There are special occasion wines and then there are Monday night wines.
For the latter, I turn to top vintages from Burgundy and try to find a good Bourgogne rouge to buy by the case. Wines from this broad appellation can offer some affordable drinking options, as well as a taste of the region's Pinot Noir while waiting for the village and premier cru (and if possible, a few grand cru) bottles from those vintages to mature.
On a recent Monday evening, I had some steak left over from Sunday’s dinner. I opened a bottle of Bourgogne Rouge Les Croix Blanches 2005 from Domaine Bertagna. It comes from a parcel on the east side of the Route Nationale 74 in Vosne-Romanée.
According to estate owner Eva Reh-Siddle, the parcel contains a small outcropping of gravel, giving it better drainage than the typical deep clay of most Bourgogne plots. As a result, it has uncommon finesse for this regional appellation.
Combine the site with the excellent 2005 vintage and this Bourgogne rouge is a winner. Light cherry red in color, with sweet cherry and berry aromas and a touch of black currant and black cherry on the palate, it shows depth and intensity for the appellation. There’s ample richness, a silky texture and tangy acidity. I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and it cost me $20.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Domaine Bertagna Bourgogne Les Croix Blanches 2005 (88, $27).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated red Burgundies.
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