‘E’Wine of the Week
By Bruce Cochran
Well, we made it to our 300th issue of E Wine of the Week. Nearly 2,000 people have subscribed to the electronic version. Thank you one and all. When we began, a little over six years ago, I thought that 75 or 100 subscribers would be a lot!
My other newsletter, Wine 102, is distributed via a network of wine retail stores and restaurants, free to the public. You can find the list at brucecochran.com. The topic this month is Wine with Barbecue. As a certified barbecue judge (I’m not kidding), I love pairing wines with smoked meats.
Try a new wine this week!
Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir
France’s Burgundy region is home to some of the world’s greatest and most expensive wines, both white and red. Some of Burgundy’s vineyards date back at least 2,000 years. Around 150 years ago Burgundian pinot noir and chardonnay vines, along with vines from other regions and varieties, where taken to California and other parts of the New World.
So when somebody says the word “Burgundy” the experienced wine lover will assume they mean the region in east central France between Dijon (which actually is the mustard capital), and Lyon. A less experienced person will think of box wines or jug wines.
Most French wines are named for where the grapes were grown and the type of grape is rarely listed. That’s because the place names are controlled and can be used on the label only if the wine is made from the traditional varieties that made the town or vineyard famous in the first place. Burgundy’s red wines by law are made from pinot noir, with the exception of the Beaujolais subregion at the southern tip of Burgundy. They’re made from gamay grapes.
Since the French speak French, they don’t spell Burgundy the way we do. The French word for this region is Bourgogne (pronounced “boor GO nyuh”). It’s sort of like the Italians saying Firenze instead of Florence.
The best Burgundian vineyards are on the Grand Cru list, and their wine labels bear only the name of the vineyard. The second best are on the Premier Cru list, and the name of the closest village appears on the label with the vineyard name. If grapes from more than one vineyard are blended together, the words “Premier Cru” appear with the village name.
Wines from the rest of Burgundy’s vineyards are often blended together under the name of a nearby village, a subregion, or just the name Bourgogne.
Burgundy is a small place with expensive wines, but you can taste the telltale elegant earthiness-or perhaps earthy elegance-of its pinot noirs with Louis Jadot Pinot Noir Bourgogne, blended from up and down the region.
Jadot has long been one of Burgundy’s premier producers. It retails for about $20.