Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

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alan weinberg
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#51 Post by alan weinberg » July 9th, 2020, 7:51 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 6:21 pm
I read the title of this thread and the thought that popped into my head was “it’s never too late for love!”
I read it and thought, “hell, I’d love to be 50.”

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#52 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » July 9th, 2020, 8:20 pm

Maureen and Alan - y'all crack me up!

Thanks all for the great suggestions.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#53 Post by Todd F r e n c h » July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts (and Jeremy's!) They've spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#54 Post by Matt Mauldin » July 9th, 2020, 10:10 pm

Don't worry about the top names, and seek out emerging producers.

An example of that for me has been Genot-Boulanger - where a new generation has reinvented the domaine. Researching for a Burgundy trip led me their website, piquing my interest. I visited and loved the wines - and found a beautiful overriding style that showed from village and lesser premier crus up to the top of the bottlings I tasted.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#55 Post by Jeremy Holmes » July 9th, 2020, 10:29 pm

Far too late Scott. Move along.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#56 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 9th, 2020, 10:39 pm

Yao C wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 12:30 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 12:21 pm
Are these wines as good as a 40 year old la Tache, no, but for the money they can be quite nice.
Therein lies the rub, no? Scott said he was "really looking for some outstanding experiences"
I’m lucky enough to have consumed a fair bit of Burgundy, and many of my oustanding experiences were not that expensive.
At a vertical tasting of Richebourg, a Volnay from Pousse d’Or was my WOTN, even though it was an “appetizer”.

If I was dabbling a bit more, and looking for an “a-ha moment” on a budget, I would look at Volnay, NSG, and to backfill with some Village wines from the Chambolle or Gevrey. Especially very good vintages where the quality rolls down the ranks.

Voillot makes good Volnay that can be opened a bit earlier, as does Lafon. I like d’Angerville quite a bit but it takes time.

Chevillon 1er Cru NSG are lovely and older vintages usually can be found at Vinopolis reasonably.

There’s a ton of options, and you just can’t force the a-ha moment, but it’s out there somewhere. Meanwhile, it’s so much fun to explore all the different personalities of Burgundy.

But save a bit of budget for lighter bodied Oregon wines!
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#57 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 9th, 2020, 10:43 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
How can you know when it’s “in it’s prime” for your palate, if you don’t check in on them?

I’ve definitely opened some red Burgs that were like drinking bricks but I feel like that still helped me gauge when they would be ready.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#58 Post by Howard Cooper » July 10th, 2020, 4:01 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
Thanks Todd and Scott for the kind words. Todd, I am curious, what producers have I recommended that you have liked?

Drinking wines too young or too old is a risk with all kinds of wines, including a lot of California Cabernet, Bordeaux, etc. This is wine, not something serious. We are all going to drink a lot of wine at all kinds of different stages - just enjoy it. I recommended Hudelot-Noellat to Scott because I think of their wines as being enjoyable at a range of different ages.

If you want another recommendation for wines that are incredibly sexy but within Scott's price range, it has to be reds from Ramonet. But, they are very hard to find in the US. Drink one of these and you won't care what age it is. I wonder if I will ever have enough patience to allow any of these wines to get to maturity.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#59 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 10th, 2020, 5:50 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 10:43 pm
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
How can you know when it’s “in it’s prime” for your palate, if you don’t check in on them?

I’ve definitely opened some red Burgs that were like drinking bricks but I feel like that still helped me gauge when they would be ready.
Couldn't agree more, Marcus. This is the biggest reason for buying more than 1 or 2 of something - there's so much more freedom and less pressure, and you learn so much more not only about the wine, but about your own tastes. I've found there are some wines I just prefer on the young side, when their youthful fruit is in abundance. If I'd gone by popular wisdom on the board, I'd have missed that stage entirely, believing they weren't ready.

Sure, there have been a few that have been totally without pleasure, and those have gone into cooking wine. But not very many. Most have something to offer and much to teach.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#60 Post by jason stein » July 10th, 2020, 5:58 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
July 10th, 2020, 5:50 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 10:43 pm
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm


Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
How can you know when it’s “in it’s prime” for your palate, if you don’t check in on them?

