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“Old meets Young” Burgundies Tasting

After my little wine-break (finally 10 days instead of 20 :=)) we decided to attack those Burgundies again. Oskar had 3 bottles which were 3 different vintages from the Confréries des Tastevins, bottled by Ets Saint-Ferdinand in Mercurey. The labels didn’t tell us more, except for the vintages which were 1970, 1977 and 1983; so it was some kind of “Tastevin-Seventies-Verticale”. As a final bottle and some kind of contrast I added a 2003 Beaune 1er Cru Bottle from Dufouleur Père et Fils which I got in a wine shop here in Frankfurt for the occasion.
For the 3 oldtimers, the corks came out surprisingly well and didn’t smell bad, which reminded me of the last “old Burgundies” tasting where nearly all the old bottles were still impeccable.
So we started with the 1970 Confréries des Tastevins, Ets Ferdinand. The wine had a light red colour. Its nose had a little balsamic vinegar tone, but not much more. It didn’t open up much with time neither (rather had a “wet-cellar” smell then). On the palate it was balanced and fruity but without any specifiable aroma. We decided rapidly to try the 1977 vintage. This one appeared much more vivid, with more power and fruit. Its colour was much darker with ruby-red reflexes and the flow marks on the glass let us know that alcohol had remained in the bottle over the years. On the palate we immediately had warmth; probably the taste of the 1977 sun shining down on the Pinot Noir grapes. It had power, yet was balanced. Here again no precise fruit could be distinguished; I noticed a little earthy note though. It still had tannins, but having the size of atoms and feeling soft and silky, which is actually the optimum for an old wine. The length was very satisfying, but had a little acid tone coming with it. This was our favourite of the 3 old bottles, but here again, despite the fact that it was still good, still drinkable, we knew it had past its peak and was on the way down the aging curve for some time already.
The 1979 was again more like the 1970 one but much more acidic. This was the least favourite wine of the evening, and doesn’t need much more description.
The 2003 Beaune 1er Cru, Les Cent Vignes from Dufouleur which was our final bottle, was decanted for an hour already when we poured it in the glasses. It was of course completely different from the older burgundies which had lost most of their primary aromas already. This one was dark as ink nearly. Its nose was heavy of dark cherries and a hint of tar (Ok I admit I was the only one of us smelling tar there). On the palate it was fruity with a slight marmalade touch but not artificial at all. It was black cherries and blackberries with something more heavy- something ethereally heavy and elegant-like tar but without the pungent and venomous tone. Ok let’s just say it had a certain complexity :=). The tannins were also present, but this wine could very well been drunken young. The vendor at the wine shop told me that 2003 was a very good year in Burgundy, and after having tasted it I have no more doubts about that; I can well imagine that this wine will further develop over the next 10 years. But as the older wines of today have taught us, we shouldn’t let it age too long.

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