Tag Archives: white Burgundy

About the Cubs and that $300 bottle of white Burgundy


My two letters (here and here) to Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, a well known wine geek, were mostly in fun. Those of us who are Cubs fans don’t know any other way — how else to live with the memories of 1969, 1984, and 2003? Once a baseball generation, it seems, we must watch as our hopes are crushed “like so many paper beer cups.”

In Chicago, you can count on three things: The Democratic mayor, the bone-crushing winter, and the ineptness that is the Cubs. But not this year? Because now that the Cubs have advanced to the National League championship series, I have expectations to manage (to paraphrase my brother), something that I had long ago given up on. 

Which means we are one step closer to the $300 bottle of white Burgundy that I said I would buy Maddon if the Cubs did something they have not done since 1908 and which, honestly, I can’t being myself to write. Jinxes and all off that. There are still two playoff series to go, and still plenty of opportunities for those hope-crushing paper beer cups.

But maybe, just maybe, I’ll call my French wine guy and ask him what he has in stock.

Expensive wine 74: Domaine Roger Belland Les Champs-Gain 2005


Belland Les Champs-GainYou love your Mom, right? You want nothing but the best for her, don’t you? Then the Belland Les Champs-Gain is the wine for her and Mother’s Day.

The Belland Les Champs-Gain ($70, purchased, 13%), a premier cru from the Puligny-Montrachet region in Burgundy, is everything that great wine is supposed to be. It’s the kind of chardonnay that people dream about, and that even those of us who don’t want to pay more than $10 for wine will drink without hesitation — subtle and muted, with layers and layers of flavors and aromas.

Look for white pepper, a brilliant use of oak, and almost ripe apples, three signs of great white Burgundy from Puligny. But there is so much more going on that it’s almost impossible to describe. Besides, just listing a bunch of adjectives won’t come close to doing the wine justice (even though that’s apparently what I’m supposed to do).

Highly recommended, though availability may be limited. In which case, ask your retailer for something similar, and you can’t go wrong. White Burgundy remains one of the few parts of the French wine business that hasn’t shot itself in the foot, head, and behind, for which the Wine Curmudgeon is quite appreciative.

Wine of the week: Cave de Lugny La Côte Blanche 2013


Cave de Lugny La Côte BlancheThe Wine Curmudgeon reviews a proportionally larger share of French wines, and when I look at the numbers — which I do because I don’t want to go too far in any direction — I always wonder if I should try to do fewer French wines. Then I taste something like the Cave de Lugny La Cote Blanche ($10, purchased, 12.5%), and I understand why I do so many cheap French wines.

They’re that good, and especially if they’re from Cave de Lugny, a cooperative in Burgundy that somehow produces affordable red, white, rose and sparkling wines from that very expensive region. Unfortunately, we don’t get enough of them over here, but the Les Charmes is a $10 chardonnay well worth drinking, and the $10 Macon-Villages chardonnay is equally delicious.

The Cote Blanche, which seems to be a World Market private label, is yet another terrific effort from Cave de Lugny. It’s chardonnay from the Macon area of Burgundy, so that means no oak. a mineral finish, and some apple and lemon fruit. But there is also an almost rich mouth feel, which makes the wine more interesting and is not easy to do for $10. It’s a step up from the previously mentioned Macon-Villages — and for the same price.

Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame. Serve this chilled on its own, or with roast or grilled chicken. It would also do nicely as the wine to cook with and to drink in a dish like braised chicken with mustard and garlic (and I would add lots of sliced onions).

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