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Appellations

Dominated by the hill of Corton, Aloxe-Corton is a charming village at the northern end of the Côte de Beaune, the first references to which date back as far as 696. As well as some fine examples of the striking, classic Burgundian roof-tiles the village also boasts some of the oldest cellars in Burgundy, dating back to the monastic period. Aside from the plethora of Grands Crus on the hill of Corton, the Aloxe-Corton commune also boasts several Premier Crus vineyards as well as Aloxe-Corton villages. The soils tend to be heavy and clay dominated, typically producing full-dboied, muscular styles of red Burgundy, though there are smaller outcrops of chalky soils producing much finer more fragrant wines. The vast majority of the production is red
It is a region on the other side of the Ciron from the even bigger and more famous Sauternes district. Wines produced within Barsac are also entitled to use the appellation Sauternes.

The wines are considered more elegant than those of Sauternes. Climens and Doisy-Daëne are some of the leading producers
A fabulous Grand Cru vineyard of 15 hectares situated predominantly in the commune of Chambolle-Musigny, with a tiny 1.5 ha overlapping into Morey-St-Denis. The wines are typically sturdy, mineral and muscular - Burgundies of great stature that are built to last. The anomaly would be wines that come from the Morey St Denis side bordering Clos de Tart, here they are powerful but considerably more floral, fruity and elegant than other Bonnes Mares, Bruno Clair's is an exquisite example. Ownership accross the whole vineyard area is spread over more than 30 proprietors, the largest being Domaine Comte de Vogüé. There are many fine producers of Bonnes Mares up and down the Côte de Nuits, the most notable based in Chambolle-Musigny itself are Mugnier, Roumier and Groffier.
Bordeaux Supérieur, as the name suggests, offers a superior version of Bordeaux AOC wines. This is fostered by the higher quality standards to which viticulturists and vintners must adhere to in order to have Supérieur specified on their wine label.
Bourgogne or Burgundy is a wide-ranging generic appellation in eastern France that has been planted with the vine at least since Roman times, the earliest archaeological evidence coming from 2nd Century A.D. The region, now spanning up to 28,000 hectares, owes a lot to the work of Cistercian Monks in the 11th and 12th Centuries, particularly in the Côte d'Or, who were responsible for identifying some of the finest vineyard plots still in existence today. The appellation is large, stretching between the cities of Auxerre in the North and Lyon in the south and includes Chablis, the Côte d'Or (from where hail some of the world's finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), the Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Chardonnay is the main white grape planted, though there is still a fair amount of Aligote to be found if an ever decreasing amount, as well as tiny proportions of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Beurrot. For quality reds Pinot Noir is the dominant grape and the only permitted variety for the "Bourgogne Rouge" appellation controlee, there are plantings of Gamay too, though, which can be blended with a minimum one third Pinot Noir to make "Bourgogne Passetoutgrain." There is also the rarely seen Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, which may include the Pinot Noir, Gamay, César, and Tressot varieties. This appellation also exists for whites, allowing a blend of Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne. Being such a big area style can vary enormously: From the steely, minerally white Bourgognes near Chablis to the rounder, more buttery offerings in the Maconnais. Very fine and extremely good value examples of red and white Bourgognes are made by many of the high quality estates in the Côte d'Or, the designated "Bourgogne" vineyards here being on the flatter less well-drained terrain the other side of the RN74 road to the villages and 1er Cru appellations. Some Bourgogne Rosé can also made be made but this is a tiny fraction of the red and white wine production.
Chablis is Burgundy's northern most region spanning 3,000 hectares centred around the town of Chablis itself in the départment of the Yonne near Auxerre. Though considered part of Burgundy, in terms of geography it is as close to Sancerre and Pouilly Sur Loire as it is to the Côte d'Or, and in terms of soils and climate is actually closer. The vineyard area rolls around Chablis itself and 19 other villages. There are four levels of wine: Petit Chablis; Chablis;Chablis 1er Cru and Chablis Grand Cru, the latter of which there are seven which sit prominently above the town of Chablis itself on sun-blanched south-facing slopes.

