Burgundy wines, renowned for their sophistication, have captivated wine enthusiasts for centuries. Among the finest expressions of this region are the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. In this guide, we'll delve into the world of Burgundy wines, with a special focus on High Camp Wines' Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are sourced from the Edna Valley AVA. We'll also explore the striking similarities between the Burgundy region and the Edna Valley AVA, which contribute to the distinct characteristics of these wines.
Burgundy, located in eastern France, is one of the most prestigious wine regions globally, producing some of the world's most sought-after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. The region's unique terroir, which includes limestone-rich soils and a confluence of continental and oceanic climate, plays a crucial role in shaping the character of these wines.
Pinot Noir, often referred to as the "heartbreak grape" due to its challenging cultivation, thrives in Burgundy's cool climate. Similarly, the Edna Valley AVA shares a cool climate, making it an ideal location for cultivating this finicky grape. High Camp Wines' Pinot Noir showcases a nice ruby color, with hints of red cherry, dark plum, black cherry, and notes of Cola. The palate is full of layers of berries (usually red or blue fruits) and vanilla extract from oak barrels. The firm acidity balances the experience, leading to lingering soft tannins that leave a lasting impression.
Additionally, High Camp's Pinot Noir Reserve exudes red and black cherry aromas and offers flavors of plum, forest floor, with a hint of Cola. The sophisticated palate boasts an abundance of red fruit, sweet vanilla from the French oak, and lingering soft tannins that lead to a smooth finish. Sourced from Spanish Springs Vineyard in the Edna Valley. We used 50% new French oak. This wine has a silky mouth feel and complex flavors.
We have two Pinot Noirs at High Camp that the fruit is sourced from Edna Valley, but they are very different! Our Pinot Noir, sourced from Jack Ranch, boasts more red fruit flavors rather than the blue fruits found in our Pinot Noir Reserve. Think red cherry, fresh strawberry, and raspberry for our Pinot Noir. It also is a lighter and brighter wine with higher acidity which makes it chill-able. This wine keeps surprising me with how many different dishes it pairs well with, such as curry, anything spicy or heavily spiced such as Mexican, Thai & Indian foods.
Chardonnay, the celebrated white wine grape, showcases its versatility in High Camp Wines' offering. Displaying a pale straw color, the Chardonnay has aromatics Asian pear, pineapple, and hints of Mango, balanced by a touch of citrus zest. A sip reveals a full and rich mouthfeel, accentuated by notes of vanilla derived from French oak barrels. This cool climate Chardonnay is an excellent representation of the tropical flavors inherent in the Edna Valley, accompanied by refreshing acidity. The grapes are sourced from Green Gate Farms within the Edna Valley AVA. I like to call this Chardonnay, the 'compromising Chardonnay' or 'crowd pleasing Chardonnay'. We have found in our tasting room that people who usually prefer a heavily Oaked Chardonnay and people who prefer a fully stainless Chardonnay- both usually love our Chardonnay! It is a beautiful balance of 20% French oak and malolactic fermentation.
While Burgundy and the Edna Valley AVA may be miles apart, they share some striking similarities. Both regions boast a cool climate, essential for the slow and steady ripening of grapes, contributing to wines with excellent acidity. The soils in both regions play a crucial role in shaping the wines. Burgundy's limestone-rich soils and the Edna Valley's volcanic and marine sedimentary soils lend distinct characteristics to the wines produced. Additionally, both Burgundy and the Edna Valley AVA prioritize traditional winemaking techniques that emphasize the expression of terroir. This shared philosophy enables winemakers to craft wines that truly represent the unique characteristics of their respective regions.
Whether you're an avid wine enthusiast or just starting your journey, exploring the world of Burgundy wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, will undoubtedly leave you captivated by the beauty and complexity found within each bottle. So, raise your glass and savor the beauty of Burgundy wines, whether from the Old World or the emerging gems of Edna Valley AVA. Cheers!