What is it about Burgundy that quickens the pulse? On the face of it, Burgundy seems pretty simple; there’s one principal east to south-east facing slope; two principal grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and plenty of pretty villages.
If you scratch the surface you might start to wonder why two seemingly identical plots, just a few hundred metres apart, have totally different names on the label, make no mention of either Burgundy or the grape variety, and cost wildly different amounts to buy. Welcome to Burgundy; the most infuriating and fascinating wine region on earth.
For over a thousand years, people have been trying to learn which tiny plot produces better wine than the next one, and why. Medieval monks tasted the soils to decide where to plant grapes. French kings passed laws prohibiting the planting of inferior grape varieties. Marriages were arranged on the basis of the dowry of vineyards (and probably still are). Burgundy fever has a long and well-documented history!
It is often said that Bordeaux is for the head and Burgundy is for the heart. Bordeaux is solid, reliable and predictable. The great Chateaux are large and produce good quantities of wine each year; enough to form a secondary market. Burgundy is ephemeral, fragmented and unpredictable. Domaines are often small and produce tiny quantities of many different wines; not even enough to meet the needs of Burgundy-lovers, let alone those of investors or brokers. A single small vineyard might have a dozen or more different producers; each one making a barrel or two of wine.
So, how do you negotiate your way through a minefield of so many villages, vineyards and producers? What you need is a guide, and there can’t be many better guides than our own Matt Harris. For well over twenty years, Matt has been visiting, buying, selling, drinking, eating and breathing Burgundy. He will guide you through the intricacies of the region, using the very good 2017 vintage to illustrate how the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties express themselves according to the ever-changing terroir and the winemaker’s philosophy.
Gougeres & Duck Rillettes
Domaine Ludovic Greffet – Pouilly-Fuissé 2018
Pan-fried hake with sautéed spinach and beurre blanc
Domaine Moingeon – Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “Chatenière” 2017
Domaine Christian Bellang – Meursault 2017
Jambon persille, mustard and capers sauce
Domaine Marechal – Bourgogne Rouge “Gravel” 2017
Duck confit, cherry and red wine sauce, dauphinoise
Maxime Dubuet-Boillet – Volnay 1er cru
‘Carelle sous la Chapelle’ 2017
Domaine Remoriquet – Nuits-Saint-Georges 2017
Selection of cheeses:
Epoisses, Chaource & Comte
Domaine Rene Cacheux – Vosne-Romanée 2017
£700 per table of six
To purchase tickets, click on the link above or email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org