This is the vintage that has it all. A bountiful harvest of excellent reds and whites had Burgundy’s vignerons smiling from cheek to cheek. Secure your share of the vintage from our hand picked selection below.
If you would like more information on any of the wines detailed below, or would like some advice on Fine Wine buying, please contact one of our experts in the Fine Wine Team who will be happy to help you with your query.
Our specialist team is comprised of Gus McLean, Stewart Pryce, Joe Fogg and Jeff Rean, who have a wealth of experience of the fine wine trade behind them.
“Since easing the reins from Jobard père, Antoine Jobard has rapidly become one of Meursault's go-to winemakers." - Neal Martin
Antoine Jobard took over from his father François on his retirement twelve years ago, becoming the fifth generation to take charge of the Domaine. The 2011 vintage was the first time we had tasted chez Jobard and the wines hugely impressed.Since then the bar has been raised higher still each year.
Here is a perfect example of the trend seen in Meursault over the last few years where the archetypal sweet-fruited, buttery, highly-oaked wines that dominate popular perception of the appellation have started to give way to wines that that are more lightly oaked and earlier picked, keeping a tension and focus to the wine and allowing the terroir to better express itself. Jobard now produces "some of the most long lived Meursaults" (Andrew Jefford, The New France). The flavour profile too is shifting, from tropical fruits to citrus.
Antoine is not one prone to hyperbole, so when he answered than he thought 2018 was the best vintage for 30 or 40 years, we were taken aback. Drawing particular parallels to the 1982 vintage, was also an abundant, but high quality harvest, his impression was backed up by our tasting samples. Everything here performed a level up from what could be expected, from the Bourgogne that wipes the floor with many other producers’ Meursaults, to a Poruzots that suggests that maybe Meursault ought to be awarded a Grand Cru or two after all. These were some of the unquestioned white highlights of the vintage, and a property not to miss in 2018.
“Nicolas Potel’s wines have a strong following in the UK, the United States and Japan and for good reason. His wide portfolio of both domaine and négociant wines can be absolutely delicious.” - Neal Martin
Our visits to Nicolas Potel’s Maison Roche de Bellene are always memorable for several reasons, including being reminded of how much of a wine nut Nicolas is – his knowledge of the minutest of details of for example specific sub-plots within vineyards illustrates a real attention to detail that very much manifests itself in the winery too.
One would hope from a good Burgundy négociant to get a large range of wines at a consistent and good level of quality and at a keen price – Roche de Bellene ticks these boxes and goes far beyond. Potel was very happy indeed with the 2018 vintage in terms of both quantity and quality. He puts his own success down to hard work in the vineyard, followed by a quick picking, delivering the grapes into the winery in optimum condition, where a philosophy of minimal intervention reigns. To underline the health of the fruit that arrived in the winery, the sorting table was barely used, despite Potel’s disposition towards it, his father having been a pioneer.
“Albert Bichot is one of those Beaune-based producers that can really surprise. Maybe like me, you spent years dismissing the wines while drinking your La Tâche and the lo and behold, you are served a bottle of Bichot blind and marvel at how well it shows.” - Neal Martin
Bichot’s wines are characterised by their elegance and nuance – think of a ballerina rather than a rugby player! The wines feel so unforced and effortless; the very essence of what Burgundy should be about.
These are perhaps not wines to convert New World drinkers, but they most certainly are wines to bring a smile to the face of many an existing Burgundy fan.
In 2018 we were particularly taken by the quality offered by Bichot’s whites, especially those from their Chablis property Domaine Long-Depaquit. While part of the larger Albert Bichot enterprise, Long-Depaquit is run separately, with a different winemaking team in charge of affairs in this Northernmost part of Burgundy.
“As the wines of the Côte d’Or’s most glamorous communes command seemingly ever-higher prices, there has never been a timelier moment to explore the Côte Chalonnaise.” - William Kelley
Chofflet-Valdenaire is located in the picture-book hillside hamlet of Russily, in the Côte Chalonnaise. The estate has been in the family for over 100 years and today the 11 hectare domaine is run by Jean Chofflet’s son-in-law, Denis Valdenaire, a former slpine ski monitor.After taking over the Domaine in 2000, Denis studied viticulture in Beaune where he took on the idea of moving the estate’s farming to more sustainable means, achieving ‘agriculture raisonnée’ certification in 2008. Today, and in 2018 in particular the wines have no lack of upfront charm, but also a serious structure that belie the modest price tags.