Soil is a very important factor in the quality and unique style of Chablis and can roughly be divided into two types, firstly Kimmeridgean. This is a kind of clay limestone with a large proportion of fossilized oyster shells. Chablis is on the edge of the Paris rock basin the other side of which is the Dorset village of Kimmeridge from which the soil takes its name. The other soil type is Portlandien, a similar clay limestone structure without the same complexity, giving wines of slightly less sophistication and finesse. The former is the base of the Grands Crus and all of the best Premiers Crus and Chablis Villages vineyards, the latter, generally speaking, is the base for most of the outlying Petit Chablis area.

The northerly climate obviously means that vintages can vary quite starkly, summers are mostly hot and sunny, though, with the variation in weather coming more into to play towards the end of the season. The greatest danger during the season is from frost, which can be devastating, so much of the vine-growers early season activity is spent devising ways to protect the vines. One of the more traditional is lighting "smudge pots" throughout the vineyards, in an effort to get warm air circulating around the vines. The quantity and quality of wine produced can therefore vary from year to year. Chablis is obviously a large area and now a very big commercial brand so there are swathe's of rather poor quality and not very good value example around. Fortunately though there are plenty of fine examples, too. At its best Chablis is a unqieuly steely mineral wine that can age extremely well. "Classic" Chablis as we know it today is aged and fermented in steel tanks. However there are a number of growers experimenting with oak, mainly used barrels, not to give any oak flavour to the wine but to improve its texture and complexity. These can make for some of the very finest examples of Burgundy there are. Some of the finest exponents are Vincent Dauvissat, Francois Raveneau, Laurent Tribut, Droin and Moreau Naudet.
A 12.9 hectare vineyard in the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits. Chambertin is one half of Le Chambertin, the other half being Chambertin Clos de Bèze which is slightly bigger at 15.4ha. Chambertin has always produced some of the most intense and serious red Burgundy there is and was purportedly drunk by Napoleon during his campaigns. Today it is still one of Burgundy's very greatest Grands Crus. The wines are more brooding and closed in their youth than those of Clos de Bèze and age extremely well. Among the arch exponents are Armand Rousseau, Leroy, Trapet, Rossignol-Trapet, Denis Mortet and Louis Remy.
Champagne is the world's original and most famous region for the production of sparkling wine. A range of styles are produced from the Non-Vintage, through Rose, Vintage and more recently a host of prestige, Vintage luxury cuvees. The three permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Based entirely in the Puligny-Montrachet commune Chevalier-Montrachet is a 7 hectare Grand Cru lying directly above Montrachet. A steeper, stonier and chalkier vineyard than Montrachet that gives less rich wines. However after Le Montrachet, the wines of Chevalier are usually the next most sought after of the white Grand Cru. The wines have a disticnt taut, mineral character thanks to the poor stony soil, aswell as the requisite length and depth for a Grand Cru quality wine.
Clare Valley is famed for its hilly topography and cooler temperatures. The best sites are of high elevation and protected from the full strength of the sun's rays. In fact, it is the combination of exposure and altitude that helps to retain freshness in the region's wines, alongside a wide diurnal range. Australia's best examples of Riesling often hail from the Clare Valley.
Although Morey chose to append St-Denis (from the Clos St Denis) to its name , Clos de la Roche is probably the finest and most renowned vineyard in the commune, a large Grand Cru spanning 16.9ha. The soil is rich in marl and the micro climate warm, a combination that gives broad, ripe, rich and very opulent wines that can be particularly flattering when young, though they age very well. It is the flagship wine of Ponsot, but many other fine examples can be found from Leroy, Rousseau, Dujac and Louis Remy.

