News Satire People Food Other

By Alex Russell on October 11, 2010 in Other



It’s hard to simplify Burgundy in such a short space, but I hope the last few articles have helped. I hope I’ve made it clear that the wines from this region are some of the best you can get your hands on – but they are expensive. For Premier Cru and Grand Cru stuff, you’re looking at prices in the hundreds of dollars range. So what can you do to get around this?

download online casino slot games to play for fun
The Producers

Different producers have access to different grapes, even from the same vineyard. For example, one Grand Cru (Clos de Vougeot) has about 80 owners who each own certain vines, usually in rows. To make this even more difficult, when they die the vines are split amongst their children, so this fragmentation of ownership will continue.

The vineyards are fairly small so variation from one end of the vineyard to the other will be relatively minimal, but different producers certainly make their wines in different ways. Perhaps the first step is to experiment a little and find a producer you like. Buying some mixed six-packs, even of their cheaper styles, is the best way to do this. Some producers like to make more muscular styles, while others prefer more ethereal wines, so try a few of each and find the style you like.

Some of the bigger producers can offer great value for money too. Also, keep an eye out for some of the newer producers who haven’t had much of a chance to make a name for themselves and, thus, are yet to earn a high price tag.

These are some of my favourite producers: Camille Giroud, Benjamin Leroux, DRC (of course), Pascal Marchand (also makes wines in Australia, e.g. with Howard Park) and Prieuré Roch (pronounced ‘rock’). During my trip to Burgundy, one of the best I tasted was the Prieuré Roch Nuits 1er Cru 2009 (a Premier Cru that was a blend from a few different Premier Cru vineyards – sensationally funky, feral Pinot Noir – just how I like it).

The Vintages

We all want to buy wine from good vintages. The recent few (‘09, ‘10 and ‘11) have been sensational for reds, while the whites are best from 2008 and 2010. 2005 was also a phenomenal vintage.

This means that the wines from these vintages will be more highly sought after and will carry higher price tags, so maybe consider wines from lesser (but not rubbish) vintages. For example, I’ve seen some writers rate the 2009 and 2010 vintages as 9/10 for red wine quality (2005 was 10/10), so instead, look at 2008 (7/10), which produced a more concentrated style of wine. Prices were down a bit and you could get quite good wine for a bit of a bargain, relatively speaking.

The Vineyards

My biggest tip is to learn the layout of the vineyards, or at least find a decent map that spells them out.

The Grand Cru vineyards are generally surrounded by Premier Cru vineyards. If you buy a Premier Cru from a vineyard that is right next door to a Grand Cru vineyard, you’ll usually get much better value for money than if you buy a Premier Cru from a vineyard that is nowhere near a Grand Cru. Same goes if you want to drink ‘Village’ level wine. If you know the producers that have vines near the Premier Cru vineyards, then you get a decent quality wine at the lower level price. That is my number one tip for buying great Burgundy at a comfortable price.

Of course, none of it is that cheap in Australia, so my last tip is to get your arse over to France and have a look around. If you do go, please let me know how you what you thought.