Burgundy Conclusions

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?

Our virtual drive south to north through the Côte de Beaune and the Côte d’Nuits

Our virtual drive south to north through the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits

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.

Our red Burgundy wines

Our red Burgundy wines

  • 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.

This Pommard was my favorite.

This Pommard was my favorite.

Do you have a favorite red Burgundy wine?  I’d be interested in inputs on Burgundies to try in the future.

8 Responses to “Burgundy Conclusions”
  1. Great synapsis and tying it all together. My question–are you going to seek out Burgundy, or stick with the New World wines when you yearn a pinot?

  2. Fred Petters says:

    Jeff, it seems the bug has stricken you! Nice tour. Thanks,

  3. waywardwine says:

    Nice tour! What a fun range of wines. Just to help, I would be very careful about judging these wines as reflective of each region. One should include their year. Vintage variation in such a cool, continental climate is extreme. A wine’s riper fruit flavor, for example, has far more to do with that season and when the producer picked than where it was in Burgundy.

    Also, it’s telling that you liked the 2005, because that is the oldest in the line-up (as far as I can tell the rest are 2007 and 2009s). Such village AOCs typically show better after five or more years (typically regular Burgundy shows better young). The fun part is watching each evolve. Even in a few months that Pommard would taste different. The others would likely show better in a few years.

    LeRoy makes some of the most outstanding biodynamic Burgandy I’ve ever had. Also, check out New York pinot noir from the Finger Lakes (Ravines, Dr Konstantine Frank, and Heron Hill are brilliant), and Bio Bio, Chile has great, leaner styles of pinot reminiscent to Burgundy.

    • Thanks for your advice! I guess “conclusions” was too strong a statement. I didn’t expect to fully understand after a quick tour, this was just the beginning. Part of the fun, no? My next Burgundy project will involve 1 village, same vintage, multiple wines. I’m looking out for Pommard’s from 2009, still at the village level. Should be fun.

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