Apologies for the length of this ramble.

The TN - NW chardonnay v Burgundy shoot out tasting sparked a couple of very interesting side debates, but mainly the one about whether White Burgundy still deserves the title of ‘The Greatest Ever White Wine’. Assuming it ever did? If it doesn’t then where are the contenders? There seemed to be a few having a nibble at this tasting.

I’ll give you my angle to start with, as I have probably been seen as a White Burgundy-basher on these pages for a few years now.

I first visited Burgundy in 1990, on holiday, but specifically to taste and buy wines. My first year two years’ holidays were near Mâcon and I concentrated on the wines of the villages in that area (Lugny, Viré, Clessé and Pouilly) as well as the Gamays of Beaujolais. 1991 was the year I came across Domaine Michel (specifically the father and youngest son, Franck) and (at that time) their splendid Mâcon-Clessés (since then Viré and Clessé have earned their own AOC of Viré-Clessé). I have now been going there for 27 years and am still very impressed with their wines. I must add that they are not stellar wines and do reach the heights of their cousins further north, but, for what they are, to me, they punch above their weight and produce a wine that is better than ‘everyday’, but one we can afford to drink on a regular basis. They are also wines that evolve with age and I have tasted every vintage of the traditional bottling (no oak) since 1986 right up to the 2016 last week. Some vintages I have tasted at over 20 years old, and just last year I opened a magnum of their Vieilles-Vignes Futs de Chênes 1997, which was in splendid condition. While the domaine is now run by the sons, and there are a few more cuvées, nothing much has changed in the cellar.

After that we stayed further north and it was then that I got into the white wines of the more famous villages of the Côtes de Beaune.

I decided to steer clear of the big names, mainly because of price, but I also wanted to find lesser known producers where it was easy to get an appointment and they had a decent range to taste through. This is where the guides of Clive Coates, Robert Parker and Oz Clarke came in handy.

I started to select producers who were under the radar but had plots in vineyards throughout the spectrum of White Burgundy, from generic Bourgogne to Grands Crus. This where I got into producers like Lequin-Roussot, Fleurot-Larose (both in Santenay), Paul Garaudet (Monthelie), Michel Prunier (Auxey-Duresses), Hubert Lamy (St Aubin), Maurice Ecard (Savigny les Beaune), Vincent Rapet (Pernan-Vergelesses) and Tollot-Beaut (Chorey les Beaune). There were others, but these are the ones I visited regularly over the next 15 years and started to get to know the white wines of their respective villages, plus Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault (all at village and 1er Cru level) and some Grands Crus like Bâtard-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.


I would hang on to many of the wines for 10+ years they were truly amazing wines to drink, especially with good age to them and, usually, the further you went up the classification ladder the better the wines were. They were spectacular in some cases, with depth of flavours and complexity I had never experienced anywhere else in the world of white wine. There were lean, mineral but complex wines, others that were exotic in their fruit flavours and the one that I can never forget was a Bâtard-Montrachet 1992 from Fleurot-Larose. Even coming from a ‘softer’ vintage, it had everything – exotic fruit, hints of terroir, fat, opulence, mineral and a finish that lingered forever. That was, and still is, the best white wine I have had the pleasure to drink and savour.

No doubt there were, and are, better producers than the ones I experienced (I read often about them here on w-p forum) but for me these wines were truly outstanding, just affordable enough that I could by a few bottles of their top wines every vintage, so was able to experience them over a number of vintages.

This was when I had no doubt White Burgundy was king. Nothing came near it.

So what went wrong?

Round about the end of the 90’s and early 00’s I started to notice that 3 to 5 year old wines tasted far too mature for there age, and specifically, than what I had become accustomed to. There were still some wines that tasted fine but others, from the same vineyard, vintage and producer that was different. I don’t think I had heard of premature oxidation then, but that was what I was detecting. Then I started to hear about the dreaded pox and I began to realise that was what I was experiencing in some of my wines. All my affected wines were from the Côtes de Beaune and, as I had been used to ageing my 1ers crus and grands crus for 10+ years, I started to get more and more pox’d wines. It seemed I was pouring more bottles down the sink than I was able to drink.

