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Burgundy 2020: top-value buys

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Great Burgundy needn’t cost the world. For those in the know, there’s great value to be found. Here are the 10 that we think offer the best value in 2020 

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or Chardonnay, Alvina Pernot 

The fruit for Alvina Pernot’s entry-level cuvée comes from two parcels – Rue du Bois (around their new winery) and Femelottes (neighbouring Les Reuchaux). The result is a fresh, vibrant and juicy Bourgogne Blanc. The wine is layered with green apple, citrus and a chalky minerality. Pure and concentrated, this is excellent value.  

2020 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Les Chataigners, Domaine Hubert Lamy 

Between Meursault and Saint-Aubin, this lieu-dit sits at relatively high elevation on limestone – producing a particularly fresh expression of Chardonnay. Vibrant and fresh, there’s a chalk line running through the wine with lemon pith citrus and lime freshness, crisp Granny Smith and crunchy gooseberry. Pinpoint and pure Chardonnay. 

2020 Saint-Aubin, Premier Cru, En Remilly, Louis Jadot 

Jadot’s En Remilly is once again glorious in 2020. Brilliant wines come out of this south-facing terroir, with mainly rocky clay soils. The nose is vibrant, fresh and mineral, with notes of green apples and lemon. The mix of new (25%) and one-year-old barrels is integrated beautifully on the palate. Creamy and round, the wine is driven by superb acidity and an iodine note. The mid-palate develops continuously with ripe white fruit, remarkable tension and purity. A gentle bitterness makes for a long, mouth-watering, subtly saline finish. While this will be ready to drink early, it will age beautifully. Located just above Montrachet Grand Cru, between the villages of Chassagne and Puligny, this is a Grand Vin at an affordable price.  

2020 Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, Louis Auguste, Domaine David Duband 

This wine, named in honour of David’s son, Louis Auguste, comes from higher-altitude sites and some of the domaine’s oldest vines (over 55 years in age). In 2020 it is ripe and dark-fruited – a red-berried twist to the juicy bramble fruit, and backed by wonderful freshness. It’s crunchy with chalky-textured tannins that beautifully frame the fruit. The finish is long and vibrant with a wash of saline freshness. 

2020 Fixin, Premier Cru, Clos de la Perrière, Albert Bichot 

At the same altitude as Chambertin (350-380 metres), this Fixin monopole was created by the Cistercian monks in the 12th century. It is instantly complex and gourmand, with discreet oak, beautiful red and dark berry aromas that lead to a medium-bodied palate. The tannins are silky and elegant, with notes of wild strawberry and black cherry. The site is southeast-facing, with calcareous soils that bring minerality, while the altitude adds freshness to the ripe red fruit on the mid-palate. This complex wine finishes long with notes of cherry and raspberry. The tension and texture is a joy. There are no Grands Crus in Fixin, but this seems to deserve a better classification… definitely a wine to look out for.  

2020 Marsannay, La Charme aux Prêtres, Domaine Charles Audoin 

It is hard to pick a favourite amongst Charles Audoin’s stunning line-up in 2020, however this was one of them. This stony terroir sits just behind the village. It’s layered with vibrant red cherry and blueberry, with cinnamon spice and rose florals, giving perfume and lift. On the palate there’s a rush of crunchy redcurrants and a slightly chewier structure. With firmer tannins, this wine needs a little time, but it is balanced and framed by a core of beautifully ripe fruit and zingy, almost orange zest acidity.

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A cheerful Cyril Audoin in the cellar in Marsannay, talking us through his 2020s

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Fourrier 

Fourrier’s village Gevrey, from three hectares of vines, represents a third of the estate’s production. One-third comes from the bottom of the village, with sandy soil, lending fruitiness. Another plot sits below the Grands Crus – with more clay, adding power and structure. The third component is below Premier Cru Les Champeaux and gives balance and finesse. The average age of vines is an impressive 60 years, with none younger than 40. In 2020, the wine is dark-fruited and pure, with bramble and black cherry fruit. It is concentrated, with juicy berry fruit fleshing out the serious yet subtle tannin structure. Fresh acidity drives a long, savoury finish.  

2020 Savigny-lès-Beaune, Premier Cru, La Dominode, Domaine Jean-Marc & Hugues Pavelot 

La Dominode is one of the most concentrated wines from Pavelot’s impressive array of Savigny Premiers Crus. The moderately structural, strict tannins bring fantastic depth and are beautifully balanced by the natural fleshiness of the mid-palate. There is a distinct saline minerality that nicely complements the ripe strawberry and red cherry fruit. The tannins are sinewy, dynamic and well-integrated with fresh acidity and ripe, red fruit. This is perfectly pitched, top Savigny. 

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin, Premier Cru, Lavaux-Saint-Jacques, Domaine Tortochot 

From one of the greatest vineyards in the Côte d’Or, Tortochot’s Lavaux-Saint-Jacques is always impressive. The vines’ proximity to the neighbouring Clos Saint-Jacques no doubt helps in this respect. There is a lovely restraint to the nose, a seriousness too, with earthy, blackberry aromas interspersed with lighter, floral perfume, light pepper and white truffle notes. There is great fleshiness to the tannins, which are rounded and elegant in the mouth. This wine has tremendous depth and fantastic fruit concentration on the long finish. 

2020 Volnay, Premier Cru, Les Caillerets, Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils 

“If you haven’t tasted Caillerets, you haven’t tasted Volnay,” says Bouchard’s Frédéric Weber. It is one of Bouchard’s most important and historic sites, purchased in 1775. Their 3.75 hectares of vines are situated right in the middle of the slope. The vineyard is famous for producing the most elegant style of Volnay thanks to its rich limestone bedrock. The tannins are super fine, supple and perfectly integrated with the rich black plum and blackberry fruit. The wine has a lovely linear structure, beautiful balance and a mouth-watering finish. This is exceptionally fine. 

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