Taken from the Verget website: “Verget’s philosophy can be summed up in one simple sentence: the best wine comes from the best grapes.”
Very original, I must say! Please note that this sentence is also to be found on 9 out of 10 other winery websites throughout the world.
I can’t emphasize enough how much wineries really need to step up their game when it comes to their online presence! It’s 2011! Trying to scrape together enough relevant and interesting information for this article from just the Verget website alone was impossible! Don’t get me wrong, the generic wine facts I can take care of myself, but for the more in-depth producer info I had to scour the Information Super Highway.
The aim of Bourgogne Blanc is that it’s made as a simple and easy-drinking wine, not overly complex, the type of house wine they often serve at the restaurants on the Champs-Elysées for 12 Euros a glass. It usually gives a fair representation of the Burgundy region of France, but in a very broad sense.
Verget don’t grow any of their own grapes, they more as a negociant and purchase grapes from wine growers in the Burgundy region. Wine producers find it much cheaper that way; as well as the fact that so many of the best vineyard sites are already under ownership, with most being divided upon multiple landowners. In the case of Verget, they simply send their picking teams into the vineyards to hand-pick the grapes when ready.
Burgundy in a screw-cap, you’ve got to got love that! With all the debates STILL raging on about screw-cap vs. cork, it’s nice to see Verget paving the way forward with a “screw-on-lid”. It remains to be seen whether the rest of Burgundy will be convinced of the humble ‘Stelvin’ closure, my guess is that they won’t (especially the higher-end examples), but for wines at this price-point I wholly believe it should be welcomed with open arms.
Jean-Marie Guffens is the producer behind Verget, whom is often criticized for producing wines that the wine critics are big fans of (i.e. very extracted fruit with higher than usual alcohol levels), but doesn’t necessarily reflect Burgundy-proper.
For the record, I haven’t tasted enough Verget wines to vote one way or another, all I know is they are a business like any other, and if it was me I would do everything in my power to craft a wine which I know consumers will love.
Rather than being divided mainly between a few large vineyards, the Burgundy region is divided between thousands of smaller vineyards and grape growers. Each owners plot of land varies in size, with some of the larger land owners selling their grapes to multiple negociants, and the smaller ones selling grapes that go into a single wine.
Just to re-iterate, (because it’s always worth a reminder) if it’s white and it comes from Burgundy it’s Chardonnay. If it’s red, it’s Pinot Noir. We’re not in California where basically anything goes! These people are old school and have been doing it a long time!
As always there are a few exceptions (Aligote and Gamay), but if you follow this rule you can’t go wrong 99.9% of the time.
The oldest found written reference to the Burgundy region dates back to 312 A.D. The Romans were really the first to bring grape growing vines to the area to begin the process of planting. Into the Middle Ages, monks were managing the vineyards.
It used to be that the measurement of land in Burgundy was the amount that an ouvrier or worker could harvest in average in one day. An Ouvrée, as it was referred, is the equivalent of 4,300.sq ft.
Burgundy has more controlled wine regions, otherwise known as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC’s, than any other French region, and is often viewed as the most terroir-conscious (paying attention to the specific geography of the vineyard).
I believe that the current vintage on the Verget Bourgogne “Terriors de Cote d’Or” is 2008, so with this being an ‘06 I maybe had a slight reservation on the wine (i.e. past its prime). Turns out that the wine had held up surprisingly well.
Pale straw color, the wine showed definite green apple, banana, yeast, a slight nutty aroma (from the oak treatment the wine has received), a hint of caramel and maybe just a very small reductive / oxidative quality, but not so much that it was hugely unpleasant.
The taste shows dominant green apple, pear, bread pudding, and a hint of butterscotch. Well balanced acidity, and what you would deem a rather dry wine. A surprisingly lengthy finish. Still fresh and reasonably vibrant (considering the vintage), but needs food.
Brie, gruyere or Emmenthal cheeses, croque madame or monsieur, chicken in a lemon sauce, fresh fish grilled and covered in almonds, crab / lobster or a creamy risotto. I swear, every single time I write these pairings I get hungry! I can’t remember the last time I had a good croque madame!