Burgundy, in north central France, is home to the world's most frustrating, unpredictable and—when everything goes right—glorious wines.

April 28, 2012

In this article:

Burgundy Wine: Main Varietals

Red Wines: Pinot Noir, Gamay (in Beaujolais)

Burgundy Wine: Benchmark Bottles

For a sense of what Burgundy is about, try two wines from a great year: Olivier Leflaive's earthy '09 Meursault ($40) and Joseph Drouhin's firm, spicy '09 Pommard ($50).

Great Chablis

Good Burgundy wine is expensive; there's no way around that. But the steely Chardonnays of Chablis in the north remain under-valued. Both 2008s and 2009s are excellent. Here, four great village Chablis to try.

2009 Domaine Laroche Saint Martin Chablis ($22) Laroche's savory bottling has the chalky scent of classic Chablis.

2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis ($25) A family producer with a long history, Moreau is good at every level, from this green-appley wine to the estate's grand crus.

2009 William Fevre Champs Royaux Chablis ($25) Fevre's entry-level Chablis bottling (above) is lemon-zesty, fresh and bright.

2009 Patrick Piuze Terroir de Courgis Chablis ($27) A stony note underlies the bright lime fruit of this up- and-coming producer's least-expensive bottling.

New Beaujolais

Renowned Burgundy producers are buying land in Beaujolais. One reason: An acre of cru Beaujolais costs $30,000; an acre of premier cru Côte d'Or vineyard is $570,000 or more.

2010 Henry Fessy Morgon ($15) Tart berry notes define this red from an estate now owned by Louis Latour.

2010 Villa Ponciago La Réserve Fleurie ($22) This floral wine comes from a château purchased by Maisons & Domaines Henriot in 2008.

2010 Château des Jacques Moulin-à-Vent ($33) Maison Louis Jadot lends Burgundian power and ageability to its Beaujolais reds.

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Great Pairings for Burgundy Wine and More:

Burgundy Wine Pairings

Chardonnay Wine Pairings

Beaujolais Pairings