One of the most famous and largest Grands Crus in burgundy the walled Clos de Vougeot was created by Cistercian monks between the 12th and early 14th centuries. The monks cleared, planted and amalgamated vineyard plots as and when they acquired them, eventually completing the final 50 ha walled vineyard by 1336. The Cistercians maintained ownership until the French Revolution, when all clerical estates were dispossessed. Clos de Vougeot was sold on to Julien-Jules Ouvrard in 1818, the year before he bought Romanée-Conti, and remained in single ownership until 1889. Since then ownership has fragmented so that today there are over 80 proprietors. The sheer size of the vineyard area means quality can be variable, particularly considering the bottom part of the vineyard reaches right down to the low-lying route national. However at its best Clos de Vougeot fully deserves its Grand Cru status, a wine different to any of the other Grands Crus, a broad, mouthfilling dense example of red burgundy that almost verges on the heavy but the greatest examples have a defintion,balance and finesse to add to this overwhelming power.
An appellation in the Northern Rhône that produces white wine soley from the Viognier grape. Condrieu is situated just south of Côte Rôtie where the river bends and exposes the vineyards to the sun-blanched south. The popularity of this vineyard area waned in the sixties to the point where only 10 ha were planted however this has since rocketed up again to 100 ha, which is still tiny in comparison to most other wine-producing regions. The expansion and revival was due to an increase in quality-led producers growing and bottling their own wine. The area is small, difficult to work and yields are low, all of which conspire to make Condrieu an expensive wine. The north wind is cold and can be devastating so south facing slopes protecting the vines from the north are vitally important. The slopes are very steep so erosion is another problem growers face. Winemaking techniques vary according to producer, whether it be exclusively steel or barrel fermentation and whether to allow the wine to complete its malo or not. Condrieu is the ultimate expression of the Viognier, reaching a complexity and finesse achieved nowhere else in the world. The wine is always a floral, full-bodied one but style can vary from the ripe, unctuous and peachy to the elegant violet-scented and mineral. Among the top producers are Perret, Villard, Vernay and Cuilleron.
An exclusively red wine appellation in the Northern Rhône producing wines made from the Syrah grape variety. A famous appellation back in the 18th century, Cornas' popularity had severly waned by the early 20th century, leaving many vineyards deserted and unkempt. Thankfully its success started to return in the 1980s with the arrival of one or two young ambitious growers. The last ten years have seen an even greater revival in fortunes with a good dozen high quality producers now making wine. The Cornas vineyards are planted on steep granite slopes with a number of different exposures, the resultant wine is usually one of the darkest most inky Syrahs from the Northern Rhône. Some refer to it as a mini Hermitage, though the best examples rival and often surpass the lesser examples of Hermitage. The wines are rich, spicy and sometimes quite burly in their youth so require a good 5-7 years before being approached, the best wines can happily age for at least two decades. The region's flag-bearer since the 1970s has been Auguste Clape, making complex and very traditional style wines. Since the 1980s and 1990s Clape has been joined by several other high quality producers, some of the best of whom are Thierry Allemand, Mathieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet and Vincent Paris.

