Lessons are continually being learned as a retailer. Vivid recollections of tasting the 2013 and 2014 Edmond Cornu Bourgogne Rouge put the domaine on my radar. Small purchases of each proved to be great buys and immediately found devoted supporters. The problem was additional wines had vanished from iconic importer Neal Rosenthal in a matter of weeks after both initial spring purchases. With the monumental 2015 release on the horizon I was not going to find myself back in that position again. So, we capitalized and went deep on what's clearly the best vintage for Bourgogne Rouge in over 5 years, from a Pinot Noir-focused producer who hits every mark, every single year.

Edmond Cornu's fame is largely centered around his exquisite Grand Cru Corton. HisLes Barrigards Bourgogne Rouge is sourced from a single vineyard of old vines nearby. Each year it delivers everything we love about Côte de Beaune exotically spiced Pinot Noir, but in 2015 everything is extremely amplified.

Discussing styles and variations of vintages in red Burgundy always brings strong opinions to the table. Some find the classic, transparent, and energetic vintages like 2008, 2010, & 2013 the very most thrilling. Some prefer the forward, ripe, and powerful 2009 & 2012. And others may opt for those bringing immediate satisfaction and drinkability like 2007 & 2011. With all that said I think it necessary to remind that this is a region very much on the extreme. Where each year every last ray of sunshine and hour of warmth is coveted to achieve maximum ripeness.

Those Premier and Grand Crus are partially so magical because even in challenging vintages they're able to show their pedigree thanks to perfect mid-slope orientation where they get it all. For the appellation and Bourgogne level wines further down the slope those precious opportunities for full ripeness are far more difficult to realize. And it's in these hot, dry vintages like 2015 where we need to pay very close attention to these "basic" wines, as they over deliver in a big way.

Vintages like 2005, 2009, and now 2015 are ideal to go all-in on the Bourgogne level red wines. Any deficiencies that other vintages may reveal are completely wiped away. Concentration is intensified. Texture is deepened. Finishes are wildly expanded.The wines are at their most complete and they continue to bring pleasure for years. A bottle of 2005 Lafarge Bourgogne Rouge illustrated that truth perfectly last month.

Among Burgundy collectors and purists Cornu is a legend. The wines capture the soul of place as well as any. The domaine was founded in 1875, and in 1959 Edmond moved to bottle instead of selling off grapes to negociants which had been the common practice until that point. Although his Grand Cru Corton reaches the greatest heights, the Les Barrigards at less than 20% of the price is the wine deserving of a corner in every Burgundy lover's cellar. The 2015 is simply the greatest argument to date for not letting these get away.

2015 Edmond Cornu Bourgogne Rouge Les Barrigards
$26 per bottle.

Down to $23 per bottle with a purchase of 12 bottles or more.