Before a certain anchor man tried to claim his spot as the top “Burgundy”, wine from this landlocked part of France claimed the highest of ratings. And while Mr. Burgundy can almost do no wrong, the whites and reds produced from this region are top-notch, world class, silky-smooth, and would n e v e r say “f you” to its hometown. In short, wine from Burgundy is kind of a big deal. And if you have never seen Anchorman, do yourself the favor. My joke attempts will make a lot more sense.
Anyyyyyway, back to the vino. Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne, is a narrow wine region known for some of the top wines in world. It is the birth place of the Pinot Noir grapes and home to some kick-ass Chardonnays.
Like I said in the video, location is everything! The terroir (pronounced “tear-wah”) aka how a region’s terrain, soils, climate and winemaking practices affect the wine’s taste, plays a huge role for Burgundy wines.
There are five regions to note:
- CÔTES DE NUITS
- CÔTES DE BEAUNE
- CÔTE CHALONNAISE
Believe it or not, the soil and temperatures vary enough that each of these regions produces wine that is uniquely theirs. More on buying tips per region below!
WHITE BURGUNDY: 100% Chardonnay and mostly produced “unoaked” therefore giving a more crisp and clean taste for the drinker as opposed to the butter-bomb Chardonnays produced state-side.
RED BURGUNDY: 100% Pinot Noir and a difficult little grape to grow. Loves the climate and soil this region provides. As a result, Pinot’s are more earthy and floral.
CRÉMENT DE BOURGOGNE: A sparkling wine from the region that can be produced with both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
When looking at a bottle of Burgundy, look for the specific region it’s from. My notes below will help you pick the bottle that suits your tastebuds.
From North to South:
- Chablis: amazing, high acid, bright Chardonnays. Mostly unoaked, but at the top Grand Cru level ($$$$$), some see aging in oak barrels.
- Côtes du Nuits: rustic, mushroom-y, earthy, tart berry, and spicy Pinot Noirs.
- Côtes de Beaune: richer, pear/apple, white flower Chardonnays. Some do see oak!
- Côtes Chalonnaise: plum, clove, dark berry, earthy Pinot Noirs that are usually less expensive, more of a “value” bottle. Also lots of lovely Créments come from this region!
- Mâconnais: stone fruit, citrus, zesty Chardonnay from this region, look for Pouilly-Fuisseé for the most value.
burgundy Wine picks
2014 Benjamin Leroux Chablis: well balanced, great mix of citrus and saline, nice and zesty. Not your mama’s Chardonnay! Around $15-$20.
2012 David Duband Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Louis Auguste: yes it’s a mouthful to say, but this is a rich and silky pinot. Dark cherry, touch of acid and around $30 which is a good value given the producer and vineyard location!
I’m Natalie Pelletier signing off from Burgundy! Let me know if you have any favorites from this region.