A white wine Grand Cru appellation, Corton-Charlemagne stretches in a narrow band around the top of the Corton hill from Ladoix-Serrigny, through Aloxe-Corton to Pernand-Vergelesses. Marginally higher cooler and with whiter spoils than the red wine vineyards of Corton, Corton Charlemagne is ideally suited to the production of white wine. The stony soils here impart a very specific flinty and mineral character displayed by most Corton Charlemagne. The body, style and ripeness of the wine can vary according to where the vineyards are situated - the east-facing vines facing Ladoix tend to produce the most mineral wines,whereas the due south Aloxe-facing side result in the richest, ripest wines. Corton-Charlemagne is a large and underrated Grand Cru vineyard, so a good example can offer the best value drinking of any Grand Cru white Burgundy.
Côte Rôtie or "Roasted Slope" is a red wine appellation in the far north section of the Northern Rhône, whose revival was started in 1970s by Marcel Guigal and his famed single vineyard wines but whose history starts as far back as the Romans. Settled in the near by town of Vienne it is believed this could be where they first grew vines in Gaul. Plantings have expanded from 70ha in the 60s to well over 200ha today. The vines are east and south east facing, planted on sheer slopes of schist. The vineyards are so treacherously steep that winches are in use in parts. The north wine can whistle through the valley quite visciously here so vines are staked to hold them in place. Theoretically there are two dinstinct zones: The Côte Blonde, where there are ligther yellower soils producing floral feminine wines and the Côte Brune, where darker, heavier soils predominate making for bigger, muscular, savoury wines. However these distinctions are in reality rather blurred both zones offer too much of a marble of soils to allow such great generalisation, a furthermore vine age, winemaking technique and the components within the blend can further complicate things: Growers use varying degrees of new oak or none at all, de-stalk or ferment with whole bunches, can be lightly or heavily extracted and either make a wine 100% from the red Syrah variety or can include up to 20% of the white Viognier in the blend. Wines with a blend of the latter, even in very small proportions, are very distinctly lighter in colour with pungent floral aromas. A classic Côte Rôtie will contain the tiniest proportions of Viognier or none at all, betray ripe red and black fruit flavours together with a distinct peppery spice and a savoury sap or undergrowth quality. The wine would ordinarily be less heavy and rich than those from the due south facing sunbaked Hermitage hill and but typically be more refined and have higher acidity owing to the acidic schistous soils. A good Côte Rôtie should need 5-7 years after the vintage before being approached and age well for a further 15 years at least. In addition to Guigal some excellent examples are made by Clusel-Roch, René Rostaing and Jamet.
The Douro valley is the home of Port production and is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world. The vineyards follow a band of Schist along the valley rising up in steep terraced slopes from the river. Upstream lies Spains Ribera del Duero. Increasingly, unfortified wines are produced here, but it is really for great vintage port that the region is known.
Grand cru of the Flagey-Échezeaux village in the Côte de Nuits, producing red wines. Premier Cru vineyards in the commune of Flagey-Échezeaux are sold under the name of neighbour Vosne-Romanée, however the majority of the village's vineyard area is divided between two Grands Crus Échezeaux and Grands Échezeaux. The former is the larger of the two, comprising 37.6 ha accross 11 lieux dits or single named plots, so rather like Clos de Vougeot quality and style can vary according to the producer (of which there are 80) and depending on where the vines are. The soils range from poor and stony to heavy and clay-dominated. The wines can be very good and at their best display true Grands Crus power, stylistically they are often very ripe rich examples of Burgundy that age well. The appellation no doubt owes alot to the late Henri Jayer whose outstanding bottlings showed the heights Échezeaux can reach. The Jayer vines are now mainpulated by Henri's nephew, Emmanuel Rouget.
A Southern Rhône appellation producing some excellent value red wines similar in style to Châteauneuf-du-Pape based on the Grenache grape, but often blended with Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. There are just over 1000 ha of vineyard, divided between the sandy soils around the village itself and the higher, later-ripening rugged limestone soils of the stunning the Dentelles de Montmirail hills. The altitude here means that Gigondas is often one of the last areas to be harvested in the South, up to a week later than in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was the first of the Côtes du Rhône-Villages to be promoted to its own Appellation, in 1971. There are a small handful of growers making very good wine in the village itself, Domaine du Cayron being one of them, in addition may fine growers in nearby Vacqueyras, such as Clos de Cazaux, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, including the Bruniers of Vieux Telegraphe, also make some excellent examples.
A Grand Cru in the commune of Flagey-Échezeaux village in the Côte de Nuits. It shares vineyard area in the commune with its much larger neighbour Échezeaux (37 ha) and also adjoins Clos de Vougeot. The quality of wines of the small 9 ha Grands Échezeaux are very often considered greater than those of its two larger neighbours. There are 21 owners compared to the 80 of Échezeaux. The wine can be very great indeed, often betraying a much firmer structure than that of Échezeaux, very deep and complex fruit and superb intensity of flavour. As such it usually requires much longer ageing in bottle before it is ready for drinking. Some of the great producers are Joseph Drouhin, Domaine d'Eugenie (formally Engel), Francois Lamarche and Domaine de la Romanee Conti.
Famous hill and appellation in the Northern Rhône, Hermitage is limited to 132ha (about the size of one large Bordeaux property) making long-lived red and white wine, roughly two thirds the former and one third the latter. It was one of the most expensive wines in France during the 18th and 19th Centuries excepting, perhaps, Bordeaux's First Growths, and its wines were often used by Bordeaux and Burgundy producers to strengthen their wines. Hermitage was known to England as far back as the 17th Century when it was quoted in a Thomas Shadwell play. It is a steep south-facing hill that contains a marble of clay and limestone top soils based on granite rock. The hill is split into various vineyards with their own individual terroirs or "climats." These range from the sandy gravel over granite soils of Les Bessards, where some of the hills most muscular wines are made; Le Méal with its high limestone content that produces finer more floral wines, to l'Hermite at the top of the hill with its poor sandy soils with large stones on the surface. Clay dominates the lower-lying vineyards. Other famous sites include Maison Blanche, Péléat, Les Murets, Rocoule, La Croix, and Les Signeaux. White grapes are best suited to the limestone-dominated sites.

