European Editor


Reviews wines from Portugal and France.

Burgundy Wines

The Burgundy wine region is a fifth the size of Bordeaux, and produces correspondingly more expensive wines, with fewer bargains and more disappointments. The best way to buy Burgundy is to follow the best producers and depend on our Burgundy wine reviews. Our Burgundy wine guide contains hundreds of Burgundy wine ratings. If you take our advice, the most seductive wines (red from Pinot Noir, white from Chardonnay, always 100%) will be in your glass. It’s not just chance that the Burgundy bottle has rounded sides, the Bordeaux bottle has straight: Burgundy appeals to the senses, Bordeaux to the intellect.

The main appellation of the region is plain and simple: red and white, Bourgogne Rouge or Bourgogne Blanc. Climbing up the hierarchy are district appellations such as Chablis, for white wines, Mâcon for white and red wines, Côte de Beaune for reds, and so on.

Rising again in quality while the area of the appellation gets smaller are village appellations, including Vougeot, Auxey-Duresses, Pommard and Nuits-St-Georges, among others. In these villages, certain superior vineyards are designated premier cru — and you will find the name of the vineyard on the label. At the top of the quality heap are the single-vineyard appellations, the grand crus. Corton, Chambertin and Bonnes Mares are all examples, with Clos de Vougeot being perhaps the most famous.

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99
points

Domaine Laflaive 2010 Chardonnay (Bâtard-Montrachet)

  1. $560
In this great year for white Burgundy, Bâtard-Montrachet shines out as the epitome of balance between superb fruit and intense mineral and terroir characters. Its subtle touch of wood highlights the unctuous surface texture while just hinting at the steel sharpness of the structure beneath. Age this superb wine for at least 10 years.  — R.V.  (8/1/2013)
98
points

Domaine Leflaive 2007 Chardonnay (Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet)

  1. $411
A glorious outpouring of beautifully crafted Chardonnay, opulent but tightly mineral. The ripe apple and pear character has a delicate, elegant squeeze of lime, while the whole wine is underpinned by wood. No doubt for long-term aging.  — R.V.  (7/1/2010)
98
points

Domaine Leflaive 2009 Chardonnay (Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $410
With its concentrated yellow fruits, this is already a powerful wine. It is packed with acidity, toast, peach flavors and minerality, starting out as a gorgeously rich wine from a ripe vintage. Of course, it will age over many years; open in 10 years.  — R.V.  (5/1/2012)
98
points

Bouchard Pere & Fils 2007 Chardonnay (Montrachet)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $757
From arguably the finest white wine vineyard in Burgundy, this is a powerful wine that shows great weight, but balances that with intense, elegant structure, style and freshness. The flavors are endless and complex, richness combining with the lively character of the vintage. Age for many years.  — R.V.  (7/1/2010)
98
points

Clos de Tart 2005 Pinot Noir (Clos de Tart)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $319
A beautiful wine, smooth, polished, with rounded corners. Its intense fruit is balanced and harmonizes well with the sweet tannins, the layers of wood and the red berry flavors. Certainly powerful, it impresses equally with the pleasure it will give in 7–10 years.  — R.V.  (8/1/2008)
98
points

Domaine des Lambrays 2005 Pinot Noir (Clos de Lambrays)

  • Cellar Selection
A beautiful, pure wine that combines freshness and intense richness. It seems to float while still giving a huge mouthful of plums, coffee and sweet, juicy tannins. A straight line of pure flavor all the way to the finish.  — R.V.  (8/1/2008)
98
points

Louis Jadot 2005 Pinot Noir (Charmes-Chambertin)

  1. $134
A complete wine. As it starts in the mouth, there is a feeling of everything in its place. The tannins are initially soft, dusty rather than dry; then the dark plums, red berries and so-sweet strawberries come into play. And finally, they all come together in a climax of richness and freshness.  — R.V.  (8/1/2008)
98
points

Louis Jadot 2005 Pinot Noir (Clos de la Roche)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $138
This is a powerhouse of a wine. It is driven forward by immense tannins as well as by superrich fruit that still keeps itself in check by a velvet texture. There is spice, acidity, some toast and vanilla, and finally a sunburst of warmth.  — R.V.  (8/1/2008)
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