In response to my post [link2post id=”1606″]Burgundy is best[/link2post] someone commented that Burgundy at the bottom of the pile is not as good as Bordeaux for the same money. I couldn’t agree less. I think Burgundy is a bargain relative to Bordeaux.
Some wines I’ve had recently demonstrate this very clearly. Today I popped a bottle of Domaine Arlaud Morey-St.-Denis 2001 that cost me a mere twenty-one pounds. It was quite lovely and would have only improved with another five years in the cellar. It’d easily hang about for longer. The 1503″]Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin aux Echezeaux was a pound more expensive than this, but was a terribly good bottle of village wine that provided a lot of pleasure. Armand’s Auxey 2001 was a bargain at less than seventeen pounds a bottle; my next-door neighbour lapped it up ad asked where he could buy some.
These are three producers who make very good wines at very affordable prices. They also have more basic fare than these wines that are all perfectly drinkable. They, and other people like Jean Boillot and Robert Chevillon, make excellent wines that are real bargains in the thirty pound-bottle price bracket. If you are willing to work a bit and find out which producers are good, rather than simply buying dull negociant rubbish, there is an embarrassment of riches at perfectly affordable prices. This is even true for those on incredibly restricted incomes (like me) as long as you would rather choose quality over quantity. Elitist Review is all about quality.
This brings me on to the price of Bordeaux. I am not sure exactly what Bordeaux you can buy for twenty notes, but I doubt it will be as good, and certainly not as lovely, as a well-chosen bottle of Burgundy for the same price. Even if you move up to the thirty pound price bracket there is no chance of getting a serious producer in a good vintage. I would much rather drink Armand Clos des Epeneaux 2001 than Lynch-Bages 2001 (two recent purchases, thirty-five pounds a bottle) for the same money. The Armand is clearly a much more serious, far more charming and seriously more age-worthy than even this (super-)fifth growth claret in a dull vintage.
Burgundy is a bargain. It is also much nicer than claret. Buy Burgundy.