There are great wines produced in many places in the world: Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and South Africa are a few that come to mind. But there are very few places where the terroir is as important as it is in Burgundy (France). Burgundy wines are an essential part of the local culture, recognized as some of the best in the world, perhaps because this land has been treated with care and love throughout many centuries.
The proud people of Burgundy refer to their lands as climats, a mosaic of 365 small plots perfectly suited to exalt a tradition of red wines made with only one type of strain: pinot noir. This grape enhances their wines with beautiful intense carmine color and distinctive aromas of spices and forest herbs. The round, expressive and attractive wines produced with pinot noir grapes are noted for their gallantry, delicacy, fineness and storage capacity.
Burgundy wines are distributed in five Appellations d’origines contrôlées (AOC) or controlled appellations of origin: 33 grands crus denominations, 562 premiers crus denominations, 44 municipal or village denominations and 23 regional and semi regional denominations. The most praised creations are among the grands crus wines, but you can also find true oenological jewels in other denominations.
These are five excellent wines from Burgundy that will enhance your personal cellar.
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers 2007
WINERY: Domaine Dujac // ZONE: AOC Chambolle-Musigny // GRAPE: 100% pinot noirA great wine such as the Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru immediately stands out for its ruby red color, exquisite aromas of currants, blackberries and violets, with a light touch of young wood from the French oak barrels where it was aged and hints vanilla and toffee. It is a complex wine, honest and very well defined. In the palate, you immediately sense its fruity flavor, great breadth and freshness. This superb wine has an excellent structure, which will probably taste just as great if you uncork it 10 years from now.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2001
WINERY: Louis Jadot // ZONE: AOC Bonnes Mares // GRAPE: 100% pinot noir
Pinot noir is one of the most difficult grape strains to grow and process, but when well managed, it can produce sublime wines such as the excellent Bonnes Mares Grand Cru. It has a red raspberry color with russet tones, intense aromas of great complexity and scents of berries, strawberries and also wild flowers. It brings a unique, well-balanced acidity to the palate with well-integrated tannins and great fruit concentration. Very long and persistent, its flavor is characterized by softness, elegance and excellent balance. It is one of the great wines from Louis Jadot, considered one of Burgundy’s most notable wineries.
Bourgone Pinot Noir 2010
WINERY: Louis Latour // ZONE: AOC Bourgogne Pinot Noir-Village // GRAPE: 100% pinot noir.
This Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2010 shows a deep red color with ruby hues, a subtle range of pleasant aromas of red fruits, enriched with notes of blackcurrant and blueberry fragrance. Big and powerful in flavor, this wine shows an interesting complexity coated with soft tannins, blackberries, hints of coffee and a subtle cherry finish that lingers in the mouth. It is an elegant and distinctive wine that nicely exhibits the friendly and well-defined characteristics of the wines from Burgundy.
Nuits-Saint-Georges Léchenaurt 2001
WINERY: Domaine Léchenaurt // ZONE: AOC Nuits-Saint-Georges // GRAPE: 100% pinot noir.
With a stunning dark garnet color, Léchernaut of Nuits-Saint-Georges displays attractive floral aromas (geraniums, violets, daisies) that blend beautifully with other scents reminiscent of red fruit (plums, strawberries, blueberries), spices and balsamic plants. On the palate, it is graceful, elegant and delicate, with fine, harmonious tannins. It passes through the mouth with speed and lightness, leaving a pleasant, vigorous sensation of freshness. It finishes with a persistent sensation that pleasantly combines spicy notes and hints of vanilla from the noble oak barrels where it was aged.
Pommard Clos Des Epeneaux 2007
WINERY: Domaine Comte Armand // ZONE: AOC Pommard 1er Cru // GRAPE: 100% pinot noir.
This wine has a beautifully intense cherry color trimmed with lighter shades. On the nose, one can perceive a wide range of aromas that include scrubland scents (broom, dry leaves, freshly cut firewood, rosemary), as well as hints of smoke. The taste is dry and balanced, with classic pinot noir tannins and interesting nuances from the barrels that add to its strength. It has excellent acidity, with a deep and pleasing finish that evokes smoked aromas and certain mineral features present in Burgundy’s premiers crus. ■