02 Domaine Philippe Naddef, Marsannay
Someone in the Cotes de Nuits let one get away. Naddef's 2002 pinot noir from Marsannay, Burgundy's largely-ignored northern-most appelation, is Burgundy with an agenda. It's what many Oregon winemakers (who I adore) are striving for when they say they want to make Burgundian wines. Because, this isn't the shy wuss of pinot that you get so often from backroad namesakes like Marsannay or Santenay--Burgundy's other pole. It puts deep, fleshy fruit next to a rich, but airy body that relies on the structure of the grapes--instead of the oak--to make it linger. It has 1er cru power with surges of red plum, black cherries on the pit, and loads of spicy mineral. The acid lifts, accentuating the fruit, while the light, sticky tannin tethers the wine to earthy flavors of gravel, roasted button mushrooms, and brown butter.