Saint-Aubin in Burgundy Invites You To Dine

Saint Aubin Hubert Lamy Premier CruTo understand Bourgogne it helps to understand its regions; a few offer excellent value wines. Saint Aubin is one in particular.

Bourgogne (referred to as Burgundy in many countries) is long and narrow. The whole of Bourgogne runs from the town of Auxerre in the north (the land of Chablis) to just south of Mâcon, (north of Lyon in the map below). According to Google Maps, it’s approximately 225k (140 miles) in length (not including Beaujolais). About 220K (140 miles) are planted with grape vines.

Map courtesy of discoverburgundy.com

People often talk about the heart of Bourgogne:

  • Côte de Nuits (and Hautes Côtes de Nuits)
  • Côte de Beaune (and Hautes Côtes)

These two areas are also known as the Côte d’Or, meaning the Golden Slope.

Saint Aubin is a sub-region of Côte de Beaune, lying in the Golden Slope south of the famous town of Beaune.

Saint-Aubin AOCMap courtesy of Sylvain Pitiot – Source: http://www.bourgogne-wines.com (http://tinyurl.com/kzbz29h)

This month the French #Winophiles take you on a drive to Burgundy through Chablis and Côte d’Or. 

Join us Saturday, May 20th as we taste through these areas from 10-11am central time via Twitter using hashtag: #Winophile. Check below for links to see where other #Winophiles went, and follow me here to read about an area with good value, stunning wines that beg you to pop a bottle with a meal!

Saint-Aubin sits as a continuation of the vineyards of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. You may have heard these names; they produce some of the best white wines in the world. Although Saint-Aubin isn’t as famous as the two, the area produces Village and Premier Cru wines that will convert even stubborn palates. About 75% of the wines are Premier Cru!

Climats of Saint-Aubin

Saint-Aubin from a distance

The topography in this hook shaped valley is fairly steep with rocky, clayey, limestone rich soils. They are key to the zesty, crisp, mineral character that can be found in many Saint-Aubin whites.

Today, two-thirds of the area is planted to Chardonnay. In the past, it was mostly red but Pinot Noir continues to thrive.

We visited Côte de Beaune last summer, tasting several wines including a few whites from Saint-Aubin. What amazed us were the prices. They cost less than equivalent wines from more famed areas in Côte de Beaune yet were just as good. This doesn’t mean they’re screaming deals- it can be hard to find a really good white Burgundy that’s a bargain.

And it can be is hard to find a Saint Aubin wine in Bordeaux but the clouds parted – a recommended Premier Cru from a vineyard budding up to Puligny-Montrachet presented itself.

Domaine Hubert Lamy was established in 1973 with a long history; the family has worked the vineyards since 1640. Over the years they purchased additional plots, now having 18.5 hectares of vines (47 acres): 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Oliver Lamy took over in the late 90’s bringing annual production to about 110,000 bottles. The Domaine vineyards are located in four villages including Saint-Aubin:

Villages of Satenay, Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin

Domaine Hubert Lamy 1er cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chiens 2009

This wine was a moving target in a positive way! As wines do, it changed, giving way to more of its character with each moment.

Color: Deep oat straw

Aromas: Light intensity apple and pear upon opening. After 10-minutes, ripe green apple and pear with a touch of lemon lime. Notes of quince flowing to crème anglaise with a non-sweet, caramel almond hint.

Palate: Citrus, apply-pear and almond followed through to the palate. The creamy mouth feel gave way to a crisp, elegant and minerally finish.

Body and Length: Medium+

Roasted Salmon and White BurgundyWe dined on Roasted Salmon, a dish that invites this wine to the table. And it was a great match with the Hubert Lamy “Les Murgers” Premier Cru. While the quick wilted spinach drizzled with a Spanish olive oil tasted good, it didn’t work, masking the wine’s flavors.

The other vegetable, a mixture of haricots verts (French green beans), red peppers and onions tossed with the sesame sauce was right on. And the freshly baked focaccia, slices dipped in olive oil, brought it all together.

While I’ve only had a few wines from Saint-Aubin, each fared just as good as grander Village Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines tasted from Burgundy. Both its red and white remain some of the bargains of Côte de Beaune. Cost of this wine? $38 to $42 dollars.

Here’s the French #Winophiles Burgundy Part 1 Tour Guide:

Jeff Burrows of foodwineclick lures us to “Northern Burgundy Served Up With Rabbit.”

Jill Barth of L’Occasion schools us on “Thomas Jefferson in Burgundy.”

