Hello Wine Lovers!
Something a little bit different from the usual single wine review that I would normally publish. Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down and tasting a variety of Pinot Noir’s from around the Cotes de Nuits region in the Provence of Burgundy. The Cotes de Nuits, produces some of the greatest red wines in Burgundy. As you will find out, some of these wines cost a small fortune a bottle.
France has a very different way in explaining its wines. France is known as “The Old World” in wine talk. Therefore, on the bottles you will never be told the type of Grape in the bottle like you would here, as the place takes greater importance over the grape type. This is where the word “terrior” really comes into affect. In France, location is foremost the most important factor in their wines and how much their wines can cost. There is also classifications of their vineyards and how the wine is classified, and what price it commands is dependent on all these factors that fall under that term of terrior. In Burgundy, terrior is everything, and if you’re not a wine lover, or French, it is very complicated to understand.
In Burgundy, their wines are rated on three levels:
- Grand Cru wines are produced from the small number of the best vineyard sites in the Côte d’Or, as strictly defined by the Appellation d’origine controlree (AOC) laws. Grand Cru wines will only list the name of the vineyard as the appellation on the wine label, plus the Grand Cru term, but not the village name.
- Premier Cru wines are produced from specific vineyard sites that are still considered to be of high quality, but not as well regarded as the Grand Cru sites. Premier Cru wines are labelled with the name of the village of origin, the Premier Cru status, and usually the vineyard name.
- Village appellation wines are produced from a blend of wines from supposedly lesser vineyard sites within the boundaries of one of 42 villages, or from one individual but unclassified vineyard. Village wines will show the village name on the wine label, and sometimes – if applicable – the name of the single vineyard or climat where it was sourced.
Now that I have dropped a little Burgundy/France wine education on you let’s look at the 16 wines that I have had the pleasure of sampling over the course of the evening.
The SA Wine Guy