The end of buying Côtes de Beaune whites came when I opened my last ever Grand Cru – a Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet 2001 from Hubert Lamy. I had never tasted CBM and to get a single bottle I had to buy a ‘caisse prestige’, consisting of 11 mixed wines from St Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny plus my precious CBM. After about 5 years I started to notice that the other wins were not quite right and in 2010 (to celebrate my recovery from swine flu) I decided to open the CBM. Basically, it was knackered. The worst affected out of all the others in the case. I reckon I only had 4 drinkable bottles in that case.

So, from 2010, I stopped buying white Burgundy completely (apart from Domain Michel, of course).

It is only in the past couple of years that I have ventured back ad that was some Chablis from the Cave Co-op up to 1er cru level, and even then I’m sure I have detected a subtle hint of oxidation in a couple of 5 year old examples. It will be a long time before I start buying again at the levels, and quantities, I had been doing.

A number of factors that make me now very angry with the mess that White Burgundy has become include –

· The producers won’t admit to any issues – real head in the sand attitude to the mess

· Why won’t White Burgundy age like it used to?

· What has caused the problem of premature oxidisation? Corks? Low sulphur regime? Pneumatic presses? A combination of these? Anything else?

· Why do they seem to be doing nothing to resolve it and give us back the wines we used to love?

· Why, in many cases, have prices gone through the roof and there is still no resolution to the problem.

· Buying White Burgundy is a very expensive gamble – one I’m not prepared to take.

· The producers used to make seriously great white wines (the best in the world) that could age gracefully over 20+ years. Now many are incapable of lasting 5 years. Also, if this is they way producers want to go (and I don’t believe for a second the move has been deliberate), then how come they haven’t made wine that can be great within the first 5 years of its life? The notes and scores from the tasting mentioned, although a one-off, just reinforced that young White Burgundy is hardly any better than many New World wines.


All of the above has turned me off White Burgundy and has put it in serious danger of losing the title of the Best White Wine in the World, if it not already has done.


That begs the question though – if White Burgundy is no longer worthy of top spot, who are the contenders?
 
Riesling and Chenin Blanc for me. 80% of my white wines are
50% chenin based white blends from South Africa
20% German Riesling
10% Alsace Riesling
Balance some Chablis,white Bordeaux and Grenache Blanc
 
I'm fairly glad I never found much excitement in white burgundy.

I've been very impressed of late with SA Chenin based blends, Sadie's Palladius in particular. Otherwise Mosel Riesling and increasingly N Rhone whites are high up my list.

And how can I forget, Champers (and English sparkling!) to round out the list.
 
Very good summary Paul, thanks. Mirrors my own experiences and conclusions. The reports from La Trompette last Friday are more confirmation, as if it were needed that there’s little point of paying the top white Burgundy premium if there’s no longer the possibility of ageing it to glorious maturity.

IMO nothing replaces mature white Burgundy, but there’s a world of great white wine out there for young drinking. FWIW my current white drinking is relatively humble young white Burg, Soave from Pieropan, Gini and (not labelled as Soave) Quintarelli, Alsace, Condrieu, etc etc.
 
I also buy quite a bit of German Riesling and a bit of Condrieu... but Premox is the pits.
Now I hear circa 75% of white burg producers have moved to Diam closure or other means. Do we know whether this addresses the issue efficiently?
 
Location
UK
Wow, that IS a preamble!

It's all my fault. I did say 'arguably', though :)

Keith, please can you tell me what is the chenin blanc equivalent of Brokenwood Indigo Chardonnay? Thanks.
 
Hi Paul
Difficult to argue against the frustration, and I'll add to your list rather too many wine writers / critics who seem worryingly ignorant of / silent on the premox problem. Taking one at random, I note that Hugh Johnson's pocket book merely has a passing reference to 'White Burgundy now rarely made for ageing like they did 20 years ago'. Rather brushing the debacle under the carpet.

Have you ever experience premox in Dom. Michel's wines? I've yet to experience it in the few of their wines I've drunk, nor in any other Macon wines. Indeed I don't recall anyone ever posting about premox from the Macon. It's the only region we buy white burgundy from now.

I timed my interest badly, just as I was poised to start exploring White Burgundy, the premox problem emerged. It stopped that interest completely. I certainly wasn't enticed in by escalating prices with significant chance of the wine being poured down the drain. I might be tempted by screwcap sealed wines, or DIAM sealed wines if it's obvious that is the seal, but with the prices they are, and as discussed on the concurrent thread, plenty of really interesting and competitively priced white wines elsewhere.

