Finding Good Deals in Pinot Noir Burgundy

Finding Good Deals in Pinot Noir Burgundy

Staff Account

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
Beautiful strawberry to cherry color. Aromas of tobacco leaf spice and hints of clove, nutmeg, anise, cherry and strawberry. I was not prepared for my first sip – I expected a much lighter wine but its first impression was intense. It was a “wow” moment. The Prieuré is prodigious and expansive with bright strawberry and raspberry fruit. Lots of mineral and fresh acidity pulls the whole thing together. This Burgundy has exceptional balance and is a killer value.
91 points Arnie Millan


Giraudon 2019 Bourgogne Chitry $21.99/bottle or $20.89/bottle by the case
Vibrant, lively raspberry and strawberry fruit washes effortlessly over the palate with highly discreet tannins leading the way from the mid-palate on to the finish. We were impressed by how well it trumpeted its presence on the first sip. This wine is all about rich fruit, minerality, and refreshing acidity. The 2019 Chitry carries its 14.1% alcohol with aplomb, just like its neighbors to the South. We just loved this wine! It’s a terrific bargain for Burgundy.
92 Arnie points


Beautiful ruby color, The Potel boasts aromas of pepper/tobacco leaf spice and dried herbs along with red and black berries. Lively fruits wash over the palate like raspberry, strawberry fruit and pomegranate. The fruit becomes darker as the mid-palate fills out. The Potel is medium-bodied but tastes rich in spite of its 12.5% alcohol. The tannins are soft, almost caressing, leading to a delightful, dry finish.
This Burgundy is made from parcels in the villages of Santenay, Pommard, Volnay, Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée (80%) as well as declassified village appellations of Auxey-Duresses and Maranges (20%). Getting fruit of this pedigree for $21.99 is a nearly unheard-of accomplishment.
90-91 Arnie points