This is a far and widely scattered appellation, which can be confusing and open to much interpretation, leading consumers to either feel saddened by the quality, or smiling with joy at the fabulous value for money that these basic white wines can often offer. As with everything in Burgundy, the name of the appellation is almost the least important clue – look below for the name of the maker – this gives the clue as to the wines real origins, and the quality of the person who grows the grapes and makes the wine. Bourgogne Chardonnay can come from anywhere in Burgundy.
Top producers will often use younger vines, where the concentration isn’t yet sufficient for their top wines, blended with wines from lesser vineyards that lie on the boundaries of the famous villages. Usually they share a similar soil & aspect, and, most crucially, are produced in the same manner as the top wines. Add to this, top producers will sometimes declassify parcels of wine from the better vineyards into their blended Bourgogne wines, again, the key to keeping the top wines at a higher level. As such, this is where bargains can be found. A top producer can offer ‘basic’ Bourgogne Chardonnay from a village such as Puligny, St Aubin or Chassagne, which is often better than many, lesser producer’s top wines, and at more affordable prices.