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Posted by Michael Franz on March 8, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Wickedly Good 2014 Burgundy at a Relatively Painless Price

Red Burgundies from 2014 are now arriving in quantity on our shores, and as usual, they are anything but inexpensive.  After serious weather problems in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (ranging from thunderstorms to bunch rot to hail), 2014 was likewise afflicted by a horrible hail storm in late June.  The 2015 vintage looks very promising, but 2016 was marked by the worst frost in a generation, so vintners simply must make some money off the 2014s.

That's the bad news--unless, of course, you have a giant trust fund to load up on the 2015s next year.  The good news is that those with more brains and time than money can do very well with the 2014s, provided that they use their brains and time to find carefully tended little domaines that are nimble enough to work around weather problems and make great wines from merely good years.

That's a fitting description for Domaine Serrigny in the village of Savigny-les Beaune.  I had no prior experience with this domaine until tasting the 2014s about a week ago,
but our first encounter could hardly have gone better.  Serrigny is a small operation based on 17 acres of vines, now in its 4th generation under the direction of Marie-Laure Serrigny.

Many of the vines are quite old, and the farming regime is farming culture is lutte raisonnée, i.e. sustainable.  During fermentation, the cap is broken up by foot, oak for
élevage is on the older side, and there's no fining of the reds...just a light filtration.  Total production is a modest 2,500 cases on avarage.

Of the 2014s now in the USA, the domaine's straight village Savigny-les-Beaune is simple but delicious and totally ready to rock for $40, and the 1er Cru "Les Peuillets" ($54) is now quite brooding and closed but very promising in concentration and proportions.  In my opinion, the star in the lineup is "La Dominode" (which turns out to be a Lieu-Dit that is contained within the Narbantons Premeir Cru).  The wine is simply terrific and easily worth the SRP of $56.

Of course, it only takes two seconds to type the word "terrific," so I should enhance my credibility by noting that I took the precaution of buying a case before posting this blog.  The Dominode shows a wonderful interplay of fresh, open Pinot fruit with a host of savory, mushroomy undertones.  Many of the 2014 red Burgundies I'm tasting are very tight now, but this is a wonderfully expressive exception to the rule.  With that noted, however, there's every reason to believe it will develop nicely for at least another five years, as it shows fresh acidity and plenty of fine-grained tannins.

Domaine Serrigny's wines are imported in the USA by Vintage '59 Imports

Sonoma-Cutrer, Russian River Valley (Sonoma County, California) Rosé of Pinot Noir Winemaker's Release 2016 ($25)
Sonoma-Cutrer's Rosé of Pinot Noir shows one key characteristic that is missing from most domestic dry rosé wines: acidity. The firm acidity delivers the structure that makes dry rosé  from the south of France so appealing. Crisp, with mouth-watering acidity, the Sonoma-Cutrer exhibits aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry and watermelon, with an intriguing floral note.
94 Robert Whitley

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
Here's Looking at You, Roussin de Morgex
Marguerite Thomas

It is a cold and blustery January morning in New York City's Soho neighborhood. The January sky hangs low and gray as the wind tosses bits of paper and other flotsam along the gutters. A crowd has gathered inside the Spring Studios. Then a man says, 'There are more grapes in Italy than anywhere else.' Okay, despite the gray, wintry setting, we are clearly not in a film noir. In fact, we're at Vino 2017, a celebration of Italian Wine Week sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Vinitaly International Academy. The voice we just heard came from Italian wine expert David Lynch during his opening remarks at the early morning introductory round table discussion. As it turns out, that abundance of Italian grapes he mentioned is going to be a hot topic of discussion at Vino 2017.
Champagne Louis Roederer
Ed McCarthy

I have been closely following Champagne for many decades, both from the glass and from about 20 visits to the Champagne region, and I have come to the conclusion that Champagne Louis Roederer is indeed one of the greatest Champagne houses of all. Its Prestige Cuvées, Cristal and Cristal Rosé, are arguably two of the best Champagnes being made today. Louis Roederer, a medium-sized Champagne house, now produces over 3.5 million bottles of Champagne annually (an increase in about one million bottles since I wrote Champagne for Dummies in 1999), and its Champagnes are exported to over 100 countries. The U.S. is one of its main markets, and clearly leads the world in importing Louis Roederer Cristal.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Pork Chops with Bourbon Applesauce

Pork and apples bring out the best in each other. Perhaps one reason they work so well together is that the juiciness of the fruit offers a tasty antidote to the relative dryness of today's generally low-fat pork. But there is also an undeniable flavor partnership between the two--and so many different ways to bring that symbiosis out! Top pan-seared pork chops with sautéed apple slices and caramelized onions, for example, surround a roasted pork tenderloin with small baked apples, or stuff a pork loin roast with chunky, honeyed apples. We also love pork chops garnished with apples, cream and Calvados, or accompanied by apples simmered in red wine. And here's one more evocative variation on that theme: pork chops paired with bourbon applesauce. One reason we like this happy gastronomic relationship is that that when the whisky's oaky flavors mesh with sweet-tart apples and meaty pork the distinctive synthesis is wonderfully compatible with certain wines.
On My Table
A Gentle Reminder: Drink Chianti Classico
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Every time I taste Chianti Classico, I wonder why I don't drink it more often. I love Chianti Classico's dryness (unfortunately, an increasingly uncommon characteristic in red wines), its typical aromas and flavors of red fruits, its nervy tannin structure and its terroir-driven range of expressions. More often than not, I marvel at the affordable price. Is there a greater value among the world's classic red wines? Last year, Chianti Classico celebrated its 300th anniversary as a wine zone. Sales are strong, having risen steadily since the global recession had its impact in 2009. Almost 80 percent of Chianti Classico wines are exported, and the U. S. is their largest market. And yet, I don't hear wine lovers talking about Chianti Classico as much as they discuss the wines of Piedmont or Mt. Etna, for example. Consider this column a gentle reminder that Chianti Classico is a great wine from a dynamic wine region.