White Burgundy = Chardonnay

by Russ Anderson on March 16, 2018

Most people don’t know white Burgundy is predominantly made from Chardonnay.Still some of the most striking whites made today they satisfy those looking for less oak influence on their white wines. I thought it would be fun to explore these wines by also exploring the regions of Burgundy.

Today we will start with the southern part which include the Macon and Beaujolais. Beaujolais is included “administratively” but is “technically” different. (This technical difference mainly applies to the reds where Beaujolais uses Gamay instead of Burgundy’s favored grape Pinot Noir.) Why start here in the southern tip of Burgundy? First is value, here you can find great white wines whose prices do not push the upper levels. Second, good Macon can show the true typicity of great Burgundy.

So, if you like Chardonnay and are interested in the range a single region like Burgundy can present join us as we explore these delicious and elegantly rich wines, easy to sip on their own as well as pair with food.
In this issue:

1Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc
On the map above, the purple region at the bottom is Beaujolais; centered around Villefranche. If you enjoy bistro style food (salads, soups, roast chicken and hanger steak) you should definitely be exploring both red and white wines from this region.

This Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay and made with the exacting care and attention a top wine maker like Jean Paul gives to all his wines. The slightly warmer climate brings on slightly more body and weight, great with grilled shrimp and cow milk cheeses, this wine needs nothing more than a glass to be enjoyed. Drink close to room temperature to fully appreciate the body and texture the wine offers. Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc – $18

2Perrusset – Macon-Villages
Macon, at the southern tip of Burgundy is a region where value Burgundy can be found but the searcher can’t buy blindly. You need to know the producer, the importer or the store the wine is coming from. With this bottle, you are sure that all three are offering great value!

100% Chardonnay (as all these wines are) Perrusset’s Macon-Villages has a delicious structure of white peach, hints of bosch pear with the slight musky smell of fresh pear skin. Intermingled citrus notes as well with the slightest notes of minerality. It is an easy drinking delight and a great value at $19. Another wine to stock up on for the summer.

3Roally – Vire Clesse 2015
Slightly further north in the Macon are the two towns of Vire and Clesse, combined they provide the name for the region this wine comes from.

This wine has a rich, lush, intensely of fruit with marvelous weight and length. This is a stunning example of how rich and satisfying an organic Chardonnay can be, nothing ‘weird’ here, just delicious flavors. This is certainly a “gateway” to Burgundy for anyone who has only been enjoying California Chardonnay. To me, I enjoy the fact that so much richness and depth of flavor comes from an organic wine. This wine really starts to show why white Burgundy is so loved and sought after, Roally Vire-Clesse – $28.

4Matthiason – Rosé 2017
And, lastly a curve – a rosé and a wine from California!

Effectively, springtime in a bottle. This wine is from one of California’s top growers, working for Araujo Estate, Chappellet, Duckhorn, Spottswoode, and Stags’ Leap. On the ‘side’, Steve Matthiason makes a range of wines we truly enjoy. He has been recognized as winemaker of the year and readily acknowledged as one of the top growers in California. Balanced and delicious wines full of the rich California sunshine.

This wine, made from Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Counoise, is perfect for the fresh and lively dishes of spring from goat cheese, to salads and a whole array of vegetables. An simply elegant meal is whole wheat avocado toast. The richness of the avocado equally matched with the rich depth of flavor of this wine. This wine is equal but different to a fine Bandol Rosé Matthiason Rosé $27

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