Burgundy wines can easily be a lifelong investigation. Our virtual tour was only an introduction, but it sure was fun! Tasting a variety of wines gave us a sense of what to expect from the region, and showed us a variety of villages, vintages, and producers. Future installments may explore each of these variables in more detail. What did we learn?
As a group, the Burgundy wines seemed to be a bit more restrained than their new world counterparts. There were cherry flavors, but the fruit wasn’t the only thing one would notice. They had more herbs and earth up front. All these wines were very nice at the table with food. We did open an Oregon Pinot Noir for one of the dinners. The Oregon wine expressed more fruit and less herbs than the Burgundy.
We saw more variety in styles in the Côte de Beaune. Some of the wines were much lighter and elegant; some were quite rich and intense.
The Côte de Nuits wines were all more intense. These weren’t big rich California Pinot Noirs, but they were bigger than most of their Côte de Beaune counterparts. They were also more expensive, of course.
- Louis Jadot Santenay ($30) – a bit shy, but nice and smooth, mild tannins in the finish.
- Bouchard Pere et Fils Montelie 1er Cru ($30) – one of the richer, fuller wines in the whole group. A bit riper, closer to an American wine, though still clearly Burgundy.
- Francois & Laurent Pillot Pommard ($47) – an intense wine. Tart acidity and strong tannins. Cherries, herbs. Nice!
- Domaine Arnoux Pere et Fils Chorey Les Beaune ($28) – the best sipping wine of the bunch. Lively acidity, but this wine was fun to drink by itself and didn’t scream for food.
- Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée ($50) – lively cherries and pine needles. A big enough flavor to do well with steak.
- Vincent Girardin Gevrey-Chambertin ($45) – Cherries, mushrooms, pine needles. Flavors persist into long finish. Powerful, but not super rich or ripe.
I’m often asked which was my favorite. I hate to answer this question, because everyone will have their own. These were all nice wines I was happy to have at the dinner table. However, I did have a favorite – the Francois & Laurent Pillot Pommard. I think it may be the focal point of a future exploration of just the Pommard Village.
Do you have a favorite red Burgundy wine? I’d be interested in inputs on Burgundies to try in the future.