To hope to be able to heal the rift, and one day to move beyond it, we need to understand its origins, and therefore to examine not only the whole cultural and economic history of the two regions, but also the people who manage the vineyards, their customers, and, incidentally, various aspects of the natural environment. None of these errors is grave, but given the distinguished imprint of this university press, one has higher hopes. The unique qualities of the wines of each region, Pitte believes, cannot be entirely explained by the differences in their physical environments: they have social origins as well. Some years ago, the television host Bernard Pivot devoted his Christmas show to the subject of good eating and fine wine. For a long while now I have exchanged two or three cases of Mouton every year for some Montrachet from my friend Philibert. Ask the natives of these two universally renowned wine producing regions about each other, and you will not find the slightest sign of sympathy or fellow feeling. The Bordelais equivalent would be bourgeois properties such as Sociondo-Mallet and Haut-Marbuzet, wines from supposedly lesser soils that nonetheless achieve excellence and are rewarded with high prices.
If Bordeaux found enormous favor in Britain, as well as elsewhere, Burgundy was the wine of French royalty. And no shock was greater than the acquisition of Domaine Engel in Vosne-Romanée by Francois Pinault of Château Latour. Bordeaux estates, at least on the Left Bank, are large, whereas most of those in Burgundy can be worked by a single family. It captivated the entire table, which was unanimous in its praise. Burgundy, with more than 100 different appellations, is as complex as the duchy of the same name in the time of Charles the Bold.
When the Union des Crus Classés presents the new Bordeaux vintage in London or elsewhere , the proprietors in attendance face only the wine trade across the table. His sparkling, fair-minded narrative, engaging the senses and the mind alike, conveys a deep appreciation of two incomparable winegrowing cultures, united despite their differences by a common ambition to produce the best wines in the world. Bordelais like their sports: A few play polo, a majority sail at Arcachon. The palate must give way to the mind. I made the wine with the slashed skirts. It is true that poor Lacouture is much to be pitied, suffering as he does from a dramatic impairment of the faculty of taste known as anosmia, or insensitivity to smells — a fatal impediment in the case of Burgundy… In saying as much, however, Lacouture was only following in the steps of the author François Mauriac, perhaps without knowing it. It brilliantly evokes two cultures as different as.
Description: xiv, 246 pages : maps ; 24 cm Contents: Weighing the evidence -- Markets and consumers -- The physical environment -- Incomparable wines -- Conclusion: farewell to parochialism. Napoleon, too, opted for Chambertin, even though, as Pitte informs us, he liked it with water and ice. Nevertheless, parochialism and ignorance are in decline as a new generation of growers and winemakers travels the world. When in Tuscany you don't expect to be served Barolo, and vice versa. But I find it agreeable to let my taste buds wander through other lands. But there is a second theme to the book: a gentle debunking of the sacrosanct notion of terroir.
But one lives and learns. Moreover, the Bordelais will eat well but less copiously, less imaginatively, than their Burgundian counterparts. The organization is haphazard and some of the material somewhat attenuated, but for the most part it is entertaining and stimulating. One of his guests, the Bordelais Jean Lacouture, expressed a rather favourable opinion of one glass he was given to taste. Dinners organized by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin in Burgundy cram hundreds of guests into the great hall of the château within Clos de Vougeot.
Patterns of ownership are different, too. One time I wandered into Comtes Lafon in Meursault for an appointment, and saw Dominique Lafon in blue overalls clambering off his tractor. The sweet white wines of Bordeaux sicken Burgundians, and in any case they do not know what to eat them with. But above all they are irritated by the division of minuscule appellations into a multitude of parcels belonging to many owners: to the Bordelais mind, such a practice is incomprehensible and unjustifiable. His account is a rich tapestry of terroir, history, culture, and economics from Roman to modern times. The author is a geographer, and although his knowledge of wine is wide and deep, the book is littered with errors. Burgundy is the wine of sensuality.
Its beauty is a real puzzle. It delves into the key role played by medieval monks, dukes, and peasant vignerons in building their respective reputations. Australians gratefully flock to Bordeaux to work a vintage; young Burgundians pitch their tents in the Yarra Valley or Stellenbosch for a few months. The unique qualities of the wines of each region, Pitte believes, cannot be entirely explained by the differences in their physical environments: they have social origins as well. Any table erupting into song would be shown the door, while the other guests would mutter that the Haut-Brion had clearly been wasted on these vulgarians. Bordeaux has renewed itself by being open to outsiders, such as the Rothschilds and Foulds and other bankers who bought into the Médoc in the 19th century. This title presents an account of a tapestry of terroir, history, culture, and economics from Roman to modern times.
Mauriac, accompanied by another academic, paid him a visit. None of this prevents them from having access to large piles of money, in the form of real estate and business profits both, which they spend on expensive foreign cars like so many vulgar nouveaux riches. You don't even expect a Tuscan grower to know a great deal about the wines of Piedmont, and vice versa. Beginning with an entertaining look at the remarkable variety of insults exchanged by partisans of the two regions, Pitte delves into the key role played by medieval monks, dukes, and peasant vignerons in building their respective reputations and in creating the rivalry between bourgeois Bordeaux and earthy Burgundy that we know today. Originally published: Paris : Éditions Hachette Littératures, 2005. He points out that each region has successfully cultivated specific markets. Hardly more than two hectares! His account is a rich tapestry of terroir, history, culture, and economics from Roman to modern times.
His sparkling, fair-minded narrative, engaging the senses and the mind alike, conveys a deep appreciation of two incomparable winegrowing cultures, united despite their differences by a common ambition to produce the best wines in the world. I can't make much sense of the way the book is organized. Anyone who doubts that this cultural divide exists should reflect on the feasting traditions of each region. Responsibility: Jean-Robert Pitte ; translated by M. . It is invested instead in Languedoc or abroad.
These are difficult wines for our Burgundian palates; we have to spend a long time with them, with an open mind, before being able to detect their great virtues. Who would attempt to seduce a beautiful young woman with the aid of a bottle of Montrose? Bordeaux has won, it seems. The Burgundians will tuck a rifle under an arm and go in search of the last extant pigeons. Pitte has found the one exception to this: Henri Dubosq of Château Haut-Marbuzet, who decades ago learned how to sex up his St-Estèphe with a good dose of Merlot and lashings of sweet new oak. Since then I have learned to put some Burgundy in my wine. Low yields and exacting viticulture, as well as scarcity, ensure that prices for the grands crus of Burgundy will always be high.