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Case Number 26694: Small Claims Court

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A Year in Burgundy

Kino Lorber // 2012 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // December 14th, 2013

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge James A. Stewart wonders if a sausage's life cycle could be set to classical music.

The Charge

"Where does really good wine come from? From the heart and the mind of those who create it. The finest winemakers are artists—and what they do is unique."

The Case

This time, instead of a case of crimes against cinema, it's a case of burgundy—from Burgundy, France's famous wine region.

A Year in Burgundy starts, appropriately, with the pouring of a glass of wine. From this starting point, we find out how the wine got to San Francisco for a gala tasting. You can thank God, actually—the first fine winemakers were monks, and some of their early wine presses are still around. Along the way, you'll meet a buyer from San Francisco with ties to Burgundy, hear a winemaker explain that grapes like classical music (which made me wonder if there's a jazz-loving wine I can try), and see growers getting picky with grape pickers at the harvest.

As befits the title, it's done by seasons, taking viewers through the entire process. It's done with visuals to savor: aerial shots of vineyards, the colorful withering of the vines in autumn, even the cobwebs in a wine cellar. Since most of the talk from growers is in French with subtitles, the narrator's gentle voice is what sinks in the most, guiding viewers through the whole year. With classical music in the background, it makes for a relaxing, soothing view, no matter how interested in wine you are. It's not quite a relaxation tape-style travelogue—there's a little more talk than you'd get there—but it's close.

A few bonus clips are entertaining but nonessential.

If A Year in Burgundy is your cup of tea—or wine—you'll find it sweet.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: Kino Lorber
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English, French)
• English
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes


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