The red wines are almost always Syrah even if in theory 15% white grapes can be added, whilst the white wines are made from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. The reds are the main event here, typically they should be deeply coloured, violet-scented, rich, spicy and long-lived. The best can age over 20-30 years. White wines vary more in style and quality depending where on the hill the grapes are grown, the ageing and the percentage of oak used if at all, the grape blend and how much of the malolactic fermentation is allowed to take place, however they should always be full-bodied and complex. They are famous for going into a bit of a trough at about 4-5 years of bottle age however they do emerge, the finest examples are up their with some of the best, most long-lived whites of France. Chave is particularly renowned for producing whites that are every bit as good as his reds. The hill is dominated by the big houses such as Guigal, Jaboulet and Chapoutier, so there is only ever a finite amount of high quality artisan grower-winemakers. Most people's pick of the bunch is Chave, whose wines are outstanding, however there are some excellent examples also made by Marc Sorrel, Domaine du Colombier, Bernard Faurie and Chapoutier.
The region produces Merlot-dominated wines which can offer great value similar in style to the wines of Pomerol but with less concentration. The soils are gravely and well-drained.
The wines tend to show more perfume and roundness than neighbour St-Julien, Pauillac, and St-Estèphe, whilst retaining a certain structure and concentration. Margaux is the most southerly and most extensive of the famous Médoc communes, a patchwork of vineyards with lesser parcels classed purely as Haut-Médoc. A myriad of soil mixtures can be found, clay, limestone, and gravel. Though quality is not always consistent here, the potential is great as more Margaux properties were included in the 1855 classification of the Médoc and Graves than any other appellation.

The two leading lights are the highly sought after Châteaux Margaux and Palmer, though there are several other solid performers including Brane-Cantenac, Rauzan-Ségla, Durfort-Vivens, Lascombes, Giscours, Ferrières, Malescot St Exupery and Luc Thienpont’s new boutique vineyard, Clos des Quatre Vents.
The northernmost appellation of the Côte de Nuits. Marsannay is the only Burgundian commune that boasts appellation contrôlée status for red, white, and rosé. The appellation also includes the vineyards of Couchey and Chenove. Prior to 1987, the wines were sold simply as "Bourgogne" followed by the "Marsannay" or "Rosé de Marsannay" designation. The Pinot Noir Rosé is a speciality of the village pioneered in 1919 by Joseph Clair, it can offer considerable pedigree and quality. The reds, when made properly, can be some of Burgundy's best value reds, full of Pinot Noir character, some terroir complexity they are usually relatively light, certainly lighter than those of neighbour Fixin, but offer very pleasureable drinking for within 5-6 years of the vintage. The whites are made from Chardonnay but some Pinot Blanc can be found, too, they are plump fruity and sometimes quite exotic examples of White Burgundy, and, again, can be extremely good value.
Meursault is the largest commune in the Côte de Beaune (spanning over 370ha) producing predominantly white wines. There are no Grand Cru vineyards, but its Premier Crus can equal the best white wines in the Côte de Beaune. The finest vineyards are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, and Les Charmes. In addition Meursault has a plethora of other named vineyards that aren't Premier Cru but nonetheless show their own distinct characteristics and can offer excellent value, some of the best are Chevalières, Tessons, Clos de la Barre, Luchets, Narvaux, and Tillets. These are lower-lying than the Premiers Crus but are much more interesting than the villages wines of Puligny where the water table is higher. The low water-table is also the reason why some of the region's deepest cellars can be found in Meursault. The commune is big so the style and quality are varied. Generally speaking Meursault is known for its full body and, nutty, buttery character. The best examples have enough vitality and acidity to balance out the 'fat.'
Morgon's wines are generally seen as the densest and most powerful of all the ten Crus in Beaujolais.
The vineyards along the steep sided banks of the Mosel river, part of the region known as the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, are known for being some of the hardest vineyards in the world to work (due to their steepness) and home to some of the finest white wines in the world. Riesling is king in this cool region that follows the twists and turns of the River Mosel providing myriad different terroirs and vineyard aspects.
Arguably Americas most important wine growing region, home to the likes of Dominus, Heitz, Cain Cellars and Opus One. Bordeaux varietals are key in this 40 mile long North-South valley that stretches from the San Fransico Bay up towards Calistoga and the sheer variety of different climats and vineyard sites is as bewildering as the sheer variety of styles of wine produced. At their best these can be some of the most opulent examples of Cabernet Sauvignon in the world - truly great wines with dinstinctly long cellaring potentials, but more youthful approachability than their european counterparts.
A town in the northern part of the Côte d'Or that gave its name to the Côte de Nuits. Sitting on the southern edge of the Côte de Nuits, the town is the mini commercial hub of this part of the Côte d'Or, though much less significantly so than the Côte d'Or's capital, Beaune. Many négociants are based here and the town, like Beaune, also runs its own charity auction, the Hospices de Nuits, but on a much smaller scale.

