The Côte de Beaune is almost twice the size of the Côte de Nuits, with around 6,000 hectares under vine. Whereas the Côte de Nuits is an elongated strip of east-facing slopes,
the gradient rising steeply into the hills above, the Côte de Beaune has several side valleys, making it a broader shape on a map.
Travelling north to south, the Côte de Beaune makes a dramatic entrance just before the city of Beaune itself, with the iconic Hill of Corton. This southern region is the more rugged and picturesque half of the Côte d’Or,
feeling like proper countryside. The appellation covers both white and red wines.
Pernand-Vergelesses is a village located in between two valleys of the hills of the Côte de Beaune and is adjacent to the Hill of Corton. It is known as the watch over of two other villages: Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix-Serrigny, holding eight Premier crus and three Grands Crus: Corton and Corton-Charlemagne and Charlemagne.
Most of the vineyards face East or South. Altitudes is in average around 250-300 metres. On the lower slopes are more clayey-limestone soils. In the mid-slopes, we can find rocky limestone soils which suit the Pinot Noir, and on the top slopes, the yellow marl soil fits the Chardonnay.
Red wines are very seductive. Fleshy and flowery with delicate tannins. White wines are light, lively, and full of fresh energy.
Historically the fashionable sibling of nearby Volnay, Pommard’s clay soils make for more corporeal, broad-shouldered styles than those of its neighbour. Changing tastes mean the tables have turned somewhat, but there is plenty to get excited about here: 2020 has suited Pommard down to the ground, the summer ripeness softening the tannins and rewarding whole-bunch fermentation among those who favour this method.
As a red wine enclave in white wine country, Pommard is a source of often surprising value and ageing potential.
Meursault lies in the centre of the Côte de Beaune, with Volnay to the north and Puligny-Montrachet to the south. Although it has become associated with volume and ‘butteriness’, there is in fact a lot of limestone in the soil and corresponding nervy tension in the wines. The best Meursaults need little makeup.
Meursault is primarily Chardonnay country but there is also some Pinot Noir, notably from Les Santenots, which sits on the boundary with Volnay and can be labelled Volnay-Santenots. As with Nuits-Saint-Georges, it is surprising that a village of this renown has no grands crus. Whatever the reason, the best Meursault premiers crus are of grand cru calibre.
For many the pinnacle of white Burgundy, the name Puligny-Montrachet is universally recognised and a stamp of quality. With its rapier-like core of acidity, steely precision and depth of flavour, Puligny is capable of producing wines of great ageing potential.
The village shares the Montrachet vineyard with its neighbour, Chassagne, entitling it to its valuable suffix. We have lots to choose from here, covering a broad range of styles and prices.
Lying south of its famous neighbour Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet (or simply Chassagne to locals and wine people) takes its name from the Latin word for oak tree. During Gallic times, oak trees had sacred value and were widely planted in Burgundy. Today, the village contains nearly half of the Grand Cru vineyards Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet.
The appellation produces red Chassagne as well as white Chassagne wines. The latter are delicious chardonnays with broad shoulders and flesh, often showing flavours of aromatic bush trees and dry nuts. The former, made of Pinot Noir are wines to discover urgently, with potential to become much in demand, like red Meursault. At least this is what we believe.
Sitting at the southernmost tip of the Côte d’Or, Santenay’s plantings consist of around 90% red grapes and just 10% white. Its history dates back to pre-Roman times, when it was prized for its thermal waters, rich in mineral salts.
The vineyards are marked out by the windmill which sits in the premier cru Beauregard vineyard. With the steady march of prices further north in the Côte, this is an appellation which is fast making a name for itself beyond the region.