“Georges Lignier's nephew Benoît Stehly has been involved in the domaine since 2002 and took over sole responsibility in 2008, since which time the wines have become finer and finer.” - Jancis Robinson
Among one of the most humble and charming people you would want to meet, Benoît Stehly is producing some delightful wines at this Domaine in Morey.
Benoît has been working there since 1998 and has taken on the day to day management in the last decade. This estate is on a run of top form over recent vintages, producing quite a spread of elegant wines across the range of classifications. It’s notable that Jancis Robinson in particular is starting to appreciate the appeal of these wines as her 2016 feature on Domaine George Lignier testifies – “I'd like to draw your attention to a domaine that seems to be getting better and better.”
The 2018s are as elegant as ever at this address, with delicate fruit and tannins across the range. A classic year for Lignier that fans of the style are sure to enjoy.
“Their Corton-Charlemagne is one of the greatest wines in all Burgundy.” - Clive Coates
The purchase, in early 2017 of this estate by Screaming Eagle owner Stan Kroenke created some of the biggest headlines of the year in the world of fine wine, the American businessman falling for the “terroir that exists nowhere else”.
Already one of Burgundy’s most prestigious estates, Kroenke is aiming to push Bonneau du Martray that tiny bit further to fully exploit the Domaine’s magnificent holdings. This is the only Domaine in Burgundy that makes solely Grand Cru, owning the single largest block of vineyards on the Corton hill.
“Jean-Marie’s wines have a loyal following for a reason: the quality of the wines. That comes from their treasure trove of old vine material, which is replaced through massale selection rather than clones, and Jean-Marie’s meticulous craftsmanship.” - Neal Martin
One of Burgundy’s most in-demand names, we are delighted to be able to offer a selection of Fourrier’s 2018s.
Jean-Marie learnt his trade from the late, great Henri Jayer and in 1994 took over the family Domaine from his father Jean-Claude. He started bottling the estate’s Premiers Crus separately in opposition to his father’s previous practice, which was undoubtedly a good move! All parcels from the top to the bottom of the range see 20% new oak and all of the fruit is destemmed.
Elegance is the hallmark of this Domaine with complex, fine, terroir-transparent wines that are a world away from some producers’ beefcake Gevreys.
“For my palate, these are the finest wines being produced in Marsannay. Satiny and elegant, intensely flavorful but gently extracted, these bottlings can stand just as proudly among the grander villages and premiers crus of the Côte de Nuits as they do among the local competition. The fact that this domaine is located in Marsannay simply means better value for the consumer.” - William Kelley
Cyril Audoin, who has run this Domaine with his wife Marie-Françoise since 1972, is passionate about this Northernmost appellation in the Côte de Nuits, right on the edge of the city of Dijon.
Back when his father Charles bought up some of Marsannay’s best parcels of land, the village did not even possess its own appellation, while today the talk is of Premiers Crus being given the blessing by the authorities. Being a relatively young appellation, Marsannay can be had at a very keen price when compared to its fellow Côte de Nuits red villages, but make no mistake, Audoin’s wines are serious stuff, with excellent terroir expression and, as a tasting of older vintages proved, plenty of ability to age gracefully.
The 2018 vintage reminded Cyril of 2010—good for both reds and whites. Approximately 20% whole bunch addition was used on the reds, adding structure without dominating the style of the wines. If you haven’t yet explored the wines of Domaine Audoin, or Marsannay for that matter, now is the time!
“Someone in Britain should snap him up.” - Clive Coates
A quick trip up Rue de la Tâche in Vosne took us to this Domaine – I still cannot believe this estate remains under the radar of many of major critics (although Clive Coates did suggest that “someone in Britain should snap him up” back in 2008). That said, the Domaine has a focus on supplying high end restaurants within France, rather than supplying the export market. These wines are perhaps on the richer side of the Vosne spectrum, but are tremendously well polished and balanced. In an otherwise quite weathly village of Vosne-Romanée, there’s something refreshingly unpretentious about this Domaine.
