Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dom. Jean-Marc Bouley Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chenes 1996

I must begin this post by apologizing for the lack of blogging on my part recently. It's of course not due to any decreased wine consumption, but rather increased post-meal laziness.

This Bouley is a nice one to get back on track with. Stephanie and I found this nine year old wine from one of Burgundy's southern regions for only $10 at the House of Glunz. I guess they were trying to unload some old stock. Normally, this wine would have sold for $20-30. Ninety-six was a great vintage for red Burgundy, so I expected that even a wine from a lesser vineyard would still be holding up pretty well. I was mostly right.

As red wines will tend to do, this one had lightened significantly in its color, turning a pleasant rust color along the edges. Older wines also lose much of their fruit flavors and aromas, as these are morphed into mature notes of earth and leather. Such was the case for this pinot. What must have been bright bing cherry flavors had now become dried fruit and damp earth. Only a medium-bodied wine to begin with, this one as mellowed considerably, with little remaining tannins and reasonable acidity.

I was a bit surprised by how mature this wine seemed. Other 96s have not tasted so old, but I don't think it's anything to worry about. Probably just the producer's style. Nonetheless, it proved an enjoyable match with Stephanie's finger sandwiches, made to mimic the ones we'd had at High Tea that afternoon at the Peninsula Hotel. I'd also recommend it with coq au vin or braised pork.

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