How do I learn something about Burgundy?
I went a little nuts when getting into Bordeaux. I've got a 100+ bottle collection now of classified growths, including a few firsts but mostly Seconds; I've been to Bordeaux 3 times in the past 2 years; I've shared bottles with the Baron Rothschild, Jean Michel Cazes, Emmanuel Cruse, and other great proprietors; and I'm starting to consider myself pretty much an expert on the left bank – a year and a label and I'll know exactly what's in the bottle and whether I'll love it or not.
I get a lot out of that little hobby, but I've also had some Red Burgundies that have blown my mind. On the other hand, 60-80% of the bottles I've had have been thin and sour, and I'm thinking I'm just buying the wrong years or the wrong producers or both. The problem is that unlike Bordeaux, where I know the difference between a Pauillac and a St Julien, and could start with a Classification (as flawed as it is) to help structure the way I thought about the region, Burgundy seems like a totally impenetrable enigma in comparison.
What's the best way to start going from "this is a 2004 Burgundy… the age seems right and it's 80 bucks so maybe it's good" to being truly knowledgeable about what I'm getting? My experience with Bordeaux has taught me that the price you pay means relatively little unless you know what you're doing (e.g., people drinking a 2009 Latour on release, or paying three times as much for a 2011 First/Second growth when a 2000/2003/2005 for 80% less money is going to be leagues better if you're drinking it tonight), so I don't want to blow a ton of money trying to learn if there's a better way to do it. Any books, blogs, maps, etc. that you'd recommend? Any legit producers in the ~$100/bl range where I can start putting together tastings to get a sense for differences in years, regions, etc.? Or is this a hopeless exercise and maybe I should stick to the Pacific Northwest for my next deep-dive?
Submitted March 23, 2017 at 02:34PM by ScotchAndLeather
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