French wine review: Domaine Bruno Clair 2010 Marsannay “Les Vaudenelles”

Bruno Clair 2010 MarsannayDiscovered during a blind tasting, I mistook this stellar red Burgundy for a Chambolle Musigny, a Côtes de Nuits wine region up the road which can be twice the price. The Bruno Clair hails from Marsannay, a newer, French village-level appellation (established in 1987) which is no slouch Burgundy wine region. The Pinot Noir grapes, from which this gorgeous wine is made, are aptly worshiped in this area of the world. Vigneron Bruno Clair is a third generation winemaker that farms his vineyard, Les Vaudenelles, without pesticides or any other chemicals. He’s apparently in this biz for the long haul.

With smoky almonds, red fruit and fantastic acid, I liken this wine to the voice of Adele and the personality of Kate Hudson – sexy with a serious side. My notes described it as “jolly rancher without the sugar” bursting with flavor, subtle earthiness, and slathered with a pretty finish. Out of six wines that evening, it arrived number one, with Jerôme Chezeaux 2009 Nuits St. George ($54) coming in a close second.  Yum.

Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Price: $35 – $38
Occasion: Blind tasting at a friend’s house
Availability: Fine wine stores or online retailers (Google it)
Food pairing: Earthy, mushroomy cheese like Truffle Tremor, or recipes like Simmered Lentils, Quinoa Mushroom Risotto.

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