If you think Brooklyn is cool, try OUTER BOROUGH BURGUNDY!

Above: Domaine Thénard 2006 Givry Les Bois Chevaux Premier Cru ($40 at Vino Vino).

At Vino Vino, we dig great wine and we also dig great prices. The wines of Burgundy, let’s face it, are expensive. Unfortunately, there are way too many wineries out there whose wines are prohibitively expensive. But there are also villages that lie outside of Burgundy’s top real estate, the famous Côte d’Or (or Golden Slope). We like to call them “outer borough” Burgundies and in many cases, they represent some of the best value and quality to come out of France today. In other words, if you’re more of a Brooklyn person than a Manhattan person, YOU WILL DIG THIS WINE.

Here’s what Eric Asimov, wine writer for The New York Times, had to say earlier this year about the Côte Chalonnaise where this “premier cru” (first growth) wine comes from (the village of Givry):

    SO close, and yet so far away. I sometimes wonder how it feels to be a vigneron in the Côte Chalonnaise, the hilly region that extends south and slightly east of the southern tip of the Côte d’Or, the great heart of Burgundy.

    The Côte d’Or, of course, receives all the accolades, the fawning visits and the money. The Côte Chalonnaise receives the figurative back of the hand because, well, it just isn’t the Côte d’Or.

    But it isn’t Beaujolais, either — that is, a different sort of nearby region that is simply linked administratively to Burgundy.

    The reds are made of pinot noir, the whites of chardonnay, just as in the famed villages to the north. Yet the wines from the main villages of the Côte Chalonnaise — Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny — have always been considered the poor rustic relations, without the elegance, grace or delineated intensity of their betters. As in all the world’s great but stratified wine regions, it must be a bitter thing to realize that regardless of how much commitment one brings to the soil, the grape and the winemaking, respect will always be elusive.

    But no matter how vast a chasm separates the Côte Chalonnaise from the Côte d’Or, it is still Burgundy after all, and the spillover potential is alluring. The hope always beckons that for appreciably less money the villages of the Côte Chalonnaise will offer a satisfying glimpse of Burgundy’s gorgeous sunlight…

    In general, the beauty of Burgundy is its combination of light-bodied grace and intensity. The trick in the Côte Chalonnaise, where the growing season is slightly cooler than in the Côte d’Or, is to make sure the grapes ripen fully and to keep grape yields low to maximize intensity.

Welcome back…

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