Help me start drinking burgundy

When I started drinking/collecting wine, I, for whatever reason decided Burgundy was too expensive, so I’ll just ignore it and not drink nor buy them…well, here we come full circle and I am finding myself not only drinking them, but enjoying them. My preference for certain wines had certainly changed.

I find it very hard to “break” into burgundy as the prices are so high that it’s hard to take “fliers” on the wines like you can with other regions. Also, since I don’t want to drink a grand cru without age on it, what’s a guy to do? So, i have some superstar wines to age and enjoy later, but where do I start as far as midranged ($50-80) wines to lay down and where do i start as far as things to drink now ($0-$50ish)??? these prices really don’t mean much, just a basis for what I am thinking. Its easy for me to pick out a $200 Grand Cru, anyone can do that!



oh, I should have mentioned too, the easier to find, the better

The options are unlimited IMO at those ranges. For me it was best to find one store (online or physical) in which you can develop some trust with regards to them matching your palate. I don’t really buy from them anymore but I got a lot of help from the burgundy wine company" onclick=";return false;

I would leave it to them to pick out wine in my price range. Often I got off the beaten path producers and the juice was great. But hard to find info on some.

If I were to start today, I would take a serious look at exploring the wines imported by Scott Paul" onclick=";return false;. I already know I trust his palate (and its his name on the line) and he is easy to connect with. In the club you get full write ups on each wine. It is just a handful of producers but you can find some favorites and get them directly from him.

Otherwise you can end up with tons of different bottlings from different producers and never get a feel for the terroirs or house styles.

Look forward to reading some notes on your discoveries.


Zach, set down the Burg, back away slowly, turn and then run like hell. That’s assuming you haven’t won the lottery lately. [rofl.gif]


Come over to my place [gheyfight.gif] .

Stick to these vintages until you can taste and explore more: 99, 01, 02, 05, 06. You may love 03s, but try one or two before going deep.

I would look for Bourgognes and village-level wines from these producers. I just picked these out of my brain super-quick, but I think the majority of Burg lovers would agree that they’re usually solid:

Grivot Vosne-Romanee ($40 at NH for the 05)
Lafarge Volnay (federal has them)
Burguet Gevrey Chambertin (various village level wines, you can get them online/winebid easily)
Domaine Des Croix Bourgogne (the 05 is amazing and has some oak which I know you’ll like :wink: )
Bouchard Teurons 1er Cru (can find the 05 for sub-$50)
D’Ardhuy 1er Crus (PC just had a blowout of them, can find them for sub-$40 usually)
Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin (when there are sales, you can get the 05 Gevrey Chambertin for $50)
Jadot Pommard and Gevrey Chambertin (the most bottles in my cellar are jadot)
Dominique Laurent 1er crus (I think you’ll like the style, modern with some oak)

There are tons more, buy Clive Coates two burg books!

Good post Zach, and pretty much exactly the same position Melissa and I find ourselves in - minus having the superstar wines, that is.

Jason: appreciated the heads up about Scott Paul’s imports. Being an OR guy, I’m familiar with his wine, but didn’t know he was importing. We’ll definitely check out his offerings.

A good place to start is browsing the list from Premier Cru. They have some solid pricing on regional Bourgogne from 05 which is pretty close to a sure bet as far as picking winners go. Seek out regional (Bourgogne) or sub regional (Haut Cotes de Nuits/Beaune) bottles from good producers (Bachelet, Gros, Pernot, Potel, Roumier, Mugnier, etc.) or negociants (Jadot, Drouhin) and you’re off to a good start. When you feel like going high end (near the $100 dollar mark), a good place to find GREAT offerings, in 3-12 bottle lots, is at auctions.

05 N Potel’s - readily available and excellent top to bottom. You can probably find some great deals in the $30-50 range.