I’ve definitely opened some red Burgs that were like drinking bricks but I feel like that still helped me gauge when they would be ready.
Couldn't agree more, Marcus. This is the biggest reason for buying more than 1 or 2 of something - there's so much more freedom and less pressure, and you learn so much more not only about the wine, but about your own tastes. I've found there are some wines I just prefer on the young side, when their youthful fruit is in abundance. If I'd gone by popular wisdom on the board, I'd have missed that stage entirely, believing they weren't ready.

Sure, there have been a few that have been totally without pleasure, and those have gone into cooking wine. But not very many. Most have something to offer and much to teach.
Very well said and I completely agree, Sarah. It's for this reason that I purchase at least 4 bottles of every wine I buy.

I like to try one when they are young, check in when I think they are mid-aged, and calibrate to have the remaining 2+ bottles when I think they will provide the most pleasure.

It's the learning by following a wine's development through its life that provides much of the pleasure of this hobby to me.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#61 Post by Jim Stewart » July 10th, 2020, 6:22 am

Scott, as I read through your thread this song lyric came to mind

Shove me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep


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Age merely shows what children we remain.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#62 Post by Fred Bower » July 10th, 2020, 6:54 am

Tomas,

Go for the Ramonet. My memory is not clear on which vintage, but I believe that I had a selection of the 2001s, including the Boudriotte and they were so delicious young. I drank them very quickly because I got them at such a great price at the time and used them basically as daily drinkers.

Cheers,
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#63 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 10th, 2020, 7:21 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
You have to drink them young to understand the wines, imo.

I drink a lot of burgs younger than most on this board; I’ve drank a ton of 15-17 village and lots of. 15-17 premier cru and a handful of grand cru. Generally I really like young burgs and haven’t had any I consider painfully young.

Drinking the top grand cru early is probably cost prohibitive unless you have a ton of them, but could be good to visit at tastings.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#64 Post by Greg K » July 10th, 2020, 8:06 am

I think a lot depends on what you like in your wine Scott. If you like exuberant young fruit, then there are lots of Burgundy producers who offer that. If you like older wines, I don't think opening up 17 1er crus is going to appeal to you as much.

Personally, the more I drink Burgundy the more the producer makes the most difference. I've found the best way to pick the wines that I've liked (and now buy consistently) was to buy village wines, both younger and older, from various producers people either recommended, that I could drink at tastings, or that I could visit. If I liked the village wines, I would then buy the the 1ers or the grand crus, with some of which I've had spectacular experiences. The style of a producer makes such a difference - even if producers are both really good, and it's often just down to stylistic preferences. Do you like a lot of whole cluster? Do you like oak? Do you like a bit more extraction? Do you mind a bit of reduction? Do you like a bit of earth/funk? I think it will also be a lot easier for people to point you in the right direction if you tell them what producers you've liked and you haven't. For example, both Fourrier and Dujac make Gruenchers in Chambolle. Both are generally acknowledged as very good producers. But hard to think of two producers that are more different*. I think people have offered some really good suggestions on this forum - try some of them, see what you think. Personally, I'd strongly echo the suggestion of Hudelot-Noellat. I really like those wines (though I'm not sure 2018 is very representative) and they're not yet all that expensive, even to backfill up to 10 years or so. He also makes a fairly broad range.



*Gruenchers is generally a great test case - you've got Barthod, Duband, Dujac, Felettig, Fourrier and Liger-Belair - (mostly) really good producers making different wines from the same terroir.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#65 Post by Greg K » July 10th, 2020, 8:08 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 10:39 pm
I like d’Angerville quite a bit but it takes time.
I think Guillaume's wines are a lot more accessible young than his father's. In the past month alone I've had the 2005 and 2005 Ducs and a 2014 Champans (out of magnum) and they've all been quite open. I think he's definitely changed the winemaking a bit.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#66 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » July 10th, 2020, 8:51 am

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
July 10th, 2020, 7:21 am
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
You have to drink them young to understand the wines, imo.

I drink a lot of burgs younger than most on this board; I’ve drank a ton of 15-17 village and lots of. 15-17 premier cru and a handful of grand cru. Generally I really like young burgs and haven’t had any I consider painfully young.

