Returned from the ACE Cultural Tours Mediaeval Burgundy a few weeks ago. So not so much focus on wine, and a lot of churches and abbeys. I would highly recommend the tour if you are into that sort of thing. ACE will doubtless run it again at some point.
At our first hotel, the Hostellerie Le Cedre in Beaune, the food and wine was a lot better than on many of these trips. Here the food was very accomplished, particularly considering they were catering for a party of 16. It was excellent and well-presented French cuisine, though not as far as I know particularly Burgundian. Usually 4 courses, with a varying number of small little extras. Not quite as fussy as what you might expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant, but heading in that direction. The wines were also good, if modest, and they were definitely from Burgundy.
At L’Hôtel de la Poste et du Lion d’Or in Vézelay, the food was typical tourist-grade hotel mediocrity, most things being premade and/or preformed. To be fair to the hotel, I don’t know what their brief and budget was, and what they are capable of on a larger budget, but I was not impressed by what we got. The wines were not great either.
We had a good few glasses of wine with each meal, so I feel I had a good chance to form an impression of each one, and I describe them briefly at the bottom of this post. I was particularly impressed by the Prosper Maufoux wines. Unfortunately this négociant does not seem to be available in the UK – not the straight Bourgogne AC red and white at least – but I will keep an eye out for them next time I am in Burgundy. Apart from the wines drunk in our hotels, we had a touristy tasting at Bouchard Ainé et Fils which I don’t feel inclined to comment on further, and a few jug wines for lunch. Ones I particularly remember were an overly-acidic Passetoutgrain, which suddenly became enjoyable when my steak frites arrived, and an Irancy which reminded me of the Domaine Rigoutat wine described below. Is all red wine from North Burgundy like this? I wish I had stuck with Chablis in that area.
At Hostellerie Le Cedre, the wines listed below were €20-30 on the wine list, and as far as I could tell they would retail for around £13 in the UK. No idea how much the wines drunk in Vézelay would cost in the UK. Maybe £8. I would not buy them at any price.
Hostellerie Le Cedre
Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Référence, Maison Prosper Maufoux à Santanay, 2009 – Good Pinot Noir fruit. Medium low tannin. Would benefit from a few more years ***
Domaine Bertagna, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Les Dames Huguettes, Pinot Noir, 2007 – Intense varietal Pinot Noir fruit. Hard edge on the nose and palate. Medium acid. Medium low tannin. Would benefit from a few more years ***
Bourgogne, Haute Côtes de Nuit, Bichot, 2007 – Intense. Citrus and peach. Medium acid. Drink now ***
Domaine Chevrot, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, 2009 – Bright intense varietal Pinot Noir fruit. A little rubbery. Medium high acid. Medium low tannin. Drink now ***
Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Prosper Maufoux, 2008 – Intense. Slightly mature. Slightly oaky. Some citrus. Medium high acid. Drink now ****
L’Hôtel de la Poste et du Lion d’Or
Domaine Rigoutat, Bourgogne, Coulage la Vineuse, 2008 – Sickly cheap Pinot Noir fruit. Coarsely oaked. Awful *
Irancy, Domaine Verret, 2008 – Sweet, icing sugar, Pinot Noir fruit. Medium acid. Low tannin **