Best book on Burgundy?

Slowly but surely I’ve managed to “break in” to most wine regions, and can at the very least navigate with a moderately informed point of view. Burgundy however, is one region that despite my best half-assed efforts, still manages to elude me. Can anyone recommend some books that provide a fairly comprehensive guide to understanding the ins and outs of Burgundy (regional differences, domaines, labeling laws, etc.)? Many thanks!

Inside Burgundy - Jasper Morris, is good.

Despite the onslaught of new books on Burgundy this year I still don’t think there is any single book that qualifies as a comprehensive treatment. I would start with Matt Kramer’s Making Sense of Burgundy and Remington Norman’s Great Domaines book.

To me, Kramer’s Making Sense of Burgundy is still the best. Out of print, you’ll have to search out a used copy, expensive (>$100), but the best.

Oh, and for the basics, this web primer is still the best introduction out there. Burgundy Primer by Yak Shaya

Truly no one best book, but among the top ones IMHO are Matt Kramer’s “Making Sense of Burgundy” 1990, never revised, still a classic; Anthony Hanson’s “Burgundy”- both the original (which is a bit more fun-it’s the source of his famous line ‘great Burgundy smells of sh*t’) and the revised second edition; Remington Norman’s “Great Domaines of Burgundy”, 1st and 2nd editions; Clive Coates’ “Cote D’Or”; and Parker’s Burgundy, also not revised for many years, but still a pretty good book. Finally, for one of the best expositions of the technical side of the region’s labelling and apellation alarums and excursions, almost any edition that you can find of the old, classic “The Wines of Burgundy” by Pierre Poupon and Pierre Forgeot, updated several times over the last 10+ years by Silvain Pithiot-still published by Presses Universitaire de France, and available in english.

I haven’t read Parker’s book on Burgundy, but recently saw his snide dismissal of the region in ‘Greatest Domaines,’ after which it’s hard to take seriously anything he’d write on the subject. But then I suppose he wrote the book before his Faiveley debacle.

No, actually Parker’s Burgundy book is very good and worth reading, and came before he jumped the shark.

Hanson’s original also had the famous “Magic Hands” chapter wherein he explained how some plonk from the Midi, Puglia or Tunisi became “Pommard” for the US market or “Nuit St Goerges” for the Brit market as those were the in demand names.

Another “vote” for Matt Kramer’s book.


I highly recommend Bill Nanson’s free website:

Its not a general book about the region but by far my favorite Burgundy book is “Pearl of the Cote” by Alan Meadows. A fabulous read.

Oh, thanks. Good to know.

The Remington Norman book is quite good, and I have also enjoyed the Clive Coates book, but they are different in approach. The Nornan book is more focused on some core producers whereas the Coates book is broader as it looks at not only the producers from that wider perspective, but also the history of each commune. I used to own the Kramer book but in some idiotic haste years ago, I must have given it away as I cannot find the damn thing anywhere, and of course, I can really appreciate the book now. Both books have very much enhanced my ability to get Burgundy into some perspective. I own the Meadows book as well but that is mainly focused on Vosne.

already mentioned, but the two I’d never give up are Kramer’s and the second edition of Remington Norman’s book.

I would definitely look for Coates’ first book, “Cote D’Or”, which I found indispensible. His second book, “The Wines of Burgundy” has more recent vintage profiles but lacks the in-depth producer profiles that were in the first book.

I only vaguely recall Kramer’s book, which I recall as being more frustrating than useful, in that it concentrated only on the grand crus (as I recall), and that is the most expensive tip of the iceberg in Burgundy. Maybe my vague recollections are inaccurate?

Then, to get up-to-date, a subscription to! [cheers.gif]

While Kramer’s book remains my favorite, I do like Coates’ book a surprising amount. That, and of course :slight_smile:.

Do you know how the 2nd, and recent 3rd editions compare? And I see there is a new “Grand Cru” book about to be released, wonder how it is different?

I found the third book still informative, but a little bland. Missing are the comments that allow you to figure out who’s doing well, and who’s in a down phase, or who needs to cut back their oak a little bit, etc. Norman, in the first 2 books, was able to damn with faint praise, so that you you could get an honest look at an estate that had a great history, but might be down on it’s luck a little bit. That’s misssing from the third edition.

Totally different book and concept. Doesn’t really drill as deep as the Great Domaines books, either.