Regards
Ian
 
Wow, that IS a preamble!

It's all my fault. I did say 'arguably', though :)

Keith, please can you tell me what is the chenin blanc equivalent of Brokenwood Indigo Chardonnay? Thanks.

There are so many Johnny that don’t cost as much as Brokenwood . Best producers in my view use Swartland fruit although not all. The great thing about chenin in South Africa is that because of local demand, even in apartheid days
,farmers could always sell their steen( chenin) to KWV etc and thus Vineyards were not scrubbed . Most other SA varietals are fairly young
,circa 25 years or less .
In the Swartland there are many really old chenin Vineyards and the wine produced from them is quite special . I am prejudiced but the Mullineux white is still a personal favourite, but other producers I like include Eben Sadie, David Sadie,Adi Badenhorst, Chris Alheit, Beaumont and De Morgenzon. Many others though
 
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Wow, that IS a preamble!
I know - apologies but I did want to go over my Burgundy background and show that I did have lots of experience of the really good days and wasn't always annoyed with the producers.

Hugh Johnson's pocket book merely has a passing reference to 'White Burgundy now rarely made for ageing like they did 20 years ago'. Rather brushing the debacle under the carpet.
I wonder what the producers think when they see this?

Have you ever experience premox in Dom. Michel's wines?
Never. In fact, I reckon I have bought close on 800 bottles from them over 27 years and only ever had 2 corked bottles. Franck was keen to explain that they have always paid the extra few cents to get the best corks they can. Producers like that deserve all the credit they get as its obvious they care, not only about their reputation, but that the customer enjoys their wine. Raeburn Fine Wines have been selling their wines since 1998, through my initial recommendation to Zubhair.
 
Agree with much of what has been said, and have myself significantly cut my white burg buying in favour of Loire chenin, Jura whites, farmer fizz and Belgian lambics.

However, it remains hard to argue that any of those (or the new world for that matter) can beat the best in the cote de Beaune or Chablis when they’re on form and therein lies the tragedy. If anyone can suggest a non-burg White that can stand up to a d’auvenay, Ramonet montie, raveneau clos, GC PYCM,... then I am all ears...
 
However, it remains hard to argue that any of those (or the new world for that matter) can beat the best in the cote de Beaune or Chablis when they’re on form and therein lies the tragedy. If anyone can suggest a non-burg White that can stand up to a d’auvenay, Ramonet montie, raveneau clos, GC PYCM,... then I am all ears...
That's the problem Thomas, and when you do get a great one you're lured back in, usually just to be bitten again by the next bottle.
 
Sweeping generalisation time. White Burgundy is a busted flush.
I still buy plenty but drink it young (my preference for most wines, though). The oldest I have is a couple of 1er cru Chablis & Puligny ‘11s. I will no longer take a punt on Grand Cru - bar the occasional Corton Charlemagne or Chablis from low profile growers.
There are a handful of growers I will not touch with a barge pole, having been royally screws on numerous occasions. It is a surprise that some growers retain vaunted reputations & casts great doubt on certain retailers & professional pundits, IMO.
It remains a case of ‘proceed with great caution’.
Riesling is my alternative of choice, despite its limitations with food.
 
Apologies for the length of this ramble.

The TN - NW chardonnay v Burgundy shoot out tasting sparked a couple of very interesting side debates, but mainly the one about whether White Burgundy still deserves the title of ‘The Greatest Ever White Wine’. Assuming it ever did? If it doesn’t then where are the contenders? There seemed to be a few having a nibble at this tasting.

I’ll give you my angle to start with, as I have probably been seen as a White Burgundy-basher on these pages for a few years now.

I first visited Burgundy in 1990, on holiday, but specifically to taste and buy wines. My first year two years’ holidays were near Mâcon and I concentrated on the wines of the villages in that area (Lugny, Viré, Clessé and Pouilly) as well as the Gamays of Beaujolais. 1991 was the year I came across Domaine Michel (specifically the father and youngest son, Franck) and (at that time) their splendid Mâcon-Clessés (since then Viré and Clessé have earned their own AOC of Viré-Clessé). I have now been going there for 27 years and am still very impressed with their wines. I must add that they are not stellar wines and do reach the heights of their cousins further north, but, for what they are, to me, they punch above their weight and produce a wine that is better than ‘everyday’, but one we can afford to drink on a regular basis. They are also wines that evolve with age and I have tasted every vintage of the traditional bottling (no oak) since 1986 right up to the 2016 last week. Some vintages I have tasted at over 20 years old, and just last year I opened a magnum of their Vieilles-Vignes Futs de Chênes 1997, which was in splendid condition. While the domaine is now run by the sons, and there are a few more cuvées, nothing much has changed in the cellar.

After that we stayed further north and it was then that I got into the white wines of the more famous villages of the Côtes de Beaune.

I decided to steer clear of the big names, mainly because of price, but I also wanted to find lesser known producers where it was easy to get an appointment and they had a decent range to taste through. This is where the guides of Clive Coates, Robert Parker and Oz Clarke came in handy.

I started to select producers who were under the radar but had plots in vineyards throughout the spectrum of White Burgundy, from generic Bourgogne to Grands Crus. This where I got into producers like Lequin-Roussot, Fleurot-Larose (both in Santenay), Paul Garaudet (Monthelie), Michel Prunier (Auxey-Duresses), Hubert Lamy (St Aubin), Maurice Ecard (Savigny les Beaune), Vincent Rapet (Pernan-Vergelesses) and Tollot-Beaut (Chorey les Beaune). There were others, but these are the ones I visited regularly over the next 15 years and started to get to know the white wines of their respective villages, plus Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault (all at village and 1er Cru level) and some Grands Crus like Bâtard-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.


I would hang on to many of the wines for 10+ years they were truly amazing wines to drink, especially with good age to them and, usually, the further you went up the classification ladder the better the wines were. They were spectacular in some cases, with depth of flavours and complexity I had never experienced anywhere else in the world of white wine. There were lean, mineral but complex wines, others that were exotic in their fruit flavours and the one that I can never forget was a Bâtard-Montrachet 1992 from Fleurot-Larose. Even coming from a ‘softer’ vintage, it had everything – exotic fruit, hints of terroir, fat, opulence, mineral and a finish that lingered forever. That was, and still is, the best white wine I have had the pleasure to drink and savour.

No doubt there were, and are, better producers than the ones I experienced (I read often about them here on w-p forum) but for me these wines were truly outstanding, just affordable enough that I could by a few bottles of their top wines every vintage, so was able to experience them over a number of vintages.

This was when I had no doubt White Burgundy was king. Nothing came near it.

So what went wrong?

Round about the end of the 90’s and early 00’s I started to notice that 3 to 5 year old wines tasted far too mature for there age, and specifically, than what I had become accustomed to. There were still some wines that tasted fine but others, from the same vineyard, vintage and producer that was different. I don’t think I had heard of premature oxidation then, but that was what I was detecting. Then I started to hear about the dreaded pox and I began to realise that was what I was experiencing in some of my wines. All my affected wines were from the Côtes de Beaune and, as I had been used to ageing my 1ers crus and grands crus for 10+ years, I started to get more and more pox’d wines. It seemed I was pouring more bottles down the sink than I was able to drink.

The end of buying Côtes de Beaune whites came when I opened my last ever Grand Cru – a Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet 2001 from Hubert Lamy. I had never tasted CBM and to get a single bottle I had to buy a ‘caisse prestige’, consisting of 11 mixed wines from St Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny plus my precious CBM. After about 5 years I started to notice that the other wins were not quite right and in 2010 (to celebrate my recovery from swine flu) I decided to open the CBM. Basically, it was knackered. The worst affected out of all the others in the case. I reckon I only had 4 drinkable bottles in that case.

So, from 2010, I stopped buying white Burgundy completely (apart from Domain Michel, of course).

It is only in the past couple of years that I have ventured back ad that was some Chablis from the Cave Co-op up to 1er cru level, and even then I’m sure I have detected a subtle hint of oxidation in a couple of 5 year old examples. It will be a long time before I start buying again at the levels, and quantities, I had been doing.

A number of factors that make me now very angry with the mess that White Burgundy has become include –

· The producers won’t admit to any issues – real head in the sand attitude to the mess

· Why won’t White Burgundy age like it used to?

· What has caused the problem of premature oxidisation? Corks? Low sulphur regime? Pneumatic presses? A combination of these? Anything else?

· Why do they seem to be doing nothing to resolve it and give us back the wines we used to love?

· Why, in many cases, have prices gone through the roof and there is still no resolution to the problem.

· Buying White Burgundy is a very expensive gamble – one I’m not prepared to take.

· The producers used to make seriously great white wines (the best in the world) that could age gracefully over 20+ years. Now many are incapable of lasting 5 years. Also, if this is they way producers want to go (and I don’t believe for a second the move has been deliberate), then how come they haven’t made wine that can be great within the first 5 years of its life? The notes and scores from the tasting mentioned, although a one-off, just reinforced that young White Burgundy is hardly any better than many New World wines.


All of the above has turned me off White Burgundy and has put it in serious danger of losing the title of the Best White Wine in the World, if it not already has done.


That begs the question though – if White Burgundy is no longer worthy of top spot, who are the contenders?
Apologies for the length of this ramble.

The TN - NW chardonnay v Burgundy shoot out tasting sparked a couple of very interesting side debates, but mainly the one about whether White Burgundy still deserves the title of ‘The Greatest Ever White Wine’. Assuming it ever did? If it doesn’t then where are the contenders? There seemed to be a few having a nibble at this tasting.

I’ll give you my angle to start with, as I have probably been seen as a White Burgundy-basher on these pages for a few years now.

I first visited Burgundy in 1990, on holiday, but specifically to taste and buy wines. My first year two years’ holidays were near Mâcon and I concentrated on the wines of the villages in that area (Lugny, Viré, Clessé and Pouilly) as well as the Gamays of Beaujolais. 1991 was the year I came across Domaine Michel (specifically the father and youngest son, Franck) and (at that time) their splendid Mâcon-Clessés (since then Viré and Clessé have earned their own AOC of Viré-Clessé). I have now been going there for 27 years and am still very impressed with their wines. I must add that they are not stellar wines and do reach the heights of their cousins further north, but, for what they are, to me, they punch above their weight and produce a wine that is better than ‘everyday’, but one we can afford to drink on a regular basis. They are also wines that evolve with age and I have tasted every vintage of the traditional bottling (no oak) since 1986 right up to the 2016 last week. Some vintages I have tasted at over 20 years old, and just last year I opened a magnum of their Vieilles-Vignes Futs de Chênes 1997, which was in splendid condition. While the domaine is now run by the sons, and there are a few more cuvées, nothing much has changed in the cellar.

After that we stayed further north and it was then that I got into the white wines of the more famous villages of the Côtes de Beaune.

I decided to steer clear of the big names, mainly because of price, but I also wanted to find lesser known producers where it was easy to get an appointment and they had a decent range to taste through. This is where the guides of Clive Coates, Robert Parker and Oz Clarke came in handy.

I started to select producers who were under the radar but had plots in vineyards throughout the spectrum of White Burgundy, from generic Bourgogne to Grands Crus. This where I got into producers like Lequin-Roussot, Fleurot-Larose (both in Santenay), Paul Garaudet (Monthelie), Michel Prunier (Auxey-Duresses), Hubert Lamy (St Aubin), Maurice Ecard (Savigny les Beaune), Vincent Rapet (Pernan-Vergelesses) and Tollot-Beaut (Chorey les Beaune). There were others, but these are the ones I visited regularly over the next 15 years and started to get to know the white wines of their respective villages, plus Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault (all at village and 1er Cru level) and some Grands Crus like Bâtard-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.


I would hang on to many of the wines for 10+ years they were truly amazing wines to drink, especially with good age to them and, usually, the further you went up the classification ladder the better the wines were. They were spectacular in some cases, with depth of flavours and complexity I had never experienced anywhere else in the world of white wine. There were lean, mineral but complex wines, others that were exotic in their fruit flavours and the one that I can never forget was a Bâtard-Montrachet 1992 from Fleurot-Larose. Even coming from a ‘softer’ vintage, it had everything – exotic fruit, hints of terroir, fat, opulence, mineral and a finish that lingered forever. That was, and still is, the best white wine I have had the pleasure to drink and savour.

No doubt there were, and are, better producers than the ones I experienced (I read often about them here on w-p forum) but for me these wines were truly outstanding, just affordable enough that I could by a few bottles of their top wines every vintage, so was able to experience them over a number of vintages.

This was when I had no doubt White Burgundy was king. Nothing came near it.

So what went wrong?

Round about the end of the 90’s and early 00’s I started to notice that 3 to 5 year old wines tasted far too mature for there age, and specifically, than what I had become accustomed to. There were still some wines that tasted fine but others, from the same vineyard, vintage and producer that was different. I don’t think I had heard of premature oxidation then, but that was what I was detecting. Then I started to hear about the dreaded pox and I began to realise that was what I was experiencing in some of my wines. All my affected wines were from the Côtes de Beaune and, as I had been used to ageing my 1ers crus and grands crus for 10+ years, I started to get more and more pox’d wines. It seemed I was pouring more bottles down the sink than I was able to drink.

The end of buying Côtes de Beaune whites came when I opened my last ever Grand Cru – a Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet 2001 from Hubert Lamy. I had never tasted CBM and to get a single bottle I had to buy a ‘caisse prestige’, consisting of 11 mixed wines from St Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny plus my precious CBM. After about 5 years I started to notice that the other wins were not quite right and in 2010 (to celebrate my recovery from swine flu) I decided to open the CBM. Basically, it was knackered. The worst affected out of all the others in the case. I reckon I only had 4 drinkable bottles in that case.

So, from 2010, I stopped buying white Burgundy completely (apart from Domain Michel, of course).

It is only in the past couple of years that I have ventured back ad that was some Chablis from the Cave Co-op up to 1er cru level, and even then I’m sure I have detected a subtle hint of oxidation in a couple of 5 year old examples. It will be a long time before I start buying again at the levels, and quantities, I had been doing.

A number of factors that make me now very angry with the mess that White Burgundy has become include –

· The producers won’t admit to any issues – real head in the sand attitude to the mess

· Why won’t White Burgundy age like it used to?

· What has caused the problem of premature oxidisation? Corks? Low sulphur regime? Pneumatic presses? A combination of these? Anything else?

· Why do they seem to be doing nothing to resolve it and give us back the wines we used to love?

· Why, in many cases, have prices gone through the roof and there is still no resolution to the problem.

· Buying White Burgundy is a very expensive gamble – one I’m not prepared to take.

· The producers used to make seriously great white wines (the best in the world) that could age gracefully over 20+ years. Now many are incapable of lasting 5 years. Also, if this is they way producers want to go (and I don’t believe for a second the move has been deliberate), then how come they haven’t made wine that can be great within the first 5 years of its life? The notes and scores from the tasting mentioned, although a one-off, just reinforced that young White Burgundy is hardly any better than many New World wines.


All of the above has turned me off White Burgundy and has put it in serious danger of losing the title of the Best White Wine in the World, if it not already has done.


That begs the question though – if White Burgundy is no longer worthy of top spot, who are the contenders?
 
Paul,


IN PRAISE OF BURGUNDY

I think Burgundy is still top dog. I eat a lot of Scottish seafood on the Isle of Mull: oysters, prawns (Dublin Bay prawns or langoustines), brown crab, lobsters, scallops and and razor clams. White Burgundy for me is the best match.

My synthesis is that the pox is often due to corks and usually occurs when a wine with slightly less than optimal sulphur is bottled with a batch of corks which is excessively porous to oxygen. When a customer complains of pox we now open 6 bottles and usually there is a greater or lesser variation in the level of oxidation. This variation I think is to due to corks because its not every cuvée form the same supplier that is affected. Its not every year. It could be the grand cru rather than the village. There appears to be no logic. What is it that could vary that randomly? For me its the cork.

It is warmer now so white Burgundy is less acid than before so producers have been reducing the oxygen the wines get during elevage by a number of factors: a move to vertical presses, more solids, reducing batonnage, larger barrels for less time even smaller bung holes in the barrel. They separate sulphuring and bottling, measure dissolved oxygen, and allow time to see if the sulphur is stable before bottling , and put more sulphur in before.

Use of Diam corks is also very widespread. I was an early adopter and we have wines from 2007 vintage with Diam corks (it was Diam 5 I think to begin with) which are in good condition. We have had no pox with any wines bottled with Diam, which is not to say it couldn't occur if too little sulphur is used.

Forgive me this brief aside but I am a fan of sulphur and against natural wines. Before the Dutch brought the sulphur candle to Bordeaux in the 17th century , which when burnt in a barrel produced SO2 and got red of the bacteria and acted as a preservative, which allowed wine to improve and mature in barrel which led to the New French Clarets as described by Samuel Pepys in London. Before this the most expensive wines were the youngest.

Less oxygen during elevage, sound bottling and Diam corks for me have solved the pox problem and one can once again mature white Burgundy and see it improve in bottle.

There are plenty of wonderful white Burgundies from £10-40 a bottle. Chablis from many producers, Måcon from the likes of Ch de Beauregard, both Saumaizes, Barraud, Christophe Cordier, Bonhomme, Thevenet, Guillemot - Michel, Domaine MIchel that you mention etc. In Pouilly-Fuissé, Ch de Fuissé, Ferret (now owned by Jadot) , Ch de Beauregard, Ch des Rontets, etc. Jean-Marc Vincent is making lovely Santenay and Auxey Duresses Les Hautés whites, Olivier Leflaive makes lovely basic bourgogne such as Les Sétilles, Oncle Vincent as well as lovely Auxey-Duresses and Saint Aubin. Sylvain Pataille makes lovely whites too from chardonnay and aligoté. Pernands are excellent value from Jadot or Remi Rollin. The cool valley of Saint Aubin makes super whites post global warming from many suppliers from the modest Prudhons, various Colins including PYCM who has a big following on this forum and has made a big effort to produce wines which do not oxidise, Ch de Puligny and onwards and upwards to Hubert Lamy. Saint Romain is promising too. Village Meursault from the "deuxièmes crus" hillside sites of Luraule, Grands Charrons, Chevalières from the more modest guys are still around £40 ie at the revitalised Ch de Meursault, ,JP Fichet, Coche-Bizouard, Jadot, Drouhin etc. Perhaps Mr Prothero might put some of these up against the £50-60 New World wines and see if they will hold their own.

I declare an interest as I buy some of these wines for The Wine Society but have mentioned a number I do not buy who are very good too.
 
Toby. You have no chance. Anyone who buys burgundy nowadays is off their rocker .
Why do you think its mad to buy White Burgundy? At The Wine Society white Burgundy remains our biggest white wine seller by a long margin. Good Måcons remain excellent value for money, as good or even better than anything from The New World. I enjoy the cool climate chardonnays from the New World too such as Limarí, NZ (Kumeu River of course), Tasmania, South Africa etc but reckon White Burgundy is as good or better. Many New World producers have had to plant vineyards and build wineries and those capital costs are expensive. If you are Bonhomme in Viré and have inherited vines, some 60-90 years old (not all old vines are good but theirs are) and a lovely vaulted stone cellars you can sell lovely wines from mature vines for £15 a bottle. Some cult BUrgundy domaines sell at crazy prices but there is plenty of wonderful Burgundy at reasnoble prices. We live in the golden age of wine, do you not think so?
 
I think Keith may have his tongue just slightly in his cheek but I know he like many of us have had such spectacular failures that one loses the will to carry on.
The best white wine I have ever drunk is by quite some considerable distance the Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne 08 though some old white burgundies have matched that in magic if not quality.
 
White burgundy still by a long distance. I can understand people’s love of fine German Riesling, but I respect these wines more than love them, and rarely buy them. I have tried in vain to find a suitable substitute to the mid-level white burgundies I drink on a regular basis, and usually sourced in France. The closest I have encountered are some of the cheaper Kumeu and Neudorf wines, and the Radford Dale SA Chenin, which I can no longer source. Chablis is a particularly rich source of great wine in the £10-£40 bracket.

Further up the scale I would rather buy and drink premier Cru white burgundy - for example Puligny-Montrachet from JM Boillot, Chassage from Michel Colin Deleger - than new world Chardonnays at a similar price point. The best new world Chardonnay producer is Ceritas in my opinion but these wines are virtually possible to source in the UK and easily sells out in its home (US) market. And over 90% of the greatest dry white wines I have ever tasted have been burgundies. White burgundy is made to be drunk young these days - regrettably - and if you drink them young premox is rarely an issue.
 
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I think Keith may have his tongue just slightly in his cheek but I know he like many of us have had such spectacular failures that one loses the will to carry on.
The best white wine I have ever drunk is by quite some considerable distance the Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne 08 though some old white burgundies have matched that in magic if not quality.
I have had a lot of big name failures too in Burgundy but with Diam and some care in bottling I think the future is bright.
 
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