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  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2011 Côte de Nuits Villages

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2011 Côte de Nuits Villages
     

    $22

    This Pinot Noir features beautiful, concentrated fruit. An amazing value, we find it a great everyday wine. Ready to drink!

    • Still young and a little distant at first, mostly with dusty, earthy notes on the nose but also surprisingly concentrated ripe fruit scents, a hint of floral perfume, and suggestions of wood. Comparatively light in body, but exhibiting rich fruit flavors balanced by brisk acidity on the attack before a rush of renewed fruit on the mid-palate and then an extended, slightly tart finish with a hint of cola spiciness. Approachable now, but likely to improve in bottle through around 2016. Excellent value. An excellent example of the appellation.

      Food pairing: Duck; lamb; roasted chicken; earthy, mushroom-scented dishes

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Côte de Nuits Villages

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Côte de Nuits Villages
     

    $22

    This Pinot Noir features beautiful, concentrated fruit. An amazing value, we find it a great everyday wine. Ready to drink!

    • A youthful pink-red color. Light and pretty on the nose with cherries, herbs, and a touch of resin. Later, hints of toast and cinnamon develop. Good fruit, bright tannins, and a solid finish make the wine immediately appealing, but with the structure to suggest it will evolve with a little time in the cellar. An excellent example of the Côte de Nuits Villages appellation.

      Food pairing: Duck; roasted chicken dishes; squab; rabbit or other light game; mushroom or lentil dishes

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Ladoix

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Ladoix
     

    $22

    A particularly fine example of this small and little-known Burgundy appellation, this Pinot Noir is a must for the value seeker looking for off-the-beaten-track wines.

    • Pure fruit on the nose, tending toward strawberries, but overlaid with leather, musk, and darker fruit scents. Delicate yet intense. Keenly focused, with just enough acidity to balance the fruit and light tannins. Rich, seductive mid-palate preceding a moderately long, slightly grainy finish. A very pretty wine, in every sense—but not without substance. Far more refined than commonly encountered Ladoix. That Xavier Durand devotes this kind of attention to this oft-overlooked appellation speaks volumes about his dedication to fine winemaking.

      Food pairing: Duck; roasted chicken dishes; rabbit or other game; mushroom or lentil dishes

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Aloxe-Corton Les Boutières

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Aloxe-Corton
    Les Boutières

    $37

    Xavier Durand calls it his best keeping wine. Made from grapes grown on the Corton hill, this Pinot Noir displays animal and robust qualities that reflect the marly clay and thick heavy soil of the lieu-dit.

    • A rich, fruity, evolving nose makes this wine immediately appealing. Scents of dark cherries and herbs rise out of the glass, the herbal scents gradually tending toward anise. On the palate, displays vibrant fruit with well-balanced acidity and healthy tannins. Very nicely balanced, with a structure that suggests good things to come.

      More open now than its stable mate (the 2012 Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots), but, like that wine, likely to reward cellaring. The kind of wine I like to buy by the case and try at intervals over several years.

      Food pairing: Duck; roasted chicken dishes; rabbit or other game; mushroom or lentil dishes

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2011 Aloxe-Corton Les Boutières

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2011 Aloxe-Corton
    Les Boutières

    $37

    Xavier Durand calls it his best keeping wine. Made from grapes grown on the Corton hill, this Pinot Noir displays animal and robust qualities that reflect the marly clay and thick heavy soil of the lieu-dit.

    • Less forthcoming at first than the 2011 Les Chaillots from the same producer, but with similar earthy scents and something evocative of wet clay or paper, but also with spice (nutmeg), meaty scents, and later cherries. Bright acidity and the slightly rustic tannins of youth balance intense, concentrated fruit on the palate. The tannins makes the fruit seem a trifle distant, but, with a little air contact, richer, sweeter flavors develop, suggestive of a more opulent, expansive future. Will need time, but likely to be well worth the wait.

      Food pairing: Coq au Vin, venison, duck or other game birds, rabbit

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Charmois

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges
    Les Charmois

    $39

    Grown in light and sandy soil, Les Charmois is a softer and more supple Pinot Noir than most Nuits-Saint-Georges. It also stands in stark contrast to the harsher, clay-grown, Aloxe-Cortons from Domaine Durand. Ready to drink now!

    • The nose on this wine is a bit meaty, but subdued. It has some excellent structure and amazing fruit. This Pinot Noir would be a great addition to your wine cellar, and will continue to blossom.

