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Burgundy: Not Just for the Reds

12 Dec

About a week or so ago I wrote a post about some delicious, delicious red Burgundies I shared with some staffers of the Nota Bene.  However, that was only half the story, as along with the three excellent pinots we tried three chardonnays.

I think a lot of people, when they think about Burgundy, see in their mind’s eye big jug wines labeled “Burgundy.”  (An aside: I was looking up Carlo Rossi’s Burgundy to see what grapes go in it but was unsuccessful.  I have no clue what goes in their Burgundy, and apparently no one on the Internet cares enough to do the research!)  This is horrible, and my hat goes off to those wine drinkers who appreciate well-crafted, artisanal pinot noir-based Burgundies from Burgundy, France.

But that’s not all this wondrous region has to offer.  I would argue that some of the world’s greatest white wines–and definitely the world’s greatest chardonnays–come from Burgundy.  Those white Burgundies I’ve tried have all been vastly superior–to my palate, at least–to those super-oaky butterballs that California seems to churn out with a vengeance.

To each his own, though, right?  This might be the case, but in my age demographic (20-30, generally) white Burgundies get ignored.  This can be chalked (heh) up to four broad reasons:

  1. When people think of Burgundy, they think of horrible jug wines.
  2. When people don’t think of Burgundy in terms of jug wines, they think that all Burgundies are red.
  3. Many people are turned off by the “butterball” super-oaky style of chardonnay championed by Californian winemakers.
  4. White Burgundies can be friggin’ expensive.

I’ve already addressed numbers one and two.  As regards number three, white Burgundies are as a general rule much less oaky than California wines.  However, they do exist on a stylistic scale ranging from lean and mean to round and supple, which makes Burgundy a veritable playground of chardonnay.

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