Why is this Wine so Yummy?
About Jean-Marc Burgaud
Coming from a winemaking family, it was almost inevitable that Jean-Marc would set up his own estate, which he did in 1989 with his wife Christine. Their 19 hectares are divided between Morgon (13 hectares), Régnié (one hectare) and Beaujolais Villages (five hectares) and Jean-Marc believes that this is the maximum area he can cultivate while still producing the quality he is after.
Burgaud has now been producing beautiful and ageable Beaujolais, especially Côte de Py for over 30 years.
The more I taste Jean-Marc Burgaud’s wines, the more I find to admire. He celebrated his 30th vintage last year, and he has much to be proud of. A winemaker at the peak of his powers, Burgaud has abandoned new oak in favor of seasoned wood, and extraction is more measured than in the past, with his classical semi-carbonic macerations ranging from between seven and 15 days in duration, depending on the cuvée. And there’s just one bottling of each wine, making for rare consistency—even for his 4.3-hectare holdings in Beaujolais-Lantignié (one of the region’s finest values, incidentally). While my planned vertical of Burgaud’s Côte du Py had to be postponed due to COVID-19, I was delighted to be able to taste all his new releases.
In the Vineyard
The gobelet vines have an average age of 60 years, and are planted at high density (10,000 per hectare). Although not certified, he farms organically and all the work in the vineyard is done by hand.
Heir of a long family history in the Beaujolais winemaking, he wants to keep on with the region traditions, style and methods. Limited weeding and minimalist foliar treatment, the common sense is the key of his wine-growing methods.
Where the vines are on relatively poor soils, especially where the bedrocks are almost on surface, Jean-Marc Burgaud thinks it’s essential to protect the vine and carefully work the soils. He adapts the pruning to each terroir. The pruning of the parcel “La Pente”, situated in the Côte de Py, needs to protect the vine against excessive sun exposure: the branches are attached to protect the grapes from any sunburn and are cut just before the harvest.
In the Winery
This specific vineyard management adapted to each parcel goes on in the winemaking. The domain Jean-Marc Burgaud produces distinct cuvées for each parcel. Inspired by his training in Burgundy, he tries to make wines that reflect the specificity of each climat.
In the cellar Jean-Marc uses no adjuncts with the exception of sulphur at bottling. Elevage is almost entirely in concrete with the exception of old barrique for the “Reserve”. Vinification is more in line with Burgundy than what is ‘normal’ in Beaujolais (whole cluster ferments with manual cap immersion) resulting in wines of not only finesse but also sneaky power and amazing longevity in the cellar.
There are 3 classification in Beaujolais.
- Beaujolais – Generic Beaujolais. much of this goes into Beaujolais Nouveau.
- Beaujolais Village – The mid-Tier split between a portion of Beaujolais Nouveau and more serious wine released the following year.
- Beaujolais Cru – The best gear we like to play with. There are 10 Cru’s.
Jean-Marc Burgaud’s vineyards are in the Cru’s of Côte des Brouilly, Morgon, and, Chiroubles.
The 2019 Vintage
“The 2019 Beaujolais wines are brighter and more delicate than the richer, more muscular 2018s or 2017s. Perfumed and floral, the best examples display all the succulent charm and elegance that Beaujolais purists prize…”
William Kelley, The Wine Advocate