I am often times asked what my desert island wine would be. Though difficult for me to narrow it down to just one wine, I can pinpoint it to Burgundy.
Burgundian wines are some of the best story tellers of where and when the world has ever seen. The over simplistic approach of focusing on just two varieties to the myriad of vineyards and exposures that run through the golden slope, cooler climates to the north in Chablis with their near perfect Kimmeridgean soils only begins to scratch the surface of Burgundy for me.
The politics of the country has parceled the vineyards to the point where many of the owners of the vineyards own but a row or two of grapes. Negociants dominated the landscape for centuries piecing together these fragmented vines to produce enough wine to satisfy consumers. In modern times we have seen the rise of the domains, growers keeping the fruit for themselves and making wine from the fruits of their labor. Production is small and quality can vary but the wine is distinct and full of character.
Weather can often be difficult, such as the trilogy of 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages. Hail is common place in late summer and early fall wreaking havoc on vignerons and in some cases causing complete loss of the fruit of the vintage. I have seen wines from great years and great producers last decades under the right conditions. Vintages such as 1959, 1967, 1978, 1985, 1990, 1996 and 2002 have given me some of the most memorable wines I have ever had.
Yes, Burgundy would allow me more than enough fodder to live out my days under a coconut tree, watching the sun go down over a vast ocean vista.