decanter – perpetuating confusion when they should be bringing clarity?


The linked article gives the impression that the new Bourgogne Côte d’Or label could be potentially problematic from the perspective of either price, or because it’s an ‘extra complication.’ I’d like to challenge that:

Let’s be clear: For Côte d’Or producers making wine from pinot noir – assuming those vines are also in the Côte d’Or – this new label makes absolutely no change to their wine! Some producers may decide to take this new label, some might not, but that’s it. Indeed it helps the consumer because they know exactly that they are buying a pinot from the Côte d’Or – period! So it’s not a new tier per-se, it’s the rubber stamp that what is in the bottle, is what people already overwhelmingly assumed was in the bottle!

Higher Pricing?
See above – overwhelmingly no, because nothing has changed for many, many producers! Except – and this is where it gets interesting – if they were buying and blending cheaper pinot grapes from the Chalonnais/Mâconnais/Beaujolais – or, less well-known, gamay – because, yes, up to 15% gamay is allowed in Bourgogne Rouge!* If you don’t want either of those things, then the Bourgogne Côte d’Or label is exactly the control you have been waiting for. And if your supplier wants a big price increase vs their previous cuvées, you can simply ask the question – “Why, what was in your wine before?

Fortunately, this change won’t be from the 2016 vintage, because the bourgogne land was brutalized by frost – so there’s not much, and it might indeed go up in price – but that’s the supply and demand market, and nothing to do with a label-change…

*Note this is exactly the same for chardonnay too – except that here it is even simpler – Bourgogne blanc never contained gamay 🙂

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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