Know your Top Burgundy villages

There are 44 AOC (controlled appellation) villages in Burgundy. Here is a list of those you should try to get familiar with from NORTH to SOUTH in the Côtes de Nuits and Côtes de Beaune districts and a description of the wine characteristics in each village.*

There is a seperate feature on the Grand Crus…so villages such as Echezeaux have been left out of this chapter.

Don’t forget that the Burgundy AOC classification is unique to Burgundy and follows the pyramide below:

Grand Crus

Premiers Crus

Village Appellations

Regional Appellation



There are no Premier Cru or Grand Cru in this village, but it is the only village to have its own Appellation Rosé

The Pinot Noir has a dark, intense purple colour. The aromas are of red fruits (cherry & strawberry) and black fruits (blackcurrant & blueberry). It is a full-bodied and generoous red with a great length in the mouth.

Pairing: natural with red meats: T-bone, prime cuts, ostrich steak…but also with river fish (pike, perch, stuffed carp).

The chardonnay’s have both citrus and white flower notes (hawthorn & acacia). In the mouth, it expresses both minerality and length. Are perfect when young, but also age well.

Pairing: white meats (poultry, veal, pork). Risotto is also a great pairing as well as sushi which reveal the chiselled aromas of the chardonnay.

Fixin (pronounced Fissann)

This appellation includes 6 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).

The Pinot Noir is known here as a “winter red”, because of its corpulence.

It’s medium dark (almost dark purple) in colour. The aromas are a mixture of fruits (blackcurrant, cherry, quince), flowers (violet and peony), animal, musk & pepper. Sometimes even cherry stone can be detected.  Often tannic and sometimes a little harsh during its youth, the Fixin has a solid structure, a round attack. It is remarkably full-bodied with a delicate texture.

Pairing suggestions: Masculine yet delicate, it has a tannic structure that pairs well with meat such as braised pork, , entrecote, poultry stew, but also spicier dishes such as a curryor even more exotique food such as a paella, tapas or nems.

Cheese such as: a chaource, the fruity side of a comté or the strong flavours of an Epoisse.

Gevrey Chambertin

This appellation includes 26 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” and 9 Grand Crus.

When young, their robe is a bright ruby colour which turns a dark crimson even cherry colour after a few years. Typical aromas of a Gevrey are strawberry, blackberry, violet, reseda and rose. As they age, their bouquet evokes liquorice, leather and fur with game and earthy notes.

In the mouth a Gevrey is both full-bodied, strong, rich and racy with velvety tannins. When drunk young, the fruit is present, but a Gevrey is best appreciated when aged for several years. This is a great Burgundy Pinot Noir.

Pairing: as a solid structured pinot, it is a wine made for lovers of meat, especially game. Any fibrous red meat will do. However, you’d be surprised how well it pairs with pike or tuna in a red wine sauce. Cheese: an Epoisse or an Ami du Chambertin.

Morey Saint Denis

This appellation includes 20 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” and 4 Grand Crus

The Pinot Noir’s are of a deep purple colour. Its bouquet is shared between black fruits (blackcurrant, blueberry) and cherry. It does have variants: prune, violet, carnation, liquorice, eau-de-vie fruits. When aged, it evokes hunting (leather, moss, game, truffles). Its tannins are firm but velvety and it is generously full-bodied.

Pairing: Its tannins pair better with wild poultry than veal, for example. These same tannins give some depth to an entrecote or a T-bone steak.

Chambolle Musigny

This appellation includes 24 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” and 4 Grand Crus

It is often presented as one of the most feminin pinots in the Côte de Nuits, being both intense and showing finesse and elegance. Its robe is of a bright ruby colour. Violet, strawberry and raspberry fruits dominate its bouquet. When aged, it evolves towards spicy, jammy fruit, prunes or truffles, earthy and animal notes are also present.

Despite being delicate, it has a solid structure with smooth tanins and slight acidity.

Pairing: Power and femininity goes ideally with feathered game, in a sauce, or poultry from Bresse or roast lamb. For cheeses, try smooth Brillat-Savarin, Reblochon or a Brie.


