Discovering Grand Vin de Bourgogne (i.e., the great wine of Burgundy) is an exciting day in your wine appreciation journey. You’ve had cheaper wines, and now you’re ready to move up to Burgundy’s best wine.
What Is Grand vin de Bourgogne?
To properly understand the meaning of ‘grand vin de Bourgogne for wine connoisseurs and experts, let’s look at the term from several angles.
Where is Burgundy located?
Our starting point is wine geography. This Burgundy wine region has been making fantastic wines since the Dukes of Burgundy ruled the area. The legacy of medieval Burgundy lives on to the modern era. The region is about 300 KM (i.e., 186 miles) southeast of Paris. The wine region has been growing stunning wines long before medieval times. It is widely thought that Burgundy wine production dates back to the 1st century BC.
Tip: Planning a wine trip to Burgundy? You may find it helpful to base out of Dijon, the capital of the Burgundy region. The city has a fascinating history that goes back centuries beyond the 20th century.
What does Grand Vin De Bourgogne mean?
The wine term translates as “great wine of Burgundy.” You may not see the term on a wine label, however. Instead, the term “Grand Vin De Bourgogne “is a convenient way to refer to the region’s highest quality wines covering Grand Cru, Premier Cru, and Village appellations.
Is Burgundy Wine Expensive?
Yes! As a wine region, Burgundy has developed an exceptional reputation for quality. As a result, wine collectors are willing to pay for the region’s most expensive wines. Indeed, some Burgundy wines are only available at steep prices at wine auctions, where the average price often goes over $1,000 per bottle. In my guide to the most expensive bottle of wine, you’ll see that some Burgundy wines have sold for over $500,000!
Which Grape Varieties Are Grown In Burgundy?
French wine lovers know that French wines usually do not list the wine grape on the bottle (or tell you how many grapes are in a bottle of wine). Instead, the wine label typically lists a region, and it is up to the drinker to know the region’s typical grape varieties.
In Burgundy, white wine is usually made from a few key white grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc. The area’s red wine (i.e. Bourgogne Rouge) are made from Pinot Noir and Gamay. More than any other, the region’s Pinot Noirs have become famous worldwide.
Two Reasons Burgundy Wines Are Expensive
Any list of the most expensive wines in the world will typically feature several entries from Burgundy. There are a few reasons why the region’s wine producers sell their bottles for steep prices. These stunning wines shine for two reasons.
Burgundy’s wine producers produce many amazing wines. For many years, the commitment to making high-quality wines has given the region an exceptional reputation. When you make outstanding wine for centuries, your reputation keeps growing and growing. This dedication to quality is significant with Pinot Noir. In the wine industry, Pinot Noir is considered one of the more challenging grapes to cultivate, but the unique skill and wine geography of Burgundy is well suited to this grape.
Wine Collector Demand
Wine collectors with refined tastes and large budgets are willing to pay a lot for the very best wine from Burgundy. Further, the wine industry in the region has responded to the demand by opening its exclusive wine cellar collections to collectors. That means that many of the most complex wines made in Burgundy never appear in your local wine shop, unlike cheaper wines that do not attract intense collector interest.
The Burgundy Wine Region Climate
Wine lovers pay attention to climate because it significantly affects wine quality. The region’s extensive vineyards are all affected by the area’s climate. In brief, Burgundy has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. Unlike non-Burgundian wines like Bordeaux, which have large bodies of water nearby, Burgundy does not have these moderating effects.
Understanding wine geography is helpful because it helps you to tell the difference between wines. If you compare Pinot Noirs from Washington State to Burgundy, the differences will leap out right away.
How To Find Affordable Wines From Burgundy
While it is fun to dream about high-priced wines, few of us will be able to afford them. Fortunately, there are many great affordable wines produced in Burgundy. Finding fantastic wines that fit your budget is simple – use the wine classification system to your advantage. To navigate the world of village appellations and steep prices, make sure you use these tips.
Tip 1: Use The Wine Classification System
Look for specific phrases like “Bourgogne aoc” on the wine bottle label or something like “D’origine Contrôlée.” These indicate that the wine meets high-quality standards. Remember that you will probably not see the word Burgundy on the wine bottle label because that’s an English word. Instead, you will see terms like “Bourgogne Aligote” (Bourgogne is the French name for Burgundy).
