It seems like a growing number of producers in Burgundy are producing single vineyard village wines, thus changing the tradition of blending the village wines in to one cuvee.
For some producers it’s an old tradition, but for others it’s a new approach. But is single vineyard village wines a good idea, or just another marketing stunt?
Terroir makes Burgundy great
I Burgundy the vineyards are classified into different levels, reflecting the quality of the terroir, and the vineyards are originally shaped by the different types soils on the slopes of the Cote.
As many know the soil is not uniform within any vineyard in Burgundy, and especially the larger vineyards like Echezeaux have quite large differences between the 11 subclimates, and probably also within each subclimate.
But the main idea behind the Burgundy classification is a common taste of terroir from each specific vineyard – at least on a grand Cru and 1er cru level.
The grand crus are not blended, the 1er crus are rarely mixed, but the village wines are often blended. Is this a good idea?
Single vineyard more defined terroir
Mixing the different terroir can create very fine wines, and Echezeaux are a fine example of this method on a higher level. There are very fine Echezeaux wines, but also not a very clear picture of what an Echezeaux taste like.
For me a fine Burgundy should have a clear and precise minerality that reflects and define the terroir, this shold be the case in grand cru, 1er cru and even on a village level.
If we take the village wines, my tastings show a more defined and precise terroir in some of the single vineyard village wines.
Wines like Liger-Belair Clos de Chateau, Prieure Roch Clos Goilotte are very good examples of this, while the village Meursaults from Coche-Dury are at the very top of the Meursault rankings –
check article about Coch-Dury tekst
Marketing or a real difference
As mentioned I see some really good single vineyard village wines, among the very best village wines. These are at least as good as some of the lesser 1er crus, and often have a more interesting terroir than some of the more heavy soils, like the lesser parts of Les Suschot.
It’s however important to say, most of these wines are very fine, but the can not rival a top end 1er cru. They might have an interesting minerality, but they normally lack the sher weight of the 1er crus.
There are however also some of the single vineyard village wines that seems to be created due to revenue and marketing reasons. A single vineyard village wine could perhaps yield a higher price due to a limited number of bottles, and a more “exclusive” feel – it sounds almost like a 1er cru!
I have seen some exsamples of these revenue driven wines, and regard them on the same level as the often inflated use of Vielle Vigne.
Single vineyard = better village wines
There is no doubt in my mind, the single vineyard village wines does improve quality in the village wines, and we in the future will se more of these wines, and prices will rise further.
For some producers it’s possible to make these wines, while others don’t have the area on a single vineyard to make a cuvee only from a single terroir.
Examples of single vineyard village wines
Here are some good examples of very fine village wines from single vineyards.
- Comte Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre
- Coche Dury Meursault (several different with same label)
- Coche Dury Meursault Les Rougeots
- Coche Dury Meursault Les Chevalieres
- Liger-Belair Clos de Chateau
- Liger-Belair Colombiere
- Prieure Roch Haut Maziere
- Prieure Roch Clos Goilotte