This appellation includes 4 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” and 1 Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot

Pinot Noir: Red Vougeot has close affinities with its illustrious near neighbours (Clos de Vougeot, Musigny, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses). Its colour is between crimson and purple – deep, dark and luminous. It develops aromas of violet and small fruits (Morello cherry, blackcurrant). When older, it leans towards underbrush, fallen leaves and truffle over animal notes. In the mouth, it has a four-sided structure but its tannins are nonetheless delicate. The attack is straightforward, acidity and chewiness are harmoniously balanced, and the finish often carries a hint of liquorice.

Chardonnay: White Vougeot is white or grey-gold in colour. The pleasant initial bouquet is of mayflower and acacia with an occasional hint of mango. A touch of minerality is often found. In the older wines, aromas range from amber to gingerbread to quince to fig.This wine is on the dry side but with that underlying richness which is the trademark of the Côte de Nuits Chardonnays. White wine growing, uncommon in this area, nonetheless has a long history going back to the Cistercian monks.

Pairing:PN: the solid build of this wine hides, in fact, a certain delicacy, soon revealed by its length in the mouth and its liquorice-tinted finish. For this reason, this great Côte de Nuits red demands dishes equally intense in flavour. Meat dishes must be tender and melting, such as roast fowl, roast lamb, or feathered game. Even four-footed game, braised or stewed, will prove a worthy partner. Slow-cooked, spicy dishes such as couscous or glazed duck in the Chinese style will be perfectly at ease with its aromatic complexity. As for cheeses, medium-flavoured, shoft-centred cheeses like Reblochon or Vacherin will make a good match.

Chardonnay: the opulence and delicacy of the Vougeot whites make them a must for crustaceans such as lobster or crawfish, fish (either baked or in cream sauce), good quality poultry, and sweetbreads.

Vosne Romanée

This appellation includes 14 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).
The commune of Vosne-Romanée produces 6 Grands Crus and the commune of Flagey-Échezeaux 2

A true ruby coloured pinot, often a dark purple colour. Ripe fruits on a spicy base is the most frequent bouquet, mixed with strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant. This mixyure of complex and refined aromas, evolves with age to give a rich cherry, jammy impression mixed with leather, game & fur.

A first taste reveals smoothness and refinement – a true & classic “premium” pinot noir. It’s obviously a pinot to cellar, has a great balance between richness and tanins, texture and structure. In youth it may seem a little austere and it really needs to develop in the bottle.

Pairing: With a strong but smooth tannic structure, this generous, full-bodied and spicy wine prefers strong meats, roasted poultry, roasted lamb. It also enjoys the company of a lightly pan-fried foie gras. A vegetarian couscous would also be a great match.

Nuits Saint Georges

This appellation includes 41 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” including in  the village of Prémeaux.

The capital of the Côtes de Nuits has a dark mauve colour and first impressions often evoke rose or liquorice. When in its youth, the aromas tend to crunchy fruit such as cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant. When older, it evokes leather, truffles, fur, game. Finally, macerated fruits such as prune complete the bouquet. Strong and full bodied, well balanced and structured. A pinot that has great length, such as a NSG, should be left for several years in order to enjoy its full potential.

Pairing: for those carnivores amongst you, the NSG loves juicy and strong, fibrous meats such as steak, lamb and duck. However, it pairs well with certain fish such as carp in a red wine sauce. When drunk in earlier years, try NSG with a dark chocolate desert: fondant au chocolat, black forest cake or just a piece of plain dark chocolate…


Aloxe Corton

This appellation has 13 1er Cru named plots and 25 Grand Cru named plots!!

The colour is of an intense ruby or garnet. When in its youth, the Aloxe Corton’s aromas bring to mind a spring garden, with little red fruit (raspberry, strawberry & cherry) and black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry). These aromas intensify with age: peony, jasmin, jams and fruits from “eau-de-vie” alcohols, pistachios, prunes, leather, truffles, mushrooms, cinnamon. The deep soil is suitable for pinot noirs. Solid without being rough, elegant and fuity, it is best enjoyed after 3 to 5 years.

Pairing: with the strength of this wine, the ideal pairing is with red meats either grilled or in a sauce. Grilled or Peking duck. Don’t forget cheeses such as Epoisses or Ami du Chambertin.

Pernand Vergelesses

This appellation has 8 1er Cru named plots and 3 Grand Cru

Pinot Noir – Dark ruby colour. First bouquet is of strawberry and raspberry and a touch of violet. With age it becomes more earthy and spicy. Tasting gives you a firm structure with rounded tannins. Fleshy and full-bodied, it gives a perfect balance.

