Virtual Burgundy Tour
Our next little project is our virtual tour through the red wines of Burgundy. We’ve never visited, but we hope to go sometime! Over the next few postings, we’ll be “driving” through the Côte de Beaune, then up through the Côte de Nuits, stopping in villages along the way to try the wine and make a meal. Of course, we won’t be leaving Minnesota, this is a virtual tour.
map credit:wikimedia commons
Burgundy wines are very popular compared to the available supply, hence they tend to be pretty expensive. They are also made to be aged, and so the best way to proceed is to buy several cases and store them for 10 years before you drink them to learn about Burgundy. Hello? Are you crazy? Honestly, I have had clerks in wine shops tell me to not purchase anything above the most basic “Bourgogne” unless I’m willing to hold on to it for at least 5 years before drinking it. Last fall I decided to just go ahead and buy several village level wines with the aim to learn at least a little bit about the red wines of the region.
Mini-Summary of Burgundy
Red Burgundy wines are always 100% Pinot Noir. This is in contrast with most wine regions in France, where the wines are blends of a variety of grapes. However, they aren’t labeled Pinot Noir, they’re labeled for the town the vineyard is near. There is a classification system for these wines, depending on the quality of the vineyards. Here’s the breakdown:
- 2% Grand Cru vineyards (can be $ thousands per bottle)
- 15% Premier Cru, or 1er Cru (often around $100 per bottle)
- 30% Village level – these wines will have the name of the village and sometimes even the vineyard ($30-100/bottle)
- 53% Regional wines, labeling simply “Bourgogne” ($15-35 per bottle)
As we tour through Burgundy, sometimes we’ll prepare meals aimed to pair nicely with the wine. Other times, we’ll be trying the wine with whatever we have for dinner. Should be fun!
Here’s our tour lineup, south to north, all village level Burgundys. The wines (producer, town, vineyard, vintage)($price):
Côte de Beaune
- Louis Jadot Santenay “Clos de Malte” 2009 ($30)
- Bouchard Pere & Fils Monthelie “Les Duresses”, this is a premier cru wine from one of the lesser villages 2009($35)
- Fernand & Laurent Pillot Pommard “Tavannes” 2005 ($47)
- Domaine Arnoux Père & Fils Chorey-Lès-Beaune Les Beumonts 2009($28)
Côte de Nuits
- Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée ($50)
- Vincent Girardin Gevrey-Chambertin 2009 ($50)
Note that we’re not looking for the best wine, our aim is to learn.