Beaune might be the administrative and cultural heart of Burgundy but its wines rarely make the headlines. There’s no flagship Grand Cru and no superstar domaine to draw in the crowds. In fact, we would go as far as to say that Beaune’s wines are under-appreciated, consistently under-estimated and, overall, a bit unloved.
Yet those prepared to venture beyond Burgundy’s more fashionable vineyards will find a rare confluence of quality and value in the 1er Crus of Beaune. Few other villages in the Cote d’Or could field a top 1er Cru, from a celebrated vintage and a quality producer, to match Drouhin’s Beaune Greves 2016 at £275 a case. We would be willing to bet that the equivalent wine from Gevrey Chambertin would start at twice this price.
With an ideal exposition on the hillside above the town, Greves is a strong contender to be considered Beaune’s finest vineyard. According to Jasper Morris MW it is ‘absolutely the heartland of Beaune, with the richest, most structured and longest-lived wines of the appellation’ (Inside Burgundy). The famous Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus is an enclave within the Greves vineyard.
In a tasting of recent vintages of Drouhin’s Beaune 1er Crus, the 2016 Greves was the standout. We bought our stock direct from Beaune and these last few cases are immediately available from LCB.
Value is a very rare commodity in Burgundy these days, especially when talking about a vintage such as 2016 – small in quantity, outstanding in quality and extremely popular with collectors. Having cut my teeth on old Beaune 1er Crus – 1971s, ‘69s and the occasional ’59 We have great affection for these wines and are thrilled to recommend Drouhin’s 2016 Greves.