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Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2006
The Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is inextricably linked to the Grand Cru vineyard of Musigny—in some eyes the pinnacle of Pinot Noir—a wine that should be both complete and profound but never heavy: 'majesty itself' claims Clive Coates.
"Deep, saturated-cherry red. Wow, what a nose; the glass doesn't even need a swirl to give up chocolate- and creme-brulee-covered, red-cherry fruit. Super complexity. The nose is well-matched to a beautifully textured palate, incredibly complex flavors that cling to your gums, fine tannins that are completely covered by the fruit. Magnificent now, I'm drooling at the prospect of its 20th birthday!" - The Burgundy-Report.com
"Deep, bright red. Offers an extra dimension on the nose, with captivating sappy red fruits, minerals, blood orange, clove, menthol and bitter chocolate. Enters the mouth thick and opulent, then wonderfully dense and seamless in the middle, with compelling sweetness and piquant minerality. The back half of the wine shows the powerful, structured side of the vintage, finishing with major tannins and an impression of brooding energy. This may well merit a higher score with a decade or so of bottle aging."
-International Wine Cellar 95+
"This is also extremely floral with a reserved nose that is an airy, spicy and ripe mélange of red and blue Pinot fruit that displays really lovely violet and rose petal notes that are picked up by the minerally, intense and harmonious flavors that are beautifully proportioned and are blessed with ample amounts of dry extract on the essence of Pinot and explosive, energetic and hugely long yet incredible precise finish that is also built on a base of firm minerality. This is almost exotic in character yet everything is in beautiful concordance. In a word, great."
-Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, 96/100
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue is inextricably linked to the Grand Cru vineyard of Musigny, considered by many the pinnacle of Pinot Noir. Until 1936 the vineyard was conveniently split into just two climates--a narrow east-west track splitting the climate of Le Musigny from the more southerly and slightly smaller Les Petits-Musigny. The domaine ranks among the very best Burgundy houses.
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.