Burgundy with The Burghound – Part 1


Allen Meadows is arguably the most followed and well-known enthusiast and reviewer of the wines of Burgundy. Owner and author of the quarterly publication “Burghound,” Allen has been visiting the Burgundy region of France since 1979, when, after finishing graduate school, he decided to “give himself a gift” and travel to Europe. Allen got more than he bargained for, as his early interest turned first to fascination and finally to admiration and love for Pinot Noir and the wines of Burgundy.

Join us for part one of this two-part series, as we talk with Allen Meadows about the beginnings of his passion for ‘the heartbreak grape,’ and hear what he feels it takes to make a good Pinot Noir or Burgundy. Consider this a pre-requisite for Part 2.

For More Information:

Allen Meadows – Burghound: www.burghound.com

Sponsor: Centex Homes: www.centexhomes.com

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Show #132
(40:24 min 19 MB)

8 Responses to “Burgundy with The Burghound – Part 1”

  1. 1 Jim Cramer Feb 12th, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Having many many thoughts about this great show and its content – will try to get as many in as possible…
    I very much looked forward to this show to see if Allen Meadows and the G.R. team would attempt to bring together all the various conversations about ripeness and styles, new world vs old world. It is amazing how many of your guests touch upon it — from the wine makers in Santa Rita, several stand out: Brian Loring saying something like – it is just acid and water- than can be added to bring a wine into balance, to Bruno (?) saying something like there is no such thing as terroir, to Joe Davis who was questioned for attempting to make a Burgundian style in Santa Rita Hills or perhaps California – sounding very much like Allen M., to many of the growers in France and Spain who have commented on “balance” an how important it is and how they don’t want to get “drunk” having wine with dinner.
    I thought it was amazing for Allen M. to be so specific about 15% alchohol having warmth and if I remember correctly stating that balance happens in the vineyard (correct?) and that a wine will never achieve balance after it is bottled — this in contrast to California growers, like Brian Loring, who are picking as late as possible for maximum ripeness (sugar level – alchohol level) saying it is OK to manually bring the wine back into chemical balance.

    I was hoping you would directly pose this question to Allen M. — what does he think of California wine makers purposely picking as late as possible and then manually adjusting the wine to achieve balance.

    So hear is a thought (I just listened to the Judgement of Paris show today – enjoyed it) — Grape Radio hosts a “Judgement of Lompoc” with 5 year old Piniot Noirs from Santa Rita Hills and Burgundy, with Brian Loring, Bruno, Joe Davis, Wes Hagen, Allen Meadows, Stephen Tanzer, who else — as the judges. Given the # of shows you have done on Pinot and the # of shows that have mentioned ripeness and balance – it would be a really great way to bring all these things together.

    Bottom line: perhaps we all agree, many ways to make a good wine, we each can have personal preferences which may or may not change over time, for some they will and for others not, but somehow we are so inclined to my way is the better way, even when some try to be open to the other view, the language used indicates otherwise.

    And a final thought with the intention to generate some reflection for the G.R. team: when you were with Brian Loring (Pinot Showdown) I interpreted your position as agreeing with him, big fruit/high alcohol is “good/OK”, when with Joe Davis “not OK”, when with the Europeans I don’t remember their comments about too much alchohol being pursued, when with Stephen Tanzer – neutral, when with Allen Meadows – seemed to agree with his position.

    Of course it is important for the G.R. team to be neutral, actually I think the audience would enjoy knowing your preference, you as a team are very comfortable with different points of view, but in my opinion there has been an undertone of agreeing with the person being interviewed despite the various guests having very different views. Bottom line: the show is great, you guys are great – you continously ask for comments, so there it is…

    Thanks, you are the best show, did vote for you, I am from Chicago so I thought I might ask – OK to “vote early, vote often”???

  2. 2 David KLINGER Feb 13th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Absolutely astonishing podcast. Well-organized, well-timed questions, delivered in a style that is ideal for showcasing the brilliance of Allen Meadows. Allen’s depth of knowledge, incisive intellect, thoughtful analysis and reporting, and fundamental sensibility for the culture of Burgundy were all apparent. It was enthralling to hear Allen speak for 40 minutes in response to the wonderful questions developed by the GR team. It felt like ten minutes – I can’t wait for part two. It is easy to why Allen Meadows is the premier Burgundy critic in the world today.

  3. 3 Doug Smith Feb 14th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I do recall enjoying Allen Meadows on a prior GR podcast — I believe he spoke at a wine conference of some sort. He comes across as one of the most clear and articulate speakers on wine I have ever heard — which is particularly important given the byzantine complexity of Burgundy! I will certainly be very interested to hear part 2.


  4. 4 Kevin Smith - Highlands Ranch CO Feb 15th, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Pinot podcasts never get old. Thanks again for keeping up the good work. I could do without the drunk winemakers (a previous podcast) but overall love the content.

    I just opened my recent shipment from Clos Pepe who I had never heard of until your Santa Rita Hills segments. Great service, perfect shipping, personalized note from Wes with every order and oh yea, wonderful vino!

    Please bring Wes back to talk more about his organic style of farming and his region in general. I found that very refreshing in the day of chemicals, etc. No, he did not pay me to write this post.

  5. 5 paul r Feb 19th, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    i am not quite finished with this podcast, but i felt compelled to post a couple of things:

    – i am and will continue to be a fan of allen meadows. he has a tremendous wealth of knowledge that is just wonderful. i would love to somehow incorporate his measured/thoughtful way of expressing himself into m y own manner of speech. in the previous podcast with the wines of jadot, he bordered, without ever crossing, the line of being self-important and pompous. in this podcast, he seems far more relaxed, but very thoughtful with regards to the answers he provide to the GR questions. beyond the content, i like the process that he goes though with regards to his manner of speech and the way that he communicates it. i have always enjoyed his content… no matter what the form… but it is the thoughtful nature that he provides the answers that i find very intriguing/enlightening/interesting…

    – again, for me, jay asks the killer questions! he is always asking questions that i would like to hear answers! wine geeks can rejoice in jay being the guy doing the work for us…. i salute you, my friend!

    all the best,

  6. 6 GrapeRadio Bunch Feb 21st, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for the comment Paul

    You need to keep in mind that for the seminars, he is speaking in a way the audience wants and expects. They pay money to hear Allen talk in this wine geeky way. His audience at these seminars are ubber wine geeks so they desire for Allen to conduct the seminar in a very specific manner.

    Before I met Allen, I was intimidated about the prospect of interviewing him. His professional reputation as a leading expert on the complex subject of Burgundy is impressive.

    After I met Allen, I found him to be friendly and likable. With all the emails Allen and I have exchanged, I think I have some sense of his personality. I have also met you, so i ask you to trust me when I say your personalities are more alike than different. Put simply, he is a regular guy that LOVES WINE.

    I think if I wrote out the questions in advance, I would be making a mistake. The questions I ask are formed in my mind based on our guests statements. I am just a curious guy.


  7. 7 Neal Clark Aug 18th, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Listening to the Podcast, which was great, Allen mentioned that Pinot Noir is the only grape that is not blended with other grapes. I think Riesling is another grape that is rarely blended. So I think it is interesting that two of the most food friendly wines are not blended and show the true clarity of their character.

    Neal Clark

  8. 8 Neal Clark Aug 20th, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Updated Comment – Alan said “red wine” that is not blended, so I correct myself on the only wine comment, but I still think that Riesling is in the mix of wines that are rarely unblended.

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