashions wines of great purity and precision. Working with no new oak and minimal sulfur, his reds are at once floral, savory, and mineral.

Les Beaux et Bons, sourced from lieux-dits Beaux and Bons on the Pommard side of Beaune, has dark red fruits, underbrush, and an earthy spiciness on the nose. This follows through on an intensely mineral palate with fresh acidity and savory red fruits. With time in a decanter more floral notes appear and the palate expands in weight and complexity. Beautifully balanced.

Decant now or hold for 3-5 years and enjoy over the next 10. JCM

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  • $24.99

  • Biodynamic

Rateau 2012 Beaune Clos des Mariages

The parcel is a mix of young and very old vines situated below Beaune Grèves in fertile clay and limestone soils. The 2012 has very pretty bright raspberry and tart cherry aromas with hints of spice (nutmeg, juniper). The light, pretty palate shows chalky tart cherry fruit - quite intense and mineral with bracing acidity and good length. This will be refreshing and delicious with grilled pork and roast or grilled chicken, best after three to five years of aging. (Aged 15 months in old barrels, minimal SO2.)

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  • $23.99

  • Biodynamic

Chevrot 2012 Maranges Sur le Chêne Rouge

Certified organic and farmed with biodynamic methods, Domaine Chevrot is one of the gems of Maranges. The lieu-dit Sur le Chêne is a south-facing plot on gravelly limestone on the eastern side of the appellation. The fruit from the 50-60 year old vines is hand-harvested, fermentation is 50% whole cluster, and the wine aged for 11 months in 15% new oak. As with many of the 2012s we've tried there is an abundance of energetic fruit and great aromatics. Vivid wild cherry, and earth are impeccably balanced on the palate which evolves into a savory and long finish. Sensational with a brief decant now, but should really shine in 3-7 years. -John McIlwain

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  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Chevrot 2011 Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau

Organically farmed, from 50 year old vines on silty clays over limestone. A lovely and floral expression of Santenay, Chevrot's 2011 Clos Rousseau is beautifully expressive with notes of red fruits, earth, and dried rose petals. Less of the mineral funk than one associates with Santenay. The palate is supple and harmonious. There is enough tannin to reward midterm aging, if you can resist drinking it on the very pretty fruit. -John McIlwain

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  • $42.99

Rouges-Queues 2012 Maranges Rouge

From biodynamically farmed vines averaging sixty years old. Hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in neutral oak, this is honest Burgundy.

Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey's 2012 Maranges Rouge has a ripe fruity nose with underbrush notes adding aromatic complexity. Red and black cherry, crushed herbs, earth dominate on the palate. There is enough extract to cushion the structure here. There is none of the rusticity often attributed to Maranges. We'd enjoy this with roasted pork or duck confit.

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  • $26.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Mercurey La Brigadière

2012 is Alain and Isabel Hasard’s seventh vintage from this biodynamically farmed half-hectare plot. The soil is a blend of Oxfordian marls and debris.

Deep ruby robe. Quite fresh-dark cherry and earthy nose framed by some new oak. Dense wild cherry and hedge fruits on palate followed by savory mineral notes and snappy acidity. There is plenty of structure here peeking from behind the exuberant fruit. With air more a more earthy profile emerges while the oak recedes. The finish is persistent and lively. Serve cool with a brief decant now or cellar for three to five years to allow fruit and structure to harmonize. – John McIlwain

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  • $26.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Mercurey Les Marcoeurs

From .75 hectares in the lieu-dit Les Marceours adjacent to Clos Myglands on the eastern edge of the village. The vines range from 15-40 years old and are grown in mixed limestone debris and ferruginous soils.

Stylish Mercurey, with an array of wild strawberry, cherry liqueur, and red plum aromas upon the nose. Medium-bodied, with ripe concentrated red fruits and dark earth tones in the mouth; there is oak present, but it integrates nicely into the long, succulent, stony finish. Lovely now, should improve over the next five to eight years. - John McIlwain

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  • $29.99