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The soils and vineyards of Burgundy have been very well defined thanks to the studious Monks a few hundred years ago - and the swathe of others who have picked up the baton since.

The Golden Slope (Cote D'or) is divided into two; the Cote du Nuit to the north and the Cote de Beaune to the south. Pinot noir dominates the Cote du Nuit as it loves the limestone nature of the soils and Chardonnay thrives in the heavier calcareous marl soils on the Cote de Beaune.

The essence of Burgundy comes down to the place where the vines are grown. The more definitive you can be (e.g. a single vineyard like Grand Cru or Premier Cru) then the higher the price you'll pay. A village wine, which will most likely be a blend of vineyards from within the village won't be as expensive as its origins are a little broader.

To the north, Chablis is an outpost. Lying closer to Champagne than the Cote d'Or, its marine fossil laden soils (Kimmeridgian clay) make scintillating renditions of chardonnay which age beautifully.
To the south the Cote Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais make wines that are easier on the pocket. There's some great value to be had here. A few different grapes are added to the mix including Gamay and Aligoté (as well as pinot noir and chardonnay).

Red or White?
Both.

Grapes
White: Chardonnay, Aligote
Red: Pinot Noir, Gamay

Styles
The purity of chardonnay is on full display in a bottle of Chablis. Chiselled and tightly wound this is a crisp and salivating white. White Burgundy tends towards a riper heart but with spicy oak support.

Favourite Producers
Gerard Raphet, Jean-Marc Pillot, Armand Rousseau, Domaine Romanee Conti, Benjamin Leroux, Domaine Bellene, JF Mugnier, Buisson Battault, Domaine Roulot, Arnaud Ente, Francois Carillon, Francois Raveneau, Christophe Chablis, Chantemerle Chablis,

 

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  1. Domaine de Bellene Vosne Romanee Les Quartiers de Nuits 2018 Vieilles Vignes
    Domaine de Bellene Vosne Romanee Les Quartiers de Nuits 2018 Vieilles Vignes

    An overtly floral-suffused nose displays a lovely array of spice elements on the essence of red berry fruit aromas. I very much like the mid-palate mouthfeel of the sappy medium-bodied flavors that terminate in a powerful, rustic and mocha-inflected finish. This is quite a robust Vosne villages that will require at least some patience. BURGHOUND

    Always one of the wines of the range. Exhibits all the kirsch cherry and silken texture of a classic Vosne with the addition of some nice Asian spice coming from the 50% whole cluster. MICHAEL McNAMARA

    2018
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  2. Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Chaignots 1er 2018
    Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Chaignots 1er 2018

    A fresh, pure and layered nose consists of liqueur-like dark berry fruit, plum, violet, earth and touches of spice. There is excellent richness to the slightly more refined medium weight flavors that coat the palate with dry extract where the supporting structure arrives all at once on the grippy and mildly drying finish. I suspect that this will round into form once the sulfur addition is more completely integrated. BURGHOUND

    I haven't always been the biggest fan of Nicolas' version of Chaignots - although I love the vineyard with its the nod to the "silk" of Vosne a nice counterpoint to the rusticity of Nuits. This year this is a beautiful example and the best I've seen from him. MICHAEL McNAMARA

    2018
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  3. Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux Blanc 2018
    Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux Blanc 2018
    A great exampole of the value from Santentay - this single site Climat Has a high percentage of limestone over clay - it is energentic- vibrant and textural chardonnay, and with a nice balance of oak (25% new)  provides an little more structure to the wine than the Bourgone. ALEX WILCOX

    Again, wide, fresh, clean agrumes. A little more structural more depth of flavour, faintly spiced.. gorgeously finishing. Really only at the end, end a touch of oak. Bravo. BILL NANSON Burgundy Report
    2018
    chardonnay
    France
    358
  4. Roche de Bellene Bellenos Blanc 2018
    Roche de Bellene Bellenos Blanc 2018

    The Bellenos range sit under the newly created Coteaux Bourgignons (Hillside Burgundy) appellation. This new appellation was created in 2011 to allow producers in the region more freedom to blend wines, among varieties and throughout a larger designated area. It is designed to promote Burgundy that is of real quality but perhaps fits outside the traditional constraints of AOC regulations. It extends from Cote d’or in the north to Beaujolais in the south.