Chardonnay: a golden white or pale yellow colour becomes more golden with age. White flower aromas are common: acacia, hawthorn, giving way to amber, honey andd a spicy finish with age. In the palate, it shows great harmony and minerality.

Pairing: PN goes well with most meats, such as: raost veal, lamb stew, grilled pork. heeses would include Mont D’Or, Vacherin, Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon.

Chardonnay: its light and crisp qualities would go well with sushis, river fish, seafood risotto. Cheeses: gruyère (hard cheeses), blue cheese and goats cheese.


This appellation has 11 1er Cru named plots (but no Grand Cru)

Pinot Noir: the colour of this wine often suggests that of blackcurrants – bright garnet with purplish highlights. The bouquet is full of strawberry, cherry jam or cherries in brandy. Vegetable (elder) or spicy (clove) notes are also met with, as well as coffee or cocoa. In the mouth this wine is tender, supple, rounded, full, velvety and structured with just the right amount of tannins.

Chardonnay: these are gold or pale straw colour. Their aromas lean towards acacia with often a buttery grace note. They boast a classic bouquet featuring plum, ripe apple, quince, fig, or spiced pear. They are lively and firm, but with their impulses well under control. This is a wine whose fat is balanced by freshness and spontaneity. It gains in mellowness with time.

Pairing: PN: Parma-type hams or fibrous meats with subtle flavours like rabbit or boiled beef. Giblets in sauce or feathered game. Its fleshy mouth and velvety tannins will smooth out the spices in curried meat and poultry and even handle strongly aromatic antipasti and marinated vegetables. It goes well with mild cheeses such as Vacherin, Reblochon or Cîteaux.
Chardonnay: Shellfish and cooked seafood and with Asian cooking its great generosity attenuates the spices of, for example, fish and prawn dishes. Cheeses: blue cheeses, goat cheeses and Gruyère.


This is just a village appellation with no 1er Cru or Grand Cru.

Pinot Noir: Known as being a light and supple red wine it has fairly light tannins whilst being rich and characterful. It is often dark crimson with vivid purplish highlights. The nose is dominated by small red fruits (raspberry, Morello cherry) and black fruits (blackberry) set off by notes of liquorice and underbrush. With age it evolves towards strawberry preserves and gingerbread with animal and leather notes. It is well-built with noticeably elegant tannins. Its well-rounded structure leaves an aftertaste of fruit on the palate.
Chardonnay: Light gold in colour and the aromas of the Chardonnay recall white flowers, hazelnut and lemon-grass. Rather lively when young, this well fruited wine quite rapidly acquires a smoothness which evolves into worthy body, length and lusciousness.

Pairing:  Ideal for cold cuts, hot main dishes, or giblets, roast fowl, pizzas or boiled beef. It is also an ideal choice to go with Tex-Mex cuisine which gets an uplift from its fluidity and its fruity perfume. Chorey is an ideal «summer red», equally at ease with tabouleh or cold meats.


This appellation includes 22 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).

Pinot Noir: the red is a deep cherry colour with garnet highlights and a bouquet of small red and black fruits (blackcurrant, cherry, raspberry) and flowers (violet). The body is ample and discreetly tannic and the fruit remains present. There is often an elegant hint of Morello cherry. Roundness, volume, power and balance are all here, and in just the right proportions.

Chardonnay: this wine is sometimes gold with emerald highlights, sometimes pale straw colour. Its nose is flowery and light-hearted. Its bouquet frequently evokes butter and brioche with notes of lemon, grapefruit, and occassionally a touch of minerality. A lively attack helps to make this a clean, straightforward wine – quite fleshy, persistent, and occasionally with a touch of spice.

Pairing: PN: This powerful PN would be a match for good cuts of beef, or evenfoie gras poêlé. With a crispy roast fowl, the wine’s fleshiness would compensate for a certain dryness in the fibrous flesh of the bird and it would likewise support in the same way more aromatic poultry dishes (glazed or caramelised). For cheeses, it would do better with sweeter-flavoured types such as Chaource, Brie de Meaux, Tomme, Reblochon, Cantal, Mont d’Or, Époisses.

