François, how do you do it!? Dedicated to the Givry appellation, François Lumpp elevates each wine to a level rarely seen in this southern part of Burgundy. François is quick to point out that Givry shares the same soils as the Côte de Beaune, and indeed, just a taste reveals he has no reason to envy his neighbors to the north. The aromas are typical of fine Burgundy: raspberry, incense, cedar, and clove; on the palate, it presents a dense core and fine tannin. While all of François’s reds offer pleasure now and have good aging potential, none are more cellar-worthy than A Vigne Rouge. But to be honest, I’ve never resisted the temptation to drink it young!
In the late 1970s, François Lumpp and his brother inherited their family property, located in the Côte Chalonnaise. In 1991 he founded his own label with his wife, Isabelle. Using sélection massale cuttings, François developed his domaine around Givry's best premier cru sites, which, as in most of the Côte d’Or, are situated on the mid to upper level slopes of the rolling hillsides. The Lumpp domaine is an especially good fit here at KLWM because it embodies exactly what we look for in Burgundy: a true vigneron in a specific village. Every wine François makes is from Givry, from vineyards that he planted and nurtured himself–something that is exceedingly rare in Burgundy today, and will become more and more so over time.
In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.
Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.
To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.
Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
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