A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

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Wines for a Jack$on (Under $20) – Garaudet Monthelie “Cuvee Paul” 2005, Burgundy, France

Burgundy remains one of the premier winemaking zones in the world.  It’s a unique landscape, and it’s proven itself to be the place to make great Pinot Noir wines.  There is also such a great diversity from vineyard to vineyard and from producer to producer that it takes a lifetime, and then some, to ever have a great understanding of the fabled region.

Garaudet's Cuvee Paul 2005 Monthelie

The village of Monthelie is on the smaller side with roughly 200 citizens.  It’s buttressed between the popular villages of Volnay and Merseault, and rarely garners the praise that it’s owed.  Luckily, for the student of wine, it remains one of the more wallet-friendly appellations of Burgundy.

Garaudet’s Monthelie Cuvée Paul 2005 is a good example of a six year old wine that is drinking pretty well right now:  it’s somewhat closed for the first 20 minutes, but eventually the aromas and flavors of great Pinot Noir begin to show themselves.  Although the producer has premier cru holdings in the village, this wine is somewhat of a reserve village wine; not all the fruit originates from one of the distinct vineyards.

On the nose is a blend of mushrooms, toffee, wood tannins, and herbs.  The color is deep, ruby red, and somewhat muddy.  On the palate is a perfect blend of chalky minerality and silky tannins.

It  has the strength and power that will give it many more years to grow in complexity, but it’s a great wine to begin your ascent into the trials and tribulations of Burgundy.

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