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Domaine Anne Bavard-Brooks is located in Puligny-Montrachet and has been organic and biodynamic since 2005. The "La Combe" vineyard is in the village of Puligny with 35 year-old vines on silt and clay soils over limestone, 200 cases made. The palate is round and dense with flavors of pear, fines-herbes, almond, citrus, honeysuckle, and brown spice. The finish is long and ripe with citrus and stone flavors that linger. This is a quite complex and well-balanced Burgundy that will accompany a wide variety of seafood and poultry dishes and mild cheeses. Drinking beautifully now, this will cellar nicely over the next 5 years or more.
The Hasard's have 1/2 hectare in Rully with 35 year-old organic vines planted on clay and limestone soils. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in barrel. The 2016 is racier than past vintages, with tightly knit, beam-like acidity springing forward upon opening. Aromas of earthy Bosc pear, lime flower, salty river stone, and soft toasty notes from new wood use. The palate is austere and lighter than the 2015, with flavors of white peach, lime zest, mint, and stone on the finish. The flavors and texture become more supple on the second day, showing hints of smoked pineapple, white flower, seashell, and fleshy pear. A lovely wine in its youth that becomes more expressive and elegant with air, this should be beautiful in 5-10years. Amanda Bowman
From Chardonnay grown on an excellent limestone/clay parcel in Aluze, next to Mercurey. Certified organic, hand-harvested, low yields, very long (10 month) wild-yeast fermentation in barrel. The 2017 shows lovely aromas of dried pear, melon, fines herbes, wet stone, and lemon peel—showing Chardonnay's relation to the Melon de Bourgogne of Muscadet! The palate shows very firm acidity underneath lime flower, citrus rind, and ripe white fruits with a touch of oak, almond and mineral flavors. The finish is long and bracing, with white fruits and citrus, very much in the stye of De Moor in Chablis. This is an elegant racy, stylish white Burgundy that is a great value as well. David Lillie
From a .35 HA parcel of organically farmed 51-year-old vines just opposite of the property. The 2014 Domaine Chevrot Bougogne Tilleuls is a lovely old vine expression of Aligoté. The plot is farmed organically with the soils worked by horse, the fermentation and aging is in barrel with native yeasts. An Aligoté to cellar, the wine is coiled and nervy with citrus and herbal notes leading on the nose followed by hints of sea spray. The palate is densely mineral and textured with stony acidity and bright Meyer lemon fruit on the attack and a long richly earthy finish. This is lovely and will age beautifully as well as pair with denser fish such as halibut or better still, some sea scallops from Blue Moon Fish with braised greens, citrus segments, brown butter, capers. -John McIlwain
Sea spray, green apple, white flowers, fine stony detail on palate; cool lifted, slightly herbal finish. Plenty of flint in the tank still. Drink and hold. John McIlwain
The road of minerality is (often) paved with Kimmeridgian limestone. White flowers, sea spray, wet stone, quinine, lemon pith on nose. Salt, citrus, green tea, and nearly kinetic stoniness on the palate. Vibrant, energetic, incandescent, and lifted on the finish. Just the thing for a platter of oysters, sauteed flounder, or fresh goat cheeses. John McIlwain
The De Moors suffered terrible loses due to frost and hail in 2016 and 2017 - They have been aided by friends in the south and have made delicious "Vendangeurs Maqué" wines, this one with Grenache Blanc from Julie Brosselin and Eric Pfifferling, Viogniers from Gérald Oustric and Gramenon, Roussanne from Eric Texier and Clairete from Pierre Pradel.