Drinking the top grand cru early is probably cost prohibitive unless you have a ton of them, but could be good to visit at tastings.
I like Burgundy young too although they can definitely be more California-esque or just outright misfires. (E.g. I tried a 2015 Chevillon Cailles recently and after being nice out of the bottle it turned very harsh and tannic/acidic with time open). I often find 10-15 years old to be more of a sweet spot, as compared to the frequent recommendations around here of 20-30 years.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#67 Post by Howard Cooper » July 10th, 2020, 12:38 pm

Of recent vintages, I think of 2012s and 2017s drinking well right now. I am sure that people can come up with wines where this is not true, but I think it generally is a good rule of thumb. I am not saying these are my favorite vintages of recent years (clearly that is 2010).
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#68 Post by Todd F r e n c h » July 10th, 2020, 12:45 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 10th, 2020, 4:01 am
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:41 am
And I want to state that I know there are lots of good burgs out there which don't break the bank. I've seen posts from Howard and others for example, which call out specific wines and producers. I need to pick up some of these and try them.
Agreed on Howard's posts. He's spent a lot of my money as I hesitantly venture more into Burgundy. Biggest factors are producer and vintage, I've found, and you can make a very difficult job much easier by remembering to concentrate just on those two things.

I'm like the OP in wondering if I'll ever get to enjoy Burgundy when it is in its prime, and I'm (for some reason) deathly afraid of drinking what I have 'too young'. Not just when it is shut down, but just too early.
Thanks Todd and Scott for the kind words. Todd, I am curious, what producers have I recommended that you have liked?

Drinking wines too young or too old is a risk with all kinds of wines, including a lot of California Cabernet, Bordeaux, etc. This is wine, not something serious. We are all going to drink a lot of wine at all kinds of different stages - just enjoy it. I recommended Hudelot-Noellat to Scott because I think of their wines as being enjoyable at a range of different ages.

If you want another recommendation for wines that are incredibly sexy but within Scott's price range, it has to be reds from Ramonet. But, they are very hard to find in the US. Drink one of these and you won't care what age it is. I wonder if I will ever have enough patience to allow any of these wines to get to maturity.
If you recall my Cathiard thread, you were extremely helpful there in finding other options that are similar in character, since Cathiard became so expensive, virtually overnight. Also, Roulot, both white AND red, and particularly the latter.

Jeremy Holmes as well, equal or more so, as I think the last 4 Burgundy producers I've purchased have been based solely on his posts.

You freakin' enablers need to STOP.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#69 Post by Eric Ifune » July 10th, 2020, 2:04 pm

Certainly not Bairrada, a relatively maritime region whose producers see themselves as Portugal's Bordelais - the Caves São João's Cabernets being evidence of that.
Well, at Baixo, they're growing Pinot Noir. A Dirk Niepoort property for sure! It's quite good, but when matched against their very cool climate 80+ year old Baga it's quite lacking. The Baga has a purity of fruit, weight, and acidity I associate with great Burgundy. I asked why they went through the trouble with Pinot Noir and the answer was Dirk loves Burgundy and likes to play around. I do agree that Caves Sao Joao is more Bordeaux like although their 1991 Dao has the same purity of fruit.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#70 Post by Tomás Costa » July 10th, 2020, 2:54 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
July 10th, 2020, 2:04 pm
Certainly not Bairrada, a relatively maritime region whose producers see themselves as Portugal's Bordelais - the Caves São João's Cabernets being evidence of that.
Well, at Baixo, they're growing Pinot Noir. A Dirk Niepoort property for sure! It's quite good, but when matched against their very cool climate 80+ year old Baga it's quite lacking. The Baga has a purity of fruit, weight, and acidity I associate with great Burgundy. I asked why they went through the trouble with Pinot Noir and the answer was Dirk loves Burgundy and likes to play around. I do agree that Caves Sao Joao is more Bordeaux like although their 1991 Dao has the same purity of fruit.
As Dirk himself admitted, the people at Bairrada call that a Dirk wine rather than a Bairrada wine. I wouldn't hold up Charme as a flagbearer of the Douro either. But yes, I'm very happy he's marching to his own beat.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#71 Post by Lee Short » July 10th, 2020, 3:40 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Quinta de Baixo, Quinta da Pellada, Filipa Pato are starters and imported into the States. The Douro is nothing like Burgundy.
I may have to try the Baixo. I've had multiple vintages of Pellada, both young and old. Liked the wines -- enough to rebuy -- but didn't scratch the same itch that Burgundy does. Same with the Luis Pato wines, though I've not had a red from Filipa.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#72 Post by Lee Short » July 10th, 2020, 3:45 pm

As for the OP -- I agree with those who say it's definitely not too late. Try some recent releases, and try picking up some older wines, which are often available for the same price as current releases. I've had good luck with Benchmark, Flickinger, Hart Davis Hart as sources with a decent selection and good provenance.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#73 Post by EvanLodes » July 11th, 2020, 7:27 am

I will echo the "not too late" message, and add a few more thoughts.

