5 to Try: Burgundy Wines

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Burgundy “is the wine connoisseur’s region,” says Nikita Malhotra, head sommelier of Burgundy wine event, La Paulée. Since the wines are in a higher price bracket, learning to appreciate the region not only takes an investment of money but time and energy. “Although mainly concentrated on two grapes, the region offers nuance and variety that entices a drinker to commit both resources and time in understanding the different sites, producers, and wine,” explains Malhotra, whose accolades include Michelin Guide New York 2022 Sommelier of the Year and Grand Prix 2023 Star Wine List award for her wine list at Momofuku Ko in New York.

Thankfully, events such as La Paulée, inspired by Burgundy’s post-harvest luncheon La Paulée de Meursault, aim to feature the wines in an approachable way through tastings, seminars, and paired dinners. And for those who are curious about the region but hesitant to put money down for unvetted options, we asked Malhotra for her favorite Burgundy wines to drink now. Her picks, a variety of styles, highlight the region’s history, the commitment of its vignerons, and the stories of the vines.

Maison Chanterêves Bourgogne Rouge

Tomoko Kuriyama-Bott and Guillaume Bott, who started négociant project Maison Chanterêves in 2010, have been garnering the attention of wine connoisseurs for their exceptional wines, both négociant and domaine. “The red wines from this producer usually come off as lively and pure,” says Malhotra. This unfiltered red Burgundy possesses “fresh notes of raspberries, floral notes like rose and citrus, and marked acidity,” she adds. $51.95, crushwineco.com

Château de Béru Chablis Terroirs de Béru

Winemaker Athénaïs Béru of Château de Béru, a 400-year-old-plus Béru family-owned domaine, produces what Malhotra describes as “a great example of chablis,” which transports one to the vineyards themselves. While most producers use pesticides and synthetic fertilizer to create a particular style of Chablis, Béru “recognizes biodynamics as the way to put life back into the soil.” Grown in a mix of Kimmeridgian limestone and clay with fossilized oyster shells, the wine is “marked with minerality, acidity, and, in the case of Béru, iodized notes,” says Malhotra. $53, domestiquewine.com

Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains

Henri Gouges, a well-known 400-year-old domaine, possesses “some of the best sites in Nuits-Saint-Georges,” according to Malhotra. This parcel of land is located above highly regarded vineyard, Saint George. “Years before, these wines would have been a bit austere upon release and one had to wait some years for everything to be integrated,” she says. “But recent vintages have revealed a much more approachable wine, and still retain the structure and concentration that we have come to expect.” Upon first sip of this red wine, one will pick up on dense dark fruit with lingering spices that transition to a long finish. $189, tribecawine.com

Domaine Georges Noëllat Vosne-Romanée 

Winemaker Maxime Cheurlin, who inherited the estate from his grandmother and took it over in 2010, produces wines that “exude a sense of elegance and purity,” according to Malhotra. This red wine made with Pinot Noir grapes exhibits spices, ripe red fruit notes, and a long finish. “I would describe these wines as enchanting,” she says, adding that they also demonstrate how much Cheurlin has grown as a winemaker. “From vintage to vintage, you can taste how the wines are less candied and there is more restraint and structure and finesse.” $189.98, b-21.com

Domaine Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly 

It was Malhotra’s first encounter with winemaker Olivier Lamy a couple years ago at La Paulée that sealed her devotion to his wines. He spoke with such consideration to the terroir and the vines’ history, she concluded that thoughtful winemaking does make a difference. Even though this wine is hard to find due to limited production, Malhotra says they are worth hunting down. “The minerality and tension are at the core of this wine, and it is crisp without being overtly reductive,” she says. “Lamy is one of those producers that has brought Saint-Aubin to the attention of wine drinkers who usually like Montrachet or Grand Cru Chablis.” $197.95, sommcellarswine.com



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