I was very interested to receive a well put together brochure with this months Decanter, from Waitrose offering Burgundy 2005's EP. It's a very well put together brochure, so Waitrose must make some decent money from their offerings otherwise they wouldn't spend the money creating a lovely brochure which then goes out to how ever many thousands of people. The wines too are a good looking selection, now I'm really not a Burgundy drinker - don't get me wrong I'd love to be, but put quite simply I wouldn't really know where to start - I guess that comes as you get a wine merchant you know and trust recommending Burgundy to you, but as it stands with each vineyard in different hands, unless I'm going to buy Domaine de la Romanee Conti (DRC) (which I'm not - I don't have that kind of budget!) who is a good producer and who is not, and who is good in which years? Equally should I look for wines from Vosne or Gevrey, and bearing in mind that I doubt I'll ever have the money for a Grand Cru Richebourg from a great producer, what is there that is good value?
The Waitrose lists starts with a very modestly priced Bourgogne Rouge, Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair at just £27.50 for 6 bottles, and has wines all the way up to a Richebourg Grand Cru Gros for £650 per 6. Now it seems to me that for a complete novice the £27.50 asking price is well worth it on the "at that price it's worth a try" philosophy, and there are certainly other things there to keep you interested at most price points. Even more tellingly the list is actually not being run by Waitrose at all, but rather by Lay and Wheeler, a well respected merchant based in Suffolk who ought to know what they're doing - as does Susan McCraith MW who put the list together for Waitrose, so would I buy from them - of course - even I, with my very small amount of expendible income can afford £30 for 6 bottle of Burgundy and the higher you go up the price bracket the more appealing it seems to be.