When you spend hundreds of dollars over multiple months to build a tasting, you stretch out the write-up as much as possible. To read the introductory entry in this Chardonnay-fuelled marathon, click here. To read about the jump from basic Bourgogne Blanc to village-level bottlings, click here. To read about the exciting ascent into the mystical and expensive world of Premier Cru white Burgundy, well, keep reading.
Now we officially move from the wines that you might pop open on a Friday or Saturday if you feel deserving after a hard week to the wines that you agonize over opening until just the right spot in their drinking window and just the right occasion because you know your budget won’t easily permit a replacement. The combined retail cost of the flight of 3 village-level white Burgundies was about $180; the combined retail cost of the 3 Premier Crus below is almost double that, $340. This is why I didn’t buy any other wine from January until April. In the third flight of the evening we continued to highlight the top white Burgundy villages of Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet, and instead of village bottlings made from grapes that could be sourced from anywhere in the adjoining area, we narrowed our focus and opened a bottle from each sub-region made from grapes grown in a particular highly-regarded Premier Cru vineyard near the village in question. Every inch of land in Burgundy’s famed Cote d’Or region has been analyzed and classified over centuries, and those areas with the best soils, slopes, exposure to sunlight, drainage and growing conditions were isolated as Premier Cru or Grand Cru. That’s what we’re getting into: hundreds of years of liquid history. Read the rest of this entry »