Excellent Red Burgundy From Michel Sarrazin

by artfuldiner on September 15, 2011

in Opinion, Wine

wine-of-the-month-october-2011Brothers Guy and Jean-Yves operate the Michel Sarrazin family winery located in the heart of the Chalonnais region of France.


During the summer months, I sampled two of their outstanding, moderately priced white wines: the 2008 Bourgogne Blanc; and the 2008 Givry “Les Grognots.” But Michel Sarrazin also produces an excellent variety of red wines as well… and the 2009 Bourgogne Pinot Noir is an exciting example of this fine winery’s magic touch.


Pinot Noir is the great red grape of the Burgundy region of France…. but, as I’ve mentioned on other occasions, it is extremely finicky. While Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon can grow just about anywhere – probably including your backyard – and make fairly acceptable wine; Pinot Noir, on the other hand, requires a great deal of care and cultivation.


The difficulty of growing this particular grape, of course, has significant bearing on the price factor. Cheap Pinot Noir – and it is plentiful – tastes like a candy apple and is generally lethally alcoholic. The good stuff, on the other hand, beguiles the palate with its subtle elegance and finesse… but it can cost you dearly (and, on more than a few occasions, especially with regard French red Burgundies, a high sticker price is not necessarily indicative of quality).


Every once in a while, however, a vintage comes along that is both marvelously quaffable and easy on the wallet. Michel Sarrazin’s 2009 Bourgogne Pinot Noir is produced from “Les Vieilles Vignes,” old vines; hence, it exhibits a wonderful concentration and complexity. It is medium bodied, smooth as velvet upon the palate, and rife with understated nuances of cherry and herbs. At 12.5% alcohol it is perfectly balanced and has a long and lingering finish.


The cost: approximately $15.99, give or take, depending upon the pricing policies of your local retailer.  


If you’re a Pinot Noir fan, and enjoy personality rather than power in your wines, this beauty is not to be missed.


Bon Appétit!



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