IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best Burgundy red wine worth seeking out (for the price of course): Two words come to mind when I think about Red Burgundy – Style and Focus. For those who know, when looking for Pinot Noir that expresses the true uniqueness of terroir and variety, you look at Burgundy. Really good Burgundy, unfortunately, does come at a price.
Georges Duboeuf is practically a legend. Originally from the Pouilly-Fuissé region of Burgundy , Duboeuf was raised on a small farm where his family owned a few acres of Chardonnay vines. His father died when Georges was young, therefore his uncle and older brother, Roger, took over the business. Duboeuf helped out on the family vineyard growing up, even using the manual grape crusher when he was just six years old. By age 18 he was delivering wine on his bicycle from producers to local restaurants. He began bottling Beaujolais to meet one of his customer's demands. Duboeuf became a négociant in 1964, when he founded Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. He is best known for Beaujolais Nouveau, though he produces many others. His wines now hold world-wide appeal and are sold in an astonishing 120 countries.
France's Burgundy wine region produces some of the world's truly great wines. This is a region completely dedicated to terroir and tradition. Even the grapes planted in Burgundy are restricted to a few traditional varietals, with pinot noir and chardonnay holding pride of place – as they have for many, many centuries. Burgundy's Winemaking History Burgundy's winemaking history dates back at least to ancient Roman times, possibly earlier, although documentation is scanty prior to the Romans' arrival. Catholic monks cultivated vineyards during the Middle Ages, and the ruling Dukes of Burgundy involved themselves in the grape-growing process in an effort to improve the quality (and, no doubt, export value) of Burgundy wines. It was during this period that pinot noir became the red wine grape of choice in Burgundy. Vineyards shifted from Church ownership to individual owners during the Renaissance, and, in the aftermath of the French Revolution some 300 years later, all remaining Church vineyards were privatized. These privately-owned vineyards were divided and re-divided under Napoleonic law, which forced families to split holdings among heirs instead of willing all inheritable property to one descendant. This division of the vineyards led directly to the system used in Burgundy today; hundreds of growers sell their grapes to négociants , or buyers, who use the grapes to make wine.
There is a saying among wine aficionados that on the journey to wine understanding, all roads eventually lead to Burgundy. I am not sure I agree with that as my heart seems to be in Italy, but there is no denying the impact that Burgundy has had on the wine world and that some of the most ethereal wine experiences one can have come from Burgundy wines. Many tomes have been written on the subject but the purpose of this article is to give a basic primer on the subject and eventually delve deeper into the Burgundy experience in subsequent articles.
About 110 miles southeast of Paris, at the northern tip of the Burgundy wine region France lays Chablis. Chablis is the name of a village that has given its name to a region producing some of the best white wines in the world. The region of Chablis encompasses 19 towns and is about twenty by fifteen kilometers in size. In France, by law, wines are named after the place where they are fashioned and not the grape varietal. The wine producers of Chablis have spent hundreds of years determining which grapes produce the best wines for their soils and the answer: crisp, mineral-driven wines made from the Chardonnay grape.
The name Burgundy conjures up images of lush pinot noirs and chardonnays with expensive price tags, served to you with a French accent. It’s most wine lovers dream to visit the region and immerse yourself in pate, pinot and pastries.
“I’ve given up on buying Burgundy.” This was the title of an email sent from my friend Rick. A few weeks week prior to the email, Rick and I had enjoyed an evening of Domaine Remi Jobard wines. My meetings with Rick are always an educational experience. He’s lived in Europe, cooks as well as any Cordon Bleu graduate, holds a very discriminating palate and doesn’t enjoy wasting money on bad wine. He is what I would call, my ideal audience. My goal is simple: great wines at great prices. Unfortunately, I’m not always successful.
White Burgundy VINTAGE RATING STATUS 2009 90 D/H 2008 87 D/H 2007 92 D/H 2006 90 D/H 2005 94 D/H 2004 90 D 2003 85 D 2002 93 D/H 2001 90 D/H 2000 88 D 1999 89 D 1998 86 D 1997 85 D 1996 92 D/H 1995 90 D 1994 81 D 1993 80 D 1992 94 D Vintage Charts should be used for a generalized guide in lieu of...
Red Burgundy 2010 90 D/H 2009 94 H 2008 88 D/H 2007 85 D 2006 89 D/H 2005 97 H 2004 85 D 2003 87 D 2002 96 D/H 2001 90 D/H 2000 88 D 1999 96 D/H 1998 88 D 1997 84 D 1996 93 D/H 1995 90 D/H 1994 78 D 1993 82 D 1992 88 D 1991 86 D 1990 91 D/H 1989 87 D Vintage Charts should be used for a generalized...