Chardonnay:  its lively and straightforward attack would suit fresh-water fish in white sauce, omelettes, or scrambled eggs, while its rich and unctuous bouquet would deliver an attractive and restful finish. Great with goat cheeses, Gruyère, Comté, and Cîteaux.


This appellation includes 42 Premiers Crus ” Climats “.

Small differences appear, depending on the exact location. Wines from the Northern end of the commune are more often intense and powerful, and those from the Southern end are smoother and fuller.
PN: this wine has a striking and vivid colour – a luminous scarlet, introducing aromas of black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry) and red (cherry, gooseberry), as well as humus and underbrush. When older, it is redolent of truffle, leather, and spices. In youth, it charms the palate with the taste of crunchy fresh grape. Firm, upright and full of juice, it evolves with time, revealing a solid and absolutely convincing structure.

Chardonnay:  boasts a silky gold colour, flecked with green. It has a bouquet of almond, dried fruits, bracken, and white flowers. It may be enjoyed either young ” on the fruit ” or later for its mouth-filling mellowness.

Pairing: PN:Beaunes reveal great aromatic power and solid texture which inevitably partner them with musky and very firm meats such as feathered game, roasted or braised. Cheeses: choose Époisses, Soumaintrain, Munster, Maroilles…

Chardonnay:  their flowery freshness make them a marvellous match for poultry and veal in creamy sauces, fish tajines, sushi, and grilled sea-fish. When older (and fleshier) they enfold and tame cheeses such as Cîteaux, Comté, and certain goat cheeses.


This appellation includes 28 Premiers Crus, the best known of which are Les Rugiens and Les Épenots (future Grand Crus?)

Pinot Noir: A village once famous for its strong, masculine reds, time and modern technics have made Pommard a more subtle and sophisticated wine. Its colour is the deep, dark red with mauve highlights. Its aromas are redolent of blackberry, bilberry, or gooseberry, cherry pit and ripe plum. Often, wild and feline notes develop with age. At full maturity, it tends towards leather, chocolate and pepper. It needs to be given time to open up to its fullest extent and to display its mouth-filling texture, its firm but delicate structure, its fruit-filled mouth, and its chewy tannins, which by then will be properly smoothed down. 

Pairing: Pommard is best appreciated in furred or feathered game, braised or roasted. Thick cut beefsteak, lamb, or stewed poultry will respond to its firm-textured tannins and concentrated aromas. It is a natural partner for cheeses with well-developed flavours : Époisses, Langres and Soumaintrain, but also Comté.


The VOLNAY appellation includes 29 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).
SANTENOTS is a separate ” climat ” lying within the VOLNAY appellation and classified as Premier Cru.

Pinot Noir: Volnay has always been thought of as the most feminine of burgundies. Though certain of its terroirs modify this judgement with more vigorous and muscular versions, it truly does stand out among the red wines of the Côte de Beaune and is often compared to Chabolle Musigny in the Côtes de Nuit. The colour varies from bright ruby to a light garnet. Its aromas are of violet, gooseberry, cherry, and – with age – spices, game and cooked prune. It has an immediate appeal which, added to a slight natural precocity, means it can be fully open while still relatively young. The attack is fresh, the finish is warm. Drinking this wine, one seems to bite into a fresh fruit and breath in its heady aroma.

Pairing: Its velvety femininity is matched by its great aromatic intensity. This makes it a predestined partner for sophisticated poultry dishes, patiently roasted and glazed, which can bathe in the fruit and spice aromas of the wine. Better still, especially for the Premiers Crus, is feathered game, stewed or slowly braised, or simply roasted. it can also accompany a couscous or a tajine with meat or poultry or even both. The intensity of Volnay allows it to blend with distinctly flavoured cheeses.


This appellation includes 15 Premiers Crus ” Climats “.

Pinot Noir:  The PN red is a handsome ruby colour. Its aromas are of small red and black fruits (cherry, blackcurrant) with sometimes floral notes (violet, peony) which with age shift towards underbrush, bracken and spices. Its firm and velvety texture overlies delicate tannins. Monthélie, like Volnay, is thought of as a feminine wine.

Chardonnay: is a close cousin to Meursault. Its lemony aromas blend with notes of mayflowers, Reinette apple, and fresh hazelnut. In the mouth, its mellow taste is backed by the degree of acidity which is a sine qua non of great white wines.