In summary, the easiest way to detect a difference of quality in the majority of production from Burgundy is to read the wine label carefully.
Tip 2: Look For Wines That Come From A Specific Area
In addition, look for details about where precisely the wine comes from. As a general rule, the best way comes from a specific area (i.e., a wine bottle from a specific village is usually of higher quality than one state with vague wine geographies like ‘Burgundy’ or ‘France”).
You can look up the wine on Google Maps before you drink it for fun. This can add interesting depth to your wine experience beyond the information you can find on the wine label.
Tip 3: Save the “Crus” For A Special Occasion
Are you looking to mark a special occasion with a Burgundy wine? The easiest way to find a high-end wine from Burgundy is to look for “Cru” on the label. Cru is a French wine industry term meaning “growth.” For example, you may see Premier Crus on Burgundy Pinot Noirs. These high-end wine styles are a joy to drink but are prepared to pay top dollar.
Four Affordable Burgundian Wines Under $100
All independent wine aficionados need somewhere to start. Try these affordable wines first, whether you are interested in Bourgogne Blanc (i.e., white Burgundy) or village level wines. Over time, you will learn to tell the difference between a vineyard set up in the 12th century and one produced since the 12th century.
Eventually, you’ll drink wines – both Bourgogne Rouge and Bourgogne Blanc – from the same land that kept the Dukes of Burgundy well supplied!
Cabotte Gervey-Chambertin Grand Vin de Bourgogne 750ML
Available for an average price of $45, this 100% Pinot Noir wine is aged in French oak. The wine has good aging potential, so it is worth storing in your wine cellar for a while. This powerful wine is strong enough to pair well with the strongest cheeses and meat dishes.
Louis Latour Grand Vin de Bourgogne Saint Veran Les Deux Moulins
Available for $40, this Louis Latour wine is made from Chardonnay. The 13% alcohol content wine is a great choice to enjoy along with pasta and vegetarian dishes. Most the independent wine aficionados who have tasted this wine remark on its peach, tree, and citrus notes.
Henri Clerc Pommard Grand Vin De Bourgogne
From the Côte D’Or, this wine sells for around $70. However, it can be difficult to find bottles from this vinery at a reasonable price. A few years later, there was significant damage to the winery, which negatively affected annual production. The Henri Clerc Pommard Grand Vin de Bourgogne is made from Pinot Noir grapes.
Olivier Leflaive Meursault Grand vin de Bourgogne 750ML
With a retail price of just under $100, this wine producer offers wine at several levels of quality. The same family has produced these complex wines for several generations. As mentioned on the winery website, the current winery dates back to the aftermath of the First World War. IF you like Olivier Leflaive Meursault Grand vin de Bourgogne 750ML, rejoice! The same wine company also produces wine in Champagne, so you have plenty of new wines to try.
Sparkling Wines In Burgundy: An Alternative To Champagne
The Champagne wine region is the most famous sparkling wine region in France. However, the Burgundy wine region also produces excellent sparkling wines. These popular wines are typically called crémant de Bourgogne. Crémant is a wine industry term for sparkling wines made in France outside Champagne. Crémant de Bourgogne is usually made from a few different wine grape varieties such as pinot noir, chardonnay, Gamay and melon de Bourgogne. Here are a few affordable wine suggestions to get you started to help you find this type of sparkling wine at your local wine shop.
Jean-Noel Gagnard – Caroline Lestime Cremant de Bourgogne Grand Lys
With an average price of $50, this Côte De Beaune bottle of sparkling wine is widely available in the US. It should be easy to find a bottle and add it to your wine cellar. Made from Pinot Noir, this sparkling wine goes well with seafood dishes like crab, lobster, and shellfish.
Bailly-Lapierre Cremant de Bourgogne Rose Brut
Are you looking for something different in the sparkling wines category? Take a look at this Cremant de Bourgogne‘s average price of $19. The wine is made from two red wine grapes – Gamay and Pinot Noir.
Grand Vin De Bourgogne In Summary
Many Burgundian wine producers have been active since the 18th century or longer, so they have developed the capacity to produce fantastic wines from the Pinot Noir grape and several other grapes. The very most wines from the region are commonly called Premier Crus. However, you can find high-quality wine from Burgundy without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. Return to this guide from time to time to remind yourself how to find great Burgundy wine.