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How to create the perfect Burgundy cellar

Burgundy can seem intimidating to the uninitiated, so Decanter contributing editor Stephen Brook has compiled a foolproof guide to understanding the region, including recommendations that will help you build the perfect cellar – whatever your budget.

Insider tips to create the perfect Burgundy cellar

Try to purchase six-packs rather than full cases. With expensive wines this is generally no problem, and will give you greater variety in your cellar. Six-packs are usually half the price of standard cases – ie, you don’t pay a premium – though there may be minor variations. In my recommendations, I have cited both formats.

If you’re on a budget, look for Bourgogne from top producers in good vintages. A white Bourgogne from Jean-Marc Roulot may not have the staying power of his top Meursault, but it could offer terrific short-term drinking. The 2005 red Bourgogne from Domaine de Montille and the 2010 from Arnoux-Lachaux are giving me great pleasure right now.

Many good sites in Beaune are owned by négociant houses. Some, like Grèves and Clos des Mouches, are well known and well regarded. Others, such as Chanson’s Clos des Fèves and Jadot’s Clos des Ursules, are monopoly sites. These Beaune premiers crus can offer very good value, as they are generally less sought after than wines from neighbouring appellations.

Seek out wines from less well-known villages. For white wines, St-Aubin offers good value, though the wines are more expensive than they were a decade ago. Santenay, Pernand-Vergelesses and Marsannay are, by Burgundian standards, inexpensive – the best wines have great structure and complexity.

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