This last week we’ve been enjoying the wines (and cuisine) of the region of Burgundy in Eastern France and so I have decided to give today’s Wednesday’s Wine post a Burgundian theme. You would be forgiven for imagining that this might involve a feature on the elegance and class of a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, the wine grapes most commonly associated with this part of the world and certainly the most sought-after. Something from the celebrated Côte d’Or perhaps where the names of Meursault, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey Chambertin are synonymous with world-class wines? Not here I’m afraid. Much is written about the aforementioned wines and villages, and little about what else goes on in the area so I wanted to go for something off the beaten track and unusual, little-known but delicious: Bouzeron is an appellation which has fascinated and delighted me ever since we started coming here five years ago.
Located to the south-east of the Côte d’Or, Bouzeron is the most northerly of five key wine villages which make up the Côte Chalonnaise area. The grape variety in Bouzeron is Aligoté which is grown all over Burgundy where it is more commonly sold as Bourgogne Aligoté. Only in Bouzeron can the village name be used on the label. Sometimes sharp and acidic, the Bouzeron Aligoté is fuller and richer with lower yields than elsewhere and its generally higher level of quality was rewarded in 1997 with the AOC classification. Tonight’s wine is from the prestigious Domaine A & P de Villaine – Aubert de Villaine is co-owner and co-director of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a legendary estate on the Cote d’Or producing some of the world’s most expensive wines. In 2010 he was named Decanter’s Man of the Year.
Domaine de Villaine’s 2012 Bouzeron makes a refreshing aperitif but it has sufficient weight and liveliness to pair with our blue cheese gougères – baked cheese puffs, usually made with gruyère cheese here in Burgundy but I do like to ring the changes. The wine would be equally at home with meaty seafood dishes. So do look out the charming little village of Bouzeron and its wines if you’re in the area. It’s a great place to amble around and every year in April they hold the Fête du Bouzeron & du Jambon Persillé when many producers bring their wines out for tasting and you can enjoy them with the local ham terrine.