2367121237608.jpgWe’re probably not alone in the fact that we love wines from Burgundy but really can’t afford them. A great 1er (premiere) cru Gevrey Chambertain could cost us around $35 - $50, and while on special occasions they can be worth every cent, the reality is that we don’t get to have them as much as we like. But there is good news.

Perhaps we owe a shout out to mother nature or maybe we should appreciate the short term benefits of global warming, but due to the long, warm growing season in Burgundy for the past few years, even the basic level Burgundy wine is drinking like the good stuff. Generally, the marginal climate (read: crappy weather) in Burgundy means that only the vineyards in the best locations get ripe and the surrounding areas do the best they can. However, despite a pocket of rainfall here and there, the grapes, even in the basic levels of Burgundy vineyards have reached optimal ripeness, resulting in affordable wines that are truly impressive. These wines usually say “Bourgogne” or “Hautes Cotes de Nuits” on the label, indicating that they are made from grapes found anywhere within that region. In the hands of the right producer, these wines can be downright delicious.

Check these out:

Domaine Michel Gros, Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2005, $25
Balanced yet complex blend of raspberries, cherries and earth notes. Extremely food and tastebud friendly.

Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Cuvee Gerard, 2005, $20
Young with ripe fruit notes of cherries and strawberries that is complemented by notes of spice and mushrooms.

Until we become independently wealthy we will continue to appreciate any gift that comes our way. If it happens to come in the form of affordable yet delicious Pinot Noir, then pass us a (big) glass and keep it coming.