This weeks article from C. Robert Collins is about a forgotten hill just north of Beaune … two appellations ..
“The Hidden Hill”
There are some fascinating vineyards that seem to have been designed as ‘secret undisclosed locations’ along the cote, hidden behind the powerful and famous. What better places to search for that profound bottle of Burgundy.
If I could choose my favorites on this list, Vergelesses would be near the top.
Positioned between the powerful end of Beaune and the commanding hill of Corton, Vergelesses responds with an excellent hillside projecting an entirely different signature. Ignored by negociants for centuries, crossing an appellation border [Savigny and Pernand] , this vineyard continues to produce excellent reds, the price of which continues to undervalue its breed.
I first noted this wine with a very early purchase of ‘Pernand- Vergelesses, Ile de Vergelesses’ 1966 from Drouhin.
Accessible, rich but racy, complex, and priced where I could comfortably open it anytime, it proved to be a definition of what to look for in a fine Cote de Beaune.
I observed that the vineyard was well recognized as a ‘tete de cru’ on old maps. My grandfathers old copy  of Encyclopedia Britannica specifically mentions it in a list of Great vineyards. So, is it another unrecognized Grand cru?
How does it compare to Corton or Chambertin? To enter it in the ‘Grandie crus” sweepstakes would miss the point, and diminish the beauty of Burgundy. At its best, it makes no attempt to emulate the ‘Big guy’ on the front hill.
Its promised land is full of finesse and introspection. The late Patrick Bize of Savigny, who I counted as a friend, told me once he was writing. Not a wine book, Poetry. A perfect subject with a bottle of his Vergelesses.
Whenever I went to Savigny, I felt in a world within, 5 minutes and 1000 miles from Beaune. The wine does well when it reminds me of these circumstances.
There are also many other wines near Vergelesses that tempt, Lavieres is nearly an extension of it, but I leave you to explore on your own. Remember to bring the correct book with you on your journey. ###
C. Robert Collins