2014 Rully Premier Cru Preaux Rouge Burgundy
This weeks wine is a French Burgundy made from 100% Pinot Noir. My fiance got me this bottle for our anniversary. We were at our favorite wine shop, Wine Authorities in Durham, and he told me to pick out any bottle that I wanted. Nothing says love like a bottle of wine lol.
You may have noticed that I referred to this wine as a Burgundy, and then said what varietal it was made from; instead of referring to the wine by the varietal. This is common for Old World wines, especially in France. When talking about wine, Old World generally refers to Europe, and New World refers to North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. This wine is an Old World wine from Burgundy, France. Burgundy is the region of France that the wine is from, it's in eastern-central France. Burgundy is known for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gamay grape varietals. This particular Burgundy wine is made from Pinot Noir grapes. If this was a California wine, it would referred to as a Pinot Noir, named by the grape varietal, but in the Old World, region is thought to be more important to the character of the wine than varietal. This is because the Old World really emphasizes terroir.
Terroir is somewhat of a difficult concept to explain. It's the idea that the ground and the earth of a certain place greatly impacts the wine that is grown there. Terroir encompasses more than just the soil though; it also refers to the climate, the elevation, the traditional farming practices, the other crops grown in the area, and any other factors that can impact the environment that the wine is grown in. Terroir is a French term that loosely translates to the sense of the place. I think the best way to understand terroir is to taste a series of wines from the same varietal and vintage, but from different countries and regions. You will get a sense for how the same grape varietal can taste dramatically different based on where it comes from. For example, I've noticed that California Pinot Noirs tends to be a bit spicier, while French Pinot Noirs tend to be more floral. This is a very broad and basic example of how terroir effects the wine. If you really want to get into it, you can taste wines from different regions of the same country or state to see how even smaller changes in geography can have an impact. For example, a Pinot Noir from Napa Valley is going to taste different than one from the Central Coast of California.
So how did the terroir impact how this wine actually tasted? When I sniffed it I picked up on the floral and earthy notes that are common to the Burgundy region. It smelled like violets and soil after it has rained, with a hint of blackberry and cinnamon. When I took a sip, the fruit flavor came forward a little bit more, with some dark cherry notes in addition to the blackberry, the the violet and earth notes were still the stars of the show. There was a slight end note of cinnamon and pink peppercorn. This was a well balanced wine, with medium acidity and low-medium tannins. I drank this wine over two nights. The first night, my fiance made Coq au Vin to pair with it, and they went together incredibly well. I was so excited to try the pairing that I forgot to take a picture lol. The second night, we drank it with a pesto pizza. It was still a good pairing, but not as good as the first night. I would also recommend pairing this with a penne and vodka sauce, or a prosciutto based appetizer.