What does £15 buy you in Burgundy?


What does £15 buy you in Burgundy?

I love Burgundy. It has been the source of some of my great wine drinking experiences. But it’s expensive, in part because it is widely recognized as being a great wine region. [Pinot Noir generally is expensive, though.]

So what does £15 buy you? Tonight I am drinking a £15 red Burgundy from a widely respected producer, Louis Jadot. It’s a good wine, and by Pinot Noir standards it is just about appropriate quality for the price, but I think you can spend your £15 better if you are prepared to head away from Burgundy to some of the less expensive New Zealand Pinot Noirs. The problem? It just doesn’t deliver enough of the lovely aromatics that Pinot is capable of, with some stern structure taking away from the pleasure that this wine could otherwise deliver.

Louis Jadot Cote de Beaune Villages 2009 Burgundy, France
13% alcohol. Simple, fresh red cherry fruit with some spice and tannic grip. There’s just a hint of sappy greenness alongside the fruit, but the over-riding feeling here is one of tannic grippiness with a dry finish. Not overtly perfumed or pretty, but with some nice cherry fruit. Restrained savoury style, with a bit of elegance, but also some obtrusive structure. 88/100 (£14.99 Majestic, Nisa, Leamington Wine Co, Tailormade, Village Wines, Partridges, Ann et Vin, Slurp, Cotswald Vintners, Gwin Lynn)

6 Comments on What does £15 buy you in Burgundy?
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

6 thoughts on “What does £15 buy you in Burgundy?

  1. It’s weird how the structured wines have taken a step back in the winelover’s eyes. Why is that? I just can’t understand why these kind of wines are getting less praise. Is this suddenly a wrong thing?

    Maybe we should “thank” Ne World for offering ready-to-go wines from the start of their lives. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, good for them, but I don’t think we should “punish” the wines that have a more restrained style and structure.

    But, then again, I guess it’s a matter of taste…

  2. Ciprian – I don’t think its the structure per say that is the issue. It’s the fact that the structure dominates the fruit that is the issue. Plenty of room for wines with huge structures as long as the fruit hanging off that structure is good.

  3. Off topic a little, but I recommend the Louis Jadot’s Macon-Villages. Good summer wine IMO: refreshing and acidic without being vinegary. Very inexpensive for a Burgundy and, since it appears to be a blend, reliable year on year.

  4. Basic Jadot wines are hardly known for their restraint, Ciprian, often seeming a battle of structure v fruit. This seems a fair description of a wine that gives less obvious pleasure than a NZ equivalent. I just had an ARA pinot from Waitrose for under nine quid that was a genuine pleasure to drink, partly due to lowered expectations.
    Incidentally, this wine is £11 in CostCo, when they have it.

  5. I had this (I think the 2007 vintage) a couple of years ago and found it hugely disappointing. Far better to seek out good growers’ basic Bourgogne Rouges.

  6. Yes, I don’t think this wine would be picked by many as an ambassador of what Burgundy can do for £15 – unless they were deliberately trying to deploy spoiling tactics to keep the riff-raff away. I’ve enjoyed things like Chorey-les-Beaune from Tollot-Beaut at around that price. The focus will still be more on acidity and structure than on fruit, and the wines may seem exposed in the absence of food, so one should always buy according to one’s taste. If fruit is what you like (and I’m not trying to be patronising!) then NZ is an obvious alternative.

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