The quest for the Burgundy holy grail – delicious, serious, affordable – tends to send one southward from the heart of the Côte de Nuits. There is little evident reason why the vineyards of Savigny-les-Beaune should not measure up – the best-placed ones have great exposure and slope. Yet somehow only the great Lalou has managed to bring this village into the upper echelons of Burgundy. I drank a great bottle of Leroy Savigny-Narbantons in Beaune in about 2003, I think I paid 70 euros, and came away thinking I’d found some kind of secret treasure. Well in a sense I had, since I a current vintage is going to be pushing a thousand if you can find it at all. Such is the way with wines touched by the hand of Lalou.
I’m shopping a little more downmarket this evening, but hardly slumming it. Pavelot and Bize are Savigny specialists near the top of the order, and we have some strong vintages and top bottlings here.
2009 Dom. Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru ‘La Dominode’. Nice sweet nose quite distinctive, grippy greenish note. Good structure, has mid-palate fruit on the finish. Youthful still.
2010 Dom. Simon Bize et fils Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru ‘Aux Vergelesses’. A bit sweeter than the 09 Pavelot, richer as well. Very nice length. Expressive and drinking well.
2010 Dom. Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru ‘La Dominode’. Quieter nose here, light strawberry. Certainly the 09 is richer and more tannic. This is a little bit lean, surprisingly.
The Bize is above both of the Pavelot bottlings this evening. And the Pavelot 09 is, maybe surprisingly, above the 10.
One of the uses of this blog (for me, if for no one else) is going to be to keep track of ideas that come up, to which I want to come back later. These are going to be called Hypotheses.
Hypothesis: 2009 is a richer and more hedonistic Burgundy vintage than the generally more heralded 2010.
Learning: These wines actually were pretty good values. I got them all in the EUR 25-35 range, early on. They’re nice, long-lived wines that still have good runway ahead, delivering interest and pleasure. Not all Burgundies are overpriced, but you do have to hunt carefully.