The appellation Nuits-St-Georges lies both sides of the town, incorporating the vineyards of neighbouring Prémeaux-Prissey to the south. Typically Nuits-St-Georges are powerful, mineral, muscular and long-lived wines, however there is a distinct, widely accepted difference between the wines on the south side and those further north adjoinging Vosne-Romanée where the wines are silkier and more elegant, rather like those of its neighbour. There is more clay in the soil of the Prémeaux vineyards, making wines of less finesse and more prominent tannins.

Nuits boasts 27 Premier Cru vineyards but no Grands Crus, perhaps because at the time of the classifications in 1930 the town's leading vigneron, Henri Gouges, who was tasked to help classify the vineyards, was too concerned of being seen to favour vineyards in which he owned parcels. However, if the crown was to go to one Les St-Georges, on the south side of Nuits, would be it. Also particularly fine in the southern Nuits-St-Georges sector are Les Cailles and Les Vaucrains, both adjacent to Les St-Georges, while Aux Murgers and Aux Boudots on the Vosne-Romanée side and Les Argillières, Clos l'Arlot, and Clos de la Maréchale in Prémeaux can make great wine.

Small quantities of very rare white wine are made, too, from the Chardonnay grape, as in the Clos l'Arlot, and also from the Pinot Blanc grape in Gouges' Premier Cru Les Perrières. The town is home to a surprisingly small handful of well-reputed producers, namely Henri Gouges, Robert Chevillon, Domaine de l'Arlot, Patrice Rion, and Chauvenet, whilst there are many growers in neighbouring Vosne-Romanée who make outstanding examples of Nuits St Georges., and in Chambolle-Musigny, Freddy Mugnier is responsible for the great revival in fortunes of the spectacular Clos de la Maréchale vineyard.
The Cabernet Sauvignon domanates the appellation, in fact some might justifiably call Pauillac the most classical expression there is of Cabernet based Claret. It is sandwiched between St-Julien to the south and St-Estèphe to the north, a stone’s throw from the Gironde Estuary. The excellent drainage of the intensely gravely soils are the key to quality, producing some of the world’s most long-lived wines. The First Growths of Latour, Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild are found here, while other great Châteaux include Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande, Pontet Canet, Lynch-Bages and Grand-Puy-Lacoste.
Petit Chablis is an appellation encompassing the outlying area of Chablis planted largely on Portlandien soil, a kind of clay limestone, as opposed to the complex Kimmerdigean soils of Chablis itself. There are over 500 ha of vineyard area but this is dwarfed by the Chablis total of over 3000 ha. The Portlandien soils give a wine that is similarly citrus and steely as Chablis without perhaps the same depth, finesse or minerality. Having said that many of Chablis' top growers do produce excellent quality Petit Chablis that can make very good value for money.
Piedmont sitting at the foot of the mountains is justly regarded as one of, if not the finest wine growing region in Italy. The noblest grape found in the region in undoubtedly Nebbiolo, with the DOCG's of Barolo and Barbaresco at the forefront of production. Barbera and Dolcetto come in second and third, and being earlier ripening are often found located on those sides of the hills that receive less sunshine. The wines from Piedmont are intrinsically food friendly wines, a fact understandable given the culinary strength of the area.
Pomerol’s Merlot-dominated wines at their best are rich, seductive and silky. For hundreds of years Pomerol was considered as nothing but a satellite district of neighbouring St-Émilion to the east, and it was not really until not until the 1950s that Pomerol started its meteoric rise led by Château Petrus. By far the most dominant merchants in the region are Jean-Pierre Moueix who own or distribute the majority of the finest properties in Pomerol, the most renowned being Petrus.

