Tuesday, August 3, 2010

4 Options from Burgundy

"Article sourced from Cork'd:"  @corkd on twitter; 4 Regions that offer GREAT value.

There is some value to be had from less buzzed about vineyard sites along the Côte d’Or. If you’re looking to dip your toe in Burgundy without emptying your bank account, here are three areas to look for on the label:

Marsannay, located at the very top of the Cote d’Or, can present some serious value. This most northern growing area is just south of Dijon, France. With average prices under $40 (even in good vintages, like 2005), these 100% Pinot Noir wines can eximplify true Burgundian characteristics – a balance of red fruits, earth and character – without breaking the bank.

On deck we have Fixin. Fixin is sandwiched between Marsannay and the highly prestigious Gevery-Chambertin AOC. The Burgundy Report has provided an amazingly in depth description of what to expect from Fixin, explaining that its “premier crus can certainly compete with the average premier cru labeled Gevrey”. The best part of all? These bottles are often a third the price of Gevrey-Chambertin.

Continuing our journey southward, St. Aubin presents a third option. This lesser known area, which we’ve previously highlighted, falls within the Cote de Beaune region, tucked between the world’s most heralded Chardonnay vineyards of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. St. Aubin is a source of value for both great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as it’s located very close to Pommard, a well-respected Pinot Noir-focused area. Its diverse soil types and many southerly exposed vineyards provide enough sunlight to make Paris Hilton happy. And because it doesn’t get nearly the press of Hilton’s sun soaked curves, you’re sure to find lots of value.

Batting cleanup for team “Value Burgundy” is Nuits St. George. The southern most appellation of the Cote d’Or Nuits, Nuits St. George annually produces around 1.7 million bottles. The region’s vineyards are dominated by Pinot Noir, and make very little white wine from the Chardonnay variety. The wines from this AOC are more revered and slightly more expensive than those previously mentioned but brings loads of red berries, truffles, ample tannins and true terroir that you can expect from many upper-tier Burgundies. You may want to look to reserve these wines for birthday dinners or an anniversary.

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