I have a soft spot for Burgundy that requires no patience, needing only a corkscrew, a glass, and a wee bit of thirst. While Bruno is a classy guy who makes pretty serious wines for serious drinkers and collectors, his Bourgogne rouge is the playful one of his bunch. Don’t set this bottle aside for a special occasion that might never exist. Drink this spicy and earthy rouge today, and make your occasion, no matter what it is, special.
A small restaurant in Beaune long ago had a minimalist concept that I loved: two big communal tables, no menu, and no wine list. You showed up, and the chef, seated at the bar, would finish his glass of rouge and saunter off to the kitchen to cook whatever hunks of pork he happened to be offering that day and boil some potatoes. Dinner was just that, a massive portion of meat and potatoes served on a wooden slab, with a few lonely leaves of lettuce, perhaps to clear the conscience. The house rouge—bright, zippy, loads of fun—was none other than Bouvier’s En Montre Cul, priced so that you could order bottle after bottle, and such a pleasure to drink it guaranteed a good time. Looking back, the food wasn’t even that good, but it didn’t really matter. Sometimes the wine more than makes up for shortcomings in the kitchen.
Way up on the northern tip of Burgundy, even farther north than Chablis, the tiny village of Epineuil has quietly been making chalky, ethereal Pinot Noir for centuries. If you try to imagine what your favorite Chablis, mineral and tight, would taste like as a rouge, this is it, as long as you factor in a few floral violet notes and the slightest wisp of tannin. For the coming months, keep this Burgundy in the fridge for a hot day and your favorite summer fare.
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