• Burgundy
Burgundy

Burgundy

Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas. It is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties

article originally featured in The Washington Post Jun 19th 2012

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★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Burgundy is an expensive fascination even without traveling to the region. A primer: With few exceptions, reds are pinot noir and whites are chardonnay. Sampling wines labeled simply as "Bourgogne" (the French word for Burgundy) will give you the most basic introduction. There are at least 100 appellations in Burgundy, depending on how you count them: regional wines, such as Cote de Nuits or Cote de Beaune, and village wines, such as Volnay, Vosne-Romanee or Gevrey-Chambertin. Then there are premier cru and grand cru vineyards, plus "monopoles," vineyards owned by a single producer.

As with any region, the more narrowly the wine’s origin can be defined on the label, the more exclusive and expensive it is and the more likely it will express a particular "terroir."

When other people are not offering me Burgundy, I tend to look for wines from the smaller villages, which are often less expensive and more difficult to pronounce but provide good value. Vintages are also important, but we are lucky; both 2009 and 2010 were excellent years. Here are some nice reds.

Maison Louis Latour - Chorey-les-Beaune 2009 Maison Louis Latour - Chorey-les-Beaune

★★1/2

Burgundy, France $25

Maison Louis Latour is a major "negociant," buying and bottling wines from throughout Burgundy. Quality tends to be excellent, and the Chorey-les-Beaune is no exception. It offers black cherry fruit with a hint of woodsy spice and elegant balance.

Maison Louis Latour - Marsannay 2009 Maison Louis Latour - Marsannay

★★

Burgundy, France $20

This is an excellent pinot, somewhat earthy with dark-fruit flavors.

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