02 Paul Garaudet, Monthelie
Pinot should be judged by the way it moves you. And if that hurts objectivity--hurts the science of this silly trade--then let's bruise it 'til it bleeds. Because, regardless of price, provenance, or power--the three-headed beast of high wine scores--Garaudet's Monthelie is perfect pinot noir. From a region in the Beaune, France, known to resemble Volnay without the elegance (which is like saying Miles without the cool), its iron edge is what makes this wine such an ideal. The aromatics are a cupboard of Provencal spices with powdered dried cherries shining through. And the palate unfolds slowly, much like a sonnet before the turn, with cranberries, button mushrooms, tar, sweet smoked paprika, and a finish of English breakfast tea in the spit that mitigates the wine's mild tannin. This is a beautiful effort, emblematic of Bourgogne--a warm home, rather than a tower, to pinot noir. Thank you, J.V.