“Celebrated around the world for its wines, Burgundy/Bourgogne, is birthplace of two of the most iconic and renowned grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is in Burgundy that they both develop their purest expression.
While Burgundy is most renowned for some of its exceptional treasures (such as Pommard, Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Clos de Vouget and so on, it is also home to some incredible ‘hidden’ appellations. Despite being lesser-known, the AOCs still offer the nuances and complexity that make Burgundian wines so distinctive. This range of diversity might surprise some, considering the region’s use of only two grape varieties, yet becomes evident when looking at the myriad climats present within Burgundy”
Here are three wines from three distinct regions, the hidden gems of Burgundy from Saint-Romain, Pouilly-Vinzelles and Hautes-Cotes de Beaune.
Above Meursault, in the lower hald of the Cote de Beaune, sites Saint-Romain. Its elevation might preclude the highest quality of wines as found on the lower slopes but wines such as Albert Bichot Saint-Romain 2012 (Oddbins £24) are super bargains in comparison. The Bichot version is full-bodied with just a smear of oak adding a creamy note to the elderberry-tinged flavour.
To the far south of Burgundy and the Maconnais. Here amongst a wash of lets be honest, mediocre Chardonnay, and, at the other extreme, rather over-priced Pouilly-Fuisse lies two satellite appellations Pouilly-Loche and the more available Pouilly-Vinzelles. The Domaine de la Soufrandiere Pouilly Vinzelles 2013 (Berry Brothers £23.50) shines with a streak of minerality. One to keep a while I think. Soufrandiere is run, on organic lines, by two brothers Jean-Philippe and Jean-Guillaume Bret from 4 hectares of vines, although they buy in from other growers too.
Caroline l’Estimé has been in charge of Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard since 1989. in their small cellar in Chassagne Montrachet. “Caroline has fine-tuned the holdings, increasing the number of white wine cuvées since her father’s time by separating out each different vineyard.” One of these whites, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard, Sous Eguisons, Hautes-Cotes de Beaune, 2014 is a wine filled with citrus and green apple. Of medium weight it all finishes with a zesty flourish. (Also from Berry Brothers £24). While the Domaines website recommends their Chassagne-Montrachet white or Puligny-Montrachet as the wines to serve, I think Caroline’s recipe for “Gaston Gérard” Chicken would be a grand match.