Friday, May 9, 2008

Dueling 2005 Auxey-Duresses Rouges

Along with lots of wines from Germany and the Loire, I’ve been on a wee Burgundy kick of late. That’s a good thing in my books, as Bourgogne, both white and red, can be some of the most compelling juice out there. It can also be a dangerous passion to pursue, as bargains are hard to come by in the wake of the currently dreadful performance of the US dollar. Luckily, there are still a few relatively obscure villages capable of producing solid values in both red and white Burgundy. One such AOC is Auxey-Duresses, a small commune located in the shadows of Meursault on the Côte de Beaune. As an increasing number of basic Bourgognes Rouges are breaking the $25-30 price barrier, it’s refreshing to find village level Burgundies available at that same price point. I checked in on a couple recently – one an old friend, one a new find.

Auxey-Duresses Rouge, Domaine Diconne 2005
I’ve been a fairly regular imbiber of the wines of Jean-Pierre (père) and Christophe (fils) Diconne for many years now. Both their rouges and blancs from Auxey-Duresses are typical expressions of their terroir. The red is usually pale to medium rosy red, lean and taut, with fine acidity, soft tannins and elegant perfume. When the 2005 first came ashore several months back, its darker than typical color bespake the generous climatic conditions of the 2005 vintage. Nonetheless, the wine was drinking well right off the bat, with silky, supple textures and fruit concentration to match its darker colors. Several months on, the wine seems to be going through a clumsy phase. The dark color and fruit are still plain to the eye and mouth but the wine’s acidity has become more jagged and frontal in its assault. Tannins, too, are more in evidence than earlier. A gravelly, wild black cherry character dominates but aromas have shut down and the fruit and overall balance are a touch disjointed. I think things will come back together with some time but this is definitely not giving the early drinking pleasure that it often does in more typical vintages. $26. 13% alcohol. Natural cork. Importer: Petit Pois, Moorestown, NJ.

Auxey-Duresses Rouge “Les Jonchères,” Domaine Billard Père et Fils 2005
I’d not had this in the past or heard anything about it for that matter but was comfortable in selecting it as I’ve had excellent success overall with the wines in the portfolio of its importer – Wine Traditions. If you’re looking for drink me now satisfaction, this delivers. Its color in the glass is more typical to Auxey, bright, pale and shimmering. Aromas of pure red cherry, red cassis and ripe raspberry are followed by similar flavors on the palate. Silky texture and graceful, medium acidity bring it all home. Excellent balance. This would work at the table with anything from baked salmon to roast chicken to simple pork chops. Nice stuff. I don’t think it will have the lifespan of Diconne’s A-D but it’s delivering far more immediate pleasure today. I’ll be headed back for more. $24. 13% alcohol. Natural cork. Importer: Wine Traditions, Falls Church, VA.


bill l said...

where did you find the wine traditions juice?

David McDuff said...

Hey Bill,
Found it at the PLCB shop in Ardmore, PA, of all places.

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