This 12.5ha Domaine was one of the later pickers in 2018, holding out until the bunches reached full ripeness—a necessity when using full bunch fermentation, which was at 25% on the village level wines and around 30-45% on the Premiers Crus. These wines will need time to settle down and integrate, but when they do, should be a delight to drink.
“A lovely portfolio of supple, fragrant wines that represent the essence of Chambolle in their elegance and purity.” - William Kelley
To call François Bertheau eccentric would be an understatement; he is with little doubt the most charismatic winemaker we met all week. Based in the centre of Chambolle-Musigny, François took over from his father Pierre in 2003 and has since had no shortage of suitors for his vineyard holdings which are all based in Chambolle and which include two of the most desirable sites in Burgundy.
Stylistically these wines are fascinating, he practices ‘lutte raisonnée’ and allows the fruit to determine the style of the wine and gives it every chance by limiting manipulation in the vineyard and winery, minimal new oak and minimal racking gives a wonderfully delicate, perfumed style and has earned this Domaine cult status with sommeliers around the world. Ever the contrarian, François harvested late in 2018. The sheer levels of fruit concentration on his wines were off the scale! Added to a rejection of whole bunch fermentation, these are the most expressive, fruit-driven reds we tasted on our visits. Powerful, and utterly delicious stuff.
This estate based in Ladoix-Serrigny, just south of Nuits-Saint-Georges has very rapidly become one of our customer favourites after first being featured in the 2016 vintage. Gaston’s son Pierre now runs the estate, focussing on the viticulture whilst his colleague Vincent takes care of vinification. A true family Domaine which typifies the traditional Burgundy ethos.
They primarily sell direct to consumers from the cellar, but we are delighted to be one of the first to offer them in the UK. True to their geography straddling the border between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, the wines combine elegance with power, silky tannins with mid-palate weight and red fruit with black. Domaine Ravaut erred on the side of harvesting early in 2018, with proceedings commencing on the 24th August. Consequently the wines are fresh, elegant and refined.
“This is a fine address if you are seeking an alternative to, say, Armand Rousseau. Heresztyn-Mazzini is in the same mould as their neighbour, Pierre Duroché: very hands-off winemaking, letting the vineyard speak; mineral-driven and elegant wines... Yes, I know the name is a bit of a tongue-twister, but trust me, the wines are worth seeking out.” - Neal Martin
Based right in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin, 2018 is the fourth vintage we have offered from this Domaine and the wines were once again on top form. Run by Florence and her husband Simon, in the vineyard the operation is run organically, with full biodynamic certification due to follow imminently.
This of course necessitates a painstaking level of attention to detail in the vineyards, something that is also in evidence in the winery, with every decision, for example about the percentage of whole clusters to use, being pored over and each cuvée being treated separately according to its own needs. The wines are an absolute pleasure to drink, with the silky texture of the tannins and the purity of the fruit noteworthy.
“Beautifully balanced and differentiated by site, these are some of the most compelling white Burgundies being made today, and I warmly recommend them to readers.” - William Kelley
A trip to Domaine Moreau is always a treat. The tiny winery is attached to the bustling family home and the Moreaus are always very welcoming.The winery’s roots stretch back to 1809 and original owner Auguste Moreau, but it took on its current guise in 1930 under Marcel Moreau. Bernard started to look after the vineyards at the tender age of fourteen and Moreau’s reputation as one of the top Chassagne producers was well established by the 1980s. Bernard’s sons Alex and Benoît are now in charge of the and winery and vineyards respectively.
The Moreau style is, as Robert Parker puts it, “plump, opulent and delicious”. They own plots in six Chassagne 1ers Crus, so it’s always a joy and an education to try them alongside each other and note the subtle differences. We only have one problem with this Domaine, we cannot get enough! Alex explained to us that in 2018 the large crop helped slow down sugar accumulation, which is what has helped keep the trademark style even in a hot vintage. He also revealed that as of this year all cuvées, even the Bourgogne Blanc, will be sealed with wax—quite an undertaking that is usually reserved for others producers’ Grands Crus, if used at all. This helps cement Moreau as one the most reliable producers of ageable white Burgundy.
