attack of the ancient pyrazines (and some old pierre bourée)

Update 20.12.2011(19.12.2011)billn


Having bought a collection of old Bourées at auction, I have the following batting average:
1966 Nuits St. Georges – excellent
1983 Charmes-Chambertin – disappointing
1972 Gevrey-Chambertin – too balsamic
1978 Monthelie – a remarkable curate’s egg:

1978 Pierre Bourée, Monthelie
The cork comes out in one piece – no mean feet in these older Bourées – the bottle glass has a blue shade to it; clearly a bit unscientific but I’ve never yet had an off wine from a blue-shade bottle! Very good, relatively young colour. The nose? Well it’s rather particular; in-fact blind this is a 2004 with at least a 6/10 ‘score’ for pyrazines. Underneath is a pretty depth of still croquant, sugared strawberry fruit with the faintest suggestion of stems – as an occasional bottle, I’m quite happy to put this in my mouth! There is weight and sweetness to the red fruit with fine if understated acidity – overall a very smooth ride. There is some taste from the pyrazines – mainly in the mid palate before the flavour slowly decays in the finish. I have to say, pyrazines aside this is quite some wine – for those with low sensitivity I expect they would absolutely love this bottle – certainly I find it interesting and still drinkable: Indeed quite a remarkable bottle.
Rebuy – No Chance

Saving your 2004s?
If so, for what reason?
The pyrazine note of this Monthelie is as clear as a bell, and also as fresh as any 6 month, or now six year-old, 2004. I can no-longer grope at straws by expressing the wish/sentiment/dream that pyrazines fade with time; research already indicated that pyrazines are stable and here is a 33 year-old which seems to amply confirm that data. It really doesn’t matter what the source of this aroma and flavour is, in character it is essentially identical to that exhibited by 2004s. I sold half my 2004s around this time last year – I think I may have kept too many…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 3 responses to “attack of the ancient pyrazines (and some old pierre bourée)”

  1. Tom Blach21st December 2011 at 10:52 pmPermalinkReply

    Because, Bill, I am convinced that many will make beautiful mature wines. I am as certain of this as your are of the opposite viewpoint.Only time will tell.

    • billn22nd December 2011 at 6:29 amPermalinkReply

      So your contention is then Tom – that 78s are not mature? And that sensitive souls need not worry, they only need to wait 40 not 30 years…
      Shame then that many of the 2004s are not built with the next generation in mind!

  2. Tom Blach22nd December 2011 at 4:34 pmPermalinkReply

    Not even slightly, Bill, I just don’t think one bottle of a 1978 proves anything whatsoever, interesting as it may be!

  3. Tom Blach22nd December 2011 at 4:39 pmPermalinkReply

    PS you can even argue that since this phenomenon is no longer observable in other 78s it means that has after all dissipated with time. Not that I would make that case, but there are some who make the case that 04 as a whole is tainted irrevocably.

    • billn23rd December 2011 at 3:49 pmPermalinkReply

      Actually Tom, I’m not saying anything about ‘other’ 78s – I just think this is a rare example of a cuvee from the vintage that has picked up the taint, but evidently permanently so. I’ve also noted cuvees in 2000 and 2009, with the same, but very rare. I also usually note ‘only’ about 75% of 04s with ‘it’.

      But it does indeed indicate to me irrevocably.

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