Burgundy

The famous region of Burgundy has built its reputation on the mastery of just two grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Despite this the region is one of the hardest to get to grips with. This is because over the centuries each individual plot of vineyard has been graded according to its perceived quality, and added to that is the fact that there may be several owners within each vineyard with varying levels of expertise. So in theory a wine from one producer in a top vineyard may not be as good as a wine from a leading producer in a more humble vineyard. Knowing the classifications and the producers is key. Négociants, such as Louis Latour, Patriarche, Bouchard Père et Fils, Albert Bichot, Joseph Drouhin etc. make this all a little simpler as they produce wines from several different appellations; they usually own some vineyards but in the main buy in grapes from other smaller producers. If you trust a négociant there is a good chance you will find most of their range compelling. Because of Burgundy’s northerly positioning there is generally more vintage variation, so it is important to realise that the wines are not about a consistent style as much as a case of getting the absolute best out of what that year has to offer. The quality grading of vineyards in Burgundy, from highest to lowest is: Grand Cru (e.g. Le Romanee-Conti) Première Cru (e.g. Les Folatières) Village/commune (e.g. Nuits-Saint-Georges) Regional (e.g. Hautes Côtes de Nuits)
Burgundy

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