Not a very imaginative title, but it gets the job done. The term “Cuvee Unique” attached to the sixth wine means that the importer, North Berkeley Imports, tasted through the barrels of that wine in the producer’s cellar and selected the barrels they thought were best to be bottled for them.

These are traditional red Burgundies, in the sense that none is heavy or obvious or highly extracted; colors are radiant but moderate; textures are satiny rather than velvety or plush; the wines are animated by lively acidity. The wines reviewed today are from four Premier Cru vineyards and two Grand Crus.

I quote prices here from my area (Memphis), which are significantly higher than in other parts of the country, especially in coastal major markets, so I append, where possible, the lowest prices from the Internet to give readers an idea of the range. The Grand Cru wines, because of their limited production, are necessarily expensive, but the prices for the Charmes-Chambertin and Echezeaux reviewed here are notably less expensive than similar wines from other producers; many Grand Cru wines cost $350 and higher. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.

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The Michel Ecard Savigny-les-Beaune “Les Gravains” Premier Cru 2006 delivers red currants, roses and lavender in the nose, with undertones of earth and forest; the wine is silky smooth, almost delicate, though flavors of moderately spicy red and black currants are intense, The wine brings up tannins in the form of briers and underbrush, and the finish is dry and rather austere. A lovely and very drinkable pinot noir, petal-like and autumnal, from the small vineyard region near — “les” — Beaune, the medieval town where beats the heart of Burgundy. Very good+. About $60, though seen on the Internet as low as $42.
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Frederic Magnien’s Morey-Saint-Denis “Clos Baulet” Premier Cru 2006 opens with aromas of red and black currants, black plums, leather and earth. It’s a generous and expansive wine, filling the mouth with red currant and plum flavors shaped to classic intensity by vibrant acid that cuts a swath on the tongue and allows the wine to feel light-footed. There are dark dimensions here, though, reservoirs of spice and minerals and tannic elements in suggestions of mushrooms, dry leaves and underbush. Nothing wrong with drinking this wine now, but it would be better to let it rest until 2010 or ’11 for drinking through 2015 or ’16. Excellent. About $80.
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The Frederic Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers” Premier Cru 2006 is a classic, from its entrancing medium ruby color, seemingly lit by fires within; to its aromas of black currants and black cherries, smoke, talc and roses; to its appealing satiny texture that contains plenty of mineral grip. This is a “Cazetiers” of enviable presence and personality, draping the tongue with satiny seduction yet retaining, for structure, the dynamic necessity of acid and the inevitability of polished tannins. Best from 2010 or ’11 through 2015 or ’16. Excellent. About $110.
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The Premier Cru Clos de la Bousse d’Or vineyard is a monopole for the house of Pousse d’Or (no, that’s not a typo, Bousse and Pousse are correct), a rare example in Burgundy of a whole vineyard owned by one winery (to use a “New World” ett_boussedor.gifterm). So, the Pousse d’Or Volnay “Clos de la Bousse d’Or” 2006 exhibits lovely, impeccable purity and intensity, wonderful delicacy and decorum married to and balanced by fairly rigorous acid that cuts through the wine like a shining blade. The color is a gorgeous medium ruby with slightly ruddy highlights; scents and flavors of red and black currants with a hint of mulberry nestle in a suave, satiny texture that your mouth doesn’t want to let go of. To match the acid, the wine delivers pretty stout support in the form of earthy, minerally tannins and more ephemeral autumnal qualities like the smoke from burning autumn leaves. This is one of the wines that confirms our belief in Burgundy. Excellent. About $125.
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Imagine roses and violets smoked in oolong tea; that begins to describe the aromas of the Frederic Magnien Echezeaux Grand echezeaux.jpg Cru 2006. Brushy, earthy elements are right up front, both in the nose and the mouth, but red and black currant and mulberry flavors are ripe and fleshy, while the texture is like dusty satin. The wine deepens and intensifies in the glass, deftly matching elegance to power. Despite that depth and concentration, this Echezeaux does not come across as Californian; the color is still medium ruby with a hint of darker bluish ruby at the center, and the whole construction is a matter of the melding of nuances. Best from 2010 or ’11 through 2018 to ’20. Excellent. About $150, but seen on the Internet as low as $115.
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Ah, well, in the Gerard Raphet Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru Cuvee Unique 2006 we have ineffable delicacy and tensile strength inevitably wedded; resonant and resolute tannins, vibrant acid and lapidary mineral elements provide the sinew and bone, while exquisite red and black currant flavors, with a hint of smoky, slightly spicy black cherry, fill out the notes of purest ray serene. It’s a model of absolute harmony, balance and integration, and a pleasure and a treat to taste. Drink now through 2016 to ’18. Exceptional. About $155 in my neck o’ the woods, but seen on the Internet as low as $90.
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