The Côte de Beaune is a key wine-producing district of Burgundy in the east of France. It is named after its main town, Beaune – the epicentre of local wine production and commerce.
Famed for producing some of the world’s most expensive white wines (most of which bear the name Montrachet in some form or other), the district is also responsible for a handful of Burgundy’s top red wines, particularly those from the premier cru vineyards of Pommard and the grand cru Corton. As is the case for most of Burgundy, white wines are made from Chardonnay, the reds from Pinot Noir.
The region’s most favoured vineyards are those on the slopes of the Côte d’Or. The limestone-rich soils and sunny exposure in these sites make for excellent terroir, the intricacies of which have been meticulously studied and detailed for many generations. It is the intimate knowledge of the land, and of the wine it can generate, which underpins the classification of the local land into premier cru and grand cru categories.
The 2022 vintage faithfully reflects not only the differences between each individual village but the hierarchy across appellations.
There are clear steps between regional, village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines. What is important to note, however, is that less-favoured sites which in the past were considered too cool are now producing truly worthy wines. The low-lying vines classified as Bourgogne or village-level, as well as the Hautes-Côtes and cooler villages such as Auxey-Duresses and St Romain, are all worth a look.
Overall the Côte de Beaune performed very well, and each of the key appellations is a classic reflection of its terroir: Volnay is pretty, Pommard is solid, whilst the villages of Meursault, Chassagne and Puligny are pure, precise and on top form.
Compared with 2020, white volumes are broadly the same. This is another excellent vintage which stylistically mirrors 2017 and 2020.