Many of the posters here have brought up some great QPR wines from Burgundy's less famous villages, but if you are unsure about your love for the region, I think you should also consider first exploring some village-level wines from the benchmark villages that are home to the best of the best as a way to explore the myriad diversity of Burgundy. These village wines should be (a) in your price range, (b) a hint of the greatness that these villages can produce at the GC/PC level, (c) drinkable at a younger age so you can avoid sunk costs if you decide these aren't for you, and (d) enough of a gateway drug that you will either be hooked with an "ah-ha" moment, or it won't take.

In reds, for me that means Chambolle-Musigny (or Morey St-Denis), Vosne-Romanee, and Volnay, which are all very different. on wine-searcher, Dujac MSD village 2015 and 2016 are ~$75. Similarly, Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee for ~$145. These are great vintages that will age for a long time, but village wines have been very approachable in their youth (others may agree or disagree on specific recommendations or vintages here). in Volnay, the Lafarge Vendanges Selectionnees tends to be good QPR.

in whites, leaving out Chablis for a minute since it sounds like you have dabbled there, for me this means Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, which despite being neighbors produce totally different wines. Some examples: I like Mikulski's village Meursault (~$70), and I don't have as much village PM so I will let others give good QPR recommendations.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#74 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 11th, 2020, 8:34 am

As I read this interesting topic, one missing piece jumps out: what are you trying to accomplish?

If youi're thinking of starting a Burgundy collection with current vintages, I'd say you're too late. (I did that from age 33 and stopped buying at 57; most of my later vintages are still untouched. As I've aged, I think most good red Burg needs 20+ years to show what the fuss is about.

So, other strategies are necessary, particularly backfilling. Vintages from 1990-2005 are available and are cheaper than current vintages anyway. Some are nearing ready......2002 and 1999 still not there, and 2005 pretty far away in terms of vintage maturity. So, they all fit in your time horizon.

But, more so than buying the right vintages for your timeline, you have to figure out what it is you want to accomplish in your time left. Get to know the vineyards? \the vintages? the full range of pinot noir (and chardonnays) from Burgundy? or just the trophier stuff? to see if you even like it? to see if it is worth it to age wines sufficiently to get to the "magic moment", ie, do you even like that result? Or are you trying to figure it out.

I'd say the best way to figure out what it is you want to accomplish is to start by buying some older wines, say from the '90s and taste them in small numbers, with each other..watch them evolve in your glasses.....after cleaning them and aerating them to show well. Then you'll find your taste and go from there. To me, large tastings of mixed themes are almost worthless as an educational experience. Focus on some criteria, no matter what they are, that you think you might like and see if you do.

I got to Burgundy first among the many wine regions (thanks to a honeymoon in 1983, which included stops in Alsace and Burgundy. )It took me a long time to realize what I wanted to do and experience, but I figured it out. I think figuring out a plan is step one, two and three. Your age will limit your options, for sure, but, that is not a bad thing. First, determine what you like and want, and go from there to try to accomplish your goal. And, forget young vintages....except for contrast, unless your goal is to miss what I think excites people about the region: its potential to age into special wines...at all levels of the hierarchy.
Last edited by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow on July 11th, 2020, 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#75 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 11th, 2020, 8:36 am

I do think like most other wine regions, many burgs are accessible much younger than in years gone by.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#76 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 11th, 2020, 8:39 am

Burgundy is and has always been "accessible" younger than people think. That's never been an issue and why much of the category gets consumed young. It's the charm from trying to figure out how to capture them "at peak" --whatever that means to you or anyone-that's the challenge\-- and the basis of the "hunt".

