Gilles Lafouge

New Arrivals from Prudhon, Lafouge and Rapet: Lovely, Affordable Burgundies!

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Chambers Street has always featured a selection of high-quality Burgundies produced by lesser-known growers whose delicious wines offer great value to educated consumers. The three estates featured today are over-achievers - they work well in the vineyard, with plowing, short-pruning and minimal treatments and vinifications are with wild yeasts with gentle extraction and minimal use of new oak. These are true wines of terroir, with subtle, complex fruit and pronounced flavors of earth and minerals - Burgundies of great character that are reasonably priced, some of which can be enjoyed now and others that will reward long-term cellaring.

Domaine Henri Prudhon in Saint-Aubin produces lovely old-fashioned Burgundies. High-density plantings, regular plowing and minimal extraction yield pale-colored, earthy reds, and whites that are sometimes more expressive of minerals than of fruit. The 2008s on offer today are particularly interesting, providing a lovely alternative to the high extraction and excessive batonnage in modern Burgundy. Domaine Jean and Gilles Lafouge has for many years been quietly producing some of the greatest values in Burgundy. There is excellent vineyard work here, in the process to becoming organic, with very short pruning and no green harvest. Hand-harvesting and wild-yeast fermentations of course, about 25% new oak, minimal batonnage for the whites and natural clarifications. Jean and his son Gilles are quiet, friendly and modest. Their wines in some ways reflect their personalities - always balanced and subtle with lovely fruit and precise expression of their vineyards. Domaine Rapet Pere et Fils, (proprietor Vincent Rapet) makes intensely terroir-expressive wines in Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton. The 2011 reds here are particularly outstanding. "As I typically do, I used between 20 and 40% whole clusters for the vinifications and the only change is that I punched down less as the sugar levels were finishing. As to the style of the 2011 reds, they remind me of more concentrated versions of the 2007s." (Vincent Rapet in Burghound #50) The Beaune Grèves and Ile des Vergelesses are great candidates for long-term cellaring.

 

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Prudhon 2008 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge "Les Chambres"

A subtle, old-fashioned Burgundy from Prudhon feauturing delicate aromas of wild strawberry and tart cherry with hints of spice and violet. The palate is dense but quite light with earthy red fruits and saline mineral flavors. This is more about soil than fruit. Terrific length and firm acidity in the finish. A lovely wine to drink now, served a bit cool — keep 5 to 8 years for a more complex experience.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Prudhon 2008 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Sur le Sentier du Clou

This very traditional estate in Saint-Aubin makes lovely light-bodied reds that age beautifully in a very old-fashioned subtle and delicate style. The Prudhons don't believe in modern efforts to extract more color and body from the grapes, nor in excessive use of new oak. Sur le Sentier du Clou is an east south-east facing vineyard between Saint-Aubin and Gamay. The Prudhon's small parcel of 40 to 80 year-old vines is planted at high density and has a large percentage of small berries giving highly perfumed, ageworthy wines. The 2008 has tart cherry aromas with violets, spice, smoke and earth. The plalate is relatively light with bright blackberry and cherry fruit framed in brisk acidity. There is density here and terrifc length, without weight. This should age well, peak drinking perhaps 2018 to 2023 — decant to drink now and serve with game birds say the Prudhons, but if you don't have a game bird, a farm chicken, simple steak or delicate cheese will do.

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  • red
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  • $29.99

Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses Rouge

The Lafouge "Village" red is really delicious in 2011, a bit rounder and softer than the 2010, showing classic cherry and violet aromas with chalky red and black fruits on the palate. The fruit is deep and earthy with good framing acids—really yummy! Drink now and over the next 5 to 8 years.

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  • red
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  • $23.99

Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru La Chapelle

La Chapelle is a "climat" within Les Breterins and Reugne, on the steep slope of la Montagne de Bourdon, facing south/southeast. The vines are well-placed in mid-slope and are mostly sixty years-old, giving the most "generous" of the three Lafouge premier crus. The 2011 is a great success with pretty ripe strawberry and cherry fruit aromas. The palate is round and balanced with lovely red fruits, earth and spice. Drink this gorgeous wine over the next six to ten years as you wait for the 2010s to mature...

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  • red
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  • $31.99

Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses

The Lafouge vines in Les Duresses are high on the slope in thin soil giving a firm, well-structured wine that is particularly good in 2011. The fruit is dark and pretty—black fruits predominate and the palate shows more earth and mineral flavors than La Chapelle. Lovely black fruits with smoke and saline minerals and terrific length—this is a complex and well-built glass of Burgundy at a great price. Decant if drinking now or cellar 3 to 5 years, should keep well till 2025.

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  • red
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  • $31.99

Lafouge 2011 Pommard 1er Cru Les Chanlins

As we didn't taste the 2011 Chanlins last Spring, we offer this review from John Gilman in "The View from the Cellar" (watch out for the gamebirds) "The 2011 Pommard “les Chanlins” from Domaine Gilles Lafouge is absolutely superb in this vintage and will give the outstanding 2010 version a run for its money over the next few decades. The reserved and very classy nose offers up a complex blend of red and black cherries, woodsmoke, coffee, a superb base of soil, gamebirds, a touch of nutskin and a lovely base of cedar from its thirty percent new oak this year. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and rock solid at the core, with ripe tannins, lovely focus and balance, and great soil drive on the long, tangy and very refined finish. Chanlins is one of the most elegant premier crus in all of Pommard, and in the hands of Gilles Lafouge, it makes one of the best premier crus in the entire village!"