Pairing: PN: velvety and quite firm, its tannins require mouth-filling meats with a touch of crunchiness: roast fowl (dark or white meat), roast lamb, or rabbit. Roast offal (calves sweetbreads, liver) or grilled tripe sausages will respond to the firmness of the wine, as will meat pies. For cheese: Brillat-Savarin, Brie or Reblochon.

Chardonnay: its full and mellow taste will be the perfect partner for prawns served al dente (tossed briefly in the frying pan), or fish tajines whose multiplicity of textures finds an echo in the liveliness and suppleness of the wine. It readily partners with blue cheeses (Roquefort, Bleu de Bresse or Bleu d’Auvergne) but goes equally well with Époisses or Livarot.

Saint Romain

Pinot Noir: it has an intense ruby-red or black cherry colour. Its bouquet evokes small red fruits (gooseberry, raspberry, cherry). At 4-5 years old it develops riper fruit aromas with spicy and smoky notes, and refined and elegant tannins. It can be drunk in the first flush of youth but has the potential for ten or so years laying-down.

Chardonnay: it is pale gold flecked with green. Its nose ranges through lime and white flowers with mineral grace notes. In the mouth, it has good minerality, which time will make smoother and mellower.

Pairing: PN: the elegant and velvety character of this burgundian classic has a perfumed and sometimes smokey bouquet which destines it to partner white meats and poultry in light sauces. Veal (stewed or plain fried chops) will also suit it very well. Cheeses: mild and creamy like Brillat-Savarin or Cîteaux.

Chardonnay: its minerality makes it an amiable partner for delicate fish (fried or, better still, steamed). It is also to be enjoyed with poached eggs and seared or marinated vegetables. It goes well with soft-centred cheeses like Camembert, whose creamy texture will be nicely balanced by the slightly mineral acidity of this handsome wine.


This appellation includes 9 Premiers Crus ” Climats “.

Pinot Noir:  Its bright ruby colour is neither too light nor too dark. The bouquet, too, is well-balanced between rich aromas of small black fruits (blackcurant, blackberry, bilberry) and flower scents (peony). In the mouth, the attack is refined and supple, measured, meaty and pleasing. When young, there may be a touch of astringency but its tannins soon soften and its texture becomes velvety and it develops musky notes, as well as those of leather and spices.

Chardonnay:  The eye is caught by its pale straw colour and crystal clarity, matching its aromas of fresh almond and apple, to which are added biscuity and mineral (gunflint) notes. It tickles the palate in an agreeable fashion – sprightly when young, fuller and meatier with age, but always with good aromatic persistence.

Pairing: PN: its velvety and well-moderated tannins make Auxey-Duresses an ideal partner for delicate or white meats. Its supple attack and its notes of red and black fruits give it a wide range. Its charm shines when paired with cold cuts, roasts of pork or veal, kebabs, rabbit, pasta dishes with herbs, and chicken risottos. It’s also an ideal partner for grilled fish

Chardonnay: likeable and lively, its fruit retains its fullness through a long finish and for this reason it goes well with prawns and fish in spicy sauces, as well as ratatouille and cooked shellfish. It can likewise be paired with cheeses of the Gruyère family, blue cheeses, and certain types of goat’s cheese.


This appellation includes 19 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” but despite is notoriety, has no Grand Cru.

Chardonnay: There are observable but minor differences between the wines of the different ” Climats ” (named plots). In most cases, Meursault is greeny-gold in colour or canary yellow, leaning towards bronze as it ages. Limpid and brilliant, it sometimes exhibits silvery highlights. Its bouquet has strong aromas of ripe grapes. In the young wine you’ll find strong notes of toasted almonds and hazelnuts in a floral (mayflower, elder, bracken, lime, verbena) and mineral (flint) setting. Butter, honey, and citrus fruits are also present. On the palate it is rich and fat with a cheerful and appealing taste of hazelnut. Unctuousness and freshness are in silky balance. Long and structured, it needs time to mature – so cellar it for several years.

Pairing: Its aromatic power and exceptional balance between fat and acidity make it an aristocrat among burgundies. Unsurprisingly, it has a natural affinity with noble and fine-textured fish or meat, which it can match without overpowering. It performs a similar feat with joints of veal or poultry in white sauce, which are rendered sublime by the wine’s unctuous texture and long, distinguished acidity. Still better are grilled lobster, crawfish, or king prawns in sauce – dishes whose aromatic intensity and crisp texture match the lively and supple balance of the wine. Even blue cheeses and goose liver take to it immediately.


