Created by Arnie Millan
Burgundy prices have skyrocketed over the past 10 years due to the reputation of top Burgundy as one of the world’s greatest wines, resulting high demand, low production/scarcity and a succession of excellent, if not great, vintages.
Burgundy is the birthplace the planet‘s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It all comes at a great cost, however. Today associating the word “value” with Burgundy is becoming an oxymoron. Excellent village level Pinot Noir was $30-$40/bottle in 2014; now it’s $70-$100!
So where do you look for value? Happily, there is a rich hunting ground at the basic communal or Bourgogne Rouge level. The fruit sources for these wines can come from anywhere in the greater Burgundy region. There are also great finds in Bourgogne (Burgundy) Hautes- Côtes (upper slopes) de Beaune or Hautes- Côtes de Nuits.
The Hautes Côtes or upper hillsides are planted at higher altitudes than their famous cousins below. It’s cooler here than in the famous appellations below with cooling winds rolling down from the top of the slope where there is forest. In the past, this region had – and still has - a reputation for Cassis and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. Pinot Noir is also planted throughout the Hautes Côtes. Shrewd buyers know that these Pinots can be terrific bargains in warm vintages and they have been blessed with a succession of warm vintages recently from 2014 to 2020.
Chitry is located immediately South of Chablis, in the cooler Northern climate of the Auxerre. Like the Hautes Côtes, these Pinots can offer killer values in warm vintages.
These Pinot Noirs shine and hold their own against more expensive Oregon and California Pinots. Check these recommendations out below:Domaine du Prieuré 2018 Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge $21.99/bottle or $20.89/bottle by the case
Giraudon 2019 Bourgogne Chitry $21.99/bottle or $20.89/bottle by the case
90-91 Arnie points