Inside Burgundy, by Jasper Morris MW
Winner of the André Simon Award for the best wine book in 2010. Jasper Morris MW has lived, breathed, bought and sold Burgundy since 1981. He has a home there, he makes his living there. He has built up over 30 years the kind of exact, on-the-ground knowledge that only someone based in the region can acquire.
His is the knowledge built up year after year from visits to and conversations in producers' cellars both grand and humble, from walking through their vineyards observing the minutiae of viticulture, from studying the weather, the development of vintages in cask and bottle, the changing patterns of family and ownership.
The book, in 656 pages, covers one thousand specific vineyards, from grands crus to obscure plots. Each is described and assessed, and the makers of its wines introduced and appraised. We learn why the top half of a certain vineyard inevitably makes wine of more character than the down-slope portion, how subtle choices in the vineyard, the cellar, even the cooperage make such differences to the quality of the final wine.