Classifications for Burgundy wine

General appellations

From anywhere in the region i.e. Bourgogne (Burgundy) Aligote, Bourgogne Rouge.

Regional appellations: Cotes de Nuits-Villages of Cote de Beaune Villages.

Village of Commune: Appellation Aloxe-Corton.

Premier Cru: The best ones name both the vineyard and the village or commune. If the label simply says Premier Cru it is likely to be a blend from a number of top vineyards.

Grand Cru: The top 31 producers, each with their own AC.


Red wines


Pinot Noir: Burgundy produces some of the world’s greatest and finest Pinot Noir wines – light, fragrant, perfumed and with concentrated raspberry/strawberry flavors. Oak ageing adds depth and complexity.

Gammay: The grape for Beaujolais but a little is blended in with Pinot Noir for some Bourgogne wines. It produces light, soft, low tannin, fruity wines generally best drunk young.


Region and styles from Burgundy

Aloxe-Corton (Côte de Beaune): Powerful, big and aromatic, with a hint of violets. Harsh when young but mellow wonderfully with age.

Auxey-Duresses (Côte de Beaune): Underrated and good value, full bodied and fruity. Age well.

Beaune (Côte de Beaune): Light, soft and fruity with a hint of sweetness. Mature quickly.

Blagny (Côte de Beaune): Big, firm, strong bouquet. Need time to develop.

Bennes-Mares (Côtes de Nuits): Soft and elegant. Need time to mature fully. When aged they give hints of chocolate and prunes.

Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire: Quality can vary. At best it is light, perfumed and fruity, often a Pinot Noir Gamay blend. Best drunk young.

Bourgoge Passe-Tout-Grains: Mostly Gamay but at least one third Pinot Noir to give light, fruity wines best drunk young. Generally don’t travel well.

Bourgogne Rouge: Basic blended red from anywhere in Burgundy. Drink young.

Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Big, lingering wines with deep colour and intense bouquet which soften and mellow with age to become complex, perfumed and rich. The best need at least 10 years to develop.

Chambertin Close de Bèze (Côte de Nuits): As above, expensive. Need time.

Chambolle-Musigny (Côte de Nuits): Perfumed, light, delicate and elegant. Age well.

Charmes-Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Light and delicate but with body. Age well.

Chassagne-Montrachet (Côte de Nuits): Great value, fine and fruity with earthy flavours. Age well.

Chorey-Lés-Beaune (Côte de Nuits): Good value, soft fruit reds. Age well.

Close de la Roche (Côte de Nuits): Big, powerful, complex and full of curranty fruit. Age well.

Clos des Lambrays (Côte de Nuits): A new AC: fragrant, fruity and expensive.

Clos de Tart (Côte de Nuits): Light, fragrant and fruity. Age well.

Close de Vougeot (Côte de Nuits): Full-bodied, perfumed, plummy fruit. Age well.

Clos St. Denis (Côte de Nuits): Fine, delicate wines of varying quality. Age well.

Le Corton (Côte de Beaune): Big, powerful wines which age with great finesse.

Côte Chalonnaise: Light and fragrant with intense fruit and finesse. Drink young.

Cote de Beaune: Light and soft with good fruit. Mellows with age.

Côte de Nuits: Big, firm, fruity wines. Age well.

Côte de Nuits: Villages: Lighter than above, with earthy flavours. Age well.

Echezeaux (Côte de Nuits): Expensive, light and fragrant. Age well.

Fixin (Côte de Nuits): Good value big, strong reds with plummy fruit, which mellow and develop great finesse with age.

Gevrey-Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Big, rich and elegant with silky, plummy fruit when young. Mellows into velvety, perfiuned wine with intense fruit. Expensive.

Givry (Côte Chalonnaise): Light, soft and fruity, with a strong hint of cherries. Age well.

Grands Echézeaux (Côte de Nuits): Expensive complex wines with violet bouquet and soft rich fruit flavour. Develop more intense fruit and bouquet with age.

Griotte-Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Deep-coloured, with soft, intense, cherry fruit. Perfiimed and velvety. Age well.

Hautes-Côtes de Beaune: Usually good value, light and fruity. Age well.

Hautes-Côtes de Nuits: Medium to full bodied, fruity, perfumed wines which age well.

Latricières-Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Generally big, austere wines which need several years to mature, though some are made lighter for earlier drinking.

Macon Rouge: Improved recently. Light, fruity and earthy. Best drunk young.

Marsannay (Côte de Nuits): Big and fruity with a hint of redcurrants. Age well.

Mazis-Chambertin (Côte de Nuits): Silky, delicate and complex. Need time.

Mercurey (Côte Chalonnaise): Big with berry fruit flavours, smokey. Good value.

Monthélie (Côte de Beaune): Big, firm, fruity wines with long silky finish. Age well.

More about Burgundy region and style