Pomerol's finest wines originate from the highest parts of the plateau, which is predominantly gravel and clay, with an iron rich subsoil called crasse de fer.
Apparently as important in fashioning wines that are plump, voluptuous, and richly Merlot dominates plantings dramatically, though the notable exception is Vieux Château Certan, nearly half of their estate is devoted Cabernet Franc. Pomerol has no no official classification, but its small scale wines fetch some of the greatest prices for wine in the world. The regions greatest names are Pétrus, Lafleur, Certan de May, Hosanna, La Fleur de Gay, L'Église-Clinet, Le Pin, La Conseillante, Trotanoy, , L'Évangile, Latour-à-Pomerol, and Vieux-Ch-Certan
A village in the Côte de Beaune between Chassagne and Meursault producing very fine white wine and small amounts of less interesting red. Within the Puligny commune are two Grand Cru vineyards in their entirety, Chevalier-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, and two which are shared with neighbouring Chassagne: Le Montrachet itself and Bâtard-Montrachet. In addition there are a number of excellent Premier Cru vineyards that are also capable of making some of Burgundy's finest white wines - at the same elevation as Bâtard-Montrachet lie Les Pucelles and Les Combettes, which is adjacent to Meursault-Perrières. A little higher up the slope, at the same elevation as Le Montrachet, lie Les Demoiselles, Le Cailleret, Les Folatières (including Clos de la Garenne), and Champ Canet. Part of Les Demoiselles is classified as Grand Cru Chevalier-Montrachet but a very small slice remains as premier cru, being regarded, along with Le Cailleret, as the finest Puligny Premier Cru vineyard. Further up the slope, where the terrain becomes stonier are Le Champ Gain, La Truffière, Chalumeaux, and the vineyards attached to the hamlet of blagny, which are designated as Puligny-Montrachet premier cru for white wines, and Blagny premier cru for reds.

A characteristic of the Puligny-Montrachet commune is the high water table, this means there are few individual village vineyards worthy of note, the best village wines will usually be a result of a blend. This also means that the cellars are rarely that deep. The wines of Puligny have a very distinctive style, very fine, taut and typically mineral, much less fat and rich than a Meursault and more elegance than a Chassagne. The top Puligny Domaines are Sauzet, Leflaive and Carillon.
Richebourg is one of the great Grands Crus in the Vosne-Romanée commune, behind only to La Romanée, Romanée-Conti and La Tâche in reputation. Its 8 ha are shared between a handful of growers including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leroy, Grivot, various branches of the Gros family and Domaine Méo-Camuzet. As the name suggests, this is one of the most voluptuous, rich and powerful wines of Burgundy, a sort of Vosne-Romanée on steroids, and has the ability to age for decades.
Spains most famous wine growing region is seeing something of a revolution. A band of new producers are shunning the traditional methods of production in a effort to gain greater purity of fruit, less dominant oak influence, and individual terroir characteristics. The results are wines that have the ability to age and improve in bottle, that have finesse, character and real elegance.
On the opposite banks of the Loire from Pouilly sits Sancerre. Whilst much of what is grown in Sancerre can be of variable quality, there are enough good growers to ensure it is also home to some of the greatest of France's Sauvignon Blancs. Cotat, Crochet, Pinard all domonstrate this, with the last two also producing some particularly fine and haunting red sancerre from Pinot Noir.
Three grape varieties are planted: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Sémillon is the principal grape, because it is especially susceptible to noble rot, Sauvignon is used for its naturally high acidity, whilst tiny proportions of the capricious Muscadelle are used for aromatic qualities. Sweet wine has been made here at least since the late 18th century. Its position is unique, close to two rivers, the broad Garonne and its small tributary, the Ciron. In autumn, the cool Ciron waters flow into the warmer tidal Garonne, evening mists develop that envelop the vineyards until late morning the following day, after the sun has burnt the mist away all that is left is moisture on trhe grapes that encourages noble rot or Botrytis cinerea. This fungus attacks grapes, causing them to shrivel, concentrating flavour sugars and acids. The wines were classified in 1855, the most prominent of which is Château Yquem, whose yields even in a vintage where noble rot is prominent, reach no more than 10 hl/ha.
A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.
Victoria is generally cooler than neighbouring South Australia. With the exception of the more inland Rutherglen, perhaps the Victoria's most famous wine, all the other regions have a distinctly maritime feel. The most significant wine regions within Victoria are Rutherglen, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong. All styles of wine are produced here, from fortfied wines to crisp, zippy whites, and everything in between.
An appellation in the Côte de Beaune between Meursault on the south side and Pommard on the north side. The wines are distinctly different from those of Pommard, lighter in colour and more elegant. They have always been known as delicate, fruity feminine and very fine wines, even a century ago the wines were described as "partridge-eye" pink in colour and the finest of all the wines of the Côte de Beaune. Whilst often displaying great charm and fruit in their youth the best Volnay often have considerable power too and can be very ageworthy.

