Your defining bottle of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, etc

If you could only suggest a single bottle to a friend/family member that defines each region so that person, “gets it”, which would it be?

In the Northern Rhone it is Jamet for me. But there are a few you could pick.

In the Southern Rhone I am not sure. I love Rayas, but Rayas defies the region more than defines it. Pegau?

1 Like

Bordeaux: Chateau Margaux or DDC Blanc

Northern Rhone: Chave Hermitage or Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc

Southern Rhone: Beaucastel CdP


It’s a good question and one I’ve thought about before. The answer is not what the “best” bottle from a region is but instead what typifies what’s unique and wonderful about a region. A reference bottle. Here are some thoughts, with the caveat that the exercise is obviously impossible. I’ve tried to stay away from stratospherically priced wines (e.g., no Rousseau Chambertin or La Tache)

N. Rhone: Jamet Cote Rotie or Gonon St. Joseph
Southern Rhone: Charvin CndP
Red Burgundy: Dujac Morey St. Denis or Chambolle villages
White Burgundy: Bouchard Meursault Perrieres
Chablis: Dauvissat Forest
Left-Bank Bordeaux: Pichon Lalande
Right-Bank Bordeaux: Vieux Chateau Certan

Etc etc etc.


Top pick with second in parens. This does not necessarily reflect my own personal preferences on all.

Left Bank Bordeaux - Haut Brion (or Montrose)
Right Bank Bordeaux - Figeac (or Vieux Chateau Certan)
Northern Rhone - Chave Hermitage (or Clape Cornas)
Southern Rhone - Beaucastel (or Pegau)


I think the premise is flawed, as typicity is moving the whole time. For instance, for the Right Bank choice, is the modernist style the new paradigm? I would argue that it is, as most Saint Emilions seem to be embracing it. Pomerol has not. So Right Bank would be both; Angelus and VCC.

Left Bank. While my preference is for Pichon Lalande, Pichon Baron seems more typical.

Rhone northern: old fashioned Jasmin,
new Chave
Southern: Charvin

Old Jouan and Rousseau if you can afford it
New Dugat Py

White Burgundy
Raveneau Montee de Tonnerre

1 Like

OK, I’ll play. Going for excellence and typicity, leaving out the most expensive trophies. Obviously not covering every well-known region!

Red Bordeaux Medoc - Leoville-las-Cases
Red Bordeaux Libournais - Figeac
Red Bordeaux Pessac-Leognan - Haut-Bailly
White Bordeaux - Domaine de la Solitude
Red Burgundy Cotes de Nuits - Chevillon Nuits ‘Les Saint-Georges’
Red Burgundy Cote de Beaune - Jadot Beaune ‘Ursules’
Hermitage - Chave
Cote Rotie - Guigal regular bottling
Chateauneuf-du-Pape - non-commercial post - I represented this for 3+ decades - Pegau
Napa Valley Cab - Mondavi Reserve
Washington State Cab - Leonetti
Oregon Pinot Noir - Patricia Green Reserve
Napa Chardonnay - Hyde de Villaine
Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet - anything from Bates Ranch
Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay - Mount Eden Estate
Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir - anything from Rhys

Dan Kravitz


Does “get it” include being able to afford it?

The answers are different.


That’s up to you.

For me personally, those 5 digit bottles can’t possibly be worth the price so they don’t even exist. Am sure I’d feel differently if I was wealthy.

1 Like

OK then. Keeping things in the semi-reasonable range…

For Bordeaux: Leoville Barton

Northern Rhone: Domaine Faury St. Joseph La Gloriette Vieilles Vignes

Southern Rhone: Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape

Burgundy: Louis Jadot Clos des Ursules


Trying not to just pick the most expensive wine:

Bordeaux Right Bank: Angelus
Bordeaux Left Bank: D’Issan
Southern Rhône: Clos des Papes
Burgundy: D’Angerville Volnay Champans

1 Like

Northern Rhone: older Jamet (98/99/00/01)
Red Burgundy: Jadot Clos de Beze, D’Angerville Ducs, Chevillon Vaucrains
White Burgundy: Dauvissat Clos (if we include Chablis). This one is tricky because a lot of producers have a very noticeable signature…
Beaujolais: Foillard Cote du Py
Jura: Ganevat Chalasses Marnes Bleues
Loire Red: Rougeard Poyeux
Loire White: to me Richard Leroy or Bernaudau Nourrissons; more traditional: Huet Clos du Bourg
Austria: Nikolaihof Steiner Hund or Alzinger Steinertal
Germany: Keller Hubacker
Champagne: also tricky, maybe just Dom Perignon?

1 Like

Austria has another notable grape.

So Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Renner, or Hirtzberger Honivogl if price is less of an issue.


Bdx Left: Palmer

Bdx Right: VCC

CdP: Pegau

Barolo: Mascarello Monprivato

N Rhone: Jamet CR

Rioja: LdH Tondonia

MSR: Prum WS Kabi

1 Like

I just cant figure out whether the Le Mont or Bourg is going to age better. I think it depends on the level of dryness.

1 Like

My response is based entirely on what I have the most of in my cellar (i.e. I must love it and have been buying it for a long time).

Left Bank Bdx: Ch. Leoville Barton
Right Bank: VCC
White Burg: Raveneau MdT
Red Burg: B Clavelier CM Combe d’Orveaux
Nth Rhone: tie between Chave and Jamet
Sth Rhone: Rayas!
Champagne: Laurent Perrier vintage
Sauternes: Rieussec
Rioja: Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Tinto Riserva
Barolo: B. Giacosa Barolo Falletto White Label
Barbaresco: Produttori Rabaja & Asili


Yeah, the demi-sec ages better regardless. :rofl:

Ha, of course! I meant the LM vs CdB Sec and LM vs CdB Demi, etc

New to Burgundy but this was the bottle that led me straight to the poorhouse.

Ben Leroux Vosne-Romanée 2017


Trying to keep it simple (and only types of wine I drink a lot of ):
Bordeaux: Calon Segur or Gruaud Larose
Red Burgundy: Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée or Burguet Mes Favorites
White Burgundy: Lamy or PYCM St Aubin En Remilly
Northern Rhone: Clape Cornas
Champagne: Billecart-Salmon Rosé
California Cabernet: any DiCostanza single vineyard bottling
Oregon Pinot: any Patricia Greene single bottling or Arterberry Maresh
Oregon Chardonnay: any Walter Scott bottling

1 Like