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Apr 8, 2009 11:39 AM

If Parker says this:

Hi - I just spent a few evenings looking at Parker's Wine Buyers Guide, 7th edition, and now I'm even more unsure about some of the Burgundies we have...

If he says (regarding the 2004 vintage):
"Surprising gentle mid-palate, despite aroma of tart fruit", that doesn't sound too bad to me...
"Only a few will merit aging", that sounds like I may have bought some expensive Burgundy that won't age well.
"Most drink by 2010", that's next year!

While I don't (or try not too) read too much into what a wine critic says about wine, I'm also terribly uneducated about Burgundy and completely baffled by the different Domaines and rules and, and, and, regarding French Burgundy.

I have 6 bottles of 2 different 2004 Burgundies - Mommessin Clos de Tart and Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes Mares. I know that 2004 wasn't a stellar vintage, but these are supposed to be excellent producers.

Should I start drinking them this year? Should I just continue to hold them? The notes I have (I know, I know, but I have to start somewhere) say that I shouldn't even start to drink them till 2015. I was planning on holding them for a few more years before trying one, but now I don't know what I should do.

Any clarification would be appreciated!

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  1. Burgundy is certainly a bit of a blind spot for me too, but from a quick dig around on the interwebs I would put 2014-2022 on both wines.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve_K

      That's about what I have as well - maybe these wines are some of the few that will merit aging.

      I hope so!

    2. CellarTracker! is a good place to get a second opinion. It averages the drinking ranges input by wine geeks.
      Both wines to which you refer are Grand Cru. CellarTracker! says to start drinking the Mommessin in 2010 and the Vogue in 2014. The fact that you get a starting drinking window on a Vogue Bonnes Mares 10 years after the vintage tells you something ain't quite right.
      For most village level wines and many premier crus, I'll guess 2010 is a safe bet on a drinking window maximum.

      By the way, Parker stopped reviewing Burgundy years ago. That was likely David Schildknecht who wrote that.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SteveTimko

        Hi SteveTimko -

        By saying:

        'The fact that you get a starting drinking window on a Vogue Bonnes Mares 10 years after the vintage tells you something ain't quite right.'

        umm, do you mean something might be wrong with the wine, the wine geeks at CellarTracker! (which I do use and really like) might be wrong or that (yippee!) the wines will age in a lovely way and I will finally taste that stellar Burgundy so many speak of?

        I'm hoping for the latter!

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          Vogue Bonnes Mares is a wine in a good vintage you don't want to touch for 20 or 25 years. That it's approachable in 10 suggests it's not a top vintage.
          That said, Vogue is a quality producer and Bonnes Mares is an incredible vineyard. I suspect around 2016 or so it will be an incredible wine, provided it's been properly stored.
          I bought some 2004 Burgundy myself. Mainly because the 2005 was so good that wine stores were clearing out their shelves and making room for it by discounting 2004. I'm not in Bonnes Mares country, though. I like to say I drink out of the slums of Bugundy. For instance, I was pleased to pick up some Roty Marsannay cuvees at a substantial discount. Back to your original post, though, I'm letting them sleep at least until 2010. Because it's Roty. Even my 2004 Roty Marsannay rose was shut down and did not open until 2008 (another one I was able to steal when they made room for the 2005).
          By the way, 2004 was an excellent vintage for white Burgundy.

          1. re: SteveTimko

            Excellent explaination!

            I'll try one next year and see what I think and then go from there.

            Thanks again! :-)

      2. Hi Cookie,
        The company I work for is one of the importers of Vogue, and you've got yourself a stellar bottle of wine that you have plenty of time to drink. That said, what is it you want out of the wine? Rich, bright fruit? Funky, complex aromas? Mouthwatering acidity or mellow smoothness? Your answer to these questions (to me or to yourself) will go a long way toward answering when it would be best for YOU to drink your wines.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jdwdeville

          Hi jdwdeville -

          All of the above...
          I do like rich fruit and bright fruit. Funky (to an extent - I once drove behind a semi hauling pigs and had a eureeka moment "Could this be 'Barnyard' !?!) and complex aromas. Mouthwatering acidity (there must be some there at any rate) and I do like mellow smoothness.

          I think the younger Burgundies will have brighter fruit (I think, based on an '05 Xavier Monnot Beaune) and lively acidity. I think an older Burg may be more on the mellow smoother side with maybe darker fruit - I think but I don't know. The oldest Burgundy I have is a '97 Corton-Pougets.

          I know that was no help. I do have several Oregon and California Pinot Noirs that I do like (and I'm not afraid of): Littorai, Radio-Coteau, Rochioli, and Beaux Freres.

          I am glad to know that I've got plenty of time to enjoy these bottles.

          1. re: Cookiefiend

            ... you pretty much nailed my point, Cookie. Why we leave the "experts" to dictate our tastes to us is beyond me. Thinking about what you want from your wine, you should be able to judge drinking age accordingly. That said, the new world pinots you mentioned lead me to believe you will get the most enjoyment out of your wine on the early side of your drinking window...

            1. re: jdwdeville

              jdwdeville, it's very kind of you to share your knowledge on a complicated subject. I have a similar question about a 2003 J.Roty Marsannay Clos de Jeu--the only tasting note I found was from a chap who tried it in '06 and thought it was great for immediate gratification. From what I know of Roty and the vineyard--old vines, small berries--I'd have guessed 6-10 years conservatively. Your thoughts? thanks again

        2. Cookie: I would drink the Mommessin sooner. (2010, maybe 2011) the Vogue Bonne Mares should be excellent for quite some time. They are among the best of the region, imho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            I think that's just what I'm going to do.

            Since I have 3 bottles of the Mommessin, I'll try one in 2010, and one in 2011 - unless in '10 its so good I can't resist drinking the rest that year. That could happen anyway, especially if I have to really get into the cellar because I can't afford to buy anything new...

            Perish the thought! <shiver>

          2. I love the Mommessin Clos de Tart, though cannot say I've had the '04. From my experience, if I had 6 I'd crack one now for educational purposes, but I don't think it will be at its best for several more years.