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Garagiste

  • By Jon Rimmerman
    3/10/2010, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (BLANC Bourdy Cotes du Jura) Bourdy

    Dear Friends,

    The number of re-order requests and adjective-riddled comments from our core email list regarding this wine give me hope that wide-eyed fascination and cerebral fortitude are not dead in the wine game. As one of the more profound price/value wines in France, this would be a contender for Wine of the Year in nearly any vintage but in 2005 (as it was in Burgundy), the chiseled, living and breathing material had just that much extra must-weight to make it one of the great results in the storied history of this 400+ year old property. From a Chardonnay ageing perspective, 50-80 year old examples of Bourdy's Cotes du Jura Blanc are still going strong and all of them were sourced from the same vineyard and produced in the same way as the wine we offer today (although the Bourdy of today is now strictly organic). If you compare this wine to most examples of Chevalier or Montrachet proper, Bourdy's Cotes du Jura Blanc has a better overall track-record for lasting (based on the 1911 we tried recently, 100 years is not out of the question).

    The current holder of the Bourdy flame, Jean-Francois Bourdy, is a man of tradition and he believes in supporting those who support him. Instead of sending this parcel to a different country (with an increased price), he gave us first right of refusal...at the same price as his first tranche pre-release price (a complete break with the norm in the Jura - normally, the prices are increased every January no mater the quality of the vintage - it is not a negotiable way of doing business, it's just the way it is - in other words, the 2005 Blanc should be $26.99-28.99 this year, $32.99-35.99 next year, etc....not this low again?)

    My original offer for this wine is below - in retrospect, having tasted this wine at least 15-18 times over the past year, the hyperbole may not have been extreme enough (how often can I say that?) - especially after 12-18 hours of air. If you are chasing the grand ageing wines of the world, this is money very well spent. In fact, I'm not sure you could spend it any better (certainly if cellaring is your goal).

    For more information on this wine, please see my original offer from last year (cut and pasted below)

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - VERY RARE (almost impossible to find at retail - most of this goes to restaurants)

    This parcel is directly from the winery cellar with impeccable provenance:

    2005 Caves Bourdy Cotes du Jura Blanc

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Garagiste
    Seattle, WA
    UPDATE: Spring Shipping Season

    SOFR3398
  • By Jon Rimmerman
    8/4/2009, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (BLANC Bourdy Cotes du Jura Blanc) Blanc

    Dear Friends,

    My gosh...more Bourdy? Yes.

    This time it is the eponymous 2005 Cotes du Jura Blanc and (if you recall my nascent enthusiasm for the 2005 Cotes du Jura Rouge), you can pretty much cut and paste the offer for the Blanc (with Jura-esque Chardonnay descriptors of course). If the 2005 Rouge was life-changing for its price, what does that make this?

    Priced at the level of a middling Bourgogne Blanc, this is Bourdy's finest effort with his oldest vine Chardonnay and, in 2005, it is an absolute revelation. Like his Rouge, Bourdy probably sells more of this wine to top winemakers down the road in Beaune than any other vintner in the Jura. Why? History and ageing potential. The Burgundians know about the esoteric legend of Bourdy but they also know when they see something that is incessantly undervalued. This wine contains both the legend and the value.

    Where not every vintage of Bourdy can appeal to a wide audience (the 2004 was far more closed and angular), in 2005, all bets are off. Like in Burgundy, this part of the Jura had one of the finest vintages in the last 50 years and the 2005 Cotes du Jura Blanc is the result. Cut from a similar mold to the 1934 or 1959 Cotes du Jura Blanc, this rendition will undoubtedly fall in line with the greatest vintages of Bourdy since the late 1800s. In some sense, the 2005 is akin to Bourdy's Chevalier-Montrachet (versus Montrachet itself) as it is full of stone and a tactile character that is already deeply complex and complicated. Not an obvious wine by any means, the slight oxidative note that makes this wine so famous as an accompaniment to game birds is so neatly woven into the soul of the mid-palate that you barely perceive its devilish grin but the 2005 remains fresh and alive - pungent and reflective of place and varietal.

    With a captivating texture like floating pulverized gravel and the freshest acidity to keep the natural sap wholesome and directed, this wine comes in waves that seek pockets on the palate that you never knew existed - waves of elegance, nobility, lemon-tinged fruit pith and nervous energy that can only be described as fascinating. Very long on the palate, exceedingly dry and unrelenting in a dignified and low-alcohol way (I believe this is only 11.5-12.5% alcohol), Bourdy's 2005 Cotes du Jura Blanc is a legend in the making....just remember to try it at peak - around 2050.

    For more information on Bourdy and the old vintages, please see this Wine and Spirits article on the tasting we held last winter (Most of you have probably read this already): http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/pages/f&F/Ch_Chalon.html <http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/pages/f&F/Ch_Chalon.html>

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for mystery and a road that unravels on the tip of your tongue over many hours (and sure to be many decades).

    This parcel is directly from the source with perfect provenance - the same pre-release pricing structure as the 2005 Rouge applies (see Rouge offer below for explanation):

    2005 Caves Bourdy Cotes du Jura Blanc
    (this is the new release of the same wine series of Cotes du Jura Blanc we tasted at Blue Hill)

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Garagiste
    Seattle, WA
    SOFR7505

    ********************************
    (for a reminder of my enthusiasm for 2005 at Bourdy, please see the following for the Rouge - penned in June 2009):

    2005

    Dear Friends,

    Most of you know I am prone to what can be perceived as overzealous, longwinded hyperbole (although not intentional) - even with that stigma there are certain wines I have to consciously pull back on the pen for fear of sounding too over the top - even though the wine may justify the excitement. This is one of those wines where I will try to be calm but (overzealous or not) the wine deserves as much praise as any vinous achievement in the world.