      Food pairing: Gamey meats

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2011 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Charmois

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2011 Nuits-Saint-Georges
    Les Charmois

    $39

    Grown in light and sandy soil, Les Charmois is a softer and more supple Pinot Noir than most Nuits-Saint-Georges. It also stands in stark contrast to the harsher, clay-grown, Aloxe-Cortons from Domaine Durand. Ready to drink now!

    • The nose on this pretty, red-violet Pinot Noir is subdued—making the wine seem like a rose whose petals have not yet opened. Offers spicy black cherry on the palate, with good structure and plenty of acidity. If you open this wine in the next year or two (2015–2016), be sure to decant it and/or pair it with rich food.

      Food pairing: Porcetta

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2011 Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2011 Aloxe-Corton
    Les Chaillots

    $40

    Grown like Boutières on the Corton hill, but on redder soils that elicit more substance and finer tannins from the Pinot Noir grapes, Les Chaillots is the more feminine and subtle of Domaine Durand’s two Aloxe-Cortons.

    • Talc, floral scents, and mushroom aromas shape the nose. Offers red fruit flavors—both tart and ripe—with light spice notes on a delicate frame. Medium body. Likely to be more approachable in 2016–2017.

      Food pairing: Heavier (red) meats

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Aloxe-Corton
    Les Chaillots

    $40

    Grown like Boutières on the Corton hill, but on redder soils that elicit more substance and finer tannins from the Pinot Noir grapes, Les Chaillots is the more feminine and subtle of Domaine Durand’s two Aloxe-Cortons.

    • This is a bottle that is mature for its age: rich, brooding and outgoing. Nice spice, black cherry and raspberry on the nose. Well balanced mid-palate with plenty of structure on the mouthfeel.

      Food pairing: Bacon

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2012 Corton Rognet

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2012 Corton
    Rognet

    $65

    Grown on the northernmost part of the Corton Hill, this Grand Cru Pinot Noir comes from old vines bought by Durand’s father in 1985. It represents the best terroir and best wine of the Durand domaine. Requires cellaring.

    • Not quite the blockbuster the 2010 was, but nevertheless complex and highly distinctive.

      Countless scents on the nose: herbs, mineral, toast, juniper, leather, wood, pine resin, dried meat, cola, nutmeg, barnyard, and grapefruit rind, to name a few. Wonderfully complex. Rich, sweet fruit on the palate, offset by delicate but solid tannins and brisk acidity. Nicely balanced and approachable now, but will need time to show its full potential.

      The kind of wine to buy by the case and try at intervals over years—if you can resist the temptation to drink it all immediately!

      Food pairing: Duck; roasted chicken dishes; rabbit, venison, or other game; lamb; mushroom or lentil dishes; or savor this wine on its own

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2011 Corton Rognet

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2011 Corton
    Rognet

    $65

    Grown on the northernmost part of the Corton Hill, this Grand Cru Pinot Noir comes from old vines bought by Durand’s father in 1985. It represents the best terroir and best wine of the Durand domaine. Requires cellaring.

    • An expressive, unique Pinot Noir with intriguing, slightly funky scents. Cherry, truffles, and violets are key players with mushrooms in the background. As this wine matures, expect the mushroom and fruit flavors to develop and broaden. A must-have for fans of earthy, mushroomy Pinot Noirs.

      Food pairing: Mushroom risotto

  • French Red Burgundy Wine, Domaine Xavier Durand 2010 Corton Rognet

    Domaine Xavier Durand
    2010 Corton
    Rognet

    $65

    Grown on the northernmost part of the Corton Hill, this Grand Cru Pinot Noir comes from old vines bought by Durand’s father in 1985. It represents the best terroir and best wine of the Durand domaine. Requires cellaring.

    • Deeply extracted, deeply colored, powerfully and exotically scented. A floral perfume overlaid with citrus rind, juniper, lemon balm, and other botanicals (think fine artisan gin), dark red fruit, leather, meat, and other animal scents, including formic acid. An immensely sexy glass of wine just to smell, but the palate overflows with astonishingly concentrated fruit, with citrus, animal musk, and resiny pine flavors. How Xavier Durand manages to pack such an array of scents and flavors into this wine is a mystery to me—but a beautiful mystery. Truly memorable. Hard to resist now, but a long keeper with an excellent balance of fruit, acid, and tannin. Perhaps not for everyone, but if you’re at all adventurous, don’t miss this one.

      Food pairing: So uniquely flavored, that it seems a shame to draw any attention away from this wine, but likely to be delicious with duck; venison with juniper berries; or other game dishes with a pungent sauce.

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