Okay, who is this ‘Steve McCall’ person, and why is he posting on an internet forum anyway?

dont do it zach, dont switch to the dark side [beg.gif]

Zach, good luck with this. I’d love to follow you along on this journey, but my wife isn’t much of a Burg fan so it would be tough to sneak those sorts of priced bottles into our cellar. Perhaps I just need to get her hooked on a great bottle or two and change her mind…

My approach, as others have suggested, would be to find a palate you align with and follow some recommendations from that person for a while (whether it be a local retailer, an author like Coates or a critical like Meadows (or even a friend like Peter–nahhhh)) and then adjust accordingly.

Have fun first and foremost. Don’t get hung up on the disappointments, either!

I wanted to laugh at the “Easily findable” and “low prices” parts but wont…

find a group of like-minded people and do tastings. Everyone bring a bottle. Or better still find a theme (Nuits or Cote d’Or or Pommard or producer Y) and put a price cap ($50 per person). Then buy all the wines you can within budget and TRY TRY TRY. Maybe it is 2 bottles from 1985. Maybe it is 10 village level wines.

Tasting is the way to know. The more you taste, the more you learn.

Once you find some that speak to you, follow those horizontals or verticals. Find you love Jadot? drink everything from him you can find. Find 2 Pommards that were really good? Drink everything you can from Pommard and the nearby plots. Don’t try to do everything, you cannot. Find 2-4 producers that speak to you, try all their stuff. Find 2-4 villages that speak to you, drink all you can find from every producer available.

And don’t search for the stupid expensive, hard to find stuff. Roumier, de Vogue, DRC, et al. Yeah try some now and again, but you are learning and to spend more time seeking out “that bottle” rather than tasting what is easily available is just a waste of time and resources in the early stages. If you find you hate Musigny/Chambolle-Musigny wines, why spend the $800 for the de Vogue which is just Musigny+??

I must disagree with the “go for 99, 01, …” vintage recommendation. They are not ready for consumption. Go for the “softer” vintages. 1997 for instance (Dick did I get that right?). Find the open drinkable stuff. It isn’t rock star wine, it is the stuff you can drink and understand now. A slighly “lesser” vintage that is more open will help you figure out which of the wines you want from the “Great vintages”.

Like the 1997, then definitely buy the 99 or 05 for cellaring.
Hate the 1997, you just saved a bunch of money because you find that producer or village isn’t your thing. AMEN.

It is the “minefield” of wine. I have been in and out of Burgs over the 25 years of this wine journey. I have learned I like Chambolle the best, then of course Volnay follows right behind. Next is to find producers.

Barthod, Roumier, Patrice Rion, Chevilion (although not Chambolle). Then there are the whites, so don’t even get me started.

Just got some 06 Mugnier CM Les Fuees from Marty’s. Never see his stuff out east here.

The Burg journey is expensive and full of disappointment, but I guess those occasional epiphanies make it worth it.

Try the '01 Daniel Rion Clos Vougeot - there are still some available at Vinfolio for only $63/bottle. Drinking well now and can age. For the price, you can’t go wrong.


Jeff, Bob and Peter mad some great comments!

Burgundy was a minefield to me when I first started drinking them. But the only way I learned what I liked from producers/vintages/villages was to drink some young, some with age and to drink across all villages…

Village wines are a great place to start and once you develop a palate you can move into premier and grand cru’s but those wines really need time to reach their peak to get the ultimate Burg experience!

Burgundy? Minefield ahead, danger Will Robinson!


You bozo. She was talking about Leve.


I agree I guess Burgundy can be a minefield at first but what region is not. I buy very few Burgundies that I am disappointed with … and they are less expensive than …let’s say Cali pinot. So many values, you may just have to be a little more vintage conscious.

No need to spend more than $50 for great quality wines most of which will drink well young and go at least 10 years. Some you will find will go 15+ years and develop many wonderful secondary characteristics. 2006 should be a great vintage for this. We just had an 06 Francois Leclerc Gevrey Chambertin @$35 that was wonderful. Francois is Rene’s son (IIRC) and the wine-maker at Rene.


Sign up for the premier cru e-blasts and you’ll see many great bargains, especially in 04 (be careful), 05 and 06. For me it is best to look at the big picture and make sure you are tasting lots of young wines and following their progress.


[rofl.gif] [gheyfight.gif]