[TN] Old Burgs never die ...

Hello; Yesterday we (self + Xina) attended a special tasting in the notorious Society of Tastevins, Helsingborg Charter. The theme was originally Old Burgs, it had then been re-named old Pinots - but I´ll stick to the old name. The MC is a guy who squanderd his family fortunes in the 70´s, buying Bourgogne, which at the time was fairly cheap and in low esteem. He continues buying in auctions etc. According to himself, he drinks old Bourgognes about twice a week, which has not made him richwer, but decidedly happier; also, apparently, his wife refuses to drink any Burg less than 20 years old ... In his presentation he repeatedly referred to a US commentator, name of Barker, Narker, Porker, or similar - according to whom any Burg, including the Grand Crus, should be drunk between 8 and 12 ys old. To stretch it, maybe 15 years. But rather 8-12 ys. Including GC. The MC , to put it mildly, disagreed. After the tasting, so did I. First flight, pinot-dominated champagnes: 1. Veuve Cliquot ordinaire. [N] Citrus, pinot, steel [P] Acidity, a little bitterness. Overall impression: A glimpse of light, then all is, again, darkness (Becket, S) 2. Basserat de Bellefon Rosé 1964 [C] Ripe apricot [N] Intense, madeira like, root vegetables, bread [P] Very intense and fresh acidity, an attack of sweetness, possibly coffe and apricots. Overall impression: Two bottles were opened, and the difference was remarkable, the other being much fruitier and with breadth on palate 3. Same as 1.), only 40-50 years older ... from a magnum [C] Rind of oranges, or bitter oranges [N] Chocolate, wood (birch?), copying fluid, leather [P] Apples, citrus, grape fruit, overripe fruits Overall impression: A splendid reason for forgetting a bottle of VC somewhere in the cellar, and finding it 40 years later ...
Second flight: 1. Beaune 1er Cru Greve (Maillard) 2001 [N] Raspberries, strawberries, cold cuts, smoke [P] Oakey tannins, good fresh acidity Overall impression: In any other circumstance, I´d have said this was a good one to lay down for a few years 2. 1971 NStG 1er Cru Nuit-Les Pruliers (Court) [C] Light brick [N] A moving target! A panoply of smells: mussel shells, iodine and sea spray, meatiness, smoked cold cuts, cow stable, wood mushrooms .. [P] Immensely forceful, youthful and exuberant, very muscular with tannines and fresh acidity, ended on notes of bitter chocolate Overall impression: My favorite. No way would I have expected thsi to be a wine more than 30 years old. No way! 3. 1973 Clos Vougeot (Gautiére) [C] Darker than 2.) [N] Cow stable or barnyard, chocolate, dried fruit, dried venison, bitter orange [P] Spicy, cummin (caraway), fresh acidity Overall impression: Very pleasant wine, which many thought the best in the tasting. 4. 1961 Volnay (Guilhem) from magnum [N] Madeira, or sherry, leather [P] Attack of sweetness, acidity, a breadth of tastes but very hard to define Overall impression: While Xina was very pleased with this wine, it was the one I liked the least. I think I miss something here. 5. 1957 Bonnes Mares (Givelet) [N] Low intensity, smoke, cream, fudge [P] Intense sweetness, acidity, herbs (thyme), earthiness, great persistance ending on creaminess. Elegant. Overall impresion: This wine is _close_to_50_years_old!! 8-12 years? I, don´t, think, so.
Last flight: As an extra, we were offered a very rare treat: 1929 Santenay (Grivot) [C] Very dark, close to black, turbid [N] Acidity, barnyard, sea spray [P] Attack of fine-limbed tannines, bitter cherries and cherry pits
Of course, questions were asked. Like, what about corked wines? Answer: less than in modern wines. Beware re-corked bottles. Frequency of corked bottles in these old ones according to MC about 5 %, modern bottles perhaps 10 %.
MC claimed that the bad thing was that in the 70´s, old low-yield clones were replaced with high-yield ones - high-yield clones that are then by green-harvest etc made to yield less. Quoth he: therefore modern Burgs will not hold like these old ones, they will not develop for so long (various maledictions concerning over-oaked wines, catering to immature tastes, use of potassium, etc, is deleted for reasons of propriety).
Question asked: So then, Mr Norker may be right about the 8-12 years? This question was not answered, except the MC darkly hinting that he had a deep cellar with lots of other old bottles.
After this tasting, I am leaning towards the opinion that old Burgs never die, and they hardly fade away ...
Cheers!
