Burgundy: Radically Ripe, Curiously Mineral
2002 Bongran Vire Clesse 'Cuvee Tradition'
Chardonnay Dichotomy from the Edge - Only $20!
I fell in love with Bongran at a birthday dinner years ago. I wasn't expecting to, but it was a magnum of the 1996 that absolutely blew me away. This is one of the most beautifully twisted expressions of Chardonnay out there.
You’re receiving this offer because your palate is as twisted as mine!
While you like the refined, it’s wines that are simultaneously hedonistic and challenging that really make you happy.
Today's reward is that you’re getting a wine that will satisfy the wine nerds who want to get cerebral while also delighting the holiday party crowd - the 2002 Bongran Vire Clesse 'Cuvee Tradition' at as low as $17.99. We have less than 10 cases available, so first come, first served.
After this early birthday-experience, I began stalking this bottle, trying to find it at a good price. It took a good three years, but last week I stumbled upon 10 pristine cases of the 2002 (well...9 cases really because one went directly to my cellar) at an incredible price.
Last night, we popped a bottle in the Crush tasting room (following 1963 and 66 Karthauserhof Auslesen - so everyones' palates were in high gear) and the response was consistent: A look of "huh!?! what's with the incredible difference between the nose and palate?" On the nose, there’s a slightly roasted, definitely gooey, ripe green apple that leads you to believe this wine is sweet. In taste, though, it’s totally dry and incredibly mineral with a shocking amount of smoke.
There’s a continual yin-yang play between dark and light on the palate, with dark herbal details battling very ripe fruits and concluding with a very fresh finish. While not as plump as the '96 (probably a good thing – we all can’t be Andre the Giant) it has a sizeable weight … while still feeling light. Served briskly cold this wine is a laser, but as it warms up to room temperature the focus remains.
We sat around shaking our heads: Bongran’s wines have a ‘wine-geek’ reputation and a mineral core to thrill the rock-hounds, but here, it also has all the opulence and ripeness to intrigue a California chardonnay drinker.
And then, I realized that the beautiful signature is its ability to straddle the two worlds of opulence and personality. Perhaps a bit loopy from 12 hours at work (or maybe clear and lucid from 12 hours at work?) one Crush staff member summed it up perfectly: “The dirty pheromones here are in full effect. It's like when you’re attracted to someone for the wrong reasons, but then when you get with them, you realize it's for all the right reasons."
This is a dazzling, twisted, opulent, flashy and mineral driven Chardonnay from a cult wine geek producer. It seems almost beside the point to ask: What else can you get in Burgundy these days for $20 or less? Nothing with anything close to the personality of this wine.
We’ll leave it at that. I just checked and only 91 bottles remain - I'd be shocked if we weren't sold out by the end of the day. The current vintage will hit the market at $30+, so score a back-vintage treasure today. To order, call the store at (212) 980-9463 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crush Wine & Spirits
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