Matt Walker

Location: Northridge, CA

I am a Certified Specialist of Wine and uncertified Wine Geek! As a Snoother, I hope to raise awareness for smaller, lesser-known but quality driver producers. Major regions I specialize in include Washington, California, Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Douro

Bourgogne, I Hardly Know Ya!

Burgundy may be one of the most daunting wine regions to break into for winos at any experience levels. Grand Crus and Premier Crus; vineyards within villages within regions all with names you can't even pronounce.  

I suppose my point is that Burgundy is a scary place.  I still have nightmares about it.  BUT, if you're brave enough to go exploring, taste, read up a bit on everything I just mentioned you'll have a working understanding in no time and you'll be experiencing some of the most nuanced and expressive wines this planet has to offer.  

I'll start you off with this overarching truth about Burgundy:  There is arguably no other place in the wine world more obsessed with terroir (the expression of the place the grapes come from in a wine) than Burgundy.  Here, it's all about the land not about the people.

 The wines in this list are a few wines I've had recently that I very much enjoyed and I think will make good intros to what Burgundy is all about flavor-wise at multiple quality levels.  

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Antonin Rodet Mâcon-Villages (2009)
Comments: Pouilly-Fuisse is a great region for those the love crisp, no oak Chardonnays and want to find some great values. Rodet's is very bright with a big granny-smith apple presence but also a nice nutty character toward the finish. Touches of minerals as well. All in all a nice, refreshing wine.
Average price: $14.99 from 5 stores
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2 Jacques Prieur Puligny-Montrachet les Combettes Premiere Cru (2009)
Comments: A very focused, seemless wine. Floral and ripe stone fruits on the nose with hints of oaky-spiciness. Palette is round and balanced with a good mineral backbone, and just the right amount oak.
Average price: $196.56 from 2 stores
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3 Domaine J. Chatelain Chablis Grand Cru (2009)
Comments: Chablis is by far my favorite area for white Burgundy and Les Clos might just be my favorite vineyard—If you see it on a bottle, grab it! Les Clos is known for producing some of the most complex wines of all the Chablis GCs and this wine is no exception. Honeysuckle, baked apple and pear on the nose leading into a creamy texture in the mouth. Minerality is ever present (another signature of Les Clos) with vanilla making a cameo appearance. The finish goes on and on and the balance is great!
Previously available for $54.99
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4 Bourgogne Pinot Noir "Le Renard" Château de Chamirey (2009)
Comments: Mercury is one of the great unsung hero's of Burgundy. It sports a handful of Premier Crus such as Les Reulles (a monopole) and when in the hands of a great producer like Chamirey or Faivley, it makes wines of supreme value. As the nose opens up after a little air you're greeted by plums and cherries with hints of earthiness creeping in. Those same flavors continue on the palette with a bit of tar and spice added in. Good balance and a very versatile wine for your meal pairing needs. Grilled Salmon anyone?
Average price: $44.99 from 62 stores
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5 Domaine des Perdrix Domaine des Perdrix Nuits St -Georges Premier Cru "Aux Perdrix" Nuits St -Georges (2009)
Comments: A big hit of tar on the nose with black cherries kicking in right behind. The palette offers a creamy texture with more cherries, and adding black fruits plus hints of spice and black tea. Young but quite nice and well balanced.
Average price: $69.99 from 6 stores
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6 Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges les Damodes Premier Cru (2003)
Comments: If you grew up on California Pinots but are thinking of venturing into Burgundy (a good thought to have) Vougeraie is a great bridge wine. They're fairly new to the scene but are making quality wines that marry new world fruit the old world finesse. This wine overflows with cinnamon and clove with dark cherries and currants providing great fruit. Tannins make their presence known. My only real criticism is that I could have used a bit more acidity, but all in all a nice effort.
Previously available for $54.99
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