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.
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.
Map 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!
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.
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:
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+
We 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!