DEFCON 5: A Favorite Premier Cru Burgundy

DEFCON 5: A Favorite Premier Cru Burgundy

Posted on Jan, 08. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

It was a late night at l’etoile after a long shift and Kevin Schultz and I had already been through two stunning bottles of Burgundy, the first I believe was a Girardin Pommard and the second was an Arlaud ‘Roncevie’. The waitresses had left for the night and the kitchen staff was doing its final mop up. It must have been 1:00 A.M. but we were both still alive and wide eyed from “running the stairs”, as we called it, serving a restaurant full of guests.

That was when two waiters took on the entire restaurant by themselves with no back waiters or help. The hostess merely sat the guests and told you that you had another two top on the porch, another four top in the red room up the stairs, another two top in the green room on the other side of the restaurant and so on. In white buttoned down shirts we ran to our tables to present our best efforts at a comfortable but elegant evening of service.

These days there is a back waiter for every server and a bus boy at l’etoile, along with the host or hostess. Six people to bring you the excellent food and wine that has made them one of the best restaurants in town for the last 10 years. Sure your server might not be sweating and panting when they arrive at your table today, but I can not imagine that anyone is bringing the dedication and love of the job that Kevin and I did when we ran the stairs every night of the week in the first half of the 2000’s.

We spent all our time talking about restaurants and wine, and all of our money on pilgrimages to the best restaurants we could travel to: The Inn at Little Washington, Citronelle, and every place in Charlottesville and Richmond that was said to be worth a damn. And every night we split the cost of as many epic bottles of wine that our worn out bodies could take, and it was this little bit of excess that would fortify us against the running of the next evening’s service.

That night, after the Girardin and the Arlaud, we discovered it: the Domaine Besson Givry 1er Cru Les Grands Pretans. It was cheaper than the Girardin and a little more than the Arlaud, but we were in a Burgundy state of mind and the wine was tasting so good that we saw no reason not to continue. We discovered the rule of Burgundy that evening, that the wine tastes better as you go until finally the best glass is always the last. And with this wine, even through the haze, our minds were blown.

We cupped our glasses like snifters, swirling nonstop, and took pause to stick our noses in far more often than to raise a sip to our lips. We were drinking the great 1999 vintage, and this probably had a lot to do with our conversion to Burgundy fanatics. We drank more good Burgundy those years than most folks get to in a lifetime. But why not? My body could take it then.

The next night we started with the Besson and were just as blown away as we were the night before. Since that time this wine has been one of the most consistent drinking Burgundies I have ever come across. While others dip and fall to poor vintages, dormancy or general inconsistency, the Besson Grands Pretans has always delivered.

When I returned to work at The Wine Warehouse (before purchasing Rev Soup), I met Evan and brought this wine in to that shop by the truck load. Evan had no defenses to her lures and soon became a Besson adherent as well. We have enjoyed many a bottle together and none of us ever fails to be astonished at how good the wine is in every vintage, every time.

So why now? Why have we not brought this wine to your attention at this level of interest before?

Because Kevin Schultz now works at Dionysos and sells this wine, because we had a bottle recently and were reminded of how strong a Burgundy it really is, and most of all because Kevin was challenged by my over-the-top enthusiasm for the Leclerc Bourgogne, he has decided to slash his price and offer us this wine at an even-more incredible deal.

This is great Burgundy, great Pinot Noir, and I will omit further descriptors, since as Faulkner wrote:

That was when I learned that words are no good; that words don’t ever fit even what they are trying to say at…I knew that fear was invented by someone that had never had fear; pride, who never had the pride…He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn’t need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear.

…Or the 2006 Domaine Besson Givry 1er Cru Les Grands Pretans.

Have you tried one of our Defcon 5 wines before? Perhaps you are new to the Guild and do not know what we mean by a Defcon 5 wine. These are the wines that we at the Wine Guild will go to the mat for. These are what we consider to be unbelievable deals on unbelievable wines that will suit and please most every palate. These are the best of the QPR (Quality for Price Ratio). We have only sent out 3 Defcon wines in the 3 years we have been open. With that in mind please understand that we take these offers very seriously — we will never abuse the Defcon 5 label to try to sell you wine. Defcon 5 status is only invoked when the board member energy around a wine reaches a fever pitch and a total consensus is achieved.

At normal best pricing from the distributor this wine would cost Guild Members something in the low $20s, where it would still be a fantastic value. But what has brought this wine to its Defcon 5 status today is the price that Kevin has agreed to sell it to us for. Because of nostalgia, nay, because of love:

2006 Domaine Besson Givry 1er Cru Les Grands Pretans
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $27.99 • Jump on this wine today!

I can not emphasize enough that to get a 1er Cru Burgundy in a good vintage, from a producer of this quality, and at this price point, is completely and utterly unheard of, so I implore each and every one of you to jump on this wine. Dionysos has a healthy (but not unlimited) quantity, so we hope to be able to satisfy as many of you as we are able…

To your health!

Comments are closed.