Burgundy Wine Knowledge"
Where does Burgundy wine come from? Burgundy of course. Burgundy is located in the eastern central part of France, stretching from Dijon in the north, to Lyon in the
In Burgundy, the vineyards are mostly tiny plots that have been passed down from family to family and then subdivided. Some larger Domaines own collections of parcels, then others sell to Negociants, who cellar, blend, bottle, and sell their own wines. Most wines are named for their village in which they are grown, which makes for easy recognition of the particular styles from that area.
The two significant grapes grown in Burgundy are Pinot Noir for red wines, and Chardonnay for whites, including Chablis. Burgundy wine is broken down to four classifications of quality; Regional wines, like Bourgogne, Beaujolais, and Macon; made from wines of certain soils, and within a large area. Village wines are from specific areas like Meursault, and Beaune, with their yield is more regulated than regional wines. Premiere Crus come from superior vineyards with in the Village wines. Grand Crus are the finest vineyards and are labeled simply by their vineyards only, like Montrachet.
White Burgundy wine is some of the best Chardonnay wine available. Lighter styles with more acid would be a great accompaniment to a characuterie plate, and mature full bodied white with a delicious veal dish. Red Burgundy wine ranges in style from delicate to full bodied matured Burgundies. The lighter style is best enjoyed by themselves, and a little cooler. The massive wines need a game dish to stand up to it.
Chablis is broken down to four grades; Chablis AC (known as simple or village), Petit Chablis, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru. Village wines are similar to Macon- Villages, with its lighter, drier, and clean style. Premier Cru and Grand Cru have a distinct style with more body, flavor, and individuality with the Premiere Crus with a distinctive amount of acidity, and the Grand Cru with a richness, and strengths that rounds the wine out. Most Grand Crus need three, sometimes ten years of aging. A young Chablis has the nose of fresh apples and hay, with a underlying mineral note.
The Cote d’ Or is in the heart of Burgundy wine country, from Marsannay to Dijon. The “Golden Slope” has vineyards for thirty miles, from Dijon to Santenay. In Autumn, the leaves turn a golden color before falling to the ground. This hillside is divided into two vineyard areas; Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits, the northern half. The wines taste different from each of the villages, with major differences between each commune. In Cote de Nuits, most wines are made from Pinot Noir. The southern section of Cote d’ Or, north of the city Beaune. Although reds continue to dominate, south of Beaune to Meursault and Puligny Montrachet, known for their great Chardonnays. Cote Chalonnaise is south of Cote d’ Or, with five villages, Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny. These wines will have their village name on the label. Cote Chalonnaise whites offer the true Burgundy wine style with reasonable prices. Although these wines do not show greatness, they have finesse, and character. Reds from good producers, and good years produce true Pinot Noir style.
Maconnais produces red and white under the Macon AOC, with some recognizable Burgundy wines like Pouilly Fuisse, and St Veran have created a good reputation. Reds use some Gamay, and produce light and ready to drink wines.
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