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#77 Post by Tomás Costa » July 11th, 2020, 8:42 am

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:36 am
I do think like most other wine regions, many burgs are accessible much younger than in years gone by.
With one exception, I've only had village level Burgundies from the last six vintages and they were all drinking splendidly, but in your statement are you including the top GC/1ers? My experience with drinking very structured, age worthy wines at a young age is that it feels like getting hit in the face with a brick. You can recognize the greatness, but it's a purely intellectual evaluation rather than much sensory enjoyment.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#78 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 11th, 2020, 8:47 am

Tomás Costa wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:42 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:36 am
I do think like most other wine regions, many burgs are accessible much younger than in years gone by.
With one exception, I've only had village level Burgundies from the last six vintages and they were all drinking splendidly, but in your statement are you including the top GC/1ers? My experience with drinking very structured, age worthy wines at a young age is that it feels like getting hit in the face with a brick. You can recognize the greatness, but it's a purely intellectual evaluation rather than much sensory enjoyment.
I think many premier cru in vintages like 17 are drinking great. As far as grand cru; I think it’d be educational to drink them early but potentially cost prohibitive. The ones I’ve had early have been good and for the most part reasonably accessible, but I haven’t been opening DRC/Rousseau etc. I saw a tasting note on 17 Rousseau Grand cru recently that was very positive though.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#79 Post by Tomás Costa » July 11th, 2020, 8:52 am

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:47 am
Tomás Costa wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:42 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:36 am
I do think like most other wine regions, many burgs are accessible much younger than in years gone by.
With one exception, I've only had village level Burgundies from the last six vintages and they were all drinking splendidly, but in your statement are you including the top GC/1ers? My experience with drinking very structured, age worthy wines at a young age is that it feels like getting hit in the face with a brick. You can recognize the greatness, but it's a purely intellectual evaluation rather than much sensory enjoyment.
I think many premier cru in vintages like 17 are drinking great. As far as grand cru; I think it’d be educational to drink them early but potentially cost prohibitive. The ones I’ve had early have been good and for the most part reasonably accessible, but I haven’t been opening DRC/Rousseau etc. I saw a tasting note on 17 Rousseau Grand cru recently that was very positive though.
I think it might benefit my education to sacrifice a great bottle early, but so far I've only bought 2015 at the higher end of red Burgundy, so I'm unsure.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#80 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 11th, 2020, 8:56 am

17 is a really good vintage to open atm.

07 would be good too, for backfilling. I am planning to open a 07 drc rsv early next year.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#81 Post by Greg K » July 11th, 2020, 9:08 am

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:39 am
Burgundy is and has always been "accessible" younger than people think. That's never been an issue and why much of the category gets consumed young. It's the charm from trying to figure out how to capture them "at peak" --whatever that means to you or anyone-that's the challenge\-- and the basis of the "hunt".
I agree, though I also think it's very producer specific. Anyone who opens de Vogue, Lafarge or a Barthod 1er young on the basis of "Burgundy drinks well young" is in for a bit of a rude awakening.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#82 Post by Marshall Manning » July 11th, 2020, 11:26 am

Greg K wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 9:08 am
I agree, though I also think it's very producer specific. Anyone who opens de Vogue, Lafarge or a Barthod 1er young on the basis of "Burgundy drinks well young" is in for a bit of a rude awakening.
Add Chevillon, Lucien Boillot, Gouges, etc...

While you may be able to drink red Burgundy young, and enjoy it, I don't think it's anywhere near its most complex, supple and delicious unless it's 15-20 years old for the better wines.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#83 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » July 11th, 2020, 11:33 am

I appreciate the generosity of everyone providing their thoughts. This is WB at its best!

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#84 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 11th, 2020, 12:43 pm

I do think that hitting a top burg at its peak is a special experience, but I also love the exuberance of a young burg. The best case scenario would be to experience a 6 pack in varying stages of maturity.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#85 Post by Greg K » July 11th, 2020, 1:08 pm

Marshall Manning wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 11:26 am
Greg K wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 9:08 am
I agree, though I also think it's very producer specific. Anyone who opens de Vogue, Lafarge or a Barthod 1er young on the basis of "Burgundy drinks well young" is in for a bit of a rude awakening.
Add Chevillon, Lucien Boillot, Gouges, etc...

While you may be able to drink red Burgundy young, and enjoy it, I don't think it's anywhere near its most complex, supple and delicious unless it's 15-20 years old for the better wines.
Chevillon, and especially Gouges, have changed styles recently so are more drinkable young. Not sure that's much better for Chevillon, but it's certainly the only way I'll drink Gouges. I drink a fair amount of older Bordeaux, so like older wine, but man, Gouges was NEVER ready.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#86 Post by Marshall Manning » July 11th, 2020, 3:46 pm

Greg K wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 1:08 pm
Chevillon, and especially Gouges, have changed styles recently so are more drinkable young. Not sure that's much better for Chevillon, but it's certainly the only way I'll drink Gouges. I drink a fair amount of older Bordeaux, so like older wine, but man, Gouges was NEVER ready.
The recent young ones I've had do seem slightly more forward, but I just don't see the point in drinking them when they are so primary other than getting a data point on whether they need 15 or 25 years. But that's just where I like them, I guess.

