Just when I start to feel a bit disenchanted with something I’m passionate about – whether it’s food, wine, cycling, music, literature, film… you get the idea – it seems that something comes along to rekindle the fire. That something came today in the form of a bottle of red Burgundy: 2001 Nuits St. Georges “Les Grandes Vingnes” from Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils, to be exact. From its perfectly transparent ruby robe to the beguiling aromas that leapt upwards as soon as the wine hit the glass, it was a real eye-opener, the kind of wine that changes the rhythm of your breath and focuses your attention inward. Flavors of wild raspberries, blackberries, smoked meat and violets made me think of Burgundy’s frequent comparison to the Nebbiolo based wines of Italy’s Piedmont. The elegance of this wine, though, was pure Burgundian Pinot Noir. Gentle yet firm tannins combine with perfectly balanced acidity and focused fruit to make this one of the most memorable wines I’ve tasted this year.