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What to Look for When Selecting the Best Burgundy Wines

August 4, 2023
Wine Collecting , Wine Regions , Wine Styles

Written by Rhett Sinnema

Green-swathed hills stretch to the horizon under a painted sky while the sun warms old stonework, flashes on the pinnacles of church spires, and baths castles over eight hundred years old in sumptuous light. If one has the pleasure of visiting the Burgundy region in France in the hopes of finding the best Burgundy wines, one will discover that even the most poetic descriptions can’t quite do the countryside justice. 


The Burgundy region is home to some of the world’s oldest and most famous wine producers. Famous for its reds of the Pinot Noir and Gamay variety and its whites of Chardonnay and Aligoté. The first recorded vineyard dates back to 587 AD. Some vineyards from as early as the 1100s still endure today. What makes Burgundy such a powerhouse of wine production and its wines so sought-after is the region’s uniqueness. Its soil – Clay and limestone make the soil both productive and balanced to allow the growth of world-class grapes. Its continental climate, and much more.

Approaching Your Selection of the Best Burgundy Wines

Some communes and villages are so prized for the wines they produce, they can classify their wines separately or additionally from the Burgundy designation. They take pride of place in the Burgundy wine hierarchy. The highest honour is the Appellations Grands Crus. 

Less than 2% of Burgundy wine producers can label their wines with this designation. They produce very few wines of very high quality. Yet they are still a Bourgogne wine as they are produced in the region. 

Communal appellations stratify the wines into 44 communes. This means some of the wine bears the name of its village of origin. Additionally, these ‘climats’ or wine-growing plots are UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

One could simply look at the hierarchy and work their way down. Sampling wines with the Grand Crus, Premiers Crus, Villages, and Regionales Appellations. That is, if you were fortunate enough to have the opportunity. While a Grand Crus must be tried at least once, it isn’t recommended to only use the hierarchy when navigating the region and discovering the best Burgundy wines. 

While Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes originated in Burgundy, many wine producers worldwide produce these wines. Elgin and Walker Bay in South Africa successfully produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties. But, none of the producers there could ever place Bourgogne on their bottles. While that might be satisfactory for some wine-enjoyers, they could not say they’d had the pleasure of sampling a real Bourgogne. 

Our Hand-Selected Bourgogne: Choosing the Best Burgundy Wines

Fortunately, Rueda Wine Co. is proud to announce we have hand-selected and are lucky to work with an array of some of the finest Bourgogne producers. Their wines are en route to African shores and available on allocation in September. We have attempted to cater not only to wine aficionados but also to those who wish to sample a selection of wines from the historic region. 

We have taken great care in our Burgundy wine selection. During a trip to the region our team was able to explore the domaines and sample these wines. Each producer and wine has been thoughtfully considered and placed in our portfolio. You can also read our regional analysis in the Burgundy 2020 Vintage Report.

Domaine Anne-Francoise Gros 

The first selection of wines comes from the Domaine Anne-Francoise Gros. The Domaine was established in 1988 by Anne-Francoise Gros, daughter of Jean Gros. Today two of her three children, Caroline and Mathias head the operation. 

Since the 1980’s, Domaine A-F Gros has established itself as one of the leading Burgundy Domaines. The Domaine has several vineyard holdings in Cote-de-Nuits and Cote-de-Beaune. It is an unmissable Domaine to add to a collection of any stage. 

The Domaine A-F Gros Beaune 1er Cru Les Montrevenots Blanc, which we are excited to offer you, is rated top ten in the world among Beaune 1er Cru Les Montrevenots wines. Other impressive wines to expect from A. F. Gros are the Moulin-A-Vent En Montperay, the Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge, and the Vosne-Romanee Village Les Chalandins. 

The Vosne-Romanee Village Les Chalandins is recommended for a few years of ageing. The Cotes-de-Nuits hail from the region on the high slopes. Here the majority of the vineyards face either south or west to benefit from the warmest sun. 

These wines are generally considered finer, twenty-three Grand Crus are produced on these same slopes, and the Cotes-de-Nuits is considered the pinnacle of red Bourgogne. Rueda Wine Co. is proud to introduce this producer to the South African market for the first time.