Nils Gustaf
Disclaimer: All opinions except the taste notes are the opinions of the MC or the persons making questions, where not explicitly stated.
Any copyright belonging to Mr Barker is the property of said person.
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Nils Gustaf Lindgren
thanks for the great notes. I seldom have the opportunity to drink Burgs more than 12-15 years old, but it was nice to experience these vicariously.
With all due respect to your friend (who I agree with on many of those points), saying that modern Burgs won't last as long due to high-yield clones, overoaking, etc is as much a slightly silly generalization as Mr. "Barker's" points re aging. Certainly there are lots of wines grown from vines a lot older than the '70s. And plenty of makers who use restraint with oak. I had a '99 Lafarge Vendanges Selectionees last night that seemed to have the stuff to go a long time (and that's a village wine from Volnay, not usually the first appelation one thinks of for ageability).
Thanks for the great notes, and thoughts. Dale
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 13:01:32 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren" said:
] Hello; ] Yesterday we (self + Xina) attended a special tasting in the notorious ] Society of Tastevins, Helsingborg Charter. The theme was originally Old ] Burgs, it had then been re-named old Pinots - but I=B4ll stick to the old ] name. [snip notes]
Hi Nils,=20
Thanks for those, a pleasure to read. You're very lucky, I think! I have certainly never had the opportunity to attend a burg tasting of this great interest.
FYI as some americans may remember Bob Barker was the loquacious=20 host of a TV game show called "Let's make a deal," where people dressed themselves in embarrasing costumes in order to catch his attention and be called as contestants. It is probably unfair to him (or to his memory, perhaps) to denigrate him in this way... :)
-E
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Emery Davis
>FYI as some americans may remember Bob Barker was the loquacious=20 >host of a TV game show called "Let's make a deal," where people dressed >themselves in embarrasing costumes in order to catch his attention and >be called as contestants. It is probably unfair to him (or to his memory, >perhaps) to denigrate him in this way... :)
Sorry Emery but Monty Hall was the host of "Let's Make a Deal" and I can't recall if he's still living or not. Bob Barker is still the host of "The Price Is Right" and is most certainly still alive! :-) Bi!!
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RV WRLee
>In his presentation he repeatedly referred to a US commentator, name of >Barker, Narker, Porker, or similar - according to whom any Burg, including >the Grand Crus, should be drunk between 8 and 12 ys old.
Could it possibly be Parker? Bi!!
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RV WRLee
"Emery Davis" skrev i meddelandet news:20040405184325.4e42f2d0.notareal@address.com... On Sun, 04 Apr 2004 13:01:32 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren" said:
Hello Emery; Yes, this was a once in a lifetime, kind of thing. We really, really enjoy having joined the Tastevins, and, as you may have guessed, it´s a fun-loving group without conceit and very welcoming.
Cheers
Nils Gustaf
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On 05 Apr 2004 18:27:52 GMT, rvwrlee@aol.com (RV WRLee) said: ] >FYI as some americans may remember Bob Barker was the loquacious=20 ] >host of a TV game show called "Let's make a deal," where people dressed ] >themselves in embarrasing costumes in order to catch his attention and ] >be called as contestants. It is probably unfair to him (or to his memory, ] >perhaps) to denigrate him in this way... :) ] ] Sorry Emery but Monty Hall was the host of "Let's Make a Deal" and I can't ] recall if he's still living or not. Bob Barker is still the host of "The Price ] Is Right" and is most certainly still alive! :-) ] Bi!!
Oops, Bill, you're absolutely right. Here I've failed my 70's daytime TV quiz, showing myself to be a "70's TV snob" (claiming more knowledge than I actually have). Oh, I forgot, since I live in France that fellow in the other thread had better write me off, anyway! :)
-E
P.S. Glad to hear Bob is still with us, in a strange way. -- Emery Davis You can reply to emeryamazon@ebayadelka.com by removing the well known companies
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>Oops, Bill, you're absolutely right. Here I've failed my 70's daytime TV >quiz, showing myself to be a "70's TV snob" (claiming more knowledge >than I actually have). Oh, I forgot, since I live in France that fellow in >the other thread had better write me off, anyway! :) > > > Oops, not there is another mistake. Bill Cullen was host of "The Price is Right" in the 70's. Bob Barker has had many shows on daytime TV going back to 1544 I think but he never ever had a bottle of wine on his show.
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"Bill" skrev i meddelandet > > ... going back to 1544 I think
Apparently, not only old Burgs never die, it´s the same for day time TV shows (perhaps that is not news)
Cheers
Nils Gustaf
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