We’ve been conditioned to expect Burgundy to be expensive—and to be skeptical when it isn’t. Traditionally, the choice was between something produced in very small quantities, from a very special vineyard (and priced accordingly) and something that cost extra simply because it said “Bourgogne” on the label.
Yes, Burgundy’s costs of production may indeed be higher than those of other regions, but every so often, a wine like today’s offer comes along and shatters all preconceptions—which is why, whenever I visit Burgundy, I always set aside time to visit savvy négociants (merchants) like Alain Corcia. On my last visit to the region, today’s 2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir ended up being one of the most memorable bottles of the trip: It’s still a noteworthy feat for someone in Burgundy to put something this good in a bottle for this little. Drawing on relationships with growers throughout Burgundy that go back decades, and blessed with pristine raw material in the excellent 2016 vintage, Corcia over-delivered and then some with this wine. You bet I snapped it up—the quality-to-price ratio is one of the best I’ve ever seen!
“Collection Alain Corcia” is the négociant label of a firm that started out in Burgundy in the early 1980s and has since expanded to include Bordeaux and the Rhône. The list of wines in the collection is wide-ranging, covering most of the key appellations in the Côte d’Or and including dozens of bottlings from Premier and Grand Crus. And, just as it is telling when you taste an “entry-level” wine from a boutique private domaine, so it is when you taste one from a merchant-bottler: It’s either off-putting or a sign of even greater things to come.
As I learned firsthand, today’s 2016 established a quality baseline that was incredibly high: a generous vintage and clearly impeccable vineyard sourcing created a wine that is not merely pleasurable but remarkably complex for the price. In the glass, it’s a luminous ruby/garnet with aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, orange peel, pu-erh tea, rose petals, black pepper, and underbrush. It’s a medium-bodied, textbook red Burgundy, just what I’d expect from someone with three decades’ experience working with growers in the region. It’s spot-on, ready to drink now and over the next few years, and would make a perfect introduction to red Burgundy for someone unfamiliar with the region and its wines. In its way, it’s a benchmark: as much as general wine quality may be trending upward worldwide, I still consider this price exceptional for a proper red Burgundy. This wine and a little coq au vin and you can turn your kitchen into your own personal French bistro for a night—or, pick up a case and make it a permanent placement in your rotation! Enjoy!
Pinot Noir 100%
French Oak Barriques
Clay & Limestone