I love when a bottle reaches out and grabs you by the scruff. I taste my wines frequently—heck, I taste lots of wines frequently—so I feel like I usually have my expectations calibrated pretty accurately as to what I’m about to experience when I pull a cork.
Last night, however, in doing my rounds on the various usually-allocated-but-now-openly-available things in stock during this period (the same rounds that led to my excited Regis Forey Vosne-Romanée missive the other week), it seemed again like a red Burgundy kind of evening.
I always expect rock-solid, expressive, non-ego-driven wine from the Rollin family in Pernand-Vergelesses; I’ve never had anything but from their cellar. But their 2017 Pernand-Vergelesses Rouge—just the basic villages-level wine—was an ice-bucket-challenge level of shock from the first inhalation.
Those of you who follow my writing know I’m particularly affectionate toward 2017 red Burgundy. Rarely does a vintage come along that combines such scrumptious red fruits with such textural accessibility and equilibrium, and without a concurrent lack of concentration. In fact, I think of a vintage like this as my personal platonic ideal of red Burgundy, and the closest vintage for comparison would be, I believe, 2002—the vintage that set me down this crazy path in the first place.
The Rollin just hit all the right notes. I could hurl more adjectives at you, but I’ve drunk enough Burgundy in my time to know when something completely nails the bullseye with unflinching precision. What hit me the hardest about it, besides its sheer pleasure quotient, was the eerie but effortless-feeling equilibrium: supple without having an ounce of fat; acid-driven without a trace of severity or austerity; palate-coating without any lingering dryness or wood notes; and, as stated before, that purest essence of Pinot Noir that only Burgundy can produce in quite this way.