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maison chandesaisA taste of Burgundy is worth $12 even if it’s thin and watery, especially when its naked frailty shows a vigorous pulse.

Everyone wants the iron fist in a velvet glove that made Burgundy famous, but you will pay dearly for it. For Pinot fans the affordable alternative is too often the sweetish, plump, easy drinking, domestic supermarket brands that always seem to turn sour on their short finish because there are no tannins to balance the acidity. If that’s not appealing give inexpensive Burgundy a try.

With cheap Burgundian Pinots you won’t get sweet or plump. The fruit will barely register. But if you’re willing to forego soft and smooth there is a world of texture and kinetics to be discovered.

This wine is full of life. The palate opens with, well, nothing at first. But a fleeting glimpse of cranberry, cola and fresh spring water appears at midpalate before the wine rushes avidly into the upper register with a sharp quick expansion of minerality and relentless acidity anchored by sandy tannins. The result is a long finish with a mineral cap, tannic bass notes and nothing in between, the texture of polyphony. These thrusting rhythms are thrilling, even when the wine lacks the traditional markers of quality

The pretty cranberry, rose, and jalapeno notes on the nose give relief.

A waif of a wine, cute and plucky but with a tense, hostile streak best paired with Sleater Kinney’s All Hans on the Bad One.

Score: 88

Price: $12 (Buy Here)

Alc: 12.5%