By Rick Riozza

Red wine from Burgundy France is Pinot Noir and the wines are legendary in the wine world. So many experienced wine lovers will confidently declare that no other red wine can beat the complexity, fullness, and style of a great Pinot Noir from the Cote d’Or, the “golden slope” in La Bourgogne. Once you’ve been there, everyone speaks of something magical in their vineyards. Yes—this is where the most expensive Romanée-Conti, La Tache, Richebourg, La Vivant etc., exist, thrive, and are shockingly good—ethereal even.

And for the longest of times, those Burgundy fans who can afford the best, have indeed been paying the highest of prices for their cherished wine.  Recently a case of the 2016 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti started at an auction house at $52,000.  A case of 2015 La Tache started bidding at $75,000.  All those prices come with the territory.

Territory indeed! Burgundy is the land of scarcity – many know that it produces a fraction of the output of other regions in France like Bordeaux. And the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is no exception, producing an average of 6,000–8,000 cases across all its crus each year. They could certainly produce more given certain holdings, but their philosophy is high-density planting of old-vines, and keeping yields tantalizingly low so as to produce pinot noir and chardonnay fruit with unparalleled concentration.


But for us common wine folk—especially those of us who are really smitten with red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) from France, we’d love to experience a fabulous bottle: But at what price these days.

An interesting side note—just to catch up on things:  For decades and decades, the red Burgundy crop often times had problems in getting their fruit ripe in time for harvest due to the cold weather in the region.  Then global warming became real and in the hottest year of French history, 2003, over 13,000 Frenchmen and women perished due to the heat.  And thereafter, the region has continually experienced warm weather.  Ironically, time has reversed itself and the Burgundy vintners have to harvest sooner than later so that the fruit is not overripe!

Anyway—as mentioned above and extremely important to note, Grand Cru & Premier Cru Burgundy vineyard lots are not increasing with demand: What is increasing, is the price for the wine available.

So as we are wont to do—let’s have fun with the recent prices of the recent red Burgundies just coming on the market.

Let’s start with one of the best out of the gate, (apart from the Gold Standard Red Burgundy featured above). Remembering again, these are the best of the rest.  All tasting notes are from Wine Spectator Magazine (since I have not yet received my sample bottles—but I’m keeping my hopes up!)

2020 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Beze ($871) “A majestic red, serene and refined, displaying cherry, strawberry, dried rose, sandalwood, licorice, and iron aromas and flavors.  Firms up, turning denser as this builds up to the finish, all the while remaining balanced, poised, and complex through the lingering aftertaste of fruit, spices, and mineral. Ethereal.” 98 points

2020 Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin ($539) “Silky, exuding exotic spices around a core of ripe cherry, pomegranate, raspberry and rose aromas and flavors. Offers complex and youthful profile that delivers balance and harmony.  The aftertaste is seemingly endless and remarkably spicy.” 97 points

2020 Jean Grivot Echezeaux ($750) “Pure, racy and enticing, hosting aromas and flavors of black current, blackberry, violet and iron, this is all about finesse, grace, and precision balance, with saturating fruit flavors persisting on the super long aftertaste. Needs a decade in the cellar.” 97 points

2020 Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays ($740) “A fresh red, with black currant and black cherry flavors shaded by floral, iron, earth and spice elements.  Fluid and on the elegant side, with a solid underlying framework of tannins.  Turns a bit leaner on the finish—a good sign for future development.” 96 points

2020 Henri Georges Nuits-St.-Georges Les St. George ($511) “A bright succulent style, this boasts black cherry, blackberry, spice and mineral aromas and flavors.  Vibrant and elegant in profile with terrific harmony and a long, fruit-filled aftertaste.” 95 points

Take heart!  Here is a 96 pointer wine at only $145 a bottle!  2020 Domaine Clos De La Chapelle Corton-Bressandes.  “Sleek and intense, with a lively undercurrent to black cherry and blackberry flavors, with violet, mineral and spice accents.”

Some Top Values continue: 2020 Philippe Colin Santenay ($45) A pleasant earthiness underlies the ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit in this round, supple red, with iron and spice accents.” 91 points

Here’s a name you may know, 2020 Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune, ($38) “Rich and fruity, offering cherry, raspberry, floral and spice flavors.  Charming, balanced and enjoyable now, with fine length.” 90 points

And I guess the deal of the year for a quick taste, at only $24, is the new 2021 Damien Martin Bourgogne. “Fresh and vibrant, this juicy red bursts with cherry, raspberry and floral aromas and flavors, with a crisp feel to the chalky finish.” 89 points.