The Montmains vineyard lies on the left bank of the Serein River a bit south of Vaillons. The 2015 has a ripe nose redolent of white flowers, orchard fruit, and citrus oil. The palate offers ripe golden apple, and Meyer lemon flavors underlain with subtle notes of sea spray and dusty minerality on a persistent finish. John McIlwain
Located on the left bank of the Serein, the name Vaugiraut derives from “Vaul Girault,” which means Girault's valley, likely the name of a local owner. Aged entirely in cuve (stainless steel tank), Duplessis' 2015 Vaugiraut offers pretty aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, white peach, and crushed herbs. The palate displays flavors of white peach, citrus, and salt with hints of green tea and quinine on the stony, precise finish. John McIlwain
A blend of 57% Puligny villages with 43% Puligny 1er Truffière. Nexe Flore is a play on words, per Allen Meadows, of next floor, implying a step up from the Puligny villages tout court. John McIlwain
Bright, cool-toned, and floral, with a faint hint of reduction. The nose offers pretty aromas of white flowers (lemon blossom, honeysuckle), Meyer lemon peel, and rainwater. Frankly mineral on the palate, with a sense of pungent stoniness, giving way to ripe stone fruit flavors and a firm core of soil notes. This is ripe and pure with great precision on a vibrant, succulent, lingering finish. Great complexity throughout and a gorgeous village level Meursault! John McIlwain
Shallow limestone clay soils with limestone substrate. The 2016 Chevalières is positively incandescent. Lemon blossom, Meyer lemon peel, orange oil, sea spray on the nose. Great driving surf saline minerality and impeccable ripeness offering an array of citrus and stone fruit flavors on the palate. Pungently earthy and surgically precise. Incisively stony on the attack, with mouthwatering acidity and minerality, evolving into an expansive and galloping finish. Clearly young, and a bit coltish, but this has the nascent sophistication, complexity and pent-up energy to age for years. Absolutely delicious and a stellar Chevalières! Bravo, Jean-Philippe Fichet! John McIlwain
A new wine from Julien Guillot at the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, the 2016 Macon "Clos Fourneau" is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Gris. The wine shows floral, honeyed aromas of pear, white peach and candied citrus. Ripe stone fruits on the palate are wrapped in bright citrusy acids with chalky mineral flavors that continue in the finish with lemon and stone. Try this with melon and prosciutto or a full flavored fish such as halibut or monkfish. This will improve with a long decant or three to five years in the cellar.
The wines from the Pernot family in Puligny-Montrachet are well-known throughout the world for classic Puligny and Bâtard style. They have rich concentration and fruit, but more importantly, good acidity that allow them to age gracefully and harmoniously. The Bourgogne Chardonnay is from vines in the village of Puligny and is an outstanding value in white Burgundy. The color is very pale steely gold, the wine shows lovely aromas of almond, pear, green apple, citrus skin and stone with a bit of lime-flower. The palate is dense but lean with elegant flavors of stone, almond and citrus with a bit of herbal honeysuckle in the end. The finish is very firm with bright mineral acids. This is a lovely junior Puligny that will accompany sole almondine, other fish in sauce, even oysters, and mild goat cheeses.
White flowers, honeysuckle, lemon blossom, sweet pea, wet stone on the nose. Bright punchy, mineral, and precise on the palate with white stone fruit flavors and a racy, briny core of stone. Great balance and deft framing of oak lends a suave character to the long, nascently complex finish. Young, but tasty with some air, though it will become more compelling with a few years in the cellar. John McIlwain
Located toward the bottom of the slope beneath Beaune Grèves and adjacent to Les Cents Vignes, Clos des Mariages is a mix of young and very old vines planted in clay and limestone soils. The lovely 2017 Blanc shows high-toned aromas of lime-flower, melon, pear, wet stone and honeysuckle. The palate is light and silky with pear, apple and citrus flavors with chalky minerals and herbal notes in the refreshing finish. Serve with fish in sauce, scallop crudo, Asian foods and mild cheeses. David Lillie
Domaine Rollin's Pernand-Vergelesses Sous-Frétille 1er cru is a perennial favorite, especially in warm vintages, where the morning shadow of the hill of Corton is mitigated by heat later in the day. The 2015 offers aromas of white flowers, ripe stone fruit (nectarine, white peach), golden apple, and Meyer lemon peel. The mid-weight, verging on rich, palate displays ripe orchard fruit flavors overlaying a deep-seated minerality, with a tactile stoniness lending drive, energy and mid-palate depth on a pungent, concentrated, nearly muscular finish. Sous Frétille always has a degree of gravitas that reminds me of Corton-Charlemagne, especially in solar vintages, where the ripeness aligns with the mineral concentration. This is a fabulous example and should be singing in 5-8 years and beyond. Gorgeous baby Corton! Fabulous with schnitzel and would be glorious with pan-roasted cod or grilled sole. Lovely Burgundy that is still accessibly priced (relatively speaking). John McIlwain
From vines dating from the 1920s and 1940s. Organically farmed, and vinified in used oak barrels. The 2014 is a beautiful expression of Pouilly-Fuissé fusing the bright minerality of the old vines with the sunny richness of the appellation. The robe is a green gold hue. The nose is redolent of stone fruit and citrus peel. The palate is racy on the attack, with a pungent stony character giving way to a supple ripeness building on a long, lingering finish. This is lovely and a great candidate for cellaring in the mid-term, say 8-10 years, though one could certainly tuck into a bottle earlier. John McIlwain
This beautiful Pouily-Fuissé is from old vines in the Clos on hard limestone with very thin silty clay topsoil. Certified organic farming, long slow fermentations with wild yeasts and aging in large oak barrels, none new. The wine shows bright aromas of pear, lemon confit, herbs and stone. The palate shows creamy white fruits and citrus flavors with firm very chalky acidity and a hint of oak. The wine is beautifully balanced and refreshing, drinking wonderfully now, but it will improve with 5 to 8 years of aging. This is a lovely White Burgundy, comparing favorable at the price with wines from the Cote d'Or.
