Friday, September 4, 2009
Simple, Pure & Delicious
I first tasted the wines of Camus-Bruchon back in 2003 on my first trip to France. I knew virtually nothing about Burgundy but was finding myself seduced, by the place, the people, the food and most definitely by the wines. I spent 6 days in a smoky, savory, sensual haze…my head spinning, my palate stimulated and my body finding a way to show its appreciation via tiny hairs on the back of my neck standing up, and the slumping of overwhelmingly pleased shoulders.
I was taken from zero to sixty, no Jadot or Bouchard…no right to the cellars of Domaine de Montille, Roumier, Comtes Lafon and Roulot, not that those names meant anything to me at the time. I stood in those cellars, cheeks freezing, little puffs of white air huffing from my lips and my body literally vibrating with excitement. This exploration would forever change my approach to wine, no longer could it be just a beverage I enjoyed drinking….no, it was now something to savor, think about, feel. The romantic and sensual side of it all came crashing down upon my travel weary shoulders in Burgundy, I’ve never looked back.
So with the likes of the afore mentioned estates it’s no wonder that the wines of Camus-Bruchon didn’t exactly make my heart pound, or stand out in the, “Oh My God” kind of way, matter of fact after that first trip I barely remembered the wines, the one thing that did stand out was Lucien Camus. There was a simplicity to him, a soft, gentleness…he looked more like a Middle School science teacher than a winemaker. Standing in his cellar pouring wines for us in his slacks, cardigan sweater and vineyard roughened hands, you could tell he would rather be out amongst the vines or puttering around his cellar alone than answering our geeky questions. He was in no way rude, he was quite sweet actually but there was just this “shy farmer” feeling about him, so unlike the more gregarious winemakers I had been accustomed to.
I continued my exploration of Burgundy once I got home, doused my palate with the wines from Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, Volnay and the more masculine wines from the Cote de Nuits, I was a beast…insatiable, aching to learn, determined to understand. After a few months of punishing my palate…and my wallet, I had an appointment with my then Beaune Imports rep Sonya Chun, on the docket, Savigny-les-Beaune from Camus-Bruchon. After months of massive complexity those pure, gentle wines tasted so delightfully refreshing, simple and clean and priced in that, “can drink more often” bracket, hot damn!
We have been stocking and selling the crap out of the Camus-Bruchon for years now, they are my favorites from Savigny-les-Beaune and they offer the purest expression of Burgundy without deep extraction or mind bending complexity…they are a joy to drink, they express each vintage in a very traditional way and I love them for that. So imagine how happy I was to see a sale sheet pop up in my email with these wines being offered at even lower prices…hells yeah! I loaded up on 3 of my favorites, (well that were still available) stacked them in the Burgundy department and took home a bottle of each the day they arrived.
2006 Camus-Bruchon Savigny-les-Beaune, ($24.99) I am so diggin the 2006 vintage wines I have been tasting, the much touted 2005 vintage wines I have been tasting as of late seem to be shutting down, and these bright, exuberant 2006’s are just damn tasty! Plenty of tart red fruit here with a faint gamey, smoky flavor that carries through on the snappy, tangy finish…leaves your palate wanting one more sip.
2004 Camus-Bruchon Savingy-Narbantons 1er Cru, ($29.99) “You have to be careful with 2004” I was warned when I mentioned that I might be buying this wine. Of course the issuer of said statement had “read” plenty about 2004 Burgundies but tasted very few…”Um, personally I liked 2004, a very correct vintage in my opinion” I replied, kind of sore spot with me, the denouncing of an entire vintage…grrrr. On the nose this wine has a wild nature to it, roasted meat, dried herbs and tart red cherries, best part…the palate mirrors the aromatics! Light and lean, with a savory component that stains the palate. Sexy as all get out.
2006 Camus-Bruchon Beaune Clos du Roi 1er Cru, ($34.99) While still a tad tight right now, (decant I recommend a good decant here) I was able to pick out more black cherry, deeper, more charred meat flavors with tons of sexy herbs and wild mushroom which provided a delightful “sauce” for the simple roasted chicken we were having for dinner. Acidity is pretty high here so maybe not the best for just sucking back, but with food….damn.