    The blanc is a blend of mainly chardonnay sourced from a cluster of southern Burgundy and northern Beaujolais sites. A touch of aligoté is also blended in to provide a little extra zip and vigour to the wine. Fermentation is all done in stainless steel tank with about 8 months in larger old barrels and aging on fine lees to provide a little extra texture and weight.

    A nice little hit of exotic fruits but pulled in tight to keep things fresh and while there is plenty of plushness and mid-palate richness there is a lovely savoury edge and spicey mineral note that threads it all together nicely. 

    2018
    chardonnay
    France
    358
  5. Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Vieilles Vignes 2020
    Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Vieilles Vignes 2020

    Notes of freshly turned earth, floral and underbrush add breadth to the various dark berry fruit scents. There is again excellent volume and mid-palate density to the sappy medium weight flavors that possess classic Nuits muscle though perhaps just a bit less rusticity than usual. This is really quite good and fashioned in a built-to-age style. BURGHOUND, www.burghound.com

    As ever, this is one of Potel's best wines. It is quintessentially Nuits St Georges. Earth aromas lay next to red-moving-to-black fruits. Floral lift but it's more red petals than violets. The usual hint of dourness you love in Nuits. Red fruit attack, minerality and energy to burn with a more muscular texture than the Volnay. It's always a wine that starts to show it's true colours after five years. This is no different. Excellent. MICHAEL MCNAMARA, PWS

    2020
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  6. Jean-Luc & Eric  Burguet Vosne Romanee Rouge Dessus 1er 2019
    Jean-Luc & Eric Burguet Vosne Romanee Rouge Dessus 1er 2019

    This is aromatically similar to the Vosne villages with just a bit more wood influence. The super-sleek and sophisticated middle weight flavors are even more intensely mineral-driven while displaying excellent length on the youthfully austere finale. This is really quite classy though unlike the villages it is sufficiently structured that it will definitely need at least 5 to 7 years first and reward a decade plus. "Outstanding" BURGHOUND

    2019
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  7. Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux Blanc 2019
    Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux Blanc 2019
    Deeper again, this time a little less width. Freshly energetic, citrus intensity, layers of flavour. So mouth-watering… always a great wine here – bravo. BILL NANSON, Burgundy Report

    On the nose this is quite pretty, but reserved with just a little meyer lemon, chalk dust and lemon drizzle cake type of feel. Take a sip though and it's a different story, this is bursting with energy and mouth-watering intensity. There's a spear of bristling, lemony acidity that whisks the wine across the palate at some pace, leaving behind it a lovely undercarriage of oily, mouth-coating texture which then gives way to a powdery, sparkling finish. It's screams for a plate stacked high with calamari dusted in semolina and flash fried in good olive oil. Such a charismatic wine. ALEX DOBSON, PWS
    2019
    chardonnay
    France
    358
  8. Louis Picalmelot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Les Terroirs
    Louis Picalmelot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Les Terroirs

    Based in Rully and presided over by third-generation winemaker-proprietor Philippe Chautard, Maison Louis Picamelot produces some of the best sparkling wines in Burgundy. Forever in Champagne's shadow, few take Crémant de Bourgogne seriously. But what this Maison is doing is already impressive and well worth open-minded consumers' attention. WILLIAM KELLEY, Wine Advocate

    Makes you smile this wine. There's a generosity of aromatic that leads you through baked pastry, fresh cut stonefruits and then an invogorating punch of crushed stone minerality puffs into view. It's kind of like a Champagne letting it's hair down on the palate as well, genrosity of well-defined fruit is edged with minerality and oyster shell while the fine bead cinches and tucks in the effusive edges. Its got enough in it for the serious-minded fizz drinker but is also playful and generous enough to keep you pulling it out of the fridge for pretth much any pcassion. MICHAEL MCNAMARA

    This thing hits it out of the park in terms of delivering quality and value. It doesn’t hold back with packing in the flavour either. The fruit is present and accounted for, with a nice lick of minerality and some back end punch, but what is really striking is the yeasty, brioche, burnt toast mealy characters that immediately greet you as you take your first sniff. It has all the bells and whistles. As a Champagne nerd I love to see that in the wine, as distinctly different to my fetish for Grower Bubbles, give me some of that expressively yeasty goodness. Substantial length here too. This will be one hell of a crowd pleaser. ROSCOE

