Every two years since 1992, the Grands Jours de Bourgogne have welcomed market influencers and journalists from around the world into the Bourgogne wine growing region. The diversity of the Bourgogne region offers incredible regional wines as well as the finest Grand Crus, making Bourgogne ideal for any occasion and any type of cuisine. The event brings over 1,000 wine growers with nearly 10,000 wines to sample—a Bourgogne lover’s dream.
To commemorate our strategic partnership with the Bourgogne Wine Board, we are sending Jeff Loo, our in-house Bourgogne expert, to this 5-day tasting event.
Here’s what Jeff has to say:
What’s the most memorable bottle of Bourgogne you’ve ever had?
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of enjoying many amazing Bourgogne wines, from the top of the scale to the yet to be discovered gems. I think the most memorable experience with a bottle of Bourgogne was the first time I ever tasted was a Bonnes Mares from Domaine d'Auvenay owned by Lalou Bize Leroy. Her 1993 just hit me like a freight truck. The incredible aromas and flavors still hit my senses to this day. I’ve been lucky enough to have this wine 3 times and every time it just gets better and better. As far as the oldest Bourgogne I’ve tried, that would be tied with a bottle of 1935 DRC La Tache and 1935 Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru La Combe Aux Moines.
How do you maintain your wine knowledge?
To be successful in this business, you need to keep yourself aware of the markets that are trending and the markets that are falling. I read constantly to keep up on new and exciting areas of viticulture and new wines being discovered, reading about my favorite regions of the world to make sure my knowledge base is sound, as well as participating in tastings, both blind and non-blind to keep my palate in peak condition.
What wine do you think is underrated?
My favorite wines come from St. Aubin, in particular from the 1er Cru Climat En Remilly. My clients know my love and fascination with White Bourgogne and that I am always on the lookout for that wine that excites the senses without emptying the wallet. I have found many pleasures in the wines from St. Aubin from a number of producers, so I hope to find out more and more.
How will you decide which wines to sample during all these tastings?
Besides the names that I know and love, I will be focusing on finding the producers and wines that I’m not familiar with and searching for the elusive bargain Bourgogne. A wine that does not price most people out and a wine that has superior quality to that of its peers. In vintages like 2010 and 2012, village level wines can provide amazing quality, if you know where to look.
In your opinion, what's the best occasion for a bottle of Bourgogne?
One of the many pleasures in life is enjoying a white or a red Bourgogne on just about any occasion. From the Village level all the way to the Grand Cru level, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have exceptional qualities that just can’t be captured anywhere else in the world. Taking nothing away from Pinot and Chardonnay produced elsewhere, as there are many fine examples, but the “x-factor” rings true in Bourgogne. From just a nice weekday evening with a bottle of Santenay to the extra special occasion and a bottle of Chambolle Musigny, the wines from the many different appellations prove that the land of Bourgogne is home to not only the highly collectible, but the highly desirable drinkers for everyone to enjoy.
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