INSIDER'S PICK 2016 DOMAINE VINCENT DUREUIL-JANTHIAL BOURGOGNE PASSETOUTGRAIN $24.99
The vast, vast VAST majority of the time (did we mention vast?), Pinot Noir in Burgundy is a stand-alone variety, with the best wines of the region being 100% Pinot 100% of the time. There are a few wines that do involve blending another grape in, which is based on tradition from history. The comedians out there will say sneaking in tanker loads of Syrah from the Rhone and other points South to fatten up weak wines is a 'tradition' as well (a long standing trope from the loosely controlled days of winemaking the the 1900s). But many people forget that the Beaujolais region is included in Burgundy, and there was a time when the Gamay grape had much more overlap in where it was planted with Pinot Noir. In particular the Macon and the Cote Chalonnaise areas still find a handful of producers that have both varieties planted, and from them the delightful Bourgogne Passetoutgrain is made. Even with only 10%-15% of Gamay in the blend, it can take some of the austere edge off of the Pinot that the Chalonnaise wines tend to show, and makes for delicious drinking even in the warmer days of Summer.
While most producers tend to use younger vines in their Passetoutgrain, great ones like Dureuil-Janthihal have Pinot vines of over 50 years, and the maturity is immediately noticeable in the deep Burgundian dark cherry and savory red fruit aromas, with the Gamay throwing in a touch of warm red fruits. The Gamay is much more evident on the palate, providing super fine tannins that almost disappear entirely behind the mouthwatering red fruits and tart cranberry flavors. While there is no need to age the wine for any length of time to soften out the tannin, the freshness of the acidity give everything about the wine so much vitality that it would certainly survive and thrive for several more years in case you forget a bottle or two by accident. Which could happen, because fans will want to buy this by the fistfull.
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