I recently attended a wine dinner hosted by Marvin Chang of R. Fields Wine Company and held
at the Mariposa Restaurant in the Neiman Marcus store at Ala Moana. The purpose of the dinner
was to sample the great 2005 vintage Burgundy wines that are
currently available… technically, they are available.
2005 was also a blockbuster vintage in Bordeaux and you may
recall that futures prices (wine that is still in barrels but you
pay for now and receive about 2 to 3 years later) were going
through the roof. The top Chateaus were charging upwards of
$800 per bottle for wine that you wouldn’t even see for at
least 2 years. Of course, since Bordeaux produces 10s of
thousands of cases of wine every year, you could easily purchase
a bottle upon release as long as you had LOTS of discretionary
income. However, in Burgundy the supply situation isn’t the
same. Most houses produce just a thousand or so cases of wine
every year. Therefore, even if you did have OODLES of
discretionary income, you still might not be able to procure
any 2005 Burgundy. The same goes for retailers. That’s why
Marvin decided to host a 2005 Burgundy dinner and let 30 or
so of his best customers try the 2005 vintage (instead of
selling one bottle to 2 or 3 customers).

The evening started with 1999 Bollinger Grand Annee Champagne (4.5). This has always been
one of my favorite champagnes. Crème de cassis and citrus curd on the nose with a very rich
mouth feel of ripe berries and citrus and a very long finish. I have my own ratings in parentheses
and are based on 5 being perfect. The first 4 wines were all white Burgundy wines which are
basically French Chardonnay. They were paired with:

King Crab Bruschetta
Avocado puree, roasted red peppers, Hamakua Springs golden tomatoes & pomegranate reduction

William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses (3.5)
Wet wool, citrus and a touch of limestone on the nose. Minerally on the palate with good fruit
and acid balance with a long finish

Bernard Morey Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chevenottes (4)
Rich stone fruit and citrus curd on the nose. A very rich mouth feel with ripe stone fruit, citrus
and good acid and a very long finish

Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon (3.5)
Fresh lemon curd and mineral on the nose. Rich mouth feel with more mineral than fruit on the
palate and a medium finish

Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos Des Ambres (4.5)
Mineral followed by concentrated stone fruit and citrus. Almost an oily mouth feel it’s so
concentrated with concentrated ripe fruit and good acid with a very long finish

While I felt that the Morey Chassagne Montrachet and Arnaud Meursault were my favorite
white Burgundies, the Fevre Chablis paired the best with the Bruschetta since it had the crispest
flavor profile (like squeezing lemon juice on seafood) while the Leflaive Puligney Montrachet
balanced the cilantro and roasted pepper flavors. My two favorites simply overwhelmed the dish
and were probably better suited to a roasted pork loin or roasted chicken with a rich sauce.
The next course was paired with 4 red Burgundies which are basically French Pinot Noir.

Surfing Goat Cheese Tortellini
Fava bean, corn, artichoke hearts & proscuitto with roasted shallot & fennel jus

Lucien Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets (3.5)
Concentrated ripe red fruit and dried Asian spice on the nose. Good acid and subtle dried red
fruit and spice on the palate with a medium finish

Cacheux Nuits St Georges Au Bas De Combe (3.5)
Subdued mineral and fleshy dried red fruit on the nose. Dried red cherry and cola on the palate
with a short finish

Denis Mortet Gevrey Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs (4.5)
That unmistakable funk hits the nose immediately then settles into ripe red fruit and pebble.
Concentrated ripe red fruit with silky tannins, good acid and a very long finish.

Frederic Esmonin Grand Cru Mazy Chambertin (4)
Nutmeg, black pepper and spice gives way to dried red fruit on the nose. Spicy palate with a
mineral edge and a touch of herbs with a very long finish

My two favorites – the Mortet Gevrey Chambertin and Esmonin Mazy Chambertin also paired
the best with the Goat Cheese Tortellini with balanced earthy and rich flavors.
The entrée course was paired with another 4 red Burgundies.

“Surf and Turf” Grilled Striploin “Tagliata”
Lobster mashed potatoes & red wine butter

Louis Jadot Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint Jacques (3.5)
Wet stone and dried red fruit on the nose. Medium mouth feel with red fruit and mineral with a
medium finish

Meo Camuzet Morey St Denis (4)
Green bean and black pepper on the nose that gives way to red fruit. A very rich mouth feel
with fleshy dried red fruit and a long finish

Domaine Dujac Morey St Denis (4.5)
A touch of Asian spice and mineral on the nose with ripe red fruit given more air time. Rich
mouth feel with concentrated ripe red fruit and a very long finish

Christophe Perrot-Minot Vosne Romanee Champs Perdrix (4.5)
Unmistakable funk, green bean and dried herbs with wet stone that gave way to dried red fruit.
Very balanced on the palate with red fruit, silky tannins and good acid and a very long finish

My favorites were the Dujac Morey St Denis and Perrot-Minot Vosne Romanee which also held
up to the rich steak and lobster mashed potatoes though the Camuzet Morey St Denis also held
it’s own with the entrée.

Is 2005 Burgundy All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

I can say that the 2005 vintage is very good. Good enough that I’ll be dreaming of purchasing
some. Dreaming because I don’t have that much discretionary income lying around and also
because R. Fields Wine Company emptied its stash of 2005 Burgundy with this dinner. Oh well,
at least I’ll have sweet dreams.
A Very Special Vintage