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A Beaune to pick
22 January 2021

Beaune is without doubt one of Burgundy’s most under-appreciated appellations. A number of factors may have unjustly conspired against it: the historical prevalence of commercial “Beaune” bottlings, perhaps even the prominence and success of the town itself and the many negociants that reside there; and most certainly of all the sheer size of the vineyard area. At a shade over 413ha of vines planted, Beaune is the largest village-named appellation in the Côte d’Or. Inevitably such a spread means diversity – thanks to soil type (with differing amounts of clay, sand, gravel, limestone and iron oxide,) as well as location and topography, both of which are influenced by two cooling valleys that punctuate the commune. Whilst quality and diversity can be found right across Beaune, there is a particular sweet spot in the centre and centre-north of the appellation, wedged in between the town and the forest at the top of the hill. Here lie steep, well-drained, east-facing vines sitting mid slope, that are dominated by limestone: vineyards such as Teurons, Toussaints, Bressandes and, above all, Grèves. Named after the gravelly, almost sandy, nature of the soils, Beaune-Grèves is the town’s flagship vineyard. Those sandy limestone soils result in wines of great sensuality and elegance, although they cellar remarkably well. Old bottles of Grèves and above all Bouchard’s l’Enfant Jesus, will attest to this.    Read More

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