Lifestyle

Perdrix Perfection


Burgundy is a notoriously tricky wine to get right but Domaine des Perdrix's 2006 Aux Perdrix gets it astoundingly right

Frederick Wildman & Sons, the New York-based wine importer and distributor, represents a veritable cornucopia of mainly small, top-rate Burgundy producers, and every February it brings over a group of these convivial farmers—I call them farmers because there is nothing snooty or aristocratic about them other than the quality of their superb wines—for a tour of the U.S. to promote their current releases. This year they held their New York dinner at the excellent A Voce restaurant, and the usual stars of their portfolio—Potel-Aviron, Château de Chorey, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Christian Moreau, Château Fuissé and Château de la Maltroye—all excelled despite 2006 being a so-so vintage. The wine that stood out for me, however, was the Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru Aux Perdrix 2006, which retails for around $85. Pinot Noir is such a tricky grape to get right, especially in the unpredictable climate of Burgundy, but when a producer—especially a small producer who can concentrate on a limited number of wines—succeeds, the results are astounding. Domaine des Perdrix is run by Bertrand and Christine Devillard. She has been brought up in the business, so to speak, as her father is the Marquis de Jouennes, owner of the Château de Chamirey in Mercurey. The couple's grapes are grown on 30 hectares across a number of appellations in the Côte de Nuits, including a large parcel of the legendary Grand Cru Echezeaux. The nose on the Aux Perdrix explodes with dark cherries and blackberries. It shows great power and finesse, along with a sharp focus and supreme balance. There are even hints of cocoa on the palate, and these are sure to increase with time. Ah yes, time—that's the secret of this wine; in 10 or 15 years, this will be quite superb. To find this wine near you try www.wine-searcher.com When to Drink: For the next 20 years Breathing/Decanting: Essential Food Pairing: Game, hard cheese, roasts, and especially duck. Grapes: 100% pinot noir Appellation: Nuits-St.-Georges Region: Burgundy Country: France Price: $85 Availability: Very limited Web Site: www.perdrix.com/en/

Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to Forbes.com, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town Country, the Robb Report, the Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently Artisanal Editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes the Nick Passmore: Wine of the Week column to BusinessWeek.com. He is also a judge at the widely respected annual Critics' Challenge wine competition.

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