If you missed the inaugural entry about my dozen-bottle, Bourgogne-Blanc-to-Grand Cru, no-holds-barred white Burgundy tasting, check out my write up of four 2009 Bourgogne Blancs of varying levels of quality and corked-ness here. Tonight we’re jumping right into Flight #2.
From the basic Bourgognes, we move up one quality level and correspondingly narrow our regional focus with three village-level wines, so called because the village closest to the vineyards where each wine’s grapes were grown is the prominent identifying feature of the classification. Even though Burgundy is a relatively small wine region (the Cote d’Or, the key quality area in the heart of the region, is only around 40 km long and in most spots less than 2 km wide), each of the main wine villages rests on slightly different soils and lies on slightly different aspects, which result in wines with clearly identifiable local identities. I’ve read about the flavour differences among the various villages, but this was my first chance to experience them myself. The plan was to open a bottle each from the three most well-known white wine villages in Burgundy: Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. However, after checking in with at least half a dozen prominent Calgary wine stores and being unable to locate a village-level Chassagne anywhere, I had to sub it out for Plan B: a village wine from the nearby town of Saint-Aubin, which certainly doesn’t have the reputation of its more illustrious neighbour but which has been known to produce solid whites at (relative) value prices. Would it stand up with the best Chardonnay spots in Burgundy? Um, not so much. Read the rest of this entry »