All 2005 Red Burgundy does not have to be expensive: Enter Paul Pernot's 2005's

4/3/2007 -

If you are a Burgundy lover, Burgundy amateur or somewhat in-between, there is one thing that you cannot deny about the 2005 vintage. The 2005 reds are frightfully expensive. There are many reasons for this. The vintage is sensational and will go down with such legendary years as 1999, 1985, 1978, 1959. The wines have sensational balance, purity and ripeness. There is a bundle of tannin but it is currently buried by baby fat which makes the wines surprisingly accessible at this young age. The textures are velvety, the concentration is fantastic and the finishes are long. Acidity gives them lift and freshness. Monsier Pernot cannot remember seeing a vintage with such maturity and balance. A very rich vintage was his proclamation. Personally I cannot remember a better tasting young vintage than 2005. But as usual with Burgundy......there is a price to pay. There is also very little wine and many new buyers of Burgundy as a result of the hype machine going into overload for the 2005 vintage. So there is a huge supply-demand issue and the top wines are not only expensive but unavailable as there is always a buyer for the top of the line stuff.

Enter Paul Pernot's brilliant 2005 set of Cote de Beaune's. To generalize Pernot's style I would say they are very pretty wines, not over-extracted, have gentle use of the minimal oak that they see and they are very typical of their respective terroirs. They also offer incredible value for their money and come from somewhat ritzy appellations (Pommard & Volnay).

The Volnay "Les Carelles" is village wine but a very good portion of the fruit is 1er Cru as the vineyard "Carelles" is .37 hectares and .30 of those are 1er Cru. Chalk it up to those crazy Burgundians to label this as village instead of 1er Cru. This wine in 2005 is absolutely brilliant.Volnay with unreal, pure, intense ripe fruit and haunting elegance and balance. This has the sheer balance to age for at least 10 to 15 years. This is a must-buy case purchase and there is not much of this wine.

The Pommard "Noizons" is utterly compelling wine. Yes I have a tendency to lean towards Pommard over Volnay as it is always so undervalued because it takes so long to come around but the quality is there in spades. The Noizons is a very well situated vineyard located above the 1er vineyards Les Charmots and Les Pezerolles on the Beaune side of the village. The wine has great depth and that classic Pommard forestry minerality along with black fruits and wonderful freshness due to crackling acidity. There is a somewhat spherical quality on the palate due to the wonderful balance of all the components. Awesome stuff and a great value. This will easily go 15-20 years in the cellar.

The Beaune Clos de Dessus les Marconnets is as evidenced by the name, above the 1er Cru vineyard Marconnets and borders Savigny-Les-Beaune. The wines have a classic Beaune character of lively red fruits, a beautiful earthiness and a complex mineral character. This seems the most structured of the 2005 Pernot reds and will definetly have a long life ahead of it. It is more in the style of a Savigny rather than a Beaune from down south.

The Beaune Teurons is an absolutely fantastic 1er Cru in the heart of Beaune. Bordered by Greves and Champs Pimont this vineyard tends to produce classic, elegant, long-lived and very lacey Burgundies. These wines have serious structure but in the 2005 vintage as I alluded to earlier they are right now hidden by baby fat so this is even somewhat accessible now. This is classic Beaune at its best.

The Beaune Reversees is a vineyard that is located right next to Teurons and it shows not surprisingly some family resemblance. With an elegant lacy texture and some serious structure to boot this is absolutely fantastic wine. Very juicy and ripe with wonderful concentrated tiny berry fruit and fantastic minerality. Another winner from Pernot in 2005!

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