Burgundy part 2: Cote de Beaune

April 30, 2015
Yiorgos Floudas continues his trip around Burgundy. In this second part, he’s in Cote de Beaune.

Burgundy has many particularities, none more so than how difficult it is to visit the region, let alone be welcomed there without references or an introduction by someone in the know.  Our insider is Mr Kyriakos Kinigopoulos, or simply Kyriakos to the French.  After having studied in Thessaloniki, Kyriakos went to Burgundy for further studies in 1982 and decided to stay. 

Not only did he stay but he is at the top of his game, running an oenological lab with the best staff and equipment and advising the highest ranking wine producers of the region and the wider wine world. 

Leaving Chablis, we moved south to Beaune and Burgundia Oenologie, Kyriakos’s base of operations. He greeted us as he was saying goodbye to Mrs Boss-Drouhin of Maison Drouhin, who is in charge of the wine produced in Oregon.  After the initial intros and a quick coffee, we set off for the first visit in Volnay. By the way, Volnay derives from the Latin Velenus which is the name of the god Apollo.  It looks like everything started in Delphi after all!

Domaine de La Pousse d’Or is the most beautiful Domaine in the whole of Cote de Beaune and you can see it for miles. Kyriakos introduced us to Madame Nicot who gave us a tour of the grounds and recounted the Domaine’s history.  A crucial point of its recent history being Patrick Landanger selling the rights to a medical patent in the U.S. and focusing on wine instead by investing in Domaine de La Pousse d’Or in 1997.  He got involved in every aspect of the business, from the vineyard itself to the bottling process.  The Domaine then moved from a period of qualitative recession to its rightful place in Burgundy’s big wines.

We started our tasting with the fine Volnay Clos Bousse d’Or 2008 and then moved on to the robust Corton Grand Cru ‘Clos du Roi’ with all the density and charm of Pinot Noir.

Just round the corner is one of the most established Burgundy wineries and possibly the best in the Volnay region: Domaine Marquis d’ Angerville.  We arrived just as oenologist Francois Duvivier was filtering a tank so the tasting took place as he worked. We tried the Volnay 1er Cru Champans, the Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds and the Volnay 1er Cru Pitures.  Violets, beetroot bulbs, blackcurrant and gooseberry aromas filled the wine cellars.  We then moved on to the tasting area and tried their pride and joy, the Volnay 1er Cru Clos de Ducs Monopole. A truly incredible taste experience which despite it being a 2013 vintage, shows its class and the reason it’s considered the best vineyard in Volnay and an equal of the Cote de Nuits Grand Crus.

After the Volnay wine tasting, Francois very proudly let us try the new project by the Domaine’s owner, Guillaume d`Angerville, in the Jura region: Domaine du Pelican. They’re making Pinot Noir, Poulsard and Trousseau for the reds and Savagnin and Chardonnay in the white category.  Fine wines with their own personality and many similarities with their Burgundy counterparts. Time flies when you’re having fun so 2 hours at Domaine M.d’Angerville passed like a flash and we had to leave for Beaune.

We got settled in our hotel Chateau de Challange in Beaune which is the best choice for wine travellers.  Just two minutes from Beaune, it’s well looked after and well priced at about 100 euros a night.  Lunch in France is sacred so we chose 21 Boulevard, a restaurant, lounge bar and club with a wine collection from the immediate region and the rest of France, very reminiscent of Cava Lavinia.  We tried a 2011 Chambolle Musigny by Hudelot-Noellat who collaborate with Mr Kinigopoulos and are one of the most up and coming names in Burgundy.  The menu was great even though we opted for tourist options like boeuf Bourguignon and a cheese platter including delice de Pommard, Epoisses and Citeaux.

A great day of tasting and meeting interesting people that would not have been possible without Mr Kinigopoulos’ help.  Merci Kyriako et a la prochaine…
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