domaine bart I tasted the wine and could not believe it. Astounded I took another sip, then another and finally a joyous gulp. I still could not believe. I went back to my desk and rummaged through my papers until I finally found it. Even with the proof in front of my very happy nose I could not believe. Yet the truth could not be ignored. There printed on the receipt was the undisputable truth: $18.89. I still don’t believe it. They had even given me a 10% discount. What I got for $18.89 was an astounding pinot noir that I would have thought a value at twice the price.

The Marsannay, Les Saint Jacques, Domaine Bart 2005 may be the finest pinot noir bargain I have ever tasted. At least it’s the best I can remember. You’d be hard pressed to find an equal for under $60. This is what pinot noir is all about. It is stunningly fragrant with layers of exotic spices, black fruits and black truffles all laced into a vinous magnet that attracts your nose to the glass and won’t let it go. The flavors are rich, concentrated and powerfully elegant. This is a wine that deserves respect and that means about five more years of pampered aging to allow the great potential of this wine to show itself.

A wine of this quality at this price is a glaring indictment of all the overripe, variety and terroir-free New World pinot noirs selling for four times the price of this treasure, not to mention the many Burgundy wines with more famous names and prices that have no relationship to what’s actually in the bottle. We are entering a new era in the world of wine where wines with the highest prices and the most famous names are often some of the least interesting wines to actually drink.

Now the only question is do I have the willpower to age my remaining five bottles.

(pictured above: Domaine Bart)