The birthplace of premium Chardonnay is still it's most desired terroir. Burgundy's Cote d'Or continues to inspire winemakers and connoisseurs around the world.
One early August evening The Wine Country staff, and about 35 of our incredibly savvy French wine fanatics sat nearly speechless, stunned and utterly captivated by flight after flight of devastatingly beautiful Chardonnay from east central France, Burgundy’s Cote d’Or.
Oh, what a night indeed.
I often find myself a little nervous before Burgundy events, well any event that I have to lead truth be told, but the wines from Burgundy can be terribly fickle, outright obstinate or, on the best of days, spellbinding, chill inducing even haunting. Each pop of a cork has me a tad anxious, teeth dug deep into my bottom lip with anticipation, “Which kind of night might this be?” Friday August 9th the wines, even warm and just opened easily unfolded, shimmered, stained and showed exactly why they are some of the most cherished and sought after in the world. From Savigny-les-Beaune, to Meursault, from Puligny-Montrachet to Corton Charlemagne the wines expressed their unique accent and unquestionably authoritative beauty.
I tried to continue my brief lesson of the area, the hill of Corton, why Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet share the vineyard name Montrachet in their name but it was evident pretty early on, the wines were speaking volumes the second people smelled and tasted them. The sheer amazed looks on the crowds faces, the audible groans of astonishment and pleasure and we were reminded why these rare wines are intensely worshiped by wine lovers the world over, and why they can fetch equally astonishing prices at times but in those moments, those nights like we had that Friday, worth it.
Highlights, that didn’t sell out that is!
2016 Jean-Marc Vincent Auxey-Duresses
This tiny domaine is imported by no other than Kermit Lynch Imports so just knowing that can settle one’s anxiety just a tad. He is known the world over for locating and championing small producers that provide amazing quality and classic terroir. The total annual production for this winery is, depending on vintage, just about 2,100 cases of which this Auxey-Duresses this their highest production, they make over 2 barrels! Husband and wife team Anne-Marie and Vincent share duties in both the vineyard and the winery and they have knocked it out of the park with this 2016 vintage. Plenty of mineral on the nose, like wet stone or chalk but on top of that mineral note there is a swatch of ripe pear, green apple and lemon verbena. Great curve in the mouth with density and nice acidity. The 2016 is showing great now and has the bones to hold up to five more years in the cellar or more.
$62.99 per bottle
2016 Chateau De Puligny-Montrachet Monthelie Blanc 1er Cru Les Duresses
The Chateau De Puligny-Montrachet winery is actually located in the village of Puligny-Montrachet but Monthelie is situated between Volnay and Meursault and offer quite a lot of value if you look at their famous neighbors. Chateau De Puligny-Montrachet has been organic and biodynamic since 2005, always looking to capture the flavor and expression of the vineyard/village and this powerfully expressive 1er Cru is showing both dimension and stunning grace. Beautifully layered with herbs, white flowers, tangerine and pears with a kiss of spice that almost reminds us of cinnamon. Great bones and structure here with a finish that just keeps giving and giving. Roast a chicken or big fleshy white fish, keep it simple and let this beauty be all the sauce you need.
$49.99 per bottle
2017 Le Grappin Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc
The Le Grappin label was started in 2011 when Australian born Andrew Nielsen committed himself to making top quality wines from under valued villages in Burgundy. Hardly new to winemaking, working in his native Australia, New Zealand, California and Oregon, this impassioned winemaker knew where he needed to be to make the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Burgundy. Sourcing fruit from highly respected growers that farm sensibly if not all organic or biodynamic, Andrew has a modern flash, or polish to his wines but they are true to their birthplace in flavor and texture. There were only 3 barrels made of this Savigny-les Beaune, it was all foot crushed and it is simply bursting with energy. Baked citrus, stone fruit, tons of ginger and flowering white blossoms. Tremendously layered, sexy texture with unashamedly bold and sturdy finish.
$63.99 per bottle
2015 Marchand-Tawse Meursault
We’ve been wild about the wines from Marchand-Tawse for several years now. Stocking them, visiting the domaines in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune, hosting events with the winemakers here at The Wine Country and even setting up visits for our customers that are visiting Burgundy as well. This long relationship was built on are awe of how they manage to make so many different wines, each of them speaking of their specific place and ready to drink early. Polished, pure and with a dedication to protecting the land by farming organic and biodynamic. 2015 was a fuller vintage. Not a ton of wine was produced but what fruit they did manage to produce was sexy, full, rich and forward, this Meursault is all of that and more. Toasted nuts, Asian pear, scalded lemon curd. Mouth is rich but not too oaky or full and there is perfectly balancing acidity.
$64.99 per bottle
2016 Marchand-Tawse Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye De Morgeot
Very refreshing drinkability in this wine. The bouquet is elegant aromas of acacia, nectarine, brown sweet butter, ginger and citrus peel. It is nicely defined with a medium-body and a soft and supple texture. The fine line of acidity with notes of salinity and to the fresh and lengthy finish. Pair with roast chicken or turkey, fish, shellfish, creamy pasta dishes.
Marchand-Tawse wine continue add admirers, wowing tasters and critics alike. We at The Wine Country have carried these wines for a while now, and without fail, each wine continues to hit the mark. The vinification style preserves fruit and character with undeniable clarity and purity only possible with a work ethic inspired by their Burgundian location and the skills of their winemaking team. Talk about quality to price ratio? Here it is.
$112.99 per bottle
2015 Domaine De Montille Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Cailleret
Domaine De Montille is run by Etienne and Alix Montille. The winemaking is traditional but with a nod to wine lovers that don’t want to wait for a decade to devour their bottles. The wines are aged in oak barriques (20-30% new) and are bottled unfiltered. These are wonderfully elegant, harmonious wines that once required a minimum of five years in the bottle to show their grace but with warmer temperatures and vineyard improvements the wines are now much more accessible earlier on. To truly show its pedigree this powerhouse 1er Cru Le Cailleret from Puligny-Montrachet would be bested with a couple years in the cooler/cellar or a vigorous decanting. Very vibrant with acacia florals, apples, and citrus fruits - lemon and lemon curd - with hints of ginger, white peaches, and faint oak spices. There is racy minerality, here. With a silky body and great length, this wine is all about elegance. Pair with white meats, pastas in cream sauce, shellfish.
$175.99 per bottle