Domaine Lafouge: 2010 Auxey-Duresses

Who wouldn’t want red Burgundy that is full of cherry fruit, pure, aromatic, ready to drink and costs under $40 a bottle? Looking around our store and reflecting back on our most popular offerings of 2013, it is obvious to me that TWH customers do! So here is another gem, newly arrived and unloaded off the pallet, the 2010 Auxey-Duresses red from Domaine Jean et Gilles Lafouge. It will satisfy your craving for red Burgundy that is bright with red fruit flavors with distinctive minerality and is not in any way rustic for $33.99 a bottle.

David, once again, gets credit for recognizing the quality and value of this charming 6th generation domaine in Auxey-Duresses. After visiting several times, with consistent notes indicating how much he enjoyed their wines and felt they consistently delivered quality Burgundy at a fair price, David placed his order for their 2010 reds and 2011 whites. To introduce us to Lafouge (and Dampt), David guided us through a staff tasting last week. Staff tastings are one of the great perks of working at TWH! They are especially exciting when we get to taste wine from a new producer, then share our assessments only to see David’s pleased demeanor as we give praise to the wines. Domaine Lafouge is a welcome addition to our stable of quality,affordable Burgundy. 


My first whiff of Lafouge’s 2010 Auxey-Duresses revealed red cherry aromas-unmistakably Burgundy- and a dusty, mineral note that complimented all those fresh red fruit scents. Clear and vibrant in the glass, the flavors on the palate reflected what I was getting on the nose: succulent cherry fruit and a pebbly, earthy finish. Medium-bodied and fresh, the brightness of the fruit carried smoothly to the end. In this price range, red Burgundy can often be, well, rustic. Of course there is good rustic and bad rustic, but this 2010 Auxey-Duresses is neither. And because it is so elegant, it is a wine to drink right now. Will it age? Probably. But the point is, you won’t need to cellar this wine to smooth out any rough edges; it has none. The pleasure here is in the vitality of its youthful fruit.

Gilles, the son of Jean, is the winemaker, with his father acting as the consultant. Gilles explained to David that Auxey-Duresses has a cooler climate than its neighbor Meursault and as a result has a distinctive minerality. Of the 30 barrels of Auxey-Duresses red that he makes, only 5 to 6 barrels are new. The grapes are 100% de-stemmed. Gilles intent for the Auxey-Duresse is to make it approachable. If it happens to age well, that is a plus but not the goal. The 2010 Auxey-Duresses is not going to fall apart any time soon, but chances are you’ll drink it up way before you find the time to move the bottles from your kitchen to the cellar. It is that tasty! 

I spent a little time online searching for additional information on Domaine Lafouge. I came up with some good stuff: (a) they do not have a website and, (b) all blog entries about Domaine Lafouge make it a point to describe their wines as having outstanding quality and value. The takeaway here is that Domaine Lafouge’s reputation for making delicious quality wine at affordable prices allows them to easily sell through their production without having to sell any at their cellar door. This helps keep them under the radar and that is a good thing for Burgundy drinkers. 

This week a school field trip to Sonoma’s Mission San Francisco Solano got me heading out of the city and suburbia through wine country only to find the drought conditions severe. Typically you would begin to see light green cover crop in between vine rows. I only saw brown dirt and dried leaves. At home, showers are shorter and being shared with a bucket to trap wayward droplets. My plans for putting in landscaping around the house is going to have to be postponed yet again. This is life in the Bay Area. What else can I do? Oh yeah, drink more wine. Ok fine. How about the 2010 Auxey-Duresses from Lafouge for Sunday dinner with a slice of rare leg of lamb? Red Burgundy to the rescue! – Anya Balistreri
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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Auxey-Duresses, Pinot Noir

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