Summer entertaining isn’t all about picnic tables in the park or grilling on the pool deck. Yes, it’s hot out and we’re between holidays, but that doesn’t quash our desire to don nice clothes, dine on elegant food, and drink great wine. We may be eating lighter dishes but that doesn’t mean our meals can’t be elegant. Breeze-kissed dinner on the terrace or brunch in a well-chilled dining room are perfect for luscious white wine and foods that go with it, like lobster, Dover sole, scallops, veal chops, Iberian pork presa, or pasta with cream sauce.
Our go-to white for exquisite warm weather dining is white Burgundy. Grand Cru and Premier Cru Chardonnay from some of the world’s best terroir aged with a judicious use of oak has the right balance of freshness, texture and complexity to accompany the finest foods your kitchen can turn out. These nine exceptional whites from Burgundy can transform any summer meal into a special occasion.
Domaine Béranger 2020 Pouilly-Fuissé Premier Cru Burgundy France
The Béranger family has lived in Pouilly for more than 200 years, but premier cru wines from the region were not recognized until just a few years ago. Today Emile Béranger and his son Robert tend their 12 acres of vines and are assisted by their spouses in the production of this sumptuous wine. The grapes are picked by hand, then crushed and fermented under controlled temperatures. The wine is then moved to new French oak barrels for nine months before bottling. It has fresh aromas of mango, peach, and caramelized pineapple and flavors of white fruits, lemon blossoms, and lemon curd with a creamy mouthfeel and zesty finish.
Prosper Maufoux 2019 Mersault La Piece Sous Le Bois Premier Cru Burgundy France
Grapes for this enticing wine are grown in the La Piece Sous Le Bois climat, which has two distinct soil types. The upper part of the vineyard has soils rich in clay and iron while the lower part has mineral compounds and more organic matter. The winemakers feel that each contributes to the final wine, the upper giving power and spice and the lower giving freshness. You can smell the spice notes in the intriguing bouquet along with aromas of citrus blossom and lime zest. There are flavors of lemon custard, white fruits, and a touch of freshly ground white pepper in the finish.
Domaine Louis Moreau 2019 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru Burgundy France
Louis Moreau and his wife Anne established their 100-acre Domaine in 1994. It consists of four parcels in seven of Chablis’ grand cru areas. They have begun conversion to organic farming because Louis strives to showcase the personality of each plot. This delightful wine has great minerality in the nose with aromas of crushed oyster shells, lemon blossom, and grapefruit zest. It offers flavors of white fruits and jasmine flowers with a vivid finish.
Louis Latour 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Burgundy France
With 25 acres of holdings, the Latour family is the largest owner of land in the Corton-Charlemagne appellation. The vineyards are ideally situated on the Corton hillside with southeast exposure to the sun. You can almost feel the sunshine in the glass; this wine has an amazing bouquet with aromas of toasted almonds, citrus blossoms, and white peach. It is full bodied in with flavors of raw hazelnut, lime pith, and vanilla. The finish goes on for days with a pleasant touch of salinity in the post palate.
Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux 2015 Meursault Perrières Premier Cru Burgundy France
Jean Michel Ganoux’s family has been living in Burgundy for centuries. He worked with his father Francois Gaunoux for many years before starting his own Domaine Jean-Michel Ganoux in 1990. He chooses to farm without pesticides and he practices traditional methods of vinification. This delightful wine is already eight years old yet has a lot of youthfulness in the bouquet and palate with aromas of Gala apple, lemon pith, and citrus blossoms that lead the way for lemon meringue pie, lemon-lime, and white peach flavors.
Domaine Dujac 2019 Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru Burgundy France
Jacques Seysses worked for his family’s biscuit producing company and at the age of 25 he worked a few Burgundian harvests and then struck out on his own and purchased a domaine which he jokingly renamed Domaine Dujac (Domaine of Jacques) in 1968. His wines are well respected and the 2019 is no exception. It is straw colored in the glass with aromas of freesia, acacia flowers, and white stone fruits. In the palate there is vibrant acidity with flavors of hazelnuts, white peach, and apricot and a long-lasting finish.
Domaine Marc Morey & Fils 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers Premier Cru Burgundy France
Fernand Morey established the domaine in the 1930s and his son Marc took over in the 1950s. He worked for more than 30 years before retiring in 1987. His family continues their commitment to Chassagne-Montrachet and they replanted many of the vines in 2019. The 2017 is produced from grapes grown on older vines and has aromas of almond blossom, toasted hazelnut and lemon pith with flavors of lemon curd and white stone fruits. It’s drinking beautifully at six years old and should continue to do so for another five to seven years.
Domaine Antonin Guyon 2019 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Burgundy France
Domaine Antonin Guyon was founded in the 1960s and today it is one of the largest family-owned wineries in the region with 116 acres. Their holdings in the Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru vineyards face southwest and straddle the communes of Aloxe-Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses. The soils are mostly limestone and white marl. This luscious Corton-Charlemagne has aromas of jasmine, toasted hazelnuts, and white peach. It is full bodied in the palate with flavors of juicy white fruits, acacia flowers, and lemon meringue custard. Drink now or lay it down for up to a decade.
Joseph Drouhin 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche Premier Cru Burgundy France
This five-acre vineyard contains the ruins of the Abbey of Morgeot. It was destroyed during the French Revolution, but the Laguiche family’s adjacent estate was unharmed and still stands today. Grapes are picked by hand then crushed very gently before the wine is aged for 12 months in 20 percent new French oak barrels. It is golden straw colored with aromas of yellow peach, apricot, and pipe tobacco with flavors of dried apricot, pineapple, and a touch of lemon zest in the bright finish.