“A stunning portfolio… Unfortunately, the market has already taken notice, and these wines are scarce and expensive.” - William Kelley
A distant relation to the Cathiards of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, this wonderful Domaine can be traced back to 1930, although Alfred Cathiard started working in Burgundy in 1901 with a spell at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
Sylvain took over the estate in 1995 and swiftly altered the style to be a little more generous than the rustic style of his father. Now the wines have a healthy dose of oak, but have great intensity and greater terroir expression. Sébastien, Sylvain’s son is now in total charge here, continuing the practice of 100% destemmed fruit with no whole cluster and now starting to dial back slightly on the high new oak levels.
“One of the most important growers in Burgundy… A producer that I greatly admire.” - Neal Martin
Domaine Gouges is one of Nuits-Saint-Georges’s most famous Domaines and one of the appellation’s best – “the doyen of Nuits-Saint-Georges with magnificent wines” says Clive Coates MW.
The Gouges family have been owners of this Domaine since 1919 and founder Henri is something of a Burgundian revolutionary. He was a key player in the battle against fraud and was the first Burgundian to bottle his own wine because it guarantees provenance and therefore quality. Domaine bottling is now practised throughout Burgundy.
Grandson Gregory runs the Domaine with the same drive and passion for quality as his legendary grandfather. The Domaine’s wines were renowned under Henri as some of the most structured and long-lived of Nuits-Saint-Georges’ wines. However, Gregory has been working towards a more approachable style. That said, these are still wines very much built for ageing.
“There are some exceptional wines here th t rank alongside the illustrious names of Burgundy. He certainly has the gift of touch that seems to elevate everything from village crus to grand crus.” - Neal Martin
Having started studying viticulture at the age of 13 and then started as the general manager of Domaine Comte Armand at just 26, it’s fair to say Benjamin was a bit of a child prodigy, it’s easy to forget how young he is now despite his wealth of experience garnered already.
Now based in a winery in the heart of the town of Beaune, he has been acquiring new parcels of vineyard sites at quite a rate, but the quality is rising just as quickly as his vineyard holdings. Given the number of wines he now makes, it is remarkable how consistently excellent these wines are from top to bottom.
An exciting new addition to the line up we take from Leroux in 2018 is a “red Meursault” - the Blagny 1er Cru ‘La Pièce sous le Bois’. This high altitude hamlet within the Meursault appellation does have a little red planted and in this vintage Benjamin’s bottling of the site was a real standout—succulent, but fresh, with a beautiful purity of fruit and silky tannins.
“This is an excellent source for keenly priced, classically balanced wines that consistently develop well in the cellar, so it's a mystery why this 7.5-hectare domaine isn't better known.” - William Kelley
Although there is archival evidence dating the domaine back to 1704, for almost 250 years the succession passed through a sole female heir.Until the birth of Lucien Camus in 1949 therefore, the Domaine name changed with each successive generation. Luc and his wife Bernadette (née Bruchon) are blessed with both a son, Guillaume, who since 2001 has been working full-time at the Domaine and a daughter, Alexandra, who is the oenologist at the well-known Beaune négociant Albert Bichot.
Based on the edge of Savigny and overlooking the village’s finest plots, this Domaine has 9.5ha of vineyard across regional, village and Premier Cru sites in Savigny, Pommard and Beaune As we’ve come to expect from this estate’s wines, the 2018s are wonderfully expressive and are perfect wines for those who perhaps want a little more vibrancy and fruit in their Burgundy. That said, they age remarkably well too. With the harvest starting on the 30th August and clos attention paid to temperature control of the grapes before and during fermentation, Guillaume got it spot on in this vintage.
“A portfolio of fine-boned, tensile wines that display expressive fruit and impressive precision.” - William Kelley
Made from grapes grown in what is effectively the front garden of the Château de Puligny-Montrachet, in the heart of the village of Puligny-Montrachet itself, the ‘Clos du Château’ Bourgogne blanc makes a very welcome return to our range in 2018.New rules mean that Château names can no longer contain a geographical reference if the wine is not from that appellation, so Etienne de Montille has taken the decision to merge the Château de Puligny-Montrachet labels into his Domaine de Montille portfolio.
