Why is this Wine so Yummy?
All of the vineyards in Burgundy have been classified according to the quality of fruit they produce. From top to bottom they are:
- Grand Cru – Specific single vineyards.
- Premier Cru – Specific single vineyards.
- Village – Fruit from a specific sub-region ie the village of Puligny-Montrachet that is better than Bourgogne standard, but, not good enough to be classified Premier Cru.
- Bourgogne – Fruit from anywhere in Burgundy.
The trick is getting to know your producers and their vineyards. Most of the best Chardonnay growing vineyards are in the Côte du Beaune a region including and south of the town of Beaune. It included Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet which between them share the 5 Grand Cru vineyards for Chardonnay in Burgundy, as well as Mersault, producer of stunning Chardonnays.
Philippe Chavy’s Bourgogne entry level Chardonnay is made using fruit sourced from Puligny-Montrachet, 90%, and Mersault 10%. Basically, it comes from two of the best villages for Chardonnay in Burgundy. Yet, it is still classified Bourgogne as would be a Chardonnay of this classification from a lesser village.
This is precisely the reason you need to get to know your producers and their vineyard holdings in Burgundy. Not all that long ago it wasn’t uncommon for fruit from Premier Cru vineyards to end up in Village wines. Again if you knew who was doing this you could get wines between Village and Premier Cru classification for the lower Village prices!