30 Second Wine Advisor: Basic White Burgundy

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Basic White Burgundy

We're getting into the spirit of the season today, trimming trees and wrapping gifts and humming carols and thinking about last-minute shopping, so let's cut right to the chase for a look at today's featured wine.

Fresh from having enjoyed a pretty good Puligny-Montrachet with an indulgent restaurant dinner the other night, I set out to find a White Burgundy that might replicate some vestige of the pleasure without repeating the wallet-flattening price.

And so it was that I came to an old friend, Joseph Drouhin 2008 "Laforet" Bourgogne Chardonnay. It's a generic white Burgundy that ranks at the bottom of the region's classification, made by one of Burgundy's larger producers for early and casual enjoyment from undesignated grapes that may be grown anywhere in the region.

If that sounds like faint praise, let me turn around and say that it's a pretty darn good Chardonnay, appley and crisp, medium-bodied and structured with good, fresh-fruit acidity that stands up very well at the dinner table. Available for $10 or less in some regions (I paid a toll locally in the lower teens), it's about as good a deal as you're going to get in a White Burg.

It's no Puligny-Montrachet, but in fairness, it does offer a good, base-level "benchmark" example of Burgundy's way with Chardonnay, and it's well worth the price.

Today's Tasting Report

Joseph Drouhin 2008 "Laforet" Bourgogne Chardonnay ($13.49)

Joseph Drouhin

Transparent, pale gold. Cooking apples and subtle spice aromas lead into a crisp, tart fresh-apple flavor with good, medium-bodied texture and bright, mouth-watering acidity. Apples add a zippy touch of limey citrus in the long, food-friendly finish. U.S. importer: Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., NYC. (Dec. 15, 2010)

FOOD MATCH: The back label declares it "the perfect accompaniment to food," without further qualification. This might be a little broad, but I would certainly enjoy it with chicken or turkey, shellfish or cheese dishes. It went well on our table with a simple, not-very-fiery chicken curry.

VALUE: Wine-Searcher.com shows this widely available wine from $9 to $17, with my local porice a bit above the median. It's an excellent buy at $10, decent value in the low-middle teens.

Drouhin = "Droo-aN"
Laforêt = "La-fo-ray")
Bourgogne = "Boor-gon-yuh"

WEB LINK: The U.S. importer has a page about the Joseph Drouhin family here.

Compare prices and find online sources for Drouhin Laforêt Bourgogne Chardonnay on Wine-Searcher.com.

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