While we were focussed on returning the Clos du Château to our range, we simply could not resist adding a pair of outstanding reds at the same time, both from Nuits-Saint-Georges. The ‘Saint-Julien’ from a plot near the border with Vosne-Romanée was possibly the best village Nuits we tried all week, while our first encounter with their Premier Cru ‘Aux Thorey’ was truly stunning. Neal Martin compared the 2017 to that of Domaine Cathiard’s—high praise indeed.
“The reputation of Grivot’s wines have grown, placing them perhaps just outside the top tier of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or Leroy.” - Neal Martin
One of the Côte d’Or’s greatest and longest-established Domaines, Grivot is now predominantly in the hands of Mathilde, who in the last few years has been gradually taking over from her father Etienne. The house style remains the same, with late harvesting and extended periods of barrel ageing resulting in a muscular, structured style that can be difficult to taste when young, but which after a few years in the cellar open up to reveal beautiful black-fruit driven wines.
The quality of the Domaine’s holdings helps in no small part, however the Grivot magic is evident across the range, even on the Gamay-based Coteaux Bourguignons, which showed exceptionally well considering we tasted it immediately after the Richebourg!
“Domaine Méo-Camuzet boasts one of the most enviable portfolios in Vosne-Romanée.” - Neal Martin
As always, the Méo-Camuzet tasting was one of the highlights of the week. If you have not had the pleasure of encountering Méo-Camuzet before, they are one of the biggest names, not only in their home town of Vosne, but in all of Burgundy.
Stylistically they produce very polished, but exotic, rich wines which take oak well. They are very ageworthy, yet show well in their relative youth. Individual vineyard expression is very strong, so it is worth reading the individual notes in detail. Some stems (rather than whole bunches) are added, but no more than about 10%. This was one of the most impressive barrel tastings we have ever conducted at this venerable estate, each cuvée a masterpiece in how to make the best possible wine from its site. Serious wines, with serious ageing potential.
“Domaine Matrot expresses the quintessence of terroir. Its wines are sometimes closed when young, but their ageing potential is immense.” - La Revue du Vin de France
Domaine Matrot was established in 1909 by Joseph Matrot and had been run solely by his understated but talented grandson Thierry since 1976, with 2015 his last vintage before handing over the reigns to his daughters Elsa and Adèle. They are now renowned as “a top-class Meursault producer” (Wine International) and own some of the best plots in Meursault’s finest vineyards.
The sisters, like their father before them, believe in using oak only very sparingly. They are firm believers that quality comes from the vineyard, so let the fruit do the talking. Picking commenced on the 24th August in 2018, as Elsa dislikes the idea of acidifying. This early picked style worked very well, with a lightness of touch to the whites and crunchy red fruit flavours in the reds. The reds in particular have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. The early picking and light use of oak have clearly helped the terroir expression of each wine, exactly what was being sought.
“Drouhin continues to demonstrate what a class act they have become.” - Neal Martin
Maison Drouhin was established in 1880 by Joseph Drouhin and has remained a family affair ever since, being run nowadays by the fourth generation. Frédéric is assuming overall control of the firm from his father Robert while his brother Philippe and sister Véronique, who both studied at Dijon now look after the vineyards and winemaking respectively.
The estate itself occupies the breathtaking Parliament building, one of the most beautiful cellars in all of Beaune, originating from when Burgundy was an independent duchy. Nearly all of Domaine Drouhin is fully organic and biodynamic, with that very same philosophy being extended to newly acquired vineyards. Benefitting from the use of optical sorting tables from 2013 onwards, these wines are often darker, denser and more concentrated than many.
“While most of the attention is focused on Faiveley's extensive premier cru and grand cru offerings from the Cote de Nuits, this firm does a superlative job in the Cote Chalonnais and the Cote de Beaune.” - Robert Parker
While Faiveley’s vineyard holdings are extensive by Burgundian standards, quality reflects the fact that this is a family Domaine, making wine from parcels under its own ownership.
