I was lucky enough to get invited to the Burgundy Tasting at Harrods, I was extremely excited for two reasons – the Burgundy region is renowned for their Chardonnay (which I love) and Pinot Noir (which I also love). The region itself has a pretty amazing history, with Burgundian wines recognised for their quality as early as 591, and they are extremely focused on terroir, so much so that the name of the producer often comes in under the vineyard, it’s a highly fragmented region (some people own a just one row of vines?) with lots of little family producers and lots of official classifications which are known as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOCs) – read about it on wikipedia.
You can spend a stupid amount of money on Burgundy, but as with all things if you’re smart about it, there are some good deals to be had. This Chardonnay from the Pouilly-Fuissé region is one such example. A lovely fresh tropical flavour with a soft, minerally finish with good acidity. It has a bit of body and hint of savoury flavour, fine to drink without food but I suspect it has enough happening to handle food as long as it’s a lighter meal. According to my friendly Harrod’s wine advisor the wine itself is one of the best examples of the appellation.
The Téte de Cru on the label is interesting, I believe it’s a reference to vineyard classification system, developed by Dr Jules Lavalle in 1855 which outlined an unofficial classification of the Burgundy vineyards. In decreasing order, Lavalle’s five classes were hors ligne, tête de cuvée, 1ère cuvée, 2me cuvée and 3me cuvée. The classifications changed in 1936 when the national AOC legislation was implemented and many first class vineyards were re-classified into Grand Crus.
To further confuse things the Cru classifications (such as Premier Cru and Grand Cru) refer to specific vineyards in Burgundy, but to wineries in Bordeaux. Also, the name of this wine is pronounced “Pooey Foosay”, my French is terrible so luckily I got a heads up on how to say it and can ask for it again without sounding like an idiot.
Sitting at around £24.95 I would definitely buy it again.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s worth getting along to a wine tasting event, don’t be afraid of not knowing enough about wine, you’re there to learn. You get to taste a lot of wine and talk to people who really know their stuff (and you get fed some pretty decent nibbles along the way). Check out the Harrods wine events page here.