2009 Louis Latour Gevrey-Chambertin

Wine Review: 2009 Louis Latour Gevrey-Chambertin
Silky, silky, Pinot Noir. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. And my favorite expression of Pinot Noir comes from France, the legendary wine region of Burgundy.

Burgundy may be one of the hardest regions for new wine drinkers to understand. Here are a couple of tips to get you started. First, all red Burgundy (with one exception, Beaujolais) is made from Pinot Noir. All white Burgundy is made from Chardonnay. In Beaujolais, the red grape is Gamay, but that's a whole different post.

Anyway, in Burgundy, the vineyard is king. The priciest wines will name a vineyard specific to a village, specific to a region of Burgundy. I could go on and on, but for the purpose of understanding the wine tonight, this is a village level Burgundy, made by Louis Latour (a famous negociant) from the village of Gevrey-Chambertin. That means this wine is 100% Pinot Noir, sourced from any of the vineyards in that village.

And what a wine it is. Beautiful clarity, ruby colored with a watery edge, the wine is just beginning to age but still drinks quite young. Nose of cranberry and tart cherry as well as (I know this sounds odd) smoked meat.

This is a wonderful example of simplicity and subtlety. I think it is a disappointment that in our world of scoring wine to death, many winemakers go rushing for big fruit, high alcohol, and dense tannin as their attempt at securing high scores and wine sales. Latour seems to go for restraint in his simple Burgundy. For such a light-bodied wine, it is well integrated, the acidity is perfectly balanced, and other than a lack of complexity, it is a lovely wine for drinking at any time your heart desires.  There is little to no tannin, and there is enough going on that it is equally pleasurable to pair with food or drink on it's own. Just delicious.

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