In fact, they care for their wines so much, this is the only cellar I have ever seen where the most precious wine is kept in barrel closed with a lockable bung! The number of decades-olds examples of Faiveley’s wines that are pulled out for retrospective tastings underlines the fact that these wines are likely to appeal greatly to the traditionalist who is looking for more structure and for wines to cellar rather than for instant gratification. Some of the most impressive Burgundies we have tasted are from this Domaine, but all of them have been at the peak of maturity, so patience is certainly rewarded here. Though in saying that, the charming Mercurey ‘La Framboisière is once again a notable exception which can be enjoyed young
“The 30-hectare Domaine Servin, ably directed by François Servin and Australian-born winemaker Marc Cameron, continues to number among Chablis's under-appreciated addresses... This domaine comes warmly recommended.” - William Kelley
Documented by the monks of Saint Martin for owning vineyards as far back as the 16th century, successive generations of the Servin family have continued the tradition of winemaking in Chablis ever since.
Today the approach is very much a mixture of modern and traditional techniques. The best vineyard sites are hand harvested to ensure fruit arrives at optimum ripeness. Single plot vinification takes place in a mixture of stainless steel and oak, letting the differences in terroir shine in each wine. The vines average 40 years and most of the sites are on Kimmeridgian limestone soils. This gives the wines their power, concentration and minerality which is so typical of the Domaine’s style. The best examples have great cellaring potential.
“I would again call to your attention that the quality at this domaine has skyrocketed over the past few vintages.” - William Kelley
Allen Meadows, Neal Martin and William Kelley have all earmarked siblings Gilbert and Christine Felettig’s Chambolle-Musigny Domaine as a rising star and our visits here over the last four years have really reinforced this view.
Gilbert is not shy of using a little new oak where it is called for, naturally increasing in the percentage used as we go up to the Premiers and Grands Crus. Whole bunch inclusion is practiced here, but always varying according to the plot, so 0% for some and up to 45% for others, but this always varies by plot and does not follow the appellation structures.
Gilbert continues to expand his portfolios of wines, which now number 35, our pick of which are featured in this offer. He is clearly a man driven both by a desire to express the terroirs of his various holdings and by wanting to experiment and improve his own winemaking incrementally year on year.
“Wines of great personality, substance, intensity and verve.” - Joana Simon
Splitting from the family estate Domaine Marc Colin in 2016, 2018 was only the second vintage produced by Joseph under his own name. Not that he is exactly a newcomer to winemaking, having many vintages under his belt already. We were blown away by the quality of the whites from Joseph’s debut 2017 vintage and the 2018s notched the bar higher still. Specialising in Chassagne-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin, these were some of the most pure, mineral whites we tried all week, rivalling Moreau’s efforts as the very best in this neck of the woods.
Obsessively focused on the minutest of details, full biodynamics are in operation here, with mineral sulphur use, very little new oak in play and no filtration at all. This may be a new Domaine onto the scene, but they have rocketed right into the top echelon of quality and we have taken everything we can get our hands on in 2018.
“Gotta soft spot for Hudelot-Baillet...I don't mind admitting that. It's just got everything that I like about Burgundy: not too big, congenial winemaker, choice selection of premier crus with a grand cru if you fancy, straightforward winemaking, nothing fancy, nothing self-aggrandising. Just delicious, nuanced wines that need but a sip to compel a purchase.” - Neal Martin
A Domaine often thought of for producing big, powerful Chambolle-Musigny has, based on our more recent tastings of their wares, produced a selection of wines we feel are perhaps more typical of the appellation; really very charming, precise and elegant. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the critics either, with William Kelley noting that “given the level of quality now being attained at this address, to say nothing of its enviable palette of appellations, readers should take notice.”
Dominique Leguen has been in charge since 1998 and has enough experience not to have been phased by the unusually hot and dry conditions in 2018. He attributes his Domaine’s success in this vintage to tasting the berries to know when to harvest rather than relying on technical analyses alone and then using a gentle extraction when the grapes arrived at the winery. He noted the wines’ freshness despite the heat of the vintage, something our tasting very much underlined.
