Burgundy - Côte d'Or, Côte Challoinnaise & Maconnais - Grape varieties

7 important questions on Burgundy - Côte d'Or, Côte Challoinnaise & Maconnais - Grape varieties

What are the grape varieties in Burgundy

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Aligoté (Bouzeron, north of Côte Chalonnaise)
  • Gamay (tiny)

What is the result of planting one single clone or a mixture of clones

One single clone:
  • a more uniform fruit
Mixture of clones:
  • greater diversity in grape characteristics (good and bad)
  • potentially more resistance to disease

What are the advantages and disadvantages for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy?

  • they are both early ripening > good in short summers

  • they are early budding > spring frost > reduce yields if frost occurs after budburst
  • cool years > under-ripe tannins (esp. PN)
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With reference to grape growing and winemaking, explain how and why the following wines differ in
style and price.
a) Chablis Premier Cru AC
b) Le Montrachet Grand Cru AC
c) Mâcon Blanc AC
(Each section carries equal weighting)

There were the inevitable candidates who had not read the question properly and wrote about white wines as well as red, and there were far too many vague reference to “traditional vinification” without explaining what this actually meant. Even where better marks were obtained, scripts tended to be short and rather superficial, in many instances covering no more than the Cote d’Or and Beaujolais Nouveau.

Describe the grape variety Chardonnay and its growing environment in Burgundy

  • Suited to range of climates and soils > various styles
  • early budding > spring frost risk
  • early ripening > good in cool Burgundy
  • producing high yields without loosing quality
    • good growing season > vigour management important to avoid excessive yield and shading
  • Prone to grey rod, mildew and millerandage
  • Top quality wines from Burgundy come from limestone/clay soils ie Cote de Beaune.
  • Chablis/cool > apple, pear, lemon, lime, wet stone, light/med body, high acidity.
  • Côte d'Or/more moderate > ripe citrus, melon, stone fruit, medium/medium(+) body, medium(+)/high acidity

Pinot Noir in Burgundy

  • Early budding > prone to frost
  • early ripening > good in cool Burgundy
  • yields must be limited to produce quality wines
  • delicate > prone to millerandage, downy and powdery mildew, botrytis bunch rot, fan leaf, leaf roll
    • but concern: whether fruit will become ripe as desired (tannins, colour, flavour)
  • Strawberry/raspberry, red cherry, smoke/clove (oak), low/med tannins (grand cru +), med alc, high acidity.
    • earth, game, mushroom bottle matured

Where is Aligoté grown in Burgundy and why?

Planted on the coolest sites and well regarded wines come from the village of Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise.
Bouzeron and Rully have some of the best south-east facing slopes.
8% in total

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