There is really no wrong way to visit Burgundy: just follow the easy formula that great wine and terrific food will make for an outstanding trip.
But if you are going to visit Burgundy, here is how we would do it. Provided below is a list of some highlights from our last trip to Central France.
Jean-Noël Gagnard — These were some of my favorite whites of the trip. The ‘11s were fresh and bright, with some herbaceousness, but lots of clear Chardonnay fruit. To generalize, the 1er and Grand Cru wines had some serious depth and complexity…smokiness, menthol, white pepper and salinity. We also tasted a 2003 Blanchots d’Jesus that was shockingly mineral and focused considering the hot vintage.
Michel Lafarge — I loved these wines. Very traditional style, very cool location (the caves date to the 13th/14th century). Reds were perfumed and mineral, with soft tannins and a nice line of acidity. As we moved to the top Crus, the depth grew and the wines were more viscous, concentrated and earthy. The Clos de Chenes, Santenots, and Champans will live forever. HDH Retail is fortunate to have a ton of Lafarge in stock!
Comtes Lafon — We tasted what seemed like a million whites with Stéphane Thibodaux and, eventually, Dominique Lafon. There wasn’t really a bad wine in the bunch and, as we expected, the top 1er Cru wines were killer. I got a lot of nice balance of sweet and salty with wet rocks running through…more smokiness and some menthol on the big boys to add to the complexity.
Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier — These are some of the best wines made in Chambolle-Musigny (they make some pretty good NSG too) and the 2012s in barrel are kicking! From the AC Chambolle to the Grand Cru Musigny, these wines are pure expressions of their place…Pinot Noir of the highest evolution. The Amoureuses is maybe the prettiest wine I have ever tasted and this was from a barrel!!! If you have a chance to buy any of Freddy Mugnier’s wines, do not hesitate…you will be ecstatic with the decision. Check HDH Retail’s selection of JF Mugnier.
Caves Madeline Restaurant (Beaune, France) — Caves Madeleine Restaurant is a very cool wine shop/farm-to-table restaurant. I recommend sharing a few items – a combination of appetizers and entreés—as everything was reasonably priced. Overall, we were very impressed and would recommend to anyone visiting Beaune. The wine wasn’t too shabby either…you can order bottles from their shop for a nominal 6€ corkage fee.
Le Bistro de L’Hôtel at L’Hôtel de Beaune — One of the best meals I have had in France… fine dining in a relaxed and beautiful atmosphere. We dined on the patio on a perfect night. Chef Johan Björklund’s classic menu was executed perfectly. The wine list is massive, but with a little research there are some affordable gems to be had – of course if you are looking for DRC or Roumier, you can find that too. I recommend the Côte de Boeuf with Frites Maison (for 2 pers) and the Poulet de Bresse Rôti de chez Miéral with Purée Maison, also for two people…or one person with a serious appetite! Well done Chef Johan!