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Cuvee Rousseau-Deslandes 2009 Beaune Premier Cru, Hospices de Beaune
Light, blood-red in the glass, red currant, raspberry, a garrigue-like medley of fresh herbs, and exotic spices mark a few of the high points in the aria this wine sings as it moves down the tongue.
Red currant, raspberry, a garrigue-like medley of fresh herbs, and exotic spices mark a few of the high points in the aria this wine sings as it moves down the tongue. Its finish is a ninety-second, soprano-belted high-note that seems like it SHOULD break the glass, it is so clear and pure.
Light, blood-red in the glass. How is it that a wine can smell this good? An amazing perfume wafts from the glass with a gorgeous, vanilla-caramel aspect that befits its age, and an altogether astonishing red, tropical fruit character of youth that ends up more floral (don't ask me what kind of flowers) than fruity in my final assessment. In the mouth it has (unbelievably) incredible acid balance, perfect poise, and a texture that reinforces the earlier decision to get buck naked with this wine just based on its aroma.
Beaune Premier Cru wines are those which are made under the strictest conditions of the Beaune appellation in Burgundy, and which come from grapes grown exclusively in the commune's Premier Cru classified vineyards.
Beaune has forty-two Premier Cru "climats", more than any other commune in Burgundy; this is seventy-seven percent of the total vineyard area, the largest in Burgundy. The commune's least valuable vine-growing land has been taken up by the streets and buildings of the town.
For the reasons above, Beaune's name is widely recognized, and associated with reliable quality rather than a singular or defining style.
The expanse of Premier Cru land which Beaune has at its disposal stretches right across the commune from the boundaries with Savigny-les-Beaune in the north and Pommard in the south. The soils here have a higher proportion of sand than is found in the rest of the Cote d'Or. The difference in wine styles across the 2.5 miles (4.1km) which separate Beaune from Volnay and Volnay from Pommard is testament to this, and is a key to the mysteries of Burgundy wines.
Food Pairing Notes
With a wine this good, the food pairing shouldn't be geared to match the wine, it should be engineered to showcase it. It's all about the wine, which is why a simple leg of duck confit -- no fancy dressing, sauce or anything of the sort might be the perfect match. Savory, a little salty, and a little fatty -- a perfect foil for the wine.
All true wine lovers come at last to Burgundy. Bordeaux, a necessary phase in anyone's wine education, rarely reaches the lifelong obsession into which Burgundy often evolves. Romantic nights in discrete cafes away from the hustle of Paris surrounded by the smells of the country only add to the romance and taste profiles of these great wines.
Where Bordeaux and its grape varieties are as much about texture and power as terroir, Burgundy uses Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to convey elegance, style and culture, more perfume, more intrigue. Bordeaux might please the palate and the mind, but some wine drinkers maintain that only Burgundy provides the most haunting bottles and memories of romance which may last a lifetime.
Bordeaux increasingly gives the impression of big business, with its grand chateaux and expansive vineyards; Burgundy is more about the soil, and the men and women that work it. The hand that you shake in Bordeaux will be clean, whereas the nails are less manicured in Burgundy, the hands more concerned with pruning and picking, or driving the tractor - tasks the Bordeaux proprietor will leave to his staff. Are Burgundy people a little more connected with the land and an appreciation for family, friends and romance? You can be the judge with this great romantic yet rustic selection.
Of course, we believe that both regions produce excellent red wines which are capable of maturing and improving, in some cases for many decades; why not have both?