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Burgundy: America’s Best Sources

With the stellar 2005 vintage and the rise of supertalented young winemakers, world interest in Burgundy has reached a fever pitch. Here's the lowdown.

The United States is arguably the best place in the world right now to buy and drink the great wines of Burgundy— many would even say surpassing the region of Burgundy itself. The following restaurants, retailers and auction houses are some of the absolute top sources for the wines that everyone wants to buy.—Megan Krigbaum

Restaurants

Cru, New York City With more than 2,000 Burgundies in its cellar, Cru can lay claim to one of the largest Burgundy collections of any restaurant in the country. The Burg bias begins with charismatic wine director and co-owner Robert Bohr, who admits that three out of every four bottles that he opens for himself are Burgundies. The restaurant's selection ranges from the legendary 1985 Henri Jayer Richebourg ($15,000) to a vertical of Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin (1985 to 2003). 24 Fifth Ave.; 212-529-1700 or cru-nyc.com.

The Little Nell, Aspen Wine director Richard Betts is likely to suggest something from his substantial (25-page) list of Burgundies because, as he says, "my palate compass points to Burgundy." The evidence of his attraction includes a vertical of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Le Montrachet (nine vintages, at prices ranging from $2,000 to $5,000), as well as more affordable bottlings, such as the 2004 Dujac Chambolle-Musigny Village ($52). 675 E. Durant Ave.; 970-920-4600 or thelittlenell.com.

Michael Mina, San Francisco Though he's the wine director for all Michael Mina restaurants, Rajat Parr keeps close tabs on his Burgundy-rich list at the flagship Michael Mina restaurant in San Francisco. The list reads like a combination love letter and guide to Burgundy and includes many famous names, as well as lesser-knowns. 335 Powell St.; 415-397-9222 or michaelmina.net.

Auctions

Christie's, New York City Burgundy accounted for an impressive 35 percent of wine sales here this past year, says Richard Brierley, head of North American wine sales, who searches private cellars to acquire the best bottles. Next sale: October 25 in Los Angeles. christies.com.

Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Chicago Founded in 2004, Hart Davis Hart has already proven itself a player in the Burgundy auction market with several impressively big sales, including the standout Steve Verlin Collection. Hart Davis Hart also sells wine retail. Next sale: October 27 in Chicago. hdhwine.com.

Sotheby's, New York City Sotheby's has sold more than $12 million worth of Burgundy's legendary Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) in the past 13 years of U.S. wine auctions (more than half of its total Burgundy sales). A three-bottle lot of 1985 DRC La Tâche went for nearly $26,000 at a recent sale. Next sale: October 24 in New York City. sothebys.com/wine.

Wine shops

Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe, Chicago This tony North Shore store offers truly personal service when it comes to Burgundy. Owner Kevin Mohalley will buy wines for specific clients on his trips to France. 824 Sunset Ridge Rd.; 847-498-9300 or knightsbridgewine.com.

Tribeca Wine Merchants, New York City Proprietors Fred Shaw and Robert Grobleski travel thousands of miles to secure rare wines. 40 Hudson St.; 212-393-1400 or tribecawine.com.

Woodland Hills Wine Company, Los Angeles This store has been a great source of older Burgundy vintages since its founding in the '70s. 22622 Ventura Blvd.; 800-678-9463 or whwc.com.

Published October 2007
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