Michelle Williams of Rockin Red Blog tipples towards “A Journey Through Burgundy, Part 1 Chablis and Côte d’Or.”

Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog  throws down “Back to Back White Burgundy: Chablis vs. Côte” de Beaune.”

Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley of Art Predator serves up  “Chablis and the Sea.”

L.M. Archer of binnotes mulls over “Burgundy: Wines of Intention.”

Jane Niemeyer of Always Ravenous ladles up “Saint Aubin Premier Cru with Corn and Lobster Soup.”

And here on Savor the Harvest , our host “Saint-Aubin in Burgundy Invites You To Dine.”

Extra Tidbits – Four Quality Categories

You may know what a Premier Cru is, or that all Burgundy wine is AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) but just in case, here’s a refresher on the four quality categories in Burgundy.

Regional – Grapes can be blended, and come from anywhere in Burgundy. You will usually find the name “Bourgogne” incorporated in the label, e.g. “Bourgogne Rouge” or “Bourgogne Blanc”. There are 23 regional appellations (AOCs).

Village – Grapes must come from within a specific village, and be labeled with the village name, e.g. “Chorey-Lès-Beaune”. There are 44 village AOCs.

Premier Cru – Grapes must come from a specific climat. The name of the village is followed by the name of the climat, e.g. Satenay “Les Gravières”. There are 635 Premier Cru climats that are incorporated into the Village AOC, versus being counted as individual AOCs.

Grand Cru – Grapes must come from a specific designated Grand Cru climat. The name of the village is replaced by the name of the climat, e.g. Jean-Claude Boissett (producer) “Corton-Charlemagne”. There are 33 Grand Cru climat AOCs, just 2% of total production in Bourgogne.

What’s a climat?

Defined by the soil, climate, and the grapevines that grow in a vineyard, it’s a delineated parcel of land with it’s own geographical and climatic conditions. In Bourgogne, the specific climat becomes known for these conditions, which bestow certain qualities on the resulting wines produced. The spatial scale in Burgundy is much more refined than in other parts of the world, generally. In Bourgogne, it’s all about the terroir!

Au revoir!

 

14 thoughts on “Saint-Aubin in Burgundy Invites You To Dine

  1. Jane

    You describe the location of Saint-Aubin perfectly.
    I had a similar issue with olive oil for my basil oil used in my corn and lobster chowder. I made a second batch with a different milder olive oil and the pairing came together. Your salmon, always a favorite, looks delicious! Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Jane- We should talk “Saint-Aubin” sometime. I have a few more bottles, different producers that I have earmarked for your corn and lobster chowder. Glad you posted a recipe at Always Ravenous ;-D

      Reply
  2. Jeff

    I love the vineyard – something about the teeth of the dog? We get St. Aubin wines here in Minneapolis and they’re a good value in the US too! Especially since the markup on Puligney-Montrachet and Meursault are so large!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Nice you can find this sub-region of Côte de Beaune in Minneapolis Jeff, and that you’re still seeing good values. I’ve heard prices are inching up thus this is the time to take advantage of Saint-Aubin Chardonnay!

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Back To Back White Burgundy; Chablis vs Côte de Beaune #Winophiles - ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

  4. Lauren Walsh

    I really enjoy the wines of Saint-Aubin and your pairing looks scrumptious! The fact that the Lamy family has worked these vineyards since 1640 shows such a commitment to producing quality wine. There must be a million stories lurking in the dirt!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Truly amazing how many Chateaux/Domaine/wineries go hundreds of years back. If the dirt could talk…!

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Saint-Aubin Premier Cru Paired with Corn and Lobster Chowder - Always Ravenous

  6. Gracie

    I’ve never had a Chardonnay from Saint-Aubin, let alone Burgundy. I don’t like oaky, buttery styles like many in California. It sounds like the one you tried was less like that so I’ll have to look for it to try. I also saw a few of the others in your group had wines that sounded worthy. Enjoying this series!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Gracie, You might want to try a white Burgundy from the Mâconnais. They are typically not oaked or slightly with a bit of crisp brightness on the palate, and great prices. Those from Saint-Aubin will cost more but can be beautiful wines. Glad you enjoyed the #winophiles this month!

      Reply
  7. John

    Just stumbled upon your article. I recently read about wine from Saint Aubin, nice to see your information. These wines intrigue me- I think I need to buy a bottle now!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks John, you’ll have to let me know which Saint-Aubin you purchase and how you liked it. Always nice to hear about new wines 😉

      Reply

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