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Burgundy wine introduction


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Information about the wines of Burgundy and Beaujolais, to provide an overview for those planning to travel to the area

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Burgundy wine introduction

  1. Burgundy Trip Wine Overview<br />Oct 1-7, 2011<br />
  2. Old World vs New World<br />New World - California, South America, Australia, South Africa<br />Old World - France, Germany, Northern Italy, Northern Spain<br />Higher acidity, lower alcohol content, more food friendly<br />Less fruit flavors, more mineral and herbal flavors<br />Aging potentialfor the best wines<br />Grown in cooler climates with less sun and shorter growing seasons, vintage variation is high<br />Grapes ripen fairly reliably, vintage variation is minimal<br />More overtly fruity and higher alcohol, limited aging potential<br />
  3. Viniculture in general<br />Weather<br />Too hot = grapes become raisins, not enough juice, wines are overly sweet, high alcohol<br />Too cold = grapes don’t ripen, wines taste vegetal, little or no sweetness<br />Too wet = uneven ripening, rot is a problem; rain at harvest time waters down the wine<br />Pruning<br />Prune leaves to allow sunlight to reach grapes and cut down on likelihood of rot<br />Prevent too many grapes from growing on any one vine<br />
  4. Oak Barrels<br />Used for aging wine before bottling – creates additional flavors (e.g., vanilla, cinnamon, smoke) in the wine as well as stabilization to prevent spoilage<br />New Oak vs. Old Oak – like a tea bag, after two or three uses oak stops imparting flavor<br />American vs. French Oak – French oak is more delicate at imparting flavor<br />Globally, most producers age their wines for 1 to 2 years in oak before bottling<br />
  5. French Wine Regions and Grapes<br />Bordeaux – Cabernet/Merlot Blends, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc Blends (Sauternes white dessert wine, as well as White Bordeaux)<br />Champagne – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Petit Meuniere (Bubbly white)<br />Burgundy – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay (mostly still white, but also sparkling known as Cremant de Bourgogne), Aligote (white with high acid), Pinot Noir/Gamay Blends (known as Bourgogne Passetoutgrains), <br />Northern Rhone – Syrah, Viognier (White), Marsanne (White), Roussane (White)<br />Southern Rhone – Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre Blends (Reds and Roses)<br />Alsace – Riesling (Dry), Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc<br />Loire – Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre), Chenin Blanc (Vouvray), Muscadet<br />Beaujolais – Gamay<br />Languedoc, Roussilon, Provence – Grenache Blends and Cinsault<br />
  6. Terroir<br />Refers to the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestows upon particular varieties.<br />Agricultural sites in the same region share similar soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, which all contribute to the unique qualities of the crop. <br />Very loosely translated as "a sense of place," which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the product.<br />Wines made from the same grape variety grown 100 yards apart taste different<br />
  7. Growing Grapes in Burgundy<br />Wine has been cultivated in Burgundy for 1000+ years<br />Weather: Cold winters; warm, but not hot summers<br />Terroir: Slope running northeast to southwest<br />Different soils<br />Claymarl – best for Pinot Noir<br />Limestone – best for Chardonnay<br />Granite – Gamay (Beaujolais)<br />Kimmeridgian Limestone - Chablis<br />
  8. Wine production in Burgundy<br />Tiny land holdings<br />Clos de Vougeotvineyard (125 acres) has 80 different owners<br />Quality is inconsistent<br />Red Burgundy, in particular, can have very high highs/very low lows<br />Causes: vintage variation, vineyard management, producers, terroir<br />Quantity of wine produced is very low compared to other regions<br />Kendall Jackson in California makes more wine than all of Burgundy<br />Oak Barrels: If oak is used, French oak is used exclusively<br />
  9. Burgundy Wine Regions<br />Chablis (Area Northwest of Dijon)<br />Exclusively White Chardonnay <br />Cote de Nuits (Area North of Beaune) <br />Almost Exclusively Red Pinot Noir <br />Cote de Beaune (Area South of Beaune)<br />Mix of Red Pinot Noir and White Chardonnay <br />Cote Chalonnaise (Area South of Cote de Beaune)<br />Mix of Red Pinot Noir and White Chardonnay<br />Macon (Area South of Cote Chalonnaise)<br />Almost exclusively White Chardonnay<br />Beaujolais (Area South of Macon)<br />Almost exclusively Red Gamay<br />
  10. Appellation d'originecontrôlée(AOC)<br />4 tier classification system for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir<br />Based on concept of Terroir<br />Grand Cru – Middle of the slope, prices start $100<br />Currently there are 33 Grand Cru Vineyards<br />Premier Cru – Higher on the slope, prices start $50<br />Roughly 500 Individual vineyards, many of which have very small acreage<br />Village – Bottom of the slope, prices start $30<br />Regional – Everywhere else, prices start $15<br />
  11. Beaujolais AOC<br />3 tier classification system<br />Wine coming from any of the 60 villages in greater Beaujolais<br />Beaujolais Nouveau<br />Unaged wine, comes out each November, quality typically low<br />Beaujolais Villages<br />From 39 villages in Northern Beaujolais, serve with ice in a Styrofoam cup<br />Beaujolais Cru<br />The best Beaujolais, most of what we will be drinking<br />Named village on label (e.g., Moulin A Vent, Morgon, Brouilly)<br />
  12. Burgundy Producers<br />Owners (Domaine) <br />Famous owners ($$$$): DomaineRomanee Conti, DomaineDujac, Maison Leroy (also negociant too), Comte de Vogue<br />Negociants (people who buy grapes to make wine)<br />Famous Negociants: Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, Louis Latour<br />Beaujolais Producers<br />George Deboeuf, Chateau des Jacques (owned by Jadot), Chateau Thivin<br />
  13. Some Typical Burgundy Wine Flavors and Textures<br />Pinot Noir – Earth, Black Cherry, Raspberries, Blackberries, Sour Cherry, Violets, Umami (Silky Texture), Truffles, Mushrooms, Thyme, Tarragon, Green vegetables<br />Chardonnay – Lemon, Green Apple, Rocks, Creamy Texture, Cardamom, Vanilla (if oaked)<br />Beaujolais – Bing Cherry, Blueberries, Slate, Kirsch, Slightly Metallic<br />
  14. Burgundy Food Pairings<br />Pinot Noir – Chicken in red wine sauce, fowl, duck, veal, anything served with mushrooms or cream sauce, lighter steak preparations<br />Chardonnay – Chicken with lighter sauces, rich fish preparations, pork, veal, toasted bread, butter sauces, lightly smoky foods (i.e., chorizo), soft cheeses, mushrooms<br />Beaujolais – Almost anything from heavier fish (i.e. tuna or salmon) to beef stew (Beaujolais is a chameleon wine, hence it is the most popular table wine in France), pizza, roasted chicken, French fries with ketchup, salads, acidic foods in general<br />
  15. Other Burgundian Specialties<br />Marc de Bourgogne – cognac-like drink made from fermenting leftover grape skins<br />Crème de Cassis – black currant liqueur<br />Escargot<br />Oeufs en meurette – Eggs with bacon, mushrooms, onions on garlic toast in red wine sauce<br />Coq au vin – Chicken, mushroom, onion stew in red wine sauce<br />Boeuf Bourgignon – Beef, mushroom, onion stew in red wine sauce<br />Poulet a Bresse – a specific breed of chicken that is especially good in stews<br />Jambon Persil – Ham in Parsley Butter Sauce<br />Boeuf a Charollais – a specific breed of cow especially good for steak<br />Washed Rind Cheeses – especially Epoisses<br />