Top Ten Red Burgundies - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year.  I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.  Early on, it was evident that the best way to pay attention and also to remember what wines were consumed was to write a tasting note.  Over the years, I have written well over 10,000 tasting notes probably representing 70% of the wines I have tasted.  I make no pretense about the quality of the notes, but sip by sip and bottle by bottle, the notes have gotten a bit better.  It always interesting at the end of the year to go back and review what wines were consumed and which ones I liked the best – overall and in categories.  In 2016 I wrote 1,334 tasting notes.  Thanks to computers, I can sort and select them down into various lists.  I give you these to use as you wish – suggestions, comments, and reasons to laugh or disagree.  

Caveat - I have for the most part not repeated wines that were tasted multiple times or the same wine from a different but close vintage in an effort to list more wines for those looking for suggestions.  I drink, for the most part, what my wife and I like, so did I miss out on categories or specific wines?  You bet.  There is a lot of great wine out there and one can’t drink it all.  Part of the fun is seeing, over the years, how tastes change, finding new discoveries, following the development of vintages but most of all, just enjoying this special beverage. Cheers! - Loren Sonkin

1.  2002 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru

Drinking quite nicely right now as pop and pour. Hard to believe the 2002 is almost 15 years old. No hurry and it probably has some room for improvement. This bottle was bought on release. The nose is more about raspberries than cherries although with air some cherries emerge. The fruit is still fresh. Only the slightest merde note. A good amount of spice as well. On the more feminine side, it has a nice softness to it. While there is enough acidity, it is not strong. The palate is ripe cherries with depth and tight layering. Good finish. Lovely with my food. A sip about an hour later showed it was still building in strength. (93 pts.)

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2. 2005 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

Open 18 hours. This is still a bit tight. Deep ruby in color. The nose has cherries, bright and fresh. Also a bit of vanilla. Some spice. On the palate, this is tight juicy bright cherry fruit. Seems deep. Persistent tannins. Nice finish. It seems like the future is still well ahead on this. (92 pts.) 

3.  2006 Domaine Javouhey Charmes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru

My neighbor brought these back from Burgundy. Made for a wine store in Beaune I believe. Ruby in color. The nose has nice cherries. On the palate, this is at peak I think but no hurry. Plenty of fruit; cherries with dark cherries. Slight tannins. Good acidity. Nice finish. Not an amazing wine, but certainly outstanding. (92 pts.) 

4.  2005 Gérard Raphet Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny

Really great showing for this wine. Seems like it is just about ready to drink. Such a pretty wine. Light ruby in color. The nose has cherries, slight powdered cherry drink, a touch of floral notes (cherry blossoms?) and a hint of earthiness. On the palate, that feminine cherry quality comes thru. A perfumed cherry quality on the palate that is both delicate and yet persistent. Nice balance. Nice finish. This was $48 bought on release and between the vintage and cellaring outperformed my expectations. (92 pts.) 

5.  2005 Serafin Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin

Opened 18 hours. Serafin is always a favorite around here. This wine did again not disappoint. Ruby/purple in color. Nice black cherry and cherry fruit on the nose with a bit of soy. On the palate, some tannins, plenty of cherry and dark cherry fruit. Good acidity. Tightly layered. Nice finish. Drinking good now, but should improve. (92 pts.) 

6.  2005 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin

Open for 18 hours. A very nice showing for this wine. Seems to be at its apex. Ruby with slight purple. The nose has some nice cherries, slight dark cherries and a bit of spice. There is a nice complexity on the palate. Not profound but the cherry fruit is still there and somewhat bold. Good layering and acidity. Nice finish. The wine that is in the best place of all the wines on the table. (91 pts.) 

7.  2002 Bouchard Père et Fils Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

Again, I feel a bit let down by Burgundy. This is very good, but given the vintage and age, I would have hoped for a bit more. Ruby in color with some purple. The nose has nice cherries, slight vanilla. Clean, no funk. On the palate, strawberries and lighter cherries. An underlying charred earth notes. Good balance, but seems a bit listless. I bought this in France and carried it back. A victim of high expectations. (91 pts.) 

8.  2002 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru

Light ruby in color. The nose has nice cherries with slight powdered cherry drink. A hint of funk. On the palate, the fruit is excellent - cherries. Nice texture. I might have hoped for a bit more complexity and maybe it will still come. Excellent wine though. (91 pts.) 

9.  2005 Frédéric Magnien Nuits St. Georges Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges

Somewhat disappointing, I had hoped for a better showing. $60 bought on release. Perhaps it still needs time, but it seems so monolithic. Ruby/purple in color. The nose has nice cherries, a bit of cherry juice, a sight raspberry note with a bit of spice. On the palate, juicy black cherries and cherries. Very tasty but no layering, no complexity. Slight tannins. Good acidity. Maybe this develops but at 11 years from vintage I am not betting on it. That said, no harm in waiting a few years to see. (90 pts.) 

10.  2002 Mommessin Savigny-lès-Beaune - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune

This was actually better than I was expecting. I doubt it gets any better from here though. Ruby in color. The nose is nice with cherries, slight funk, a bit of candied fruit. On the palate, there is more volume than the nose. Cherries, slight earthiness. A bit of complexity. Not profound but a step up from just very good. very juicy acidity. Nice tart finish. I thought it worked better with food than on its own but one would expect that. (90 pts.)