Despite all these climats, there’s not much Burgundian juice. Burgundy only counts for about 3 percent of French vin. Within the quality rankings listed above, here’s how Burgundy’s production falls out:
Grand Crus = 1.4%
Premier Crus = 10.1% (even with all those climats!)
Village = 36.8%
Regional = 51.7%
This is why Grand Cru and Premier Cru level Burgundies usually drain the coins from your pocket! With that exclamation, it seems to go without saying that Grand Cru sits at the top of the totem pole of quality with Premier Cru a notch below and so on down the list. The trick is that within these quality bands, there are Grand Crus that might be no better than top Premier Crus and very good village wines that might taste like they should be Premier Crus. So, there is a little wiggle room, but this happens mostly with just a handful of wines.
Here’s the skinny on lieux-dits. A lieu-dit is a particular plot of land within an appellation that possesses special characteristics that contribute a distinct element of terroir, separating it from neighboring rows of vines. Lieux-dits are not technically an appellation, but they are listed on the label with the name of the Premier Cru so it’s clear it’s not just any old Premier Cru!