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A Young Winemaker to Know — Alexandre Burgaud Gives Gamay Its Due

Worthy Wines From a Tiny Place

BY // 04.09.21

Alexandre Burgaud is a name with which you might not be familiar, but if you like wine, you need to get to know it.

Burgaud is a young producer whose five-hectare estate lies in Lantignié, a tiny place (population of 886 humans in 2015) about five kilometers from Beaujeu and 10 kilometers from Chiroubles in the Rhône region.

Gamay is what we have here, and Burgaud does it well. I tasted his 2018 Beaujolais-Lantignié (SRP $23) and his 2018 Brouilly (SRP $21), and I want more. These bottles are perfect for your case-purchase plans, and once the COVID-19 pandemic allows dinner parties, the Brouilly will be paired with lamb shanks and mushrooms on my Brockhaus menu. I like the structure of this wine. The tannins here are in harmony with the marvelous red berry fruit.

As for the Beaujolais-Lantignié, it is something I am going to add to my regular lineup. The ripe cherry and dark berry aromas rise from the glass in an enticing manner, and the black peppery/herbaceous flavors induce taste after taste. I paired this wine with a saucisson sec and some Comté, and it was wonderful.

Alexandre’s cousin, Jean-Marc Burgaud, is a talented Morgon producer, and he has shared a lot of his winemaking knowledge and techniques with Alexandre. That includes the practice of never destemming, and the use of concrete for aging.

A wine of which I’d never tire. (Courtesy Alexandre Burgaud)

The vines planted on Alexandre Burgaud’s five-hectare estate — which was established in 2013 — average 60 years in age and produce the Beaujolais-Lantignié and Beaujolais-Villages. The soils here are rocky, predominantly blue slate, similar to those found in the Côte du Py. The Brouilly’s source is a few hectares of rented vines (average age of 70-plus years) that Burgaud hopes to purchase.

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Burgaud’s wines present great value, and the quality in the glass is remarkable. I’m impressed with his approach to winemaking, and look forward to enjoying more of what he makes. Ask your favorite merchant for these wines, and while you’re at it, take a look at Jean-Marc Burgaud’s selections.

For more wine, travel and other stories from James Brock, check out Mise en Place.

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