A Great Burgundy Vintage on a Budget: Wines to Buy Now
The 2019 vintage in Burgundy was extraordinary, but the premier cru bottles are beyond the budget of most wine drinkers. Our wine columnist found 5 basic white Burgundies that offer a taste of a very good year at an affordable price point.
EXTREME WEATHER happens so frequently these days that when a vintage is described as “dramatic,” it almost seems commonplace. Happily, in the case of the 2019 Burgundy vintage, the word “dramatic” is coupled to the word “great.”
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The weather in Burgundy that year ranged from frost to rain to intense sun and extended dry periods. But all was well in the end. Indeed, the Bourgogne Wine Board used the word “magic” to describe 2019—though the same press release noted that the growers were stressed and tense. That struggle made the 12 bottles of 2019 Bourgogne Blanc I purchased to taste seem that much more impressive.
Domaine Leflaive sources fruit for its Bourgogne Blanc, according to Bzikot’s importer, Juan Prieto. Mr. Prieto added that this Bourgogne Blanc is one of the most hotly sought-after wines he imports. “The pricing has remained fair, and it is a great value,” he said.
At $100 a bottle, the 2019 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne was the most expensive wine in my tasting by far. And yet, to Domaine Leflaive’s co-owner and managing director, Brice de La Morandière, it’s “the cheapest fine wine you can buy.”
The Leflaive Bourgogne was a lush, beautiful wine, but a bit dominated right now by (new) oak. This wine receives the same kind of attention the winery’s four-figure grand crus do. “We don’t do anything different in the cellar,” said Mr. de La Morandière.
And yet buyers of Domaine Leflaive grand crus like Le Montrachet are not necessarily looking for a fine wine that’s cheap too, according to Geoffrey Troy, Burgundy expert and proprietor of New York Wine Warehouse in Long Island City. “Our uber-rich buyers do not buy Bourgogne Blanc,” he wrote in an email. “It is beneath them.” He added that he finds this sad. The buyers of the Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne at Wine Warehouse are “budget” wine drinkers who can’t afford the Leflaive village wines, which cost hundreds of dollars. As one of those budget buyers, I admit the $100 price tag gave me pause. But if I were to spend three figures on a Bourgogne, I’d spend it on the Leflaive.
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