Ah red Burgundy, when it is good it is totally irresistible, but things don’t have to be expensive to be good, quality exists at many levels. These two were a shade over twenty fun tokens each and, whilst they are examples of different Burgundy idioms, they provide plenty of delectable interest at their extremely reasonable price-points. I defy anyone to walk into a wine-merchant and find Claret with a higher enjoyment-quotient than these for the same cash outlay.
A quick bit of background. The Auxey is the bargain wine of the Comte Armand range. Benjamin Leroux makes it in a similar style to the Clos des Epeneaux so with all its tannins and crunchy fruit it really does seem like a baby Pommard. You can certainly keep it but I rather like it when it throbs with youthful vigour. The Dujac Fils et Pere wines are made from purchased grapes, but because the Dujac team keep a close eye on the viticulture they don’t lack anything in terms of quality. If you feel the need to try some Dujac wines (what do you mean, you haven’t tried any yet?) but cannot stretch to the serious stuff these will give you a good taste of the real thing.
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Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru 2005, Comte Armand
This nose seems a touch on the tight side, but more than enough fruit to it to make it smell quite attractive for all its brooding darkness. Indeed, the fruit is distinctly enjoyable and, together with the pronounced stony character of the nose, this smells remarkably complex and positively charged with interest. This is proper Burgundy. One thing you cannot deny about the palate is that it is pretty tannic. However, there are delicious layers of ripe, dark fruit and a lively amount of acid which makes it seem charged with vivacious energy and, in its bold style, it is rather well balanced. It has a solid persistence to its flavours which don’t lack dimension and, especially if you like a bit of rigour, there is more than enough gratification to be extracted from this. Hmmm… ‘extracted’, yes it is a bit. I don’t think this has pretensions above its modest origins, but as I said pleasure can exist at many levels and I’m happy to drink this. If I were being extremely critical I could venture that the alcohol level is very slightly too high, but I feel that is the character of the vintage showing. All in all this is good Burgundy.
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Chambolle-Musigny 2007, Dujac Fils et Pere
2007 Burgundies can be quite fleshy and fun; this shows some of that voluptuous character but there is a proper Chambolle prettiness to its nose. Its fruit is ripe and enjoyable with a slight floral character (I’m convinced I see this in a lot of Dujac wines, it has been my key to getting them correct in blind tasting challenges) and a decidedly polished earthiness to enhance its sophistication. The nose is certainly proper Burgundy, yet in a more gracefully seductive and less imposingly brooding style than the Auxey. For all its aromatic sophistication there is a lot of visceral pleasure here, the nose of a decently ravishing Chambolle. It tastes quite alluring too. There is plenty of ripe fruit to the palate but it doesn’t seem remotely over-blown, rather it is gratifyingly refined. I wonder if the new oak shows a hint with extended slurping, all the same I don’t have any real problems with its overall harmony. I feel this speaks very clearly of its origins, both in terms of the village and producer; since I love both I am greatly gratified by this wine. Yum!