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*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
Tasting wine as a team at Chambers Street is always a good time. Whether we are assessing potential purchases or a new vintage of something that we always carry, there is always plenty of debate. Nobody is shy with an opinion and rarely do we agree on anything. So I was a bit surprised to find us in perfect harmony a few weeks ago as we discussed the merits (which were numerous) of two St. Romains, one white and one red, that had come across my desk.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised. St. Romain has never been chic but the wines in question were produced by Domaine Henri & Gilles Buisson, a domaine as serious and well-respected as one can find in the appellation and a Chambers Street stalwart. While I had tasted the wines only here and there over the years and liked them, my colleagues were more familiar with them. My dear compatriot John McIlwain had the good fortune to visit the domaine on more than one occasion and has always sung its praises for the quality of the farming and as a source of tremendous value.
The Buissons have been ensconced in St. Romain for hundreds of years but the domaine dates back to just after the Second World War. Farmed organically by their father starting in the 1970s, today they hold EcoCert certification - no small feat in a hamlet as cold and tucked away as this. They have just shy of twenty hectares today and produce a range of St. Romains as definitive as one is likely to find.
St. Romain itself sits high in the hills just to the west of Meursault. When I lived in Beaune, I used to ride my bike there quite regularly. Heading south, I would turn right toward Auxey-Duresses and I could always feel a slight change in the temperature as the road wound slowly upward - even in the height of summer. St. Romain has traditionally been considered second-tier terroir due to both its isolation and the fact that the cooler clime meant later ripening vines and wines that could feel thin or austere. But like some other appellations with the same reputation, in the era of climate change St. Romain is experiencing a renaissance. In recent vintages, Buisson has produced some truly outstanding wines, both red and white, in vintages that have been considered tricky at best.
Today we are offering a red and a white, both from the solar 2018 vintage. Each one is a model of balance: beautifully ripe, intensely mineral, and with terrific structure that should allow for 5-10 years of improvement in the cellar. You may find it difficult not drinking them now though - these are truly delicious wines.
****This is a pre-arrival offer. Wines will be in stock and available for pick-up and/or delivery starting MONDAY APRIL 20.*****
From a vineyard considered one of the warmest and best-situated in the village, the '18 Sous Le Chateau is about as textbook and beautiful a white Burgundy as one is likely to find for the price these days. The nose is redolent of lime peel, crunchy green apples and a touch of something like a croissant. Upon tasting it, we were all struck by the wine's overall presence. There is a yellow/green juiciness and a racy feeling to the acidity that somehow leaves you thirsty after each sip. If I were tasting this blind I think that I might have guessed at something quite a bit grander (or at least more expensive). Outstanding for the vintage. Sam Ehrlich
From 60-year old vines planted in limestone-rich soils. When I tasted this with the team, John piped up immediately, "Whoa, that smells like Burgundy." While this might seem on its face like the very least one could ask, it is in fact a high compliment. And this wine smells like BURGUNDY. There are the classic red and blue-ish fruit notes, the bright lively acidity and suave fine tannins. But more importantly there was such a sense of soil in the wine - not just the coolness of the limestone, but a dark earthiness reminiscent of a forest full of damp leaves, rotting wood and living things. Delicious now or can be easily held in a cellar for ten to fifteen years, with space for improvement. Sam Ehrlich