This appellation includes 7 Premiers Crus ” Climats “.

The whites either go under the appellationn Meursault or Puligny Montrachet

Pinot Noir: The colour of the Blagny is a ruby/crimson deepening towards a purplish black-cherry hue that is reminiscent of twilight. The fruity nose exhibits the typically Burgundian scent spectrum of small red fruits (strawberry, gooseberry) or black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry). With age, leather, pepper, cocoa, liquorice and musky scents evolve. Well and solidly built, this broad-shouldered wine needs some cellar time for its chewiness to melt a little. It has just the right amount of flesh to give it a good, lithe, and attractive body. Blagny is an island of red wine in a sea of whites.

Pairing: Red Blagny impresses with its balanced, four-sided structure. Its natural team-mates, therefore, are firm-fleshed roasts (beef or pork) with a touch of sweetness as well as poultry-based stews and superior offal. Its concentration of aromas makes it an ideal companion to spicy exotic dishes such as a good meat couscous or a chili con carne. It is also well-suited to strong cheeses such as Époisses, Ami du Chambertin, or farmhouse Munster.

Saint Aubin

This appellation includes 30 ” Climats ” (named plots) classed as Premier Cru.

Chardonnay from Saint-Aubin has golden highlights whose exact shade varies according to where it is grown and in what year. When young, it combines aromas of white flowers, flint, green almond, and orange-flower. Richer fragrances come with age: beeswax and honey, marzipan, ambergris, and cinnamon. This is a firm and flattering wine – a bit sharp to start with but which becomes fleshier and fuller with time. This is a wine with real breeding.

Pinot Noir: this wine is dark garnet or crimson colour, with strawberry cheeks. Its aromas are redolent of blackcurrant, Morello cherry, blackberry. These are set off by spicy notes, sometimes mocha. In the mouth it is fat and silky with a lively finish. Age adds supplesness, warmth and persistence.

Pairing: Chardonnay: its nobility and distinction derives from a subtle balance between elegant freshness and a rich but not excessive unctuosness which gives it great fluidity in the mouth. With a wine like this, firm-textured fish and grilled or steamed crustaceans would be at ease. It would also make a perfect finishing touch to dense-fleshed poultry.

PN: pithy and solid, its virility requires flavourful meats like roast beef or pork, glazed or caramelised poultry, blue cheeses, or even fried fattened goose liver (foie gras) whose richness would be amply balanced by the wine’s tannins.

Puligny Montrachet

This appellation includes 17 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).
The commune of Puligny-Montrachet also produces 4 Grands Crus

Chardonnay: this iconic village wine is a bright gold colour with greenish highlights, becoming more intense with age. The bouquet brings together hawthorn blossoms, ripe grapes, marzipan, hazelnut, amber, lemon-grass and green apple. Milky (butter, hot croissant) and mineral aromas (flint) are commonplace, as is honey. Body and bouquet blend into a subtle harmony. This wine combines grace with a welldefined character and a remarkable concentration.

PN: the red wine is bright ruby when young, darkening with age. Its bouquet is divided between small red fruits (raspberry gooseberry) and black fruits (blackcurrant blackberry) later shifting towards leather, musk and fur. Tender and well-fruited, it is well put-together and does well with several years’ aging.

Pairing: Chardonnay:Puligny-Montrachet and its Premiers Crus are concentrated and well-bred. Their balance, aromatic complexity, and purified style demand delicate but rich food. They are equally at home with poultry in sauce or veal fried with mushrooms. Their great distinction elicits a grateful response from fattened goose liver (foie gras), lobster, crawfish, and grilled or fried sea-fish. On the cheese-board, its natural allies are goat cheeses, Reblochon, or soft-centred cheeses like Brie de Meaux.

PN: its opulent and fleshy structure will lend lusciousness and fullness to veal, pork, and roast fowl, as well as to hard cheeses like Comté.

Chassagne Montrachet

This appellation includes 55 Premiers Crus ” Climats “.
The commune of Chassagne-Montrachet also produces 3 Grands Crus: MONTRACHET, BÂTARD-MONTRACHET, and CRIOTS-BÂTARD MONTRACHET.

