Navigating the subtle differences between the wines of Burgundy can be a daunting task. Trying to determine whether to purchase a Beaune 1er Cru from the Clos des Mouches or Clos des Feves vineyard, in some abstract context can clearly leave one with more questions than answers.
Today, I’ll do my best to strip away some of the pretense and focus on a few ways to help you discover the kind of pleasure in Burgundy wines that has attracted leading wine enthusiasts for centuries.
Tune into the video edition of our Wine of the Week:
The 2008 Domaine Chanson Beaune 1er Cru “Teurons” is an outstanding introduction to the finest wines of Burgundy. It is available at LCBO Vintages shops across Ontario now and is a wine you can enjoy today, and for years to come. Simply click on the bottle (below) to find this wine at an LCBO Vintages shop near you.
Three things to know about how the grapes for this wine were grown:
#1: After a beautiful spring, the weather at the start of the 2008 summer was quite demanding. August brought plenty of sun and wind, which aided concentration of flavours. The harvest began in mid-September under perfect Indian summer conditions.
#2: Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow – and even more difficult to grow well. The yields from Pinot Noir vineyards can be as little as 10% of what could be harvested from the same acreage planted to other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.
#3: Many wine producers in Burgundy purchase grapes to make their wines. Chanson owns an unusually high percentage of their own vineyards, meaning they can control the important quality decisions throughout the production process. This wine is made from grapes grown on a 4 acre parcel of the Teurons vineyard, owned by Chanson.
Three things to know about how this wine was made:
#1: Chanson Winemaker Jean-Pierre Confuron is one of Burgundy’s most talented and respected artisans. His touch is evident in all of Chanson’s wines with a distinct focus on extracting finesse, balance and minerality from the grapes they harvest each vintage.
#2: Chanson has been making wine in Burgundy since 1750. Their roots as a quality wine producer are as deep as the old vines they own, scattered across this, one of France’s most noble wine regions.
#3: Grapes enter the fermentation vats in whole bunches for improved temperature control, gradual release of the sugars, and a more refined tannic structure. Cold pre-fermentation maceration is followed by a long alcoholic fermentation for greater depth and expression of the wine’s structural elements. Finally, this wine spent 15 months in oak barrels before final blending and bottling.
Andrew Hanna is a third generation wine importer and Director of Sales & Marketing at John Hanna & Sons Ltd., one of Canada’s oldest independent wine merchants. He spends his days scouring the earth for handcrafted wines that tell a story about the people and places in each bottle, while sharing these delicious discoveries with wine lovers across Canada.