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Edges of Burgundy: Santenay

Edges of Burgundy: Santenay

For a while I felt that drinking Santenay was like visiting your family of wild cousins and marveling that they are related to you.  Was that really Pinot Noir....or was that a Cotes du Rhone I was drinking?  It seemed that there was simply too much coarseness and clunkiness for the wines to be from the Cote d'Or.   But wine-making has really improved in Santenay over the last decade or so, and more and more I've been finding bottles of wine that truly satisfy my cravings for great Burgundy.  Pay just a little bit of attention, and you can find those bottles too.
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Edges of Burgundy: Saint-Aubin

Edges of Burgundy: Saint-Aubin

Today we start exploring the Edges of Burgundy with Saint-Aubin.  This is a series that focuses on villages of Burgundy that are less heralded despite producing world class and age-worthy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

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Edges of Burgundy: Our New Blog Series

Edges of Burgundy: Our New Blog Series

Is Burgundy going the way of Bordeaux?  Prices certainly are going up every year.  The top producers’ wines are now out of reach for the vast majority of us.  In famous villages (Vosne Romanée, Chambolle Musigny), even relatively unknown producers don't come cheap.
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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on St. Amour and Chenas

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on St. Amour and Chenas

Today we'll finish up with the two remaining crus, St. Amour and Chenas.

It is tempting to assume that, because I am covering them last, I hold St. Amour and Chenas in least regard among the 10 Crus. This is far from the case.

It is true that, when you browse our selection of Cru Beaujolais (we have over 60 right now!), you do not encounter very many examples of either Cru. In fact, I see that we presently have exactly one bottling of each.

But both those bottlings are dear to my heart. I drink them frequently. I cellar them. I love them.

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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Chiroubles

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Chiroubles

Regnie and Chiroubles have a couple of things in common. They both border Morgon, but, unlike their famous neighbor, they are considered among the lightest and most forward-drinking of the 10 Crus.
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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly

We deal with two AOCs in one focus this time because, as the names suggest, these are two Crus that really ought to be discussed together. The most important distinction between the two Crus is in the names themselves: Brouilly is on the flatland; Cote de Brouilly is on the adjacent "Cote," or slope. If you know anything about wine, you can guess which produces the more interesting wine. While Brouilly produces fun, light, fruity juice for drinking young, often out of a jug at a simple bistro in Paris, while Cote de Brouilly makes serious wine. Both Brouilly and the Cote de Brouilly have similar soils — a mix of granite, clay, and limestone — so really we have a natural experiment that proves conclusively that the superior drainage and exposure offered by a cote results in better wine.
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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Julienas

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Julienas

If Julienas sounds a bit like Julius Caesar, it’s because they were actually making wine here 2000 years ago and Julius did in fact give the AOC its name (as well the name of its principal village, also Julienas, and another village in the AOC, Jullie).  When I learn stuff like that it gives me great hope that quality wine production will continue in the great vineyards of France despite climate change. 
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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Fleurie

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Fleurie

Fleurie may lack the blockbusters that Moulin-a-Vent can produce, and it may not have the same league of famous producers that you find in Morgon, but some believe that Fleurie’s terroir is the finest, and that it is capable of producing the most elegant wines of Beaujolais.  It may not be the “king” of Beaujolais – that would be Moulin-a-Vent – but you can certainly call it the “queen.”

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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Morgon

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Morgon

Morgon is blessed with a greater number of quality producers than any of the other Crus.
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Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Moulin-a-Vent

Cru Beaujolais: Focus on Moulin-a-Vent

 I am starting our Cru Beaujolais series with Moulin-à-Vent because of the soils that lie beneath the vines.  Thanks to those soils, Moulin-à-Vent can produce a wine that many Beaujolais-lovers consider to be the very greatest of all the wines of Beaujolais.
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