Friday, March 20, 2009

Cellar report: 2002 Chateau de Chorey...aka "Real pinot noir"

Today's first economics lesson: Good Product + Good Price = Happy Customers

I'm thinking about this because last night I was swilling down this awesome 2002 Chateau de Chorey les Beaune. A French pinot noir, this is everything domestic pinots wish they could be at a lower price than way too many of them. The economics lesson comes to mind because I have a wine shop in the heart of Oregon wine country, where over-inflated pinot noir pricing is seemingly a rite of passage. Now there are some guys, actually a lot of producers, who seem to keep their egos in check and offer their customers good value for every dollar spent...Cameron, St. Innocent, Westrey, J. Christopher, Patricia Green and many others. Then there are those who seem to have insatiable egos that are only fed by emptying their victims...er, customers wallets as fast as they can with their one dimensional, over-ripe, over-oaked wines....Archery Summit, Beaux Freres, Domaine Serene, Bergstrom come to mind. There are a couple of Oregon wineries who actually charge $100+ a bottle for their wine. To which I can only reply "Are you fucking kidding me??!"

Today's second economics lesson: If you pay more than $50 a bottle for Oregon pinot noir you are a sucker. If you do it more than once you're an idiot.

I always think of this when I drink yet another satisfying bottle of French Burgundy like the Chateau de Chorey. Now this is a around a $38 retail bottle, not cheap, but it delivers more pleasure than ANY comparably priced domestic noir. 2002 was an underappreciated red burgundy vintage, and the wines are just now creeping out from under their youthful shells. This is a classic case in point. Still tight when the cork gets popped, as it opened up blueberries, spice, fresh flowers and that Burgundian earth came cascading out of the glass. On the palate the longer it sat open, the more "weight" it put on, filling out in the mouth with each passing minute. Beautifully rich, pure fruit. Smooth, elegant, perfect acid balance, with tons of complexity and years of life ahead of it. Plus it was so freakishly good with my grilled lamb chops. The other sad fact of American winemaking is that domestic grape juice will never have the exquisite food affinity the Euros seem to do as a matter of course. Don't think I don't like Oregon pinot. I do...a lot. I also don't expect Oregon pinot to be like Burgundy and get the differences, but when I have something like this I realize how good life can really be.............
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: do you know what white people really like?

1 comment:

wileycoyote said...

I came across this: your east coast doppelganger (perhaps in name only).

http://saucytart.typepad.com/eat_drink_memory/

http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/03/invest_in_your_local_neighborh.html