Just had a '98 Gouges Pruliers last week that was really nice, but still a little stern and without much bottle sweetness, which is what I crave in older Burgs. It was my last one, but I don't know if it will ever turn that corner. I still have a couple of '95s and '96s that I might wait until 2025 to open.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#87 Post by Eric Ifune » July 11th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Same with the Luis Pato wines, though I've not had a red from Filipa.
I love Luis Pato, but I don't think his wines resemble Burgundy. Filipa, his daughter, makes leaner, more acidic wines with purer fruit. Maria Joao, his other daughter who works with him, is starting to push in that direction as well.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#88 Post by Tomás Costa » July 11th, 2020, 4:36 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 3:50 pm
Same with the Luis Pato wines, though I've not had a red from Filipa.
I love Luis Pato, but I don't think his wines resemble Burgundy. Filipa, his daughter, makes leaner, more acidic wines with purer fruit. Maria Joao, his other daughter who works with him, is starting to push in that direction as well.
I had forgotten, but Quinta dos Termos is worth a mention for the way they treat the Rufete varietal.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#89 Post by Howard Cooper » July 11th, 2020, 7:52 pm

To answer the OPs question in a different way, I am now about 65. I bet at least half the red Burgundy in my cellar as of right now was purchased since I turned 50. A lot of the red Burgundy I owned in 2005 has been drunk over the last 15 years. And it has been very rare for me to spend over $150 on a bottle.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#90 Post by Tomás Costa » July 11th, 2020, 8:26 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 7:52 pm
To answer the OPs question in a different way, I am now about 65. I bet at least half the red Burgundy in my cellar as of right now was purchased since I turned 50. A lot of the red Burgundy I owned in 2005 has been drunk over the last 15 years. And it has been very rare for me to spend over $150 on a bottle.
If you look back and consider yourself happy with this approach, it's very encouraging. I mean, it's pretty daunting to spend big money on wines which promise you divine revelation 25-30 years from now, although I've started doing that too.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#91 Post by Howard Cooper » July 12th, 2020, 3:33 am

Tomás Costa wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 8:26 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
July 11th, 2020, 7:52 pm
To answer the OPs question in a different way, I am now about 65. I bet at least half the red Burgundy in my cellar as of right now was purchased since I turned 50. A lot of the red Burgundy I owned in 2005 has been drunk over the last 15 years. And it has been very rare for me to spend over $150 on a bottle.
If you look back and consider yourself happy with this approach, it's very encouraging. I mean, it's pretty daunting to spend big money on wines which promise you divine revelation 25-30 years from now, although I've started doing that too.
It has not been an "approach." I started buying Burgundy in my 20s and continued until I was almost 60, when I started cutting back. I drink many of my Burgundies at 10-20 years old (younger for Bourgogne and regional wines), not 25-30, although I do have some that I age longer. Those are the ones I stopped buying first. And, not all my purchases have been the most recent vintages. For example, in visiting Rossignol-Trapet a couple of times in the last few years I was able to buy 2001s at very reasonable prices. I also don't stretch financially to buy wine - I buy what I am comfortable buying and what fits into our overall budgets and standard of living.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#92 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 12th, 2020, 6:52 am

I began buying what will likely amount to ~30 bottles of Burgundy a year beginning last year which I know will be a 10-15 year proposition and I'm in my early 30s. Occasionally I will get the opportunity to purchase something with some age on it but it's rare.

I wish I could backfill, but it is not possible in our regulated environment, which is a shame and I hope it changes in my Burgundy-buying lifetime. I always look for aged Burgundy when I travel to NYC and bring it back. That said, if I lived in a place I COULD backfill, I would likely be in serious financial peril. [wow.gif]
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#93 Post by Jan Janas » July 12th, 2020, 6:59 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 12th, 2020, 6:52 am
I began buying what will likely amount to ~30 bottles of Burgundy a year beginning last year which I know will be a 10-15 year proposition and I'm in my early 30s. Occasionally I will get the opportunity to purchase something with some age on it but it's rare.

