A new appellation has been born in Burgundy. Or rather, an old appellation has changed its name and its profile. The old name was AOC Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, or BGO. A wonderful name, I have always thought and now I also know what is behind the name. In the old days the every day wine people drunk was called Bourgogne Ordinaire and on Sundays the wine was a little bit better so it was called a Grand Ordinaire!
The new name is Coteaux Bourguignons and the first bottles will be available this spring (vintage 2011). It is an overall appellation stretching from Auxerre in the north down to Beaujolais in the south, what is known also as the Grande Bourgogne. It is possible to make red, white and rosé. The grapes are the usual Burgundy ones, with some additions. For red wines, pinot noir and gamay can be joined by césar if you are in the department of l’Yonne in northern Burgundy.
For the whites you have the choice of chardonnay, aligote, melon de Bourgogne (also known as muscadet), pinot blanc and pinot gris. The wines may be varietals or blends. A Burgundy made of pinot gris? Yes, one wonders, but in fact the Coteaux Bourguignons is not a 100 % Burgundy wine. You may not put “Vin de Bourgogne” on the label because it cannot be declassified to an AOC Bourgogne. All other appellations can be declassified to AOC Bourgogne except AOC Bourgogne that can be declassified to Coteaux Bourguignons. All nice and clear?
According to BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne), the appellation Coteaux Bourguignon will serve as an introduction to Burgundy, especially for new wine drinkers.
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