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The great wine region of Burgundy is famous all over the world for its subtle Chardonnay whites and sensual Pinot Noir reds.
The best whites include steely, minerally wines from Chablis and more full bodied buttery wines from the villages of the Cote de Beaune such as Meursault and Puligny Montrachet.
Further south in the Cote Chalonnaise villages of Rully, Givry and Mercurey there are relative bargains to be had. These elegant Chardonnays have the buttery honeyed flavours of their more famous neighbours to the north but at much more better prices.
The wines of the Maconnais are different again: open and sunny wines but still capable of real finesse and complexity in the better villages around Saint-Véran and Fuissé.
Pinot Noir reds are at their best in the villages of the Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune although the warm vintages of 2002 and 2003 have resulted in some very enjoyable red wines being made as far north as the Cotes d'Auxerre near Chablis. These are low tannin wines that taste of red soft fruits when young and develop wonderful sensual, savoury flavours after a few years in bottle.
Great local vineyards
Olivier Morin, Chitry-le-Fort (Chablis) + 33 (0)3 86 41 47 20
Domaine Bersan, Saint Bris (Cote d’Auxerre) + 33 (0)3 86 53 33 73
Philippe Chavy, Puligny Montrachet (Cote de Beaune) + 33 (0)3 80 21 92 41
Jean-Claude Bréliere, Rully (Cote Chalonnais) + 33 (0)3 85 91 22 01
Domaine Fussiacus, Fuissé (Macon) + 33 (0)3 85 27 01 06