    France
    358
  9. Louis Picamelot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Les Terroirs Rose NV
    Louis Picamelot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Les Terroirs Rose NV
    Siren song aromatics of strawberries and cream, a little tarragon and mineral and maybe a little vanilla lead you head first into the glass. So enticing and welcoming and it continues on the palate with the same ebullient fruit held within a soft and pillowy mousse creating an almost sensual decadent impression. Alongside that though is real energy and vigour elevating the fruit and spice (and a little sage) element in the wine. It's so beuatiuflly put together this wine and would leave a number of it's Champagne cousins for dead and ashamed of their pricing. Gorgeous sparkling. MICHAEL MCNAMARA   


    One of the crew called this “soft and mellow” I can see where that comes from, it certainly has a lovely mouth filling quality and all those billowing soft bubbles provide such a sensual cushioning effect, but the wine lacks nothing for racy energy either. I don't think its soft, I think it's lush!
    Also, I love the fine chalkiness that punctuates the fruit. Like its BdB sibling the lights are flashing and the sirens are cranked up, they don’t shy away from the winemaking and let’s be honest, that’s what makes Champa… sparkling wines like this so exciting. Even with that distinct autolytic creaminess the wines overall impression is one of flirtatious elegance. It is my pick of the two, but only just, and it pips its sibling on refinement if not substance. ROSCOE
    NV
    France
    358
  10. Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin VV 2019
    Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin VV 2019

    Soft wood and a top note of menthol are present on the plum and sauvage scented nose. The racy, intense and again attractively textured medium-bodied flavors possess both fine depth and length on the youthfully austere finale. This is a lovely Gevrey villages that should reward mid-term keeping. "Outstanding" BURGHOUND

    Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cassis, rich spices and loamy soil, the 2019 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes is medium to full-bodied, layered and fleshy, with an ample core of lively, concentrated fruit and a textural, enveloping profile. This elegant, gourmand wine will offer a broad drinking window. WILLIAM KELLEY

    That's a fine and more florally perfumed nose - pure and clean like the others. Supple, deeper, great texture here. Great depth of finishing flavour - almost 1er cru level here. BILL NANSON, Burgundy Report

    2019
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  11. Domaine de Bellene Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2020
    Domaine de Bellene Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2020

    Here's a nicely composed white Burgundy from several parcels of 40 year old vines on average, with pretty meadow flower aromatics mingled with ripe citrus and white and yellow-fleshed orchard fruit. The palate is broad and ample without any heaviness and the depth of flavour and length are impressive indeed. This is a wine "toute en finesse" as they say, but also with power and palate presence. Fine wine. JOHN SZABO MS, Wine Align

    A slightly riper though still agreeably fresh nose combines notes of orange peel and various white orchard fruit scents. The delicious, fleshy and round flavors are quite supple while retaining good if not truly distinguished depth and length on the clean, dry and inviting finale. This too should drink well almost immediately. BURGHOUND

    2020
    chardonnay
    France
    358
  12. Faiveley Gevrey Cazetiers 2017 1er
    Faiveley Gevrey Cazetiers 2017 1er

    I always think this site suffers a little from the "Rousseau Effect" - not that Rousseau, the Domaine - in that it doesn't seem to be lavished with attention from the consumers as does its neighbour Clos St Jacques. Though the vineyards are, in my mind, potentially equal. In the right hands Cazetieres is a superb Premier Cru and is often one of the best wines produced at Faiveley.

