The Ultimate Cellar Saver: Iconic Burgundy in Half Bottle

Posted on: 08/30/18 12:00 PM


Half bottles get little respect in the wine trade. The oft-told and well-worn saw goes that a magnum is the perfect size bottle for one. But beyond the macho boasting and guffawing in the face of bald alcoholism, most of us recognize the half bottle as an ideal amount for wine for a weekday meal, especially for those who have a partner who isn’t drinking or travels often. The problem is sourcing quality examples.

You’d be surprised how hard this actually is. Relatively few Burgundians produce half bottles, especially in any quantity. Part of it is a chauvinism on their part, favoring the bias in the trade against them. I was excited when I discovered that Mathieu Lapierre made some when on the Kermit Lynch trip 5 years ago. When they arrived, I realized what contempt he had for my order, as the bottle he had chosen was an absurd long, thin half bottle that was impossible to stock, as it wouldn’t fit on any standard shelf. The contempt was palpable.

Recently, however, I was able to secure a parcel of one of Burgundy’s most reliable wines in half bottle. Faiveley’s iconic Mercurey 1er Clos des Myglands, a monopole of the estate, is a delicious wine in every vintage. Hailing from classic dark, ferrous soils, the Myglands has offered dark cherries, soft tannins and pure earthen Burgundy flavors for decades and has become one of the calling cards, if not the calling card for this legendary estate.

The 2016 is spectacular, with a sleeker, more mineral complexion, ready to drink on arrival. Both Tanzer and Meadows are very positive on the wine, and my own tastes have confirmed the same. At $24.99, this is an exceptional purchase, and serves to scratch the Burgundy itch without breaking the bank or forcing you down an entire bottle on a Wednesday.

In short, go long.

2016 Faiveley Merurey Rouge 1er Clos des Myglands Monopole

Burghound: “A discreet application of wood sets off the pretty array of plum, earth and red and dark currant scents. There is a bit more volume to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a velvety mid-palate while delivering better persistence on the ever-so-slightly rustic finish. This too is quite good.”

Vinous (S. Tanzer): “(from classic red Mercurey soil; tasted from tank): Bright, dark ruby-red. Lively scents of black cherry, licorice and flowers. Round and sweet but penetrating in the mouth; less showy than the Framboisière but more firmly structured. This juicy midweight offers a solid core of dark cherry and licorice flavor and finishes with rising floral length and a distinctly dark cast.”

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert