Wines to Seek Out
If ever there was proof that you do not need to obsess on Grand Cru and even Premier Cru wines to understand Burgundy, this is it. Jean-Pierre Guyon's humble yet spectacularly beautiful Village wines put him on my list as essential.
Note: Guyon's Grand Cru (Echezeux and Clos Vougeot) and Premier Cru wines (En Orveaux and Les Brûlées) are imported into the United States but allocated, so I have not yet had the chance to sample them.
Jean-Pierre Guyon "Les Charmes de Mazieres" Vosne-Romanée
Despite my effort to keep an eye on value for this curated list of French producers, it must be said that Guyon's wines are not cheap. The Vosne-Romanée "Les Charmes de Mazieres" — a Village-level wine — costs a little over $100, in large part because Vosne-Romanée is such a sacred place for Pinot Noir lovers. (It is, after all, home to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and three of the most famous vineyards in the world). But Guyon's take on the storied terroir of Vosne-Romanée is worth every penny. His holdings for this wine come mostly from a plot of 80-year-old Pinot Noir vines adjacent to the Premier Cru Les Suchots. It is a Village wine that you can save for Christmas dinner or a special anniversary, offering layers of complexity — dark berries, sweet smoke, delicate spice — that unfold delicately on a supple structure.
Jean-Pierre Guyon "Les Bons Ores" Chorey-les-Beaune
Chorey-les-Beaune resides on the plains with a great view of the Corton hill. But it has a highway running right through it, and is often overlooked. This wine makes a firm statement that, even here, great Pinot Noir can be made. Exhibiting that signature strawberry-like fruit of Chorey-les-Beaune, "Les Bons Ores" offers a depth I have not seen in other wines from that Village.