I like to pit my favorite wine regions against each other, like super hero’s if you will.  Except they are not in a battle of good and evil; more like good and good.  So with some friends we drank some Nicolas Potel Burgundy, Viña Real Rioja, and Oddero Barolo (in that order) to see how these producers and regions stacked up against each other as all three regions are noted for their age worthiness and they are often compared to each other.

I don’t think I came away with anything ground breaking, but it was great to drink Burgundy and Rioja together.  The Nicolas Potel wines showed great, especially the Chambolle Musigny 2002, an amazing bottle, one of the best bottles of mature Burgundy I have tasted.  It was a favorite of many.  The Viña Real’s showed amazing too; both were drinking very well, and the 1985 was stellar, another favorite.  The Oddero’s were tight compared to the Burg’s and the Rioja’s; they need another decade, but show amazing promise from one of my favorite producers.

So the real stars of the night were the 2002 Chambolle Musigny and the 1985 Viña Real.  I would say they tied in most peoples minds.  As for the favorite region, Rioja took the majority favor, with a few nods going to Burgundy.  Aged Rioja and aged Burgundy go very well together, and I think a fine comment came from our friend Ming who noted the more singular purity of Burgundy compared to the Rioja’s.  This is very true when I think about it, as Burgundy is more site specific in general than Rioja.  Rioja traditionally has been more about a style of wine; Burgundy about the vineyard.  That said I think classic Rioja is a worthy rival to good Burgundy, and Barolo too, but maybe just not quite yet for the 1996 Oddero’s.  Long live Burgundy, Rioja, & Barolo, you are all kings.

Nicolas Potel 2006 Vosne Romanée, Villes Vignes

Tart dark spiced fruits, solid acidity.  This is an excellent and balanced Vosne Romanée, but I would give it another 5-10 years for prime drinking.  RECOMMENDED

Nicolas Potel 2002 Chambolle Musigny

A perfectly mature Chambolle Musigny.  This has arrived, and there is funk and tea and mushroom mixing with mature fruits.  The acidity is still pretty good and it is drinking so well right now; balanced, caressing, and beautiful.  One of the best bottles of Burgundy I have ever tasted.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – CLASSIC

CVNE Viña Real 1996 Gran Reserva

I have had the 1996 Viña Real on several occasions and it is a fantastic bottle of classic Rioja.  There is a great note of cherry cordial and spice.  The acidity is solid, and it has great length; the nose is succulent and pretty.  This has a long life ahead as it has not quite gotten to the classic stage.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

CVNE Viña Real 1985 Reserva

The nose on the 1985 Viña Real is instantly classic.  Tea and mushroom and earth and pepper and spice and mature red fruits are all there.  It is at once tart and silky and the acidity has kept it holding strong.  It is drinking now.  One of the best classic bottles of Rioja ever.  Amazing Viña Real.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – CLASSIC

Oddero 1996 Rocche di Castiglione

The nose on the Rocche di Castiglione is quite fresh.  The fruits are purple and fresh and there is a hint of salinity and a nice liquorish note emerges.  The wine seems youthful and closed.  I think this is at least 10-15 years away from peak drinking.  Hold on if you can.  RECOMMENDED

Oddero 1996 Mondoca di Bussia Soprana

Dark tart Barolo fruits are happening with the Mondoca di Bussia Soprana.  There are fresh spices and dates and tart fruits mixing with liquorish notes.  The tannins and acidity are still a bit gripping so I would say this one needs another 5 to 10 years to start coming into its own.  Not as tight as the Rocche, but still pretty tight.  Give the 1996 Oddero’s some time.  RECOMMENDED