Sommeliers love burgundy. they love its finesse and elegance, the depth and complexity of its aromas and flavors; they love how transparently it expresses the place where it was grown, and how effortlessly it pairs with food. In fact, some sommeliers love Burgundy so much that they’re making wine there (albeit in partnership with investors—not surprising, considering that a single acre of a premier cru Burgundy vineyard might run $800,000).
This wine that inspires so much passion comes from a single strip of land that lies between Lyon and Dijon in France. The heart of the region, the appropriately named Côte d’Or (Golden Slope), is a narrow, 30-mile-long sliver with the pretty town of Beaune as its center. The vineyards here—Chardonnay for white Burgundy, Pinot Noir for red—rise in a gentle slope from the RN 74 highway to the eastern edge of the Morvan hills.
Great Burgundies are among the world’s most complex wines, so their attributes are difficult to sum up. But to generalize a little, fruit character runs from raspberries to black cherries in reds, and from green apples to pears to white peaches in whites. Red or white, delicate or robust, Burgundies typically have brighter acidity than American Chardonnays or Pinot Noirs, and less overt ripeness.