Maison Nicolas Potel Santenay 1er Cru "Les Gravières" 2006

Do you enjoy chocolate-covered cherries? You do? OK, how would you like chocolate covered cherries if they were wrapped in musty used teabags? You would? OK, well, how would you like them if you were eating them next to a barnyard? Oh, you still would? Well, would it be even better if you were eating them in acid rain generated by a nearby sulfur producing chemical plant? Oh, it would? Well then! I believe I’ve found just the wine for you. Enjoy!In all seriousness, this wine is moderately good, but marred in my opinion by a deliberate stalkiness, excess sulfur dioxide, and a lack of any character other than simple cherry fruit with an anemic lashing of oak. It’s not strange enough to be Burgundy and not fruity enough to be a New World pinot. If you were looking for something along these lines but which was actually, you know, delicious, then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Sherwood pinot noir from the south island of New Zealand: it’s half the price and twice the fun.Nicolas Potel
Price: $24
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

Sébastien Roux Santenay "Sebastien" 2006

Somewhat sweet and yet savory on the nose, this wine throw out associations with spearmint, roses, strawberries, and dried straw. There’s also a hint of typically Burgundian sourness there, framing it all to somewhat more serious effect; I’ve enjoyed just smelling this for a few minutes without necessarily feeling compelled to drink any. If anything, it smells unusually ripe, which is a bit of a surprise given the fairly pail, almost milky color of the wine.Somewhat broad in terms of structure and tannin, there’s a somewhat disappointing lack of strong flavor here, buttressed by firm acidity on the finish and a disconcerting aftertaste of stale wheat crackers. Sadly, I’m at a loss to describe what exactly this tastes like other than “like mediocre Burgundy” – it isn’t bad, exactly, and yet it isn’t doing anything at all for me in terms of pleasure. Weirdly, the only thing that comes to mind is something called Crazy Cow, which was a 1970s breakfast cereal that turned milk into strawberry milk upon application thereof. There’s an industrial strangeness here which, paradoxically, comes from a wine which presumably isn’t industrially made. Could it simply be that unusual ripeness in this vintage is overwhelming what interest there is behind relatively full sugars? I don’t know, but I’ll take a pass on this one.Sébastien Roux
Price: $20
Closure: Cork