“Jean-Michel Chartron has gone about turning his winery into one of the finest examples of Puligny-Montrachet in recent years.” - Neal Martin
We have spent the last few years repeating the fact that Domaine Chartron has seen a steep rise in quality over the last decade or two and that sooner or later everyone would notice… but now that time may have come. William Kelley calls this estate “an excellent source of pure and precise Puligny that deserves more recognition”, while Neal Martin calls the wines “now unquestionably superior” to those produced in the late 1990s.
Each year we now visit this estate expecting to taste a line up of wonderfully fresh, elegant wines from Puligny and its environs and lo and behold, that is exactly what happened once again when we tasted the 2018s, from the impressive village level Rully, Chassagne and Puligny, through to some of the best Grand Cru whites tasted all week, all alas already sold out from our early primeur release from this estate made last summer.
“This is an estate whose wines I recommend with much enthusiasm.” - Robert Parker
A producer who leaves us scratching our heads more so than any other. This for a number of reasons. First of all, the quality of the wines are superb, it’s absolutely crazy how inexpensive they are given the quality, but the owner is so down to earth and is perhaps very fortunate with the plots he has.
He seems to have no desire to charge more than he does. How more merchants have not jumped on this producer is beyond us, maybe they just don’t know this tucked away Meursault Domaine? Monnier is a style which complements our range very well at prices that are hard to argue with. This seventh generation family Domaine own 100% of the fruit they use and it is all hand harvested. The wines are lovely and they really are very difficult to beat when it comes to value for money. Stylistically they very much appeal to us given they are more refreshing, with higher acidity. A perfect partner for food, although given the style we think would be lovely to enjoy on a warm summer day.
“I had heard that the wines were worth checking out at this address and so it turned out to be truth… Little of their wine is exported at the moment, but it deserves a wider, appreciative audience.” - Neal Martin
Trying to unearth exciting undiscovered producers in the Côte d’Or can be tricky. Trying to do so in Vosne-Romanée, two doors doors from Domaine Leroy no less, is more audacious still!Yet, here we have a branch of the famous Noëllat dynasty whose focus so far has been on the domestic market, with little effort put into promoting the wines outside of France. This is where we step in.
This 2018 line up was immensely appealing. Precise, perfumed and with a touch of oriental spice, these wines are hedonistically appealing while retaining classic structures; somewhat reminiscent stylistically of Domaine Grivot. The ‘Chaumes’ notches up the intensity over the village wine, while the Echezeaux shows less openly at the moment, but clearly has the stuffing, as well as a delightful tannic structure to age very well. This trio of delicious Vosnes just had to find a space in our range for the first time in 2018 and we are delighted to offer them.
“The genial Manu Bautista's small winery in the hamlet of Touches is one of the Côte Chalonnaise's finest estates… In short, Bautista is one of a small handful of producers that demonstrate just what is possible when Mercurey's terroirs are lavished with the same attention devoted to their more famous Côte d'Or counterparts.” - William Kelley
Many Côte Chalonnaise producers can fall into a vicious circle of making and so pricing their wines to a level below that of the famous villages of the Côte d’Or. There are however a handful of estates that break this trend, treating the region’s terroirs with the same respect, care and attention afforded by the best producers in the neighbouring region to the North, yet still releasing them at appealing prices. Called “one of the Côte Chalonnaise’s finest estates” by William Kelley, Neal Martin notes that “Tupinier-Bautista has long been one of my favourite Côte Chalonnaise producers” and it was these ringing endorsements that led us to Tupinier-Bautista’s door.
Our own tasting of the estate’s 2018 Mercureys revealed a pair of serious reds with good structure, yet elegant and refined with it. A good notch above almost everything else I have tasted from this neck of the woods, we simply had to get both wines added to the range to offer not only a taste of just how good Mercurey has the potential to be, but also an opportunity to secure some more wallet-friendly alternatives to the Côte d’Or’s big names, while still enjoying a wine lavished with the utmost care and attention.
