The Wines of Burgundy

April 26, 2016 1 Comments


Burgundy region of France has been producing wine since 200 AD. Unlike the other regions of France, they are obsessed with terroir to the degree that vineyards are fragmented into small parcels of land. Each of the hundreds of regions is classified as different appellations based on variances in climate, geology and geography. The ultimate goal is and will always be the overall quality of the wines. Hence this correlates to grapes being grown based on the terroir properties. 

Burgundy is known for luscious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This is where Pinot Noir originated from and where you will find complex, extremely balanced red wine. Chardonnay is also native to Burgundy and is often as complex and intense as any in the world.

Important Regions

Chablis (Chardonnay), Côte d’OrCôte de Nuit (Pinot Noir), Côte de BeauneCôte ChalonnaiseMâconnaisBeaujolaisBurgundy

Chablis Chardonnay

A huge percentage of Chardonnay produced in Chablis is unoaked, and strictly aged in stainless steal. Some of the high end vintages use old oak barrels to age (which doesn’t  impart much oak flavor), but norm of the region is purely stainless steal aging. The wines are crisp, chalky and finessed with none of the buttery finish (due of oak aging) associated with Chardonnay. I find it easier to get quality, well priced and value from the whites of Burgundy verses the reds. Here are two reasonably priced wines I love.

ChardonnayDomaine Costal Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2012

This wine is crisp, clean and has great acidity. The nose is slightly subtle with honey and citrus on the forefront. There was a good amount of citrus (lemon and lime) in the palate, as well as a nice chalky, mineral note. Its medium bodied and complex. Domaine Costal is a great drinking Chablis and will pair perfectly with seafood or enjoyed on it’s own. Good value and very tasty.

DCMDomaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils Chablis 2011

The nose is a citrus and mineral forward. The first sip was lemon and citrus.  The wine had different notes each following sip with a touch of apple, honey, a perfect amount of acidity and mineral on the finish. I’ve had several of Domaine Christians Moreau vintages and have yet to be disappointed.  Another great and extremly well priced wine.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the focal grape of Burgundy. Pinot Noir is a highly difficult grape to grow and highlights terroir more than any other varietal. It’s finicky and loves the cooler climates which translates into high acidity. The Burgundy Pinot tends to be dry, low in tannin, highlights cherry, cranberry, spice, with earthy undertones. All these characteristics make it a perfect pairing with food which is why its always been popular.

This region of the world makes some of the best wines found anywhere. A huge drawback to the success of Burgundy is trying to find reasonably priced red wines with great value.  Here are a couple that I recommend. Notes to follow this week on these and additional wines.Burgundy Red

My Wine Sign Off

April 30, 2016