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Jean Marc Burgaud is one of only eight winemakers in Beaujolais rated five stars by Robert Parker Jnr’s Wine Buyer’s Guide. Wine Advocate expert David Schildknecht says: “Burgaud is ensconced in an impressive new facility and as usual brimming with ideas about how he is going to make what are among his region’s handful of most exciting wines even better.” Serena Sutcliffe MW adds her endorsement to Burgaud’s work: “This young grower makes old-vine Beaujolais as if it were Burgundy, oak-aged and built for the long haul.”
One of the measures of Jean-Marc’s ability is that the wine from his first vintage, 1992 – marred by torrential rain that led to split berries – is still drinking beautifully. When people marvel at his 09s, 08s, 07s, 05s, 02s, 00s, 98s, etc, he reminds them that the true measure of great terroir is what it can produce in a difficult vintage. Just how special his land is becomes clear when you try what he says should be his worst wine, that 1992. He kept a lot of it, being his first child’s birth year, but he never expected it to age so gracefully. In fact it moved one French expert to lavish it with an outrageous comparison with La Tache, which in turn led to Jean-Marc’s first visit to the Domaine de la Romanee Conti, his purchase of 2006 Romanee St Vivant barrels for ageing his top crus and, well, that’s another story.
Smoky evocations of black tea and peat rise from the glass, along with scents of ripe, fresh blackberry and dark cherry. Suggestions of roasted red meats rise on the substantial yet bright palate to accompany the smoked-tinged dark berries towards a finish of cut, pungency and considerable albeit fine tannin, underlain by a stony base and tinctured with iodine. This formidably concentrated and structured, even somewhat sombre cru, will need at least a couple of years in bottle to reveal its true potential and ought to be worth following for at least six years. That said, it’s entirely possible that post-bottling experience – especially after a year or two in bottle – might reveal the extent of tannic extraction to have slightly overstepped optimum bounds, and when I write “optimum” I have in mind the high standard set for this cuvée in vintage 2007 and exceeded in 2009. Burgaud’s top bottlings represent very much a voyage of discovery both for him and for us. 91-92+ Points; David Schildknecht ; Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate


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