Wine & Spirits

23 Mar 2021

Is Budget Burgundy an Oxymoron?

Is Budget Burgundy an Oxymoron?

Author: Vintage Wine  /  Categories: Wine & Spirits, Wine  /  Rate this article:
Burgundy continues to captivate wine connoisseurs from all over the world and it simply does not produce enough to satisfy demand. There are other places that make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but none do it the same. Prices have gone up at all levels - village, premier cru and grand cru - and finding affordable and drinkable Burgundy that doesn’t take $100+ per bottle and 15 years of aging before you can enjoy takes some serious searching. The good news is they can be found. You may have to forego popular villages in the Cote de Nuit such as Chambolle Musigny, Gevrey Chambertin and Vosne Romanee and look to lesser known villages such as St. Aubin in Cote de Beaune or Rully in Maconnais. So what is considered a budget Burgundy today? Everybody has their own level of prices that they are comfortable with, but if you want to be in the game, the ante starts around $30 and goes up from there. We’ll try to keep it in the $50 range or below. Some might say ‘budget Burgundy’ is an oxymoron, but it is all relative.

We have a couple of wines from St Aubin made by Larue. St Aubin is a bowl located on the western side of the slope of Puligny Montrachet. It is a good place to look for Burgundy wines that often taste more luxurious than their price. Some of the white premier crus from St Aubin show a lot of Puligny Montrachet in their character. St Aubin is known for its Chardonnay, but there are some good Pinot Noirs coming from here too. A lot of St Aubin Pinot Noir is bottled as Cote de Beaune, when you find a good one, it has good fruit and is supple, somewhat rich and nice texture. Check out the red and white from Larue listed below.

Domaine Pierre Guillemot hails from Savigny les Beaune, another less prestigous village, but Guillemot’s style will satisfy Burgundy lovers. The wines are ripe and fruity, but they show class with their balance and silky textures.

At Vintage Wine Cellar one of the most common request for recommendations is affordable Burgundy. It is hard to find them, but we try our best. Here are some of Vintage Wine Cellar’s picks for budge Burgundy that you can pick up today in the store and enjoy that same night:

Pinot Noir
2018 Larue St Aubin Les Eduens Rouge $39.99
Wonderful nose of crushed red berry; it is perfumy. Nice interplay between ripe red and black cherry fruit. Has a nice vein of minerality and a touch of earth. Soft, supple and round in the mouth - very pleasurable. I might be slightly underrating this by a point or two. It is ready to pop and pour, but has a medium length of life ahead. Don't hold back on opening this now.

2017 Guillemot Bourgogne $29.99
Perfumy nose. Light and pretty. Red cherry, ripe and tart. A delicate Pinot Noir. There is some earth and tinge of mineral underneath. Seamless and balanced. It is a simple wine, but a simple wine done well.

2017 Guillemot Savigny Les Beaune Les Grands Picotins $44.99
Balance and purity describe this wine. Red cherry and strawberry fruit with mild spice. The purity of the fruit really shines and the balance is very delicate. A step up from the Bourgogne, but along the same style.

2018 Larue St Aubin Les Combes Blanc $49.99
Lemon curd, chalk, wet stone with good acidity and balance. To be honest this has the demeanor of a good Puligny Montrachet - a very good village level or ok level of premier cru. Guessing there is limestone in the vineyard. Ready to drink, but has a decent length life ahead. For this price (~$50), it is an absolute gem.

2018 Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise Blanc Les Clous Aime $45.99
This a little fuller than I expected. Nice citrus, mostly lemon, and stone fruit. There is a trace of mineral in the background. While it is youthful and exuberant now, it can be aged and will change character in 5-7 years.

2018 Drouhin Chablis Vaillons $47.99
Due to the 2018 vintage, this is not a very lean Chablis. It has some richness to it. In its youth it is forward and has good energy. Citrus, saline and pear qualities.

2018 Pierre Guillemot Savigny Les Beaune Blanc Les Gollardes $53.99
Flowers and ripe fruit on the nose. A riper style Chardonnay with lots of fruit - flowers, ripe stone fruit, orange blossom, citrus and honeysuckle. A light, delicate and pretty style of wine - almost ethereal. It gently and gracefully dances on the palate. A feint mineral backbone with the requisite acidity from keeping this wine from being flabby. It is still on the young side, but it is ready to be enjoyed now. First experience with this producer. Nice stuff.

2018 Bruno Colin Bourgogne Chardonnay $35.99
The wine reminds me of biting into an apple in terms of flavor and the interplay between fruit and acidity. Besides apple there is some fresh stone fruit. It does have a vein of chalk/stone/mineral. It is a bit crisp like a good apple cider. A well done and interesting Bourgogne Blanc.

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