The wines we will be bringing to South Africa include:

  • A. F. Gros Beaune 1er Cru Montrevenots Blanc 2020
  • A. F. Gros Moulin-A-Vent En Montperay 2020
  • A. F. Gros Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge 2020
  • A. F. Gros Vosne-Romanee Village Les Chalandins 2020
  • A. F. Gros Pommard 1er Cru Les Arvelets 2018
  • A. F. Gros Pommard 1er Cru Les Pezerolles 2019
  • A. F. Gros Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Guettes 2020
  • A. F. Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru 2020
  • A. F. Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 2020

Domaine Pierre-Vincent Girardin

Another producer we are incredibly proud to present is Pierre-Vincent Girardin (PVG), hailing from Meursault in the Cote de Beaune.

Despite being one of the new, hot-shot Domaines, and a true rising star, Pierre Girardin is a 13th-generation winemaker. His attention to detail is exquisite, and he has gone as far as making custom 456L oak barrels. These barrels ensure the perfect oak influence over his wines. Pierre is widely considered among the region’s best and most exciting young winemakers. 

Domaine Pierre-Vincent Girardin produces both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. His whites are intensely pure, cut, and precise. When making his reds, Girardin focuses on elegance and silkiness. The reds are lightly extracted to allow the incredible terroir to express itself. The wine undergoes long and gentle pressing and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The wines we will be bringing to South Africa include:

  • PVG Puligny-Montrachet Village 2020
  • PVG Meursault Village Narvaux 2020
  • PVG Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2020
  • PVG Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2020 MAGNUM
  • PVG Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2020
  • PVG Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2020 MAGNUM

Domaine Chicotot

This family-owned estate was established in 1678 in the heart of Nuits-Saint-Georges. The 7-hectare vineyard holdings are tiny but powerful. From 7 hectares Domaine Chicotot creates some truly stunning organic and low-intervention wines.

Alsatian-born Pascale Chicotot and her son Clement stand at the helm of the winemaking and viticultural regime. The Chicotot wines are aged for two years in oak, and a further six months in the bottle.

The wines from Domaine Chicotot are incredibly well-crafted and delicate with a beautiful understated power. They exemplify the village of Nuits-Saint-George and are beautifully structured. Built to age, these wines are a wise addition to a curated cellar.

The wines we will be bringing to South Africa include:

  • Chicotot Nuits-Saint-Georges Village Vieilles Vignes Papillions 2020
  • Chicotot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains Vieilles Vignes 2020

Domaine Genot-Boulanger

Genot-Boulanger of Meursault rounds out our list of superb producers for the 2020 vintage. However, it is by no means the last. Boasting several Grand Crus, Genot-Boulanger is regionally and internationally famous for its range of vineyards rivalled only by negociants, at the quality level of a top producer. 

Genot-Boulanger’s Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers is a Chardonnay of unrivalled quality. When tasting one will note the hints of walnut. We also offer a Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons praised for its almond and hazelnut flavours. These flavours are a gift of the limestone and marl-rich soil in the oldest vineyard in the Genot-Boulanger vineyards. 

The wines we will be bringing to South Africa include:

  • Genot-Boulanger Puligny-Montrachet Village Les Levrons 2020
  • Genot-Boulanger Meursault Village Clos du Cromin 2020
  • Genot-Boulanger Savigny-Les-Beuane 1er Cru Les Vergelesses 2020
  • Genot-Boulanger Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers 2020
  • Genot-Boulanger Chambolle-Musigny Village 2020
  • Genot-Boulanger Beaune 1er Cru Greves 2020

Selecting the best Burgundy wines for you is an exciting journey for any wine lover. The journey of learning, appreciating, and discovering new regions is a lifelong experience. Your journey of discovery is not one you need to walk alone, as the team at Rueda Wine Co. will happily and enthusiastically walk it with you.

Our friendly and professional staff are available to help you navigate our list of producers from Burgundy and the rest of the world. Please would you reach out if you would like us to connect, or if you would like to find out more about our Burgundy allocation. With Rueda Wine Co. finding the best Burgundy wines for you just became a whole lot simpler.