Special care taken with Burgundy white wines

The white wines from Burgundy, France, are arguably the most treasured white wines in the world. The most-coveted are Le Montrachet, Corton Charlemagne and other grand crus. These typically cost $150 a bottle and up. If you want to go a few notches down, you can try some premier crus from Meursault, Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet or Chablis.

Outside of the top vineyards, be they premier or grand cru, there are exceptional wines made by conscientious producers. The best bargains to be found are those from magnificent producers in lesser regions — lesser being a relative term as I would not call any appellation in Burgundy inferior.

Before going any further, I want to stress, in bold, a wine is only as good as its producer. This is true anywhere, but in Burgundy, it is written in stone. Because of inheritance laws, Burgundy’s vineyards are a maze with multiple producers, many of whom are distantly related to one another. Each winemaker puts a stamp on his or her products, so two wines made from rows that are just a couple of meters apart taste very different.

Here are a few gems that, while not super-inexpensive, offer a lot of value for their quality:

Domaine des Valanges Saint Veran, 2007: Located in the Maconnais, St. Veran is south of Pouilly Fuisse. I find the wines to be less tropical and a bit more angular than its famous neighbor, and they are often less expensive as well. A series of events lead Michel Paquet down the winemaking path and now, 30 years later, his humble little abode continues to put out very tasty juice. Bright and clean, with a hint of butter on a firm base of minerals, this is a joy to drink. Suggested retail: $24
Bernard Ente Bourgogne Blanc, 2007: Located in Puligny Montrachet, Benoit Ente has been making wine since 1999. A relatively young producer, he has learned that less is often more both in terms of yields and winemaking. Largely composed of grapes from 47-year-old Puligny Montrachet vines, this wine has an assembly of brioche, banana, caramel, chamomile and nut oils, yet it still manages to have finesse and with wonderful acidity and balance. Suggested retail: $35

Bernard Defaix Chablis, 2007: Bernard Defaix now oversees the estate he founded in 1959, having passed the winemaking torch on to his son, Sylvain. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, this bright, minerally wine is a great expression of Chablis’ chalky terrain. Medium-bodied with a Bit O’Honey nose and palate, and a long almond-like finish, burgundy fans and new-world chardonnay drinkers will be appeased. Suggested retail: $21

Pamela S. Busch is the wine director and proprietor of CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen in San Francisco.

artsBurgundyentertainmentOther Artswhite wine

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Quarterback Nick Mullens is expected to get his third straight start Sunday. Mullens is 46 of 73 for 538 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his other two starts this season. <ins>(Chris Victorio / Special to S.F. Examiner).</ins>
49ers trying to turn season around in Sunday’s prime-time faceoff with the Rams

49ers at Rams When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood TV:… Continue reading

Psilocybin magic mushrooms (Shutterstock)
‘Magic mushrooms’ moving into the mainstream

Efforts to decriminalize psychedelics could follow several different paths

Those who stick around San Francisco on long holiday weekends can enjoy a slower pace, uncrowded streets and beloved institutions like cable cars. <ins>(Kevin Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
These empty San Francisco streets: A holiday dream

We’re here because we can be, and because we have nowhere else to be

The 2020 Census has concluded taking responses sooner than expected. (Courtesy photo)
What does California have to lose if undocumented immigrants are excluded from the census?

By Kim Bojórquez The Sacramento Bee If The U.S. Supreme Court rules… Continue reading

It’s disheartening to see that Bill Graham Civic’s marquee isn’t announcing upcoming concerts. (Screenshot/Bill Graham Civic Twitter)
A cruise through The City with the ghosts of rides past

I take my time and don’t even mind the occasional traffic jams

Most Read