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  • red
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  • $43.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles

The Pernand-Vergelesses vineyard "Les Belles Filles" is a northern extension of "Iles des Vergelesses" and "En Carradeux" facing east and rarely giving a fat, full-bodied wine. What one gets here are lovely aromas, light body and good mineral acidity — wines that will accompany lighter foods, even fish, and that should be served quite cool.

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  • red
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  • $28.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Fournaux

High-toned aromas of spicy raspberry and cherry liqueur; the palate is chalky and intense with ample mineral acidity behind the pretty red-currant and raspberry fruit. Cellar for 10 to 15 years or enjoy it now for the bright, refreshing fruit and lovely mineral length.

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  • red
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  • $37.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Aloxe-Corton

From old vines on fairly deep iron-rich soils south of the village. When first opened, a bit of oak is showing with deep red currant fruit — needs decanting. With air the wine shows subtle fairly bright red currant, tart cherry and violet aromas. Nicely balanced on the palate with elegant chalky red fruits, with hints of blood orange and spice that linger...really quite pretty and well structured. Delicious now with a bit of aeration and will improve nicely over the next 8 to 10 years.

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  • red
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  • $36.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2011 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses

Ile des Vergelesses is certainly one of the best premier cru vineyards in Burgundy — a perfectly exposed mid-slope vineyard on limestone and iron-rich soils, steep enough for ideal drainage, producing wines that age beautifully for 15 to 20 years. The 2011 is a superb young wine with subtle red-currant aromas, with floral, spice and berry notes emerging. Lovely deep but high-toned fruit on the palate, really elegant and bright, wrapped in seamless tannin and acidity. Terrific length of berry fruits and saline acids. Decant to enjoy now for it's bright, youthful fruit and terroir expression — ideally hold for 6 to 8 years and enjoy until 2030.

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  • red
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  • $49.99

Rapet, Pere et Fils 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Beaune-Grèves

"This is absoutely the heartland of Beaune, with the richest, most structured and longest-lived wines of the appellation" – Inside Burgundy. The Rapet's tiny parcel of Les Grèves is all old-vines on a steep section giving beautifully aromatic wines that have great tannic structure for aging. This is particularly outstanding in 2011, with deep, elegant strawberry, black cherry and earth aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, with superb red and black fruits, terrific intensity and length with stone and fruit lingering. Not a "big" wine but a real wine of terroir with great structure and balance. Hold for 6 to 8 years, drink until 2030.

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  • red
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  • $49.99

Prudhon 2008 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Sur le Sentier du Clou Blanc

Prudhon's white wines are the antithesis of spoofy, over-oaked white Burgundies. Interestingly, they also have little in common with the opposite style: crisp, clean, un-oaked, fruit driven white Burgundies. In short, they are very traditional. This bottle offers some minty, fennel-y notes as well as apple and pear fruit on first opening. With time, however, the aromas veer in a green, earthy, salty direction. The palate is broad and full of mouth-watering acid and mineral with a faint, lactic hint that provides a delicious and comforting counterpoint to the wine's earthiness. The flavors here are very "adult." It's a structured wine that will be well rewarded by an hour in the decanter as well as a meal of chicken and mushrooms if you can manage it. -msb

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  • white
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  • $32.99

Prudhon 2008 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Sur Gamay (Blanc)

"Sur Gamay" is a high vineyard on thin soils, facing south/soutwest around the corner from Puligny "Champ-Gain."  The Prudhon 2008 is a lean, fascinating old-fashioned Burgundy showing aromas of citrus, white fruits, mushroom and petrol (Chardonnay is related to Riesling, after all). The palate is quite earthy and a bit secondary with citrus, anise, melon and stone flavors. Serve now with a fish in sauce or a chicken with mushrooms or wait five years for a very interesting mature wine...

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  • white
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  • $31.99

Lafouge 2010 Auxey-Duresses Les Hautes

Fairly high on the slope next to Meursault les Vireuils, this is always a well-structured wine with good acidity and mineral character. In 2010 it's really lovely with subtle aromas of citrus, white fruits and flowers, the palate is firm with white fruits, herbs and citrus with a nice stony finish. Delicious now and over the next six to ten years.

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  • white
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  • $31.99

Lafouge 2011 Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers (Blanc)

"Les Boutonniers" is contiguous with Meursault "Meix Chavaux" and always gives a stylish, fairly full-bodied wine that's a great value in White Burgundy. Bottled in March of 2013, the wine was a bit closed at our May tasting, but shows subtle herbal, lemon and white fruit aromas and a generous palate of buttery white fruits and mineral flavors backed by good acidity. Delicious now, this will benefit from a few years of aging and drink well for ten years or more.

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  • white
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  • $33.99

Lafouge 2011 Meursault (Les Clous)

Our best value white Burgundies come from the tiny estate of Jean and Gilles Lafouge in Auxey-Duresses. The Lafouge "village" Meursault is from Les Cloux, high on the slope among the so-called "deuxième cru," where the thin stony soils give racy, elegant wines. The 2011 Meursault has pretty apple, floral, chalky white fruit aromas, with a dense palate that is quite mineral and long — really a wine of terroir that will be perfect with any elegant meal this summer. The Lafouge Meursault "Casses-Tetes" and Auxey-Duresses "Les Boutonnieres" would be great choices as well. DL

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  • white
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  • $43.99

Lafouge 2011 Meursault Les Casses-Têtes

High on the slope above the premier cru Goutte d'Or, the Casse-Têtes vineyard is a mass of stone with thin soils giving wines with high acidity and mineral flavors on the palate. The 2011 version is superb with subtle aromas of white fruits and citrus, and an elegant stony middle with great length and acidity even in this softer vintage. A rare and wonderful wine!

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  • white
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  • $49.99

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  • white
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  • $99.99