Bordeaux vs Burgundy: what you need to know

If you’re new to the French wine culture, fear not as Ideal Wine Company unravel the discussion that is Bordeaux vs Burgundy. Both Bordeaux and Burgundy are French wines, from two of the world’s most influential and distinct wine making regions.

Bordeaux and Burgundy are two of the greatest wine making traditions in alcoholic grape juice history. The ongoing battle over which is more superior to the other still influences many wine lover’s choices, but what is the true difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy?

Bordeaux

Wine bottles
What’s the best choice?

Bordeaux is a polished, righteous wine with blends of Cabernet and Merlot. Bordeaux, much like Burgundy, has an iconic bottle shape of high right-angled shoulders.

The Bordeaux wine region was founded by the Romans, as a port city it boasts access to trade and wine distribution. It has its famous left and right banks and five classifications, it is best known for its red wine (typically Cabernet-Merlot based wines). These red wines are then able to be blended with support from Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec – white Bordeaux is made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

Burgundy

Burgundy is a finicky, sublime Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wine – along with Bordeaux wine it also has an iconic bottle shape of a sloping hunch. Burgundy is a land-locked area in France’s north-eastern region; Burgundy has 74,000 acres of vineyards to Bordeaux’s 300,000. Burgundy has Grand, Premier Cru and Villages designations which are smaller family-owned operations which make up a large proportion of the regions vineyards.

Burgundy also includes Chablis and Beaujolais; however, each region has a distinctive style that separates it. Burgundy is well known for both its white and red wine with the main grape varieties being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Wines of the Beaujolais are not typically held in high esteem however many of the Cru Beaujolais wines are considered of good quality.

So, which is better?

Neither wine is considered worse than the other, in fact it is simply down to personal preference and taste. Bordeaux is a formerly popular wine that is being challenged by Burgundy the new rising star of French wines. Bordeaux has been open to heavy foreign investments, whereas Burgundy is family owned.

Due to the increasing popularity of Bordeaux, the price of the wine became expensive due to popular demand; now it seems Burgundy is heading in the same direction – opening itself up to foreign investment.

If you’re inspired to try out a Bordeaux or Burgundy wine, visit Ideal Wine Company’s Bordeaux and Burgundy ranges on our website.

Burgundy To Open Wine Museum

Looking to rival fellow French wine-making region Bordeaux, Burgundy recently announced that it will open a new wine museum, across three sites, by 2020. Ideal Wine Company reports

Bordeaux’s museum

France is the ideal wine travel destination. It boasts some of the top ‘old world’ wine-making regions on earth. This includes Champagne, where the eponymous French sparkling wine is made, Bordeaux, which is the country’s most prolific wine-making region and Burgundy in the east. The latter two areas are both known for producing full-bodied, dry reds, albeit from different grape varietals.

In June 2016, Bordeaux opened the Cité du Vin, a wine-based theme park. Nicknamed the ‘Guggenheim of wine,’ for its resemblance to the museum of the same name in Spain, the venue is due to receive 45,000 visitors every year. It includes attractions such as an interactive worldwide vineyard tour, a 600m² wine cellar and a panoramic restaurant on its seventh floor.

Burgundy’s plans

According to Decanter, an industry publication, Burgundy wine bureau the BIVB, is now looking to open a rivalling venue by 2020. The plan, which was approved in a vote by 73% of the body in December 2016, will be called the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne and it will be spread across three locations. These are Beaune, Mâcon and Chablis, three premier Burgundy wine-making communities.

Commenting on the pan, BIVB said that the region’s officials want to “encourage tourists to venture further than the Dijon-Beaune axis, and to explore the wider wine region, to stay for longer, and to return.” The museum will also be designed to inform visitors about Burgundy’s terroirs, climats, and varietals, as well as its wine-making traditions, which in 2015 gained UNESCO World Heritage status.

Unlike the Cité du Vin, the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne will be regional-specific. It will focus exclusively on Burgundy, providing 70 regional wines for attendees to taste. People will also be able to buy wine selection packs at each of the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne’s three centres. Speaking out on the scale of the project, BIVB President Louis-Fabrice Latour said that “it will affect an entire generation.”

We should also note that the largest of the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne’s three centres will be the one that’s based in Beaune. It will form a part of a massive development initiative in the area, which will also include two restaurants, a shopping mall, a large reception hall and a new five star hotel. It will also see the construction of the Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne, a regional wine education centre.

Sample Burgundys

When it opens in 2020, the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne will give you a great opportunity to find out more about Burgundy wine, allowing you to appreciate some truly fantastic vintages. If you can’t wait until 2020, however, browse Ideal Wine Company’s Burgundy wines list. Here you’ll find bottles from some of the region’s top producers, including Clos Saint Dennis, at prices you can afford!

Image credit: Megan Cole

Burgundy Wine Estate Wins Major Honour

The Ideal Wine Company has learned that a celebrated Burgundy wine-making estate in France has topped Sotheby’s annual wine rankings for the third consecutive year.

Wine at Sotheby’s

Headquartered in New York City, Sotheby’s is one of the planet’s largest brokers of luxury items such as fine wine. The world-class auction house has now released its sales figures for 2015. Industry publication Decanter reports that in 2015 the company’s auction receipts equalled US$60.4 million (m).

This is decrease of 7.5% on 2014, despite the fact that Sotheby’s put on a range of high-profile, single owner auctions and ‘direct from the winery sales’ last year. The latter category represented over half the company’s turnover, US$33m. This suggests that over the years, wine has become a vital component of the Sotheby’s business model.

Top wine estates

For the last three years, Sotheby’s has released a list of its top ten wine estates. This is calculated based on sales at Sotheby’s fine wine auctions and retail operations. The ranking is designed, according to Decanter, to create “a high level snapshot of global demand for fine wine.”

If the Sotheby’s list is to be believed, Burgundy vintages were in high demand throughout 2015. While Bordeaux accounted for 46% of Sotheby’s sales last year, Burgundy wine comprised 40%. Burgundy wine estate Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) topped the rankings for the third year in a row, accounting for 17% (over US$10m) of Sotheby’s’ sales in 2015.

The top grossing lot of 2015 was a six bottle case of DRC 1990, which was sold in Hong Kong for a staggering US$158,000! Overall sales of DRC at Sotheby’s rose by 16% last year. Other Burgundy wine estates which saw their Sotheby’s sales increase in 2015 included Armand Rousseau (up 88%) and Georges Roumier (up 113%).

Burgundy wine

In other words, the latest figures from Sotheby’s suggests that the world had a big appetite for fine Burgundy wine in 2015. Here at the Ideal Wine Company, we can see why. One of the most celebrated wine making regions in the world, Burgundy is known for its stunning dry Pinot Noir reds and delicious Chardonnay-based whites!

The Ideal Wine Company sells a selection of Burgundy vintages. Have you tried the Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2000 which boasts hints of cherry, plum and oak spices? This stellar dry Burgundy red will blow you away!