More than half Volnay's vineyards are of premier cru status and one of these, Les Santenots, has a foot in two communes - its red wines are Volnay and its whites are Meursault. Aswell as the Santenots du Milieu Volnay has a plethora of other fine vineyards: Le Cailleret, Clos des Chênes, Champans, Taillepieds, the Clos de la Bousse d'Or, monopole of Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, and perhaps the most lauded of them all, the Clos des Ducs, a monopole of Marquis d'Angerville, one of the pioneering estates of Domaine-bottled Burgundy in the 1930s. Volnay's finest producers include Marquis d'Angerville, Michel Lafarge and de Montille.
A commune in the Côte de Nuits that is home to some of Burgundy's and the world's finest examples of Pinot Noir. Vosne-Romanée villages, an appellation that encompasses the villages wines of neighbouring commune Flagey-Échézeaux, can be very good value. In addition to these there some excellent Premiers Crus vineyards and six Grands Crus, three of which share the name Romanée, the suffix to which Vosne was hyphenated in 1866. Right accross the appellation from village to Grand Cru the wines share a very distinctive combination of richness and silkiness that Vosne-Romanée has so successfully built its reputation on.

The Grands Crus are Romanée-Conti, La Romanée, La Tâche, Richebourg, Romanée-St-Vivant, and La Grande Rue. Between them they produce, with Musigny and Chambertin, the greatest wines of the Côte de Nuits. They have more finesse than any other but nonetheless show as much power and intensity as their nearest rivals. The Premiers Crus wines can be world class, too, amongst the best of them being, Aux Malconsorts, next door to La Tâche, Clos des Réas, Cros Parantoux made famous by Henri Jayer which lies above Grands Crus, Aux Brûlées of which a fine example is made by Méo-Camuzet, and Les Beauxmonts and Les Suchots next door to Flagey-Échézeaux.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is and has been one of the great names that dominates the commune, however the late Henri Jayer must surely rival if not surpass them in terms of influence and reputation. Apart from making some of the most startling examples of Vosne and Échézeaux, Henri influenced a whole generation of great young wine-growers who are now doing extremely well. The village's other great Domaines are Domaine du Comte-Liger Belair, Domaine Leroy, that includes part of the former Domaine Nöellat, Anne Gros, Jean Grivot, Méo-Camuzet, Sylvain Cathiard and the recently revived Domaine François Lamarche.
The most famous Chenin Blanc producing region in the Loire and home to the famous cave cellars dug into the Tuffeau banks of the Loire. The wines from Vouvray, almost exclusively Chenin Blanc, can be produced in styles ranging from the utterly dry, through demi sec, (medium-dry) to the sweet moelleux. The latter is produced by numerous passages through the vineyards, and only in exceptional years. Due to the exceptional acidities present in these wines they have an ability to age only matched, in white wines, by German Riesling.