What to drink this week

2014 red Bur­gundy

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

In early to mid au­tumn, the days are crisper and cooler, but not bit­ingly cold, wild mush­rooms are there for the tak­ing, the smoke of bon­fires tinges the air and par­tridge and pheas­ant are plen­ti­ful as grouse be­come scarcer. Which is the per­fect grape va­ri­ety to echo and match the evoca­tive scents and flavours of this sea­son? It has to be the gamey, smokey, mush­roomy Pinot Noir, which still finds its most haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful ex­pres­sions on the C™te dõor in Bur­gundy.

This gamey red is the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to crisp au­tumn days, says Harry Eyres

Why you should be drink­ing it

Bur­gundy has had some good to ex­cel­lent vin­tages re­cently. Much an­tic­i­pa­tion at­tends the 2015 har­vest, brought in un­der per­fect con­di­tions, but 2014 turned out pretty well, af­ter flirt­ing with dis­as­ter dur­ing a wet, cool July and first half of Au­gust. Fine weather in Septem­ber, as so of­ten, saved the day. The best wines are clas­sic Bur­gundies: pure and not espe­cially deep in colour, fresh and long.

What to drink

Be­cause of the ex­cite­ment around 2015, prices for 2014 vil­lage and even premier cru wines seem rea­son­able. At least, the se­ri­ous and canny buy­ers at Waitrose have come up with some good-value win­ners. I very much liked the Chorey-l•sbeaune 2014 (£17.49; www.waitrose. com) from Joseph Drouhin, light­ish in colour, but with su­per C™te de Beaune style and el­e­gance. Its 2014 Rully (right, £16.49; www.waitrose.com) is a lit­tle stur­dier with at­trac­tive, sweet fruit. Bet­ter still is San­te­nay Premier Cru Mal­adi•re 2014 from Do­maine Lu­cien Muzard (£21.49; www. waitrose.com): once again, medium-weight bal­ance and el­e­gance are key­notes, with ripe fruit and su­perb length.

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