Wine 101 - The Wines of Burgundy

Why this complex region is one of the world's best

 


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The Côte de Nuits

The Côte de Nuits is arguably the epicenter for the best red Burgundies. Here, one finds communes such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, the less well-known Flagey-Echézeaux and, of course, Nuits-Saint-Georges, from which the region gets its name.

Because of the nature of ownership in Burgundy, with producers having plots in various areas, the region classified the vineyards as opposed to the Domains, as was done in Bordeaux. Vineyards are classified as either Premier Cru or Grand Cru.

Any wine from within Burgundy made from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay can be labeled as AOC Bourgogne. The next step up in quality would be the AOC Côte de Nuits Villages, which is used for the villages that are not included in the main communes. Up next we find the main commune, like Chambolle-Musigny, for example, listed alone on the wine’s label. Then you will find specific vineyard names on the label which, when listed with the commune name, can be either unclassified or “1er cru.” Grand Cru Burgundies are among the most discreetly labeled wines, simply marked with the name of the vineyard and the Grand Cru designation. 

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Comments

  • Hi Gregory. The map is too small. Could you create an image that could be enlarged if you click on it?

    Nov 24, 2010 at 6:17 PM


  • Snooth User: japiok
    558329 2

    Jullie vergeten de Santenay. Smaakt beter dan de Côtes.
    Japiok

    Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 217,192

    Hi Elinore,

    You can visit Kobrand's website to see the image in their full glory. We do not, at this time, have the systems in place that would allow enlarging the images.

    Thanks for your thoughts though, we will add this to or to do list!

    Nov 25, 2010 at 3:28 AM


  • The author Roald Dahl once wrote that "to drink a Romanée-Conti is like having an orgasm in the mouth and nose at the same time".

    Is that all we need to know?

    Nov 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM


  • A very nice overview but, as you allude to in the introduction, is really only scratching the surface of the complexity that is Burgundian wine; a complexity that can be very vexing to fans of the region that are not flush with cash. The fragmentation of the vineyards, and the vast cast of characters at work within them, means that there is a tremendous diversity of styles and quality within each commune, making it very difficult to really ascribe a particular character to a commune and, from the consumer's point of view, extremely difficult to make an informed buying decision. One thing is certain: there is no such thing as a good cheap Burgundy from the Beaunes or Nuits; there may well be plenty of not-so-good expensive ones though. Nonetheless, we forgive all such shortcomings upon opening a good one, for the rewards are beyond the narrow view of accounting.

    Nov 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM


  • Nodding in agreement with Aylwin Forbes here. For years I had same issue. Occasional beauty with real strawberry, tannin, oak balance, others smelling of damp cabbage, thin and acidic. Many just dull compared to more reliable Oregon, Russian River, US wines.
    I was only helped by going to tastings of the en primeur offerings.
    I would still recommend dumping any prejudices against new world pinot noirs, there are many fine ones coming out of NZ for instance.

    Feb 23, 2011 at 4:55 AM


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