Burgundy Wine Pinson AL
2004 Burgundies Revisited: How are they evolving?
The 2004 red Burgundies have now been in the bottle for about four years. How are they evolving? What should Burgundy enthusiasts expect in terms of drinking pleasure? In a recent tasting conducted with importers John and Dominique Otterbeck of J.A.O. Imports, the International Wine Review tasted twelve red Burgundies from the 2004 vintage. The producers included: Follin-Arbelet, Jacques Cacheaux et Fils, and Jean-Jacques Confuron. All three are top producers who follow organic practices in their vineyards and modern winemaking methods in their cellars. And in 2004, based on our tastings, they each produced some stunning wines.
The red Burgundies from the 2004 vintage have been overshadowed by both the 2003 and 2005 vintages. Generally speaking, 2004 was a difficult year with lots of rain and odium (powdery mildew). However, toward the end of the growing season, weather conditions improved and ultimately enabled the top growers to pick clean and phenolically ripe fruit for their wines. Although the wines reviewed here are somewhat less concentrated than either those of the hot “California” 2003 vintage or the successful 2005 vintage, they have taken on weight since they were bottled and are showing ripe fruit, elegance and finesse with good levels of acidity.
The Arbelet family has been an important vineyard owner in Aloxe-Corton since the 19th century. Franck Follin, is currently in charge of the vineyards and winemaking, having taken over from his father-in-law in the early 1990s. The Domaine Follin-Arbelet produces wine from some of the finest parcels on the slopes of Corton.
Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2004 Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Vercots ($56) 89
The Aloxe-Corton is medium ruby garnet in color and offers light fragrant aromas of cherry fruit, forest floor and sandalwood. It is lightly flavored on the palate with dried cherry, spice and stem notes. Very accessible with mature tannins and a long finish.
Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2004 Corton-Bressandes Gran Cru ($82) 91
Aromas of earth and cherry emerge from the glass of the Corton-Bressandes. Sourced from 50 year-old vines, it is soft and velvety on the attack and shows good volume and depth in the mouth with spicy cherry flavors on the palate. The tannins are gentle but bracing, and the finish is long and pleasant.
Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2004 Corton Grand Cru ($82) 90
The dark ruby garnet Corton exhibits aromas of dried cherry, earth, baking spice and toast. it is slightly more masculine in style than the Bressandes and shows more oak than fruit at this stage of development. It has mature tannins and an excellent finish. While not showy, it is great with food.
Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2004 Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru ($293) 94
This is a superb wine combining elegance and power. Medium dark ruby to the rim, it displays aromas of plum, cranberry, and toast. It has a silky texture on the palate with lovely depth of flavor...