“Domaine de la Vougeraie has almost discretely become a major player in top quality, occasionally profound Burgundy wine. With winemaker Pierre Vincent, there was a significant turnaround in style and quality -- the wines discovering terroir expression, nuance and elegance, poise and complexity. I’ve lost count the number of times their wines have triumphed in blind tastings and yet still, I don’t think this domaine receives the credit that is due.” - Neal Martin
By common consent of most Burgundy followers, quality at Domaine de la Vougeraie was lifted to a significant degree during the tenure of head winemaker Pierre Vincent. 2017 though was the first vintage since his departure and the big question was whether the winemaking team, now led by the delightfully enthusiastic Sylvie Poillot, had learnt sufficiently from the master to simply pick up the baton and run. Based on the evidence of both the 2017s and 2018s here, the answer is a most definite yes! The sheer attention to detail required in the vineyard to commit to biodynamic wine production means every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, no short cut is taken and this level of precision makes for impeccable quality fruit.
Just as it was under Vincent, the reds in particular in 2018 show a wonderful balance between structure and primary fruit, helped by the partial inclusion of whole bunches in the vat, varying between 30 and 50% depending on the wine. What’s more, they are vibrant, intense and packed with the required stuffing to age. Vincent’s winemaking magic shows no signs of disappearing, even after the man himself is no longer on the scene.
“Romain Taupenot has been behind the ascent of Taupenot-Merme in recent years. It is almost as if fashion has caught up with them, traditionally furrowing their own path of slightly leaner, terroir-driven wines that were as much about texture as fruit, now many growers have changed back more to this style.” - Neal Martin
While there is no doubt that whole bunch fermentation is in fashion currently, here is an estate that used none at all in 2018, yet made utterly delicious, appealing wines.New oak is used only minimally too and the net result of these factors, plus a focus on organic farming and minimal interventional winemaking makes for a selection of 2018s that were fresh, elegant and expressive of their various terroirs.
Winemaking here is in its seventh generation with the incumbent Romain Taupenot, but this was a first experience of the Domaine in recent years for us. When the three of us tasting compared notes afterwards, we were unanimous in how impressed by these wonderful reds, and so a place simply had to be found for them in the range.
“His top vineyards in Saint Aubin and Chassagne deliver everything you could want from one of the best growers in Burgundy. Some of the vineyard such as the "En Remilly" and "Murgers des Dents de Chien" are spectacular and compete with the finest Puligny wines but at far more reasonable prices.” - Neal Martin
Olivier Lamy is a man obsessed by his craft, forever looking for new ways to improve quality, be that by using ultra-high density planting, or by meticulous leaf management during the growing season in order to minimise sunburn risk for the grapes. Listening to him rattle through the minutiae of the vintage at 100 miles per hour was a real education into exactly why his wines turned out as good as they did.
Acknowledged by his peers as one of the most inspiring white winemakers in the Côte de Beaune (“meticulous and thoughtful viticulture, a source of inspiration for other vignerons up and down the Côte” according to William Kelley), the 2018s we tasted here were unsurprisingly some of the very best of the vintage, full of vivacity.
“David Lavantureux is making some very stylish Chablis from his base in Lignorelles.” - Tim Atkin
New to our radar, brothers David and Arnaud Lavantureux took over from their parents Roland and Brigitte in 2010, becoming the third generation of winemakers at this Chablis estate. Their philosophy is one of fully expressing the differences between different terroirs and vintages, while making “intense Chablis with richness and complexity”.
Based on our tasting of their 2018s, it has to be said that they fully deliver on these promises. Intense and concentrated, while not losing any of that essential Chablis minerality, these wines were absolute winners and ones we are delighted to bring to our range for the first time in this vintage.
It means reserving top vintages before they are bottled. By paying an instalment 'up front', you reserve wine while it is still in the barrel, before the wines are shipped to the UK in late 2020.
How does payment work?
Now you need only pay the 'cellar door' price. Prior to delivery, we will invoice you for the second instalment (duty - around £2.23 a bottle at today's prices) plus VAT on the total. Delivery (currently £7.99) is also applicable, unless you are a member of Unlimited. Alternatively, you can keep your case stored In Bond or Duty Paid in our state of the art temperature- and humidity-controlled customer storage facility (currently £10.80 per case per year).
The advantages of 'En Primeur' buying
Demand for fine wines is always high as there simply isn't enough to go around. En Primeur guarantees you an allocation of the finest wines at opening prices - providing you are quick!
Once we receive your order we will send you a Reservation Certificate to your customer address. If the wines you have chosen are sold out we'll contact you to advise which are still available.