In the past, I’ve made a handful of wine resolutions for the new year. I keep some of them, I fail at others, but it’s always fun. Still being January, it’s not too late to make one for 2014. I typically go for heavier bodied red wines, preferably Old World in style, without too much extraction (Bordeaux, Brunellos, certain California Cabs that aren’t overdone, etc.). I love them, but it’s time I expanded my horizons again.
This year, I’m keeping it simple: drink more Burgundy. Subhead of said resolution: “How quickly can Austin go broke?” Burgundy ain’t cheap, but there are great bottles to be found without (hopefully) breaking the bank.
So why Burgundy? Why not pinot noir in general? I’ve found that I have typically shied away from pinot noir in the past because I haven’t liked the overtly fruity characteristics of the wine. Over time though, I’ve realized a lot of this stems from pinots made in warmer climates, like California. I like the more subtle, earthy, minerality that I notice in Burgundy pinot noirs.
That said, I’m keeping an open mind. My focus is on Burgundy, but I’ll be trying as many pinot noirs as I can this year. If they’re anything like the one in the photo above, this is going to be a great year. Santé, 2014.
What would you pay for an acre of vineyard land? Ten, twenty, thirty grand? Don’t forget you’ll have to buy and plant the vines, trellis systems, etc. etc. It adds up. How about $200,000 per acre? $1 million? If you’ve got the cash, you can find the land for that.
It’s a way to preserve capital…You’re buying Treasury bonds today at 2%. What would you rather buy, US treasury bonds or a piece of grand cru in Burgundy where you’re getting 1%–and the dividend is bottles of wine! So it’s not a bad deal!
Pretty interesting to think of vineyard acreage strictly as investment material. Maybe one day.
Ever thought about what the barrel does to a wine? The above photo can give you a glimpse. What you see is water. I promise this is not chardonnay, or any other white wine. It’s water. Ray Walker of Maison Ilan posted this photo to Twitter (follow him: @MaisonILAN) recently. He stated it was “Water from a new oak barrel after four days.” And you wonder why some of your wines taste extremely oaky.
You might now understand why not everyone wants to use new oak barrels for their wines, and instead opt for older, used barrels, or simply stainless steel vats. It all depends on how much you want to change the wine. If you’re not into very oaky wines (especially whites), look to wines from Burgundy. Typically, they have a more balanced style, with just a touch of oak.