Great burgundy is becoming impossibly expensive and elusive. F&W’s Ray Isle tells how to outsmart the collectors and find bottles that deliver pleasure instead of pain.
Sometimes, when I think about Burgundy and my love for this wonderful and frustrating wine, I’m tempted to do one of those pro and con charts—the kind that high school students in difficult relationships sometimes sketch out in notebooks while weeping. Pro: There are still some good Burgundy values out there. Con: The Burgundies I love cost a fortune these days. Pro: When Burgundy is good, it’s so good. Con: When Burgundy is bad, it’s just depressing.
Burgundy is like that—it has the mysterious ability to provoke an emotional response. Many great wines make you think, taste, enjoy; Burgundy also makes you feel. At its best, it has a seductive quality—its aromas and flavors change in the glass more fluidly than other wines’. It also tells you secrets about itself: In Burgundy, Pinot Noir reflects the place it comes from more transparently than it does anywhere else; Chardonnay, the grape of white Burgundy, does the same.