Tasty wine: Slider
© Florian Büttner

Vintage discovery

  • PHOTOS FLORIAN BÜTTNER

There are places in the world that can turn everything upside down. The Lufthansa #LifeChangingPlaces campaign spotlights some of those places, including Burgundy, where Cici Li became a wine expert.Four our readers, she shares her favorite wine tips with us.

Her path was clear: First she would earn a good degree in biochemistry, and then pursue a career in the cosmetics industry. But in 2007, during a term abroad, in France, Cici Li’s life was thrown into confusion. While studying in France, the young woman from China also explored Burgundy and Provence and returned home, enchanted by the fairy-tale beauty of those regions. But most importantly of all, she had fallen in love with the wines grown there: their full flavor, the great wealth of varieties, and the fascinating craftsmanship that goes into traditional wine production. Cici returned once more to France, but this time she came not for instruction in the laws of natural science, but in the mysteries of winemaking. After studying winemaking at the University of Burgundy, Cici worked at the Burgundia wine laboratory, and finally continued her training at the Château des Ferrages vineyard in Provence – and she was the only Chinese person to do so. After returning to her native China, she organized wine seminars there and gradually became a successful ambassador for French wine culture in China.

Tasty wine: Winery

The Domaine Rois Mages wine estate in Burgundy

© Florian Büttner
Tasty wine: Fruits
© Florian Büttner

Selection: Cicic Li recommends

1 VOSNE-ROMANÉE ROBERT SIRUGUE

“The first wine I would recommend to anyone interested in sampling a burgundy is one produced in the village of Vosne. The special quality of the terroir (combination of earth, climate and viticulture practiced here) in Vosne makes it one of the top winegrowing locations and home to the world’s consistently most expensive wine, Romanée Conti – one bottle costs around 10,000 euros. But the particular wine I would like to recommend comes from Domaine Robert Sirugue, which belongs to an old Vosne-Romanée family with a wealth of winemaking DNA in their blood; the branches of their family tree are closely interwoven with those of Burgundy’s wine godfather, Henri Jayer. Soft tannins and cherry flavors are the defining characteristics of this wine, making it almost like a delicious smoothie.”

Available from weinweber.de

2 DOMAINE JACQUES PRIEUR ECHEZEAUX

“Here comes my favorite wine, the Echezeaux 2015 made by Nadine Gublin, probably the most important female winemaker in the region. The vineyard is a grand cru, which means it has one of the best terroirs in Burgundy. It’s still a little to early to drink the 2015 vintage, but it already has discernible notes of cherry and strawberry as fresh as newly picked fruit. These flavors linger long in the mouth – for more than three minutes! I can hardly wait for this wine to reach maturity; in five or eight years, it could certainly hold some big surprise.”

prieur.com

3 DOMAINE ROIS MAGES RULLY

“Burgundy is famos not only for its red wines made from pinot noir, but also for its white chardonnay. Some very good white wines are produced in the lesser-known village of Rully. The young winemaker Félix Debavelaere was awarded Young Talents Trophy for his Les Cailloux Blanc, which combines a distinctive minerality with flavors of stone fruits, and has a delightfully balanced finish.”

rois-mages.com

4 MONTHELIE-DOUHAIRET-PORCHERET CLOS DU MIEX GARNIER MONOPOLE

“Burgundy wines are often very expensive, so it’s always a pleasure to find a good one that’s reasonably priced. The Monthelie-Douhairet-Porcheret family wine estate goes back 300 years, and the family knows it’s land intimately and all there is to know about traditional winemaking. It’s amazing how they lock pure fruit flavor into the bottle. This must be roughly how wine from Burgundy tasted 1000 years ago.”

domainemontheliedouhairet.com

5 CHATEAU GRAND BOISE CUVÉE JADIS

“Grand Boise is another winery that makes a very good rosé. Here, they even leave a cuvée to age in oak barrels, which is very rare in rosé production. Aging in barrels concentrates the flavors of the wine, lending it additional complexity, but also calls for great skill and intuition from the winemaker. The Cuvée Jade is a pleasing combination of fresh fruit and delicious texture.”

grandboise.com

6 JOSEPH ROTY MARSANNAY

“Joseph Roty is a very experienced winemaker, but the family is known in the wine world for its extremely self-confident manned: Never would they stop to flatter a wine critic, but this has not harmed their good reputation. Once you have tasted their Marsannay or Gevrey-Chambertin you understand that a pinot noir, which is otherwise often counted among the finer wines, can certainly be robust in character.”

Available from hawesko.de

7 CHATEAU D’ESCLAN WHISPERING ANGEL

“The Whispering Angel is one of my favorite Provences rosés. The pure notes of mimosa and fresh strawberries make it an unforgettable wine. There’s hardly a winery that produces a better rosé than Chateau d’Esclan – even rosé skeptics will likely find something to please their palate here.”

esclans.com