Champagne is the perfect way to start off any celebration. So, Veuve Clicquot Brut it was. It turned the peeling, chopping and cooking into a party. For the grand entrée, we chose Frédéric Magnien 2003 Bourgogne Graviers. This special bottle had been waiting patiently in the cellar and we like nothing better than a Pinot Noir that has some age.
Burgundy or as they say in France, Bourgogne, is hard to understand. You have to know the vineyards which there are many and some are only a quarter acre. And you have to know the producers. This is tough since many of them have the same last name because inherited vineyards are split. If there were 10 kids, each gets a row from the quarter acre of vines. Yeah, Burgundy is hard to understand.
Bourgogne Rouge is made from only one grape – Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir’s charms are elusive. Whether grown in its homeland in Burgundy or from vineyards in Germany, South Africa, Australia or, more notably, California, Oregon and New Zealand, Pinot Noir is just plain elusive.
And it‘s notoriously finicky, it takes great skill to make Pinot Noir into the richest, most intensely perfumed wines. I had one a while back. It’s still my favorite all time wine.
Magnien is a Burgundy producer who creates wonderful wines from purchased fruit. He has no estates or vineyards. Just a man who can make a darkly colored wine -hard to do with Pinot- with Asian spiced, floral aromas and flavors that are full bodied with age and sweet with dark cherry, cassis and minerals with a smooth and silky texture. A special wine for a special dinner. This special wine was an affordable $25, and worth the wait.