After over 20 years of buying wines for my own cellar I have found myself being drawn more and more towards the wines of Burgundy. This wine growing region is something of a fascinating paradox, in that even though it is world famous for some of the wines it produces, a vast array of its wines remains unknown to UK consumers. This is a region of literally thousands of wine producers, where the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Viticulteurs de Bourgogne (more often known as the BIVB) lists a total of over 4,700 growers with an average of 7.5 ha of vines each, so why is it that such a small selection of these wines ever finds its way into this country? One of the main reasons may be that because Burgundy is broken into its very fragmented patchwork of vignerons and then multiple Appellations per village, it is much harder to navigate than the big Estates of Bordeaux or the wine factories of the New World. However, the almost ethereal nature of the taste and aromas of a fine Burgundy makes it stand out from the crowd, making the quest for fine bottles an exciting challenge.
JustBurgundy was born when the three of us, myself (Anthony), Graeme and Steve, agreed that the selection of Burgundies we were finding available for us to buy, here at home, failed to properly recognise the great variety and quality of wines available from the region. The growing domination of big brand names and big marketing budgets has been crowding out the smaller boutique family growers, many of whom lavish enormous care on the wines they produce. JustBurgundy is a small rebellion against the increasing dominance of big brands over family businesses. We want to enable these delightful, often unknown, family estates to reach those of us who would enjoy them, if only we knew they existed.
Most of us who are regular buyers of Burgundies will have had occasional and sometimes regular experiences of when we have tasted something quite superb, remembered the Appellation name and then been disappointed that a future purchase of the same Appellation and the same vintage did not yield the same flavours. Why had this happened? Because we had forgotten the most vital ingredient of all, the Domaine name. In Burgundy the order of priority, when choosing a wine, is Domaine first, Appellation second and vintage third. There are so many examples of superb wines produced in “off” vintages by good vignerons. The Domaine name is vital and even here attention to detail is crucial, when a single village may have a dozen vignerons with the same surname. Was it Georges we wanted, or Eduard or Louis or Jean?
What we have set out to do is to cut down on this uncertainty by visiting the Region and establishing links with well known growers from some of the leading villages that will enable others (you), to sample a range of wines you will not otherwise come across. We greatly hope that you will find a selection of wines from these web pages that will give you great pleasure and broaden your perspective of Burgundy. If you do, then our journey over these last two years will not have been in vain: Happy browsing and hopefully, even happier drinking.
Our Directors: Anthony Carter, Graeme Sinclair, Steve Plimsoll