Chardonnay: this wine is the Chardonnay grape dressed in glittering gold ! It boasts firm coloration with green highlights. Aromas of mayflower, acacia, and honeysuckle blend with verbena and hazelnut and in some cases toast or fresh butter. This wine boasts a profound minerality (flint). Age brings in notes of honey or ripe pear. Rounded and often opulent, its attack is instantaneous. On the palate, fleshiness is matched by mellowness, and both are equally persistent.

PN:  brilliant, with purplish highlights – this wine is a well-coloured Pinot Noir. Aromas of Morello cherry and cherry-pit, wild strawberry, gooseberry, and raspberry are commonly present. Notes of animal and spice complete the bouquet. In the mouth, this wine has real substance. Its delicious fleshiness partly conceals tannins which, though somewhat austere in youth, give way with maturity to a concentrated and taste-filled structure, intriguing in its complexity.

Pairing: Chardonnay – its opulence and power make it an ideal partner for delicate fine white meats such as poultry or veal in sauce. Fish, either in well-spiced couscous or in Asian dishes such as curries or stir-fries, are also well-suited. Salmon, in itself highly aromatic, harmonizes particularly well. The Premiers Crus will readily complement crawfish, lobster, or even cooked fattened goose liver (foie gras).

PN: powerful and tannic, it flatters good quality meats such as grilled or roast lamb, coating their fibres in the mouth. Its aromatic power balances that of grilled pork and of curried or tandoori-style poultry. The Premiers Crus demand, at the very least, feathered game.


This appellation includes 11 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).

Santenay produces mainly red wine from the Pinot Noir grape. Colour is a dark but brilliant black-cherry. The bouquet evokes rose-petals, peony, violet, red fruits and a hint of liquorice. In the mouth, the attack is deep and intense. Firm but discreet tannins make for a body that is supple, fine-textured and well-built. It boasts back aromas (often of bilberry) and a long finish.
The white wine (Chardonnay) is clear and brilliant, mineral and floral, fresh and vigorous. Its aromatic expression features notes of bracken and hazelnut.

Pairing: PN: its supple and intense attack, and its aromatic register with its distinguished finish mean it should be matched with slow-cooked dishes like braised veal or beef, to which its tannins will lend structure without being agressive. Glazed or caramelised poultry in the Asian style would also give it a warm welcome for its meaty texture, as would home-made hamburgers. From the cheese-board: Brie de Meaux, Pont-l’Evêque, Cîteaux, Reblochon, Bleu de Bresse…

Chardonnay: its lightness, vivacity and edge would be a good choice for fluid and creamy dishes like fish couscous, or pasta or risotto with mushrooms. Poultry in cream sauce would similarly hit the spot. It would harmonize well with cheeses like Comté, Beaufort, and goat cheeses.


The MARANGES appellation includes 7 Premiers Crus ” Climats ” (named plots).

PN: this wine boasts a brilliant colour – raspberry red, or sometimes darker and tending towards purple. Its fruit-laden bouquet is of blackcurrant buds, and spiced or preserved red fruits. The mouth, fresh, and tinged with liquorice, lays down a meaty foundation for peppery flavours. These wines have just enough acidity to ensure 3 or 4 years’ laying-down (more in the best years). Tannins are smooth, warm and melting, and vinosity is intense.

Chardonnay:  this wine is fine gold in colour, and is redolent of white flower scents (hawthorn, acacia, honeysuckle). With age, notes of gunflint or honey give depth to its personality. This wine is smooth and subtle, not forceful but refined in its details.

Pairing: PN: its tannic structure is notably delicate and subtle. Its natural partners, therefore, are poultry and red meats which won’t clash with its tannins, especially in spicy exotic dishes to which its peppery vinosity forms a lively counterpart. The same goes for spring-rolls, grilled spare-ribs and barbecued pork, all of which require a wine that is exploding with fruit and spices.

Chardonnay: the smoothness and subtlety of its floral nuances naturally incline it towards cold main dishes with a vegetable base, antipasto, and fish terrines. But noble fish, salt or feshwater, simply fried will also welcome its fluidity, subtlety, and its floral refinement. Its natural vivacity also sits well with hard cheeses which have a slightly acid bite such as Cantal or Gouda.

*Credits to the BIVB – Burgundy Vintners Association for references to the village characteristics and pairing tips.

One response to “Know your Top Burgundy villages”

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