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We are always on the lookout for new wines - bottles from new producers, back-vintage wines that have been overlooked in an importer's portfolio, or entry-level wines from top producers that don't move as quickly as their Grand Crus. This way, we can be assured of always having both everyday wines and those for special occasions. Recently, we have come across some really fun stuff at a wide variety of price points. Some are things that we thought we had already seen the last of and others are brand-new to the shelves but all of them are delicious and worth a look.
Camille Thiriet has made a name for herself in a very short period of time. Along with her partner Matt, whom she met while both working for Nicolas Potel at Roche de Bellene, she has created a tiny négoce dedicated to making serious wines. There are no grand appellations here, just fruit from farmers doing extraordinary work in the vineyards. In addition to purchased fruit, Matt and Camille have recently purchased some vines in the Cote de Nuits-Village just south of Nuits Saint Georges, high on the slope. I had a chance to taste with her last year at La Paulée de New York and I was struck by the overall sense of purity and energy in the wines and by her general buoyant nature and the apparent pleasure she took in showing her wines. The Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée Confidentielle on offer today comes from Chablis, from a cool site in the village of Collan. The vines in fact sit on the back side of the Grand Cru hillside.
Amelie Berthaut, of Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, is another truly outstanding producer who has rocketed to stardom recently. She is based in Fixin and has built her reputation on a series of single-vineyard wines (both village-level and Premier Cru) from that commune, as well as a smattering of very good Vosne and Gevrey bottlings and a tiny bit of Grand Cru. I have always relished the few occasions I have had to try her wines. However, I had no idea she made white wine. Having recently tasted this Fixin Champs des Charmes, currently her only white bottling, I hope she has the chance to produce more in the future.
I am often a bit skeptical when a salesperson tells me they have a wine for me to taste that produced in collaboration by two winemakers from different continents. Too often, these things end up feeling gimmick-y and more about branding than winemaking. However, La Combe Grisard turned out to be a happy exception. This wine is the combined efforts of Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Morey Saint Denis, and Matt Murphy and Eric Railsback of Presqu'ile Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Eric and Matt have a predilection for whole-cluster winemaking that led to a series of visits over a period of years to work with the Seysses family and Jeremy started visiting Presqu'ile in turn. The vineyard is biodynamically farmed by Dujac and the fruit is fermented with 40% whole bunches and aged only in older barrels.
One more brand new addition to the shelf today is Domaine Vincent Ledy. Vincent worked for years at Domaine Lecheneault and struck out on his own in just 2006. His holding are tiny, a common problem for new producers in Burgundy, and he produces maybe 10,000 bottles between half a dozen appellations. All the vines are certified organic, there are no new barrels in the cellar and the sulfur additions are extremely low. I should also say that the wines bear no resemblance to the Lecheneault wines, which I have often found quite extracted and over-worked. There is real delicacy and understatement here and a laciness that I love. This is one to watch!
In addition to these, we have a bunch of other fun wines today, including some back-vintage Bourgogne from Gerard Mugneret, one of the truly great estates of Vosne; some well-priced Savigny Premier Cru from Jean Fery; an excellent, inexpensive and certified organic Bourgogne Blanc from Famille Paquet the Maconnais, the very last bottles 2017 Premier Cru Chablis from Gerard Duplessis; and last but not least, a bit of very serious village red from one of our very favorites, Hubert Lamy.
We hope you enjoy these new fun Burgs!
The Paquet family is based in the Maconnais. They have nearly thirty hectares across a dozen appellations, all farmed organically and on the way to certification. This is their entry-level Chardonnay and it is delightful, full of lime and green herbs, with clear mineral tones and good freshness. There is no oak influence at all and no funny business. This is just tasty Chardonnay grown in limestone soils, perfect as we emerge from the ice and snow into Spring. Sam Ehrlich
Camille Thiriet has made a name for herself in a very short period of time. Along with her partner Matt, whom she met while both working for Nicolas Potel at Roche de Bellene, she has created a tiny négoce dedicated to making serious wines. There are no grand appellations here, just fruit from farmers doing extraordinary work in the vineyards. The 2019 Cuvee Confidentielle is sourced from vines just outside Chablis - in fact, the parcel is planted on the far side of the Grand Cru slope. This is made in a decidely Cote D'Or style, with the round white fruit and crisp texture that is the hallmark of the outstanding 2019 vintage. Aged in about twenty percent new oak, this is stylish, elegant white Burgundy that will be excellent now or in five years. Sam Ehrlich
Vaugiraut is on the left bank of the Serein, south of the village of Chablis and the Grand Cru vineyards above it on the right bank of the river. The south facing amphitheater is protected from winds and exposed to the warmth of the late afternoon sun, both of which assist in ripening. This bottling from Duplessis is unique among their Premier Crus in that it sees no oak: the elevage is entirely in stainless steel. This has a beautiful, exotic nose that shows notes of white peach, dried orange peel, makrut lime, and salty limestone. The palate is structured, but with generous fruit character, displaying white peach and ripe Meyer lemon notes that lead to a very precise, long finish that emphasizes the limestone minerality of Chablis. Truly delicious. Ben Fletcher
Since they first appeared on our shores a few years ago, the wines of Amelie Berthaut have gathered considerable acclaim. She makes a set of wonderful Fixins, as well as excellent Vosne and a bit of Clos Vougeot and Echezeaux. I have always enjoyed them whenever I have had the chance to taste them. However, until two weeks ago, I had no idea she makes a tiny amount of white wine, from a parcel just at the edge of neighboring Brochon with very white chalky soils. It was a fabulous surprise. This is white Burgundy of poise and class. The aromatics lean towards delicate white flowers and there is a touch of creaminess from the time in barrel (25% new), but minerality is the centerpiece here. It has great stony density, which helps keep the wine feeling cool even in a solar vintage like 2018. This is terrific and while not inexpensive, it is well worth a look. Sam Ehrlich
Emmanuel Giboulot has always been one of Chambers Street Wines' favorite growers. Not only does he make lovely wines but he is warm and thoughtful person. Whenever I've had the chance to taste with him or share a meal with him, he has always been forthcoming with information and ideas about his wines and how they are made. This bottle may say only IGT Burgundy but it is full of soul, with pure juicy cherry and strawberry fruit and mineral savoriness. A delight, just like Emmanuel. Sam Ehrlich
I am often a bit skeptical when a salesperson tells me they have a wine for me to taste that produced in collaboration by two winemakers from different continents. Too often, these things end up feeling gimmick-y and more about branding than winemaking. However, La Combe Grisard turned out to be a happy exception. This wine is the combined efforts of Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Morey Saint Denis, and Matt Murphy and Eric Railsback of Presqu'ile Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Eric and Matt have a predilection for whole-cluster winemaking that led to a series of visits over a period of years to work with the Seysses family and Jeremy started visiting Presqu'ile in turn. The vineyard is biodynamically farmed by Dujac and the fruit is fermented with 40% whole bunches and aged only in older barrels. It is marked by the classic wild strawberry fruit that makes Gevrey so particular and the stems add spice and dried red flowers. The energy of 2017 is on full display here. Yummy wine. Sam Ehrlich