There’s Gold in them there Hills

by Phil Weeks

Clos vougeot cote d'or

A common mis-conception about the naming of the Côte-d’Or in Burgundy, is that it relates to slopes of gold (some vineyards are definitely worth more than their weight in gold nowadays). In fact it takes its name from the direction in which the slopes face, which is east, towards the Orient. Chock full of famous names from Gevrey-Chambertin to Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault to Vosne-Romanée, there has never been more interest in buying these fabulous wines. That inevitably has led to prices rising for Grand Crus and top Premier Crus, which has pulled all the rest along with it, so that Burgundy today could be seen as out of reach of mere mortals.

This is where 2019 has played a blinder as a vintage. Not only has it provided exceptional wines from the finest addresses, but in most cases the very best wines ever, from some of the lesser known villages. Because these villages have less renown, it also means that pricing is incredibly fair and in some cases what some may call a bargain (in Burgundy terms).

Therefore in this blog I thought I would highlight some of these wines, so that those who get their hands on some, can bask in the glory of drinking beautiful Burgundy, at a fraction of the price of the famous names.

Since 2015 Burgundy has seen a run of warm vintages and the triumvirate of 2018-2020 was no exception. What helped in 2019 was a cool spring, restricted heat spikes and refreshing rains. This has led to an incredibly consistent vintage across the whole of the region. For villages that sit on the fringes like Auxey-Duresses, Savigny-lès-Beaune and Santenay it has meant that they have produced superb wines. The Auxey-Duresses from Comte Armand at £130 per 6 In Bond is outstanding value and rates very highly, the Savigny Fourneaux from Joël Rémy at £170 per 12 In Bond is a brilliant wine for the money and as for the Santenay Prarons Dessus from Laurent Pillot (whose wines have received rave reviews across the board) at £190 per 12 In Bond, this will offer characterful drinking over the next 10-15 years happily.

Something else to also bear in mind for this vintage are the Bourgogne Blancs and Rouges from good addresses. Those in the know about where a producer has their particular plot for making these wines, can sometimes lead to unearthing real bargains. The Bourgogne Blanc Côte d’Or from Rémi Jobard is made using fruit sourced from vineyards surrounding Meursault and you can definitely feel some of that reflected in this brilliant wine, at £215 Case 12 In Bond it is a fraction of what you now pay for the village and Premier Cru wines. A relative newcomer to the L&S stable is Domaine Christian Clerget, their Bourgogne Rouge is made from vineyards situated just below Vougeot and Vosne-Romanée, two very smart postcodes and at £90 per 6 In Bond it would be silly not to take advantage of knowing that fact.

With 2020 looking likely to be even smaller than 2019 in terms of volumes and therefore adding pressure on pricing as a consequence, now seems a good time to get involved by emailing our team or fill your wish list on our website directly.