December 16, 2009

NICE LIST: 2005 Dominique Laurent Marsannay

Item: 2005 Marsannay
Category: Wines for Dining
Cost: $17 (as a "futures")
Where To Buy:

It's time for another "Naughty or Nice" pick TNT style, and what better place to snag from than, Burgundy!

Burgundy is one of the most difficult wine regions in the world to understand. First, it has more 'appellations' than any region in the world. You've probably heard of Chablis, Beaujolais; and maybe you've seen Gevrey-Chambertain or Montrachet on a bottle or restaurant wine list. Well there are 677 of them!!! Then, there is the 'ranking' system... from Grand Cru to Premier Cru to Village to finally "regional" wines. Now figure in all the producers and it's no wonder Burgundy can be a very scary place. But if you can take the time to explore it and learn a little about it, you will find that is produces much of the worlds greatest wines.

As a start, basically only two types of grapes are grown here... Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There are some other smaller varieties (Gamay, for instance, is grown in Beaujolais), but their use is extremely minimal. So we're basically dealing with Pinot and Chardonnay.

Next, we can learn a lot from the label... so let's look closer. Since Burgundy is all about the appellations, it's the name of the appellation that is the largest thing on the label (not the producer). So this wine comes from the Marsannay appellation.

Now, notice the label... it doesn't read Grand Cru, Premier Cru or 1er Cru... but it does say 'Vielles Vignes". Therefore, this wine is from the "village" class (not a grand or premier cru). Finally, the vintage is 2005. The vintage on this bottle is shown on a label at the top of the bottle... which is not shown in the picture. So, after glancing at the label, we know we are drinking a 2005 "village level" pinot noir from the Marsannay region of Burgundy. The producer is Dominique Laurent.

2005 Dominique Laurent Marsannay Clos du Roy Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Marsannay

Purchased as "futures" for $17 (this is where you buy wine before it's released. I purchased this in 2007 and it was delivered in 2008). Dark ruby in color with a hint of violet on the edges. Overwhelming nose of barnyard and earth. There is definitely terrior here. Behind the earthy notes lies subtle aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and ripe cherry. The crisp acidity (it's borderline effervescent) make this an excellent food wine, and the tannins can stand up to a steak. (I served porterhouses for dinner). This could use a little time for the tannins and acidity to settle down, but this is a very enjoyable wine. The fruit with the barnyard notes really make this a complex wine. And I like the fact that there is very little oak here.

My Take: Outstanding