WBW #39 Silver Burgundy: Domaine François Lumpp Crausot 2004

Today it's BrooklynGuy's turn to host Wine Blogging Wednesday. With it comes a theme that brings bloggers a piece of him.

What makes BrooklynGuy tick may be a question you've asked yourself if you've ever followed the ongoing and always intriguing blogging going on at BrooklynGuy's Wine and Food Blog.

It's fairly obvious to the casual reader that BG is big fan of Burgundies. But when I met him he told me that these were the wines that turned him a true wine lover beyond the point of return. He admitted that these were expensive wines. With a newly arrived BrooklynBaby on the scene (and those BrooklynRents aren't going down either you know), BrooklynGuy's need to find greater value wines from storied French wine regions grew more urgent.

Hence WBW 33, hosted by me, which... whoops, wrong WBW! But like the WBW 33 Languedoc-Roussillon value wines I did in May, BrooklynGuy has asked participants to look to other wines -- the lesser knowns and the humbler reputations (in this case, Burgundy's Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais) -- to find some quality bottles at a more affordable, everyday price. Hear hear!

Hence Silver Burgundy. There's no need to always try to go for the gold. In the world of wine, I couldn't agree with this sentiment more.

I have a feeling the bottle I picked up for WBW 39 is too expensive, despite all this. I knew I wanted a red, and since I already had experienced a couple of great Mercureys (both the Michel Juillot and the Marquis de Jouennes would've been perfect entries for WBW 39), it was the Givry region I was perusing. In the end, they were very alluring to me and perhaps I put more weight on the appellation part than the getting a bargain part.

I picked up the Domaine François Lumpp Givry Premier Cru Crausot 2004 -- the Crausot in the name being the precise plot of land in Givry that Monsieur Lumpp uses. This bottle is priced in the mid-thirties in Quebec (see its online descriptive record here). That's because it's not only just any old Givry -- Givry being situated in the heart of the Chalonnaise region -- but because it's also a Givry Premier Cru -- my first Burgundy cru, or classed growth. So apparently that Crausot vineyard is hot stuff. Not sure if crus are what Silver Burgundy is all about, but went for it anyway.

I was very interested in seeing how this would pan out. So, of course, I would be disappointed. I think maybe I should've taken baby steps. BrooklynGuy seemed to want to ease fellow bloggers into this one and I may have dived in head first. Here's what I found.

Eyes: Flashy, intensely coloured and bright ruby in the glass.

Nose: In terms of aroma, I thought it smelled like barn on fire that contained a whole lot of freshly picked mushrooms and was subsequently doused with vats of cherry kirsh. Over time, this sense seems to wane. Maybe I got used it? Not sure. But I see that Jane MacQuitty endorsed this wine -- perhaps because it so vanilla-ish overall.

Mouth: This is a very overt wine. Also very smoky with strong cherry verging on cherry medicine by virtue of the heavy extraction. There's also some interesting earthiness and pinch of cacao, but mostly it reminds me of concentrated jello. A squelch of acid is followed by a much simpler finish than I was hoping for a wine of this calibre.

Stomach: Fairly demanding with food, I have to say. I had to re-season my meal, midstream. The chicken breast encrusted in Gran Padano and mustard-celery seeds was a lively match that stood up to this hulking Pinot. It brought out the spice and verve that lies at this Givry cru's centre. However, my simply prepared mushrooms did nothing for the wine and I really had to enhance them to continue. More flavourful were roasted red and yellow peppers. They had an intensity that paired fairly well because its strong ovenroasted notes complemented the wine's.


On the second night, this Lumpp cuvée was showing off a fruity licorice profile that I quite enjoyed and by this time the length seems quite spectacular to me but I still would not buy it again -- even if a thorough decant could get me to this point again.

My conclusions on this wine don't beat around the bush. This is a heavily extracted wine that possesses little intrigue and too much oak. Not a lot of complexity or anything that really flags my interest. This is exactly what I'd call a boring though technically sound wine. Other than the nose I'm fairly sure all aspects of this wine could be found in a Mondavi wine of half its price. In a word: Lumpp-ish.

Grade: 2 Lumpps (out of five)

Like it or lumpp it, this was a great chance to discover a region I don't usually explore and also to find out a little more about one of the palates I most respect in the blogosphere: that of the BrooklynGuy. I eagerly await the remaining entries and of course the full WBW 39 roundup. I'm staying tuned!

François Lumpp, Le Pied du Clos, Givry, France. 13%.


Anonymous said...

hey marcus - thanks for participating. shame that your wine was a bit disappointing, but sounds interesting at least. maybe a bit too young? you easily win best domaine name, by the way mssr. lumpp. take it easy-neil

David McDuff said...

Hmmm, a Burg with no mention of its AOC on the front label. That's not only an oddity but also, as elsewhere, tends to suggest a producer that's expressing style/signature before place. And that's a practice that runs contrary to the very essence of what Burgundy, at its best, is all about. Oh well, don't let this one scare you off, Marcus.

Btw, I loved your "barn on fire" description.

Joe said...

Love that new rating system! You love those pricey bottles, don't you ;) Bought a couple of '05 Drouhins at the 440 store yesterday (even a Givry), stay tuned..

Anonymous said...

Great writeup! Thanks! I dipped my toes in the Wine Blogging Wednesday waters also! http://www.DrinksAreOnMe.net

Marcus said...

BrooklynGuy - not too young, too international.

David - I heard that Lumpp didn't play by the rules; your label trick might come in handy next time out. Thanks for writing.

Joe - 05 Burgs: how many do I need to buy? Actually, I'm calling you...

Dale - You did a Givry too? Nice to compare. Cheers.