I wish I could backfill, but it is not possible in our regulated environment, which is a shame and I hope it changes in my Burgundy-buying lifetime. I always look for aged Burgundy when I travel to NYC and bring it back. That said, if I lived in a place I COULD backfill, I would likely be in serious financial peril. [wow.gif]
Sean I feel you, it appears that Canada and Australia share some similarities in the strain it poses on wine drinkers: limited availability and high prices, although the systems are different. From reading what you just said, does it mean you don't have online wine auctions? How does the secondary market over there?

I thought Australia was bad but Canada might actually take the cake!

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#94 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 12th, 2020, 7:29 am

Jan Janas wrote:
July 12th, 2020, 6:59 am

Sean I feel you, it appears that Canada and Australia share some similarities in the strain it poses on wine drinkers: limited availability and high prices, although the systems are different. From reading what you just said, does it mean you don't have online wine auctions? How does the secondary market over there?

I thought Australia was bad but Canada might actually take the cake!
We have ONE online auction house in Ontario licensed by the provincial liquor board that holds an auction once every three or so months. You can also get a special license exclusively for charity auctions but they are exceedingly rare. Even at that one auction, it is almost exclusively trophy bottles that, because of the rarity of auction, end up going for hundreds of dollars above estimate. I've bought one bottle through one of those auctions once and I (knowingly and begrudgingly) significantly overpaid for it. There are basically no hidden gems, it's all Grand Cru/First Growths/California Cabernet that gets put on the bankers/lawyers/finance people carousel.

There is basically no secondary market. You are not permitted to sell wine privately and all alcohol sales must go through the provincial authorities. You can buy directly from importers (technically through the LCBO) but mostly, and exclusively until covid-related rule changes, in case quantities.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#95 Post by Jan Janas » July 12th, 2020, 7:41 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 12th, 2020, 7:29 am

We have ONE online auction house in Ontario licensed by the provincial liquor board that holds an auction once every three or so months. You can also get a special license exclusively for charity auctions but they are exceedingly rare. Even at that one auction, it is almost exclusively trophy bottles that, because of the rarity of auction, end up going for hundreds of dollars above estimate. I've bought one bottle through one of those auctions once and I (knowingly and begrudgingly) significantly overpaid for it. There are basically no hidden gems, it's all Grand Cru/First Growths/California Cabernet that gets put on the bankers/lawyers/finance people carousel.

There is basically no secondary market. You are not permitted to sell wine privately and all alcohol sales must go through the provincial authorities.
Holy cow that is bonkers. What a uniquely (to put it mildly) strange system you have got up there. So if you drive to the border and buy some bottles, how does it work on return and how many are you allowed to bring back?

You might have to retire somewhere in EU to enjoy all the wines you are being deprived, or take a one-year sabbatical and tour the world. I am gobsmacked.

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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#96 Post by Lonnie F. » July 12th, 2020, 7:45 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 12:21 pm
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 9:41 am
Dale Bowers wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 9:41 am
How much money do you have? [tease.gif]
Yeah, I hear you.
Burgundy is only expensive if you want it to be expensive. You can save a lot of money buying wine from the Cotes Chalonnaise. Wines from producers like Domaine des Moirots and Juillot are very nice and not that much money. http://www.weygandtmetzler.com/all And, Faiveley is very well known for their wines from Mercury. Are these wines as good as a 40 year old la Tache, no, but for the money they can be quite nice.
I'm new to burgundy but I just had the 2017 Faiveley Mercurey and enjoyed it very much.
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Re: Approaching age 50 - is it too late for Burgundy?

#97 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 12th, 2020, 8:06 am

Jan Janas wrote:
July 12th, 2020, 7:41 am
Holy cow that is bonkers. What a uniquely (to put it mildly) strange system you have got up there. So if you drive to the border and buy some bottles, how does it work on return and how many are you allowed to bring back?

You might have to retire somewhere in EU to enjoy all the wines you are being deprived, or take a one-year sabbatical and tour the world. I am gobsmacked.
Ha! 2 bottles or 1.5L of wine. Any more and you have to pay duty which can be anywhere from 40-100% of the original purchase price. Admittedly, I may or may not stuff four or five bottles in my luggage every time I return from NYC and play the odds and haven't been burned yet.

The LCBO is a great idea in practice, terrible idea in execution. I love living here 95% of the time but 4.5% of the reasons I don't are wine-related.
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