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BURGUNDY – A KING'S ENVY BURGUNDY OFFERS A WEALTH OF WINES ... AND PLENTY OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, WRITES BURGUNDY NATIVE JULIEN YUNG MAMEAUX.

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f France is a human body, then its heart is Burgundy. The picturesque village of Chablis in Located between Paris and Lyon, Burgundy – or Burgundy where tradition reigns Bourgogne, in French – is the pulse of today’s wine world. Unlike Bordeaux or Champagne, Bourgogne is the only French wine region to have an English name. The first scripts about Burgundy wine appeared in the fourth century in a letter to Emperor Constantine to defend the precious vineyards of Beaune from taxation. As Burgundy was attracting the attention of British, German and Dutch royals, King Charles VI published an official edict in 1416 protecting Burgundy’s wineproducing boundaries. The area became an object of desire and monarchs wanted their names associated with it: for example, the Prince of Conti acquired the Domaine de la Romanée, renaming it “Domaine de la Romanée-Conti”. Burgundy today still wears the traces of its magnanimous past and feels anchored in tradition. It holds to the religious men and women in the backstage: the Benedictine monks cultivated grapes and made wine; later the Cistercian full range of qualities and appellations, and it is a monks excavated underground stone cellars to age wine – such as the breathtaking pleasure to sip some of their outstanding vintages examples in Château de Cîteaux and Maison Albert Bichot. In a similar sacrosanct like 2005, 2002 or older. fashion, today’s 3,000 Burgundian producers are devoted to make the finest wines. The mecca of all wine lovers, the 1443-built Holding onto a treasure, they transfer their savoir-faire generation after generation, Hospices de Beaune, is a wine estate, a reputed hiding amid a gorgeous mosaic of countryside villages, hills, church bells and flowers. hospital and the venue to a world-famous wine In many respects, Burgundy is the opposite of Bordeaux: where the latter has auction. The charity sales are accompanied by chateaux, Burgundy has “clos” – the little stonewalls erected by monks to “close” generous banquets. During my time with Mr vineyards. Unlike Bordeaux’s blends, all Burgundy wines are single grapes; Pinot Jacquet and Mr Masse, respectively director and Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay. Despite this narrow choice, the breadth and depth of winemaker of the Hospices de Beaune, we had aromas across Burgundy wines is incredible. Take Chardonnay: drink a Pouilly-Fuissé the pleasure to sing the “ban bourguignon”, a from Southern Burgundy such as Domaine Valette or a Chablis in Western Burgundy local ritual that brings all guests together. Back like Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard and you’ll get a fresh, elegant and vibrant white to the table, fantastic wines and cuisine like wine; one hour north, in Meursault with Les Charmes, and you’ll taste a rich, nutty boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin with red wine and honeyed Chardonnay. The same applies when it comes to Pinot Noir-based sauce, naturally with locally-made Dijon mustard, reds: between a Mercurey from a fourth generation Domaine Michel Juillot to an kept us going. Echezeaux of Domaine Faiveley, your palate will find aromatic and well-balanced Such is Burgundy, a superb journey throughout fruity wine to toasted flavors and silky tannins. history and taste – one that even kings chase. Burgundy’s classification is based on terroir, which takes account of the soil and To arrang e a p er so nalize d ho lida y in micro-climate. The finer wines are “Premier Cru” due to their excellent geography. The Burgundy with wine and/or golf, ask The top one and a half per cent of wines are “Grand Cru” and benefit from exceptional Experience Company (www.TheExco.com) at growing conditions, like “Corton-Charlemagne” or “Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru”. Most +852 2179 3307 or email Julien@TheExco.com. of the large houses like Louis Jadot, Bouchard Père & Fils and Louis Latour offer the Quote “HKGolfer” for a special discount.

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HK GOLFER・DEC 2013

HKGOLFER.COM

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