    I started hearing about this wine while it was still in barrel, long before our Bourdy/Blue Hill event took place - it is finally finished, safely in bottle where it will remain (in the luckiest of cellars) for the next 5-6 decades. The scary part? It is actually beautiful to drink on release as well, which is not the typical hallmark of this wine (it is usually downright unruly for the first 6-10 years after release). The 2005 ushers in a new era at Bourdy and he swung for the farthest fence he could see.

    If the La Grapperie "Adonis" was the most unique wine I tasted in France during my spring stay, what does that make this? It was the only wine I literally fell over in my chair after tasting - I wrote one word on my tasting sheet - "lifechanging". Well, lifechanging is not an actual word, I believe I meant "life changing" but you get the point.

    My first encounter with this wine was at a blind tasting in Paris where I had no idea what it was (I'm not afraid to admit when I'm stumped). My initial guess was 2005 Bonnes Mares but it was far too mineral drenched and perfumed for Bonnes Mares. There was something about the structure of the wine that kept bringing me back to upper Chambolle or possible Gevrey around Clos St. Jacques. I usually always go with my first gut instinct (in a blind tasting, as well as life) but there was something nagging at me - I knew the wine wasn't 100% Pinot Noir but it was too complete and beautifully textured to be a Jura wine...or was it?

    After an hour, my host had enough fun and removed the brown bag from the bottle. While those in attendance sat scratching their head in bewilderment - I honestly wasn't surprised. The wine already had so much hype on pre-release in the French sommelier circuit that is was bound to be a head-tuner. The wine was the 2005 Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge - the first wine made by the new methodology at Bourdy (strict biodynamic farming and natural winemaking according to a lunar schedule of gravity waning and waxing on the earth). The result is a loudspeaker for natural viticulture - a wine with Grand Cru aspirations and one of Europe's most storied histories behind it, unafraid to take the chance that natural winemaking has at its core. Leroy was a motivation here, if Lalou can do it with her Chambertin then why not Bourdy with his top red wine?. In the past, Bourdy adhered to natural methods but the 2005 was the first wine grown and vinified with the most intense organic principles possible and it shows in the acute freshness and incredible detail of the wine.

    The fact that this is the modern-day reincarnation of the 1955 Rouge doesn't hurt either.

    Those of you that tasted (and smelled) the 1955 Cotes du Jura Rouge at Blue Hill last December will recall one of the more celestial wine experiences anyone will encounter. It was an unusual vintage, heavy in Poulsard (instead of dominated by Pinot Noir) and the 2005 follows the same blueprint with almost 30-40% Poulsard (plus 30% Pinot Noir and 20-30% Trousseau). Jean-Francois Bourdy claims (with a deadpan face) that the 2005 is the best red wine not only since the 1955 but since the 1911. I guess my opinion holds little weight in comparison to that statement.

    How do you describe this wine? It borders on transcendental - in fact, you can't really make a wine this good for this price (unless you are in the Loire or Beaujolais). In truth, typical wine words do not do this rendition of the storied Cotes du Jura Rouge justice - Brilliant? Certainly. Profound? Absolutely. It is so deep in complex layers of medium-weight, filigreed soil, stone, fruit, spice and elegant extract that you almost forget you are drinking wine. Think 2005 Chambolle-Musigny (the above mentioned Bonnes Mares comes to mind) meets a feminine 2005 Descombes Cote du Brouilly VV - add the magic of the mountains, a dash of eccentricity (although toned way down in 2005), 50-100 year old vines... and 50-80 years of ageing potential and you will see why I am this enthused.

    Acid ball? No way, not in 2005 - this is the real deal cut from some of the the purest cool-toned fruit and terroir in Europe. If you are expecting sweet, ripe, round fruit, look elsewhere - if you crave the finest delicate old-world concoctions that challenge you on multiple levels (although still beautifully ripe, akin to 2005 Burgundy), this is your wine.

    With a history as long as the Grand Cru's of the Cote d'Or (with even longer ageing potential), one would think Bourdy could charge a bit more for this wine ($29.99? $39.99? $49.99) - whatever the motivation, the new release price hasn't changed in years. Instead of offering futures, they offer a bottom of the barrel price on the first release and the tariff quickly escalates from there (in a similar fashion to Bordeaux tranches but the difference is that the wine is ready to ship now - not in 2-3 years). The winery uses an old-school method of automatic price increases every 6-12 months on their library stock and the same percentage is applied to every wine - a new release enters the library 3-6 months after its initial offer (the 2005's initial offer has come and gone - it is already sold out at this tranche), so, this wine will be around $30 by the winter and go up from there.

    A slice of magic held within a bottle - period (I won't even bother saying "very highly recommended" - I think that's obvious). Drink now and over the next century.

    ONE SHIPMENT ONLY at the initial release price directly from the winery cellar.

    ONLY 100 cases for export outside of France (including all of Europe, Asia, etc):

    2005 Caves Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge - SOLD OUT
    (this is the top red wine from the estate, akin to any of the legendary vintages from 1900-present)

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