November 13, 2007
Domaine Michel Lafarge 2004 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, about $14
All red Burgundy is made from pinot noir, except when it says "Passetoutgrain," in which case it's a blend of pinot with gamay. This sounds like an abomination, considering that Burgundy's pinot noir is some of the most highly regarded on the planet and the existence of gamay is only admitted in Beaujolais, a far-flung suburb of Burgundy.But in the best cases, Passetoutgrain wines combine gamay's bright juiciness with pinot's spicy, earthy flavors — not too silly (as some Beaujolais) nor too serious (as some pinot).
Michel Lafarge, a vintner based in Volnay, demonstrates how the blend can work with his 2004 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain. Tangy as fresh black raspberries, this affordable Burgundy packs a surprising wallop of acidity, tannin and minerality. Cook up some sausages or grill a quick hanger steak to give it something to sink its teeth into, and then wallow in the fact that you found a $14 Burgundy that's delicious and has guts.
Imported by Toepfer Imports, Littleton, Co. (Becky Wassermain Selection)
This was first published in the Denver Post.