Burgundy is the thing that all wine lovers have to experience. The Côte de Nuits, the Côte de Beaune, Chablis, Côte Chalonnaise: these are the wine regions where it all began. The world’s love affair with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay started in Burgundy centuries ago. The first inkling of Grand Cru wines started here with a handful of Benedictine monks.
In this class, we explore the great Burgundy wines and the essential wine regions. Learn about the key villages and the difference between Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. Learn about the up and coming regions that our Master Sommeliers are fanatical about.
If we think the class is a bit too stuffy, the instructor may add wines from Alsace, Jura, Savoie, or Champagne to add a touch of spice to the class.
If you ever wondered why Burgundy is so expensive, you are not alone. There are literally dozens of scientists researching this issue. Here’s the introduction of a recent paper published in Applied Economics,
PIERRE COMRBIS , SEBASTIEN LECOCQ* and MICHAEL VISSER
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
A hedonic price equation and two jury grade equations are estimated for Burgundy wine. The approach is the same as in an earlier Bordeaux wine paper (Combris et al., 1997). The data come from an experimental study that is very similar to the study on Bordeaux wines. The results for the two wine-growing regions are compared and discussed.
What explains the difference in market prices for wine? If the buyers are experts, the answer is mainly `quality’. In the case of top quality wines, especially the Bordeaux grands crus, auctions are dynamic marketplaces that are stimulated by knowledgeable buyers. The existence of this wine market guarantees a certain concurrence between price and expert-assessed quality and explains why it can be considered as an efficient outlet for mature wines (Ashenfelter, 1989; Ashenfelter et al., 1995). For the Grands Crus du Haut-Medoc, Di Vittorio and Ginsburgh (1996), furthermore, show that quality indicators that correspond to
experts’ rankings can be obtained by regressing prices on observable characteristics recorded at public sales. Since the system has no tasting requirement, it is simpler and less costly. On the other hand, the market for young wines, even the grands crus, is not efficient, because early purchasers do not seem to account for future quality, even if it can be predicted (through weather conditions for example). This situation results in an overpricing of immature wines of the poor vintages (Ashenfelter et al., 1995). This gives us all the more reason to assume market inefficiency as the rule for appellation wines in general, and not only for the grands crus. In this context, the number of wine sorts, appellations and featured qualities combined with lack of consumer experience and expertise may explain market inefficiency: here, the market is composed of laymen, not professionals.
Get our wine reviews fresh from the oven. Register for the Wine School Newsletter.