By: Nick Keukenmeester
This week I sent out our 2008 Burgundy offer. We work with the negotiant Louis Jadot, so there were lots of wines to consider. After choosing the wines to feature, an incredibly difficult task in itself, there was then piles of reading and research, flipping through my mental rolodex of tasting notes and memories before sitting down to describe the wines.
I love it. This is because I am a complete nerd.
It only takes a little time to wrap your head around the wonderful wines of Bordeaux. It is certainly possible to devote your life to learning all about them, but the basic styles, the five red and two white varietals, and areas can be mapped out in just a few weeks.
You would think that mastering Burgundy’s Cote d’Or region with its two varietals (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, if you’ve never had wine before) and tiny production would be easy-peesy.
Two pieces of soil ten yards apart can yield wines of wildly different character at vastly different prices. I spend a lot of time lecturing people on why Clos des Ursules is such a unique and special vineyard (all 2.75 hectares of it) and why the tiny premier cru vineyard of Les Fuees (4.38 hectares) just next to Bonnes Mares is my favourite in Chambolle Musigny.
I talk about the soils and the height of the vineyard. No one cares, of course. They just like the wines because they have more character and intensity. The ‘whys’ are for geeks like me. But does that stop me?
I’m that same guy who wanted the plus 2 platinum armour because it brought my armour class down to minus 6 even though it meant I couldn’t use my Mage spells. The difference is that now people listen to me with feigned interest rather than beating me up. Now my nerdiness helps people drink well. It used to just repel girls.
So what is the point of all this waffle?
If, like me, you are a nerd, then Burgundy can be an endless source of fascination with all its intricacies and nuances, with all of its joys and disappointments. If you were popular at school you might want to stick to other regions (or find a wine guy you really trust).
Do I think you will be happy without Burgundy and Pinot Noir?
Now who is up for a game of Dungeons and Dragons?
Nick is Lifford Wine Agency‘s private Client Consultant/Know It All and Host of our Wine of The Week, a video wine blog about new products, and worthwhile finds. A wine-encyclopedia of a man, he is full of knowledge and inappropriate Australian humour.