    Here the wood regimen is no longer subtle though it stops short of masking the beautifully layered aromas of plum, spice, dark currant and freshly turned earth. The highly energetic and delineated middle weight plus flavors exude noticeable minerality on the powerful and focused finish that displays outstanding depth and persistence. Moreover, the finish really fans out as it sits on the palate. "Sweet Spot, Outstanding" BURGHOUND

    The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers comes from Faiveley's substantial four-hectare parcel. I find this has more gumption and detail than the Lavaux Saint-Jacques at the moment. The nose features layers of blackberry, raspberry and crushed stone aromas, and the sweet, candied palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin. Blood orange and quince infuse the red fruit toward the finish. Excellent. NEAL MARTIN

    Since the takeover of Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot, Faiveley now have 4ha of Cazetiers spread across numerous plots. Rich dense purple with a heady nose of riper fruit including some black notes. Juicy dark raspberry notes, well spread across the palate, a few minerals at the back. Love the aftertaste (95) JASPER MORRIS MW

    Ooh, deep, aromatic, complex, oaked. Full but fresh, mobile, good but not excessive energy - it's a new barrel so there's some of that too - but this is really a great wine, textured, and delicious. A wall of finishing flavour. BILL NANSON

    2017
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  13. Christian Clerget Chambolle Musigny Aux Croix 2020
    Christian Clerget Chambolle Musigny Aux Croix 2020

    Slightly more deeply pitched aromas are comprised by notes of violet, plum and dark raspberry. The texture of the sweet, delicious and caressing medium-bodied flavors contrast markedly with that of the firm and slightly chewy finish that offers excellent depth and persistence. This isn't especially refined but it works anyway plus it's a wine that should repay 7 to 10 years of cellaring. OUTSTANDING. BURGHOUND

    2020
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  14. Pavelot Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru Gravains 2020
    Pavelot Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru Gravains 2020
    Here the wood and menthol influences are more prominent though not invasive on the ripe aromas of poached plum, black cherry and a touch of the sauvage. There is again very good richness and vibrancy to the caressing and palate soaking flavors that exhibit excellent length on the slightly warm finale. This also needs to add better depth, but more should eventually develop if given time. BURGHOUND

    The 2020 Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Gravins 1er Cru has a perfumed, floral bouquet with black cherries, boysenberry and violet aromas, a little heady but managing to stay focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a granular texture, perhaps the spiciest of Pavelot’s cuvées with a gentle grip on the finish. Give this 2-3 years in bottle. NEAL MARTIN, Vinous
    2020
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  15. Christian Clerget Chambolle Musigny Aux Croix 2020 1500mL
    Christian Clerget Chambolle Musigny Aux Croix 2020 1500mL
    3 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

    Slightly more deeply pitched aromas are comprised by notes of violet, plum and dark raspberry. The texture of the sweet, delicious and caressing medium-bodied flavors contrast markedly with that of the firm and slightly chewy finish that offers excellent depth and persistence. This isn't especially refined but it works anyway plus it's a wine that should repay 7 to 10 years of cellaring. OUTSTANDING. BURGHOUND
    2020
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  16. Francois Carillon Puligny Montrachet 2020
    Francois Carillon Puligny Montrachet 2020
    A mix of lieux-dits, half of which sit on the Meursault border and the other half from the Chassagne end.
    Fresh and ripe aromas of smoked apple, essence of pear and hints of anise are also trimmed in admirably subtle oak. The finer if less powerful middle weight flavors also possess an attractive mid-palate texture while offering very good depth and persistence on the clean, dry and refreshing finale. This should be capable of drinking well early but also rewarding a few years of keeping. BURGHOUND

    Pale primrose here, very vibrant in colour and bouquet. Complex nose with some tension, a very faint toast in a way which works, and a sense of energy to the fruit - indeed more in fruit than flowers. Swells beautifully, yet retains its characteristic restraint. Really pretty finish, a very sound bet for a village Puligny. 5 Star Wine, JASPER MORRIS MW
    2020
    chardonnay
    France
    358
  17. Francois Carillon Puligny Montrachet Champs Gains 1er 2020
    Francois Carillon Puligny Montrachet Champs Gains 1er 2020
    From 4 parcels near Dents de Chien that measure <2 ha
    Aromas of cool white orchard fruit, floral and soft spice wisps are trimmed in subtle wood. The sleek, intense and solidly voluminous flavors exude evident minerality on the equally austere and lemon-tinged finale that exhibit very fine length. Solid quality here in a package that should also reward up to a decade of keeping. Outstanding, BURGHOUND

    Mid lemon yellow. This is slightly more perfumed than its neighbour on the nose, and with a striking liveliness on the palate, an excellent balance, a very light menthol here, this will be an excellent Champgains. JASPER MORRIS MW
    2020
    chardonnay
    France
    358
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