This is a superb, subtle and very mineral Chardonnay from a replanted parcel at the very top of the Clos, abandoned since 1896, with thin clay soils rich in iron over limestone. A great terroir, never chemically treated and worked in biodynamic farming by Alain and Julien Guillot. The 2015 "les Chassagnes" is a beautiful wine, a bit fuller than the 2014 but still quite racy and stony with hints of white fruits, spice and honey. The palate is silky and crystalline - all minerals with subtle citrus and white fruits, very long and elegant. Highly recommended! David Lillie
Bright tones, and moments. Limpid and ruby robe. Red flowers (hibiscus!) wild strawberry, griottes, beetroot and wet stone on the nose. Supple, finessed: roses, silken with sneaky structure to go with a world of stoniness. This is deeply mineral and pure and has the core to age effortlessly. This is a vibrant and lithe Brouillards. Decant now, better still in 5-10 years and beyond. John McIlwain
From .38 HA biodynamically farmed vines averaging over 40 years old, high on the hillside of Corton. Traditionally the most powerful and stern of the stable of red Corton lieu-dits at Chandon de Briailles. 80% whole cluster fermentation. There’s a fair bit of reduction to this initially, but with a long decant this recedes to reveal aromas plummy black fruit, animale funk, black tea, and fresh-turned earth. In the mouth ripe red/black fruit flavors mingle with pungent minerality on the vibrant mid-weight palate. There is good sap and firm, but ripe tannins supporting the fruit on the long, substantial finish. This has real class and should be sensational after 10-15 years in the cellar. John McIlwain
High-toned, floral and fresh with bright red fruit notes and zesty acidity. A wine of energy and lift rather than mass, this racy Bourgogne shows the buoyant nature of the difficult, but excellent 2016 vintage. Pablo Chevrot and his family make beautiful and fairly-priced Burgundy in every vintage, and are a great domaine for value. Enjoy with roasted chicken, fricasséed mushrooms, tempura, or milder cheeses. John McIlwain
This Pinot Noir rosé is a blend of the saignée from villages and 1er cru fruit in Maranges, a straight pressing of Hautes Côtes de Beaune fruit, and pellicular maceration of fruit from Hautes Côtes de Beaune. Pale pink, effusive on the nose with aromas of cherry blossom (of course), wild strawberry, cherry, and chalk. Palate is ripe, racy and juicy. Ripe stone fruit and savory herbal notes lend interest. Lip-smacking finish. This is nearly incandescent with bright fruit and crackling energy. A fabulous rosé for an aperitif or with dinner outdoors on a warm Summer evening. John McIlwain
A selection from the Les Grèves, Cents Vignes, Les Tuvilains and Bas de Teurons premier crus. 20% whole cluster. What a nose! Perfumed, sexy aromas of red and purple flowers, wild strawberry, cherry, perfectly ripe and bright. High-toned, and straight up exuberant. Leaps from the glass. Great ripeness and pure cherry, red plum, and wild strawberry flavors, intermingle with deep savory soil notes on the supple midweight palate. Great galloping drive and layers of complexity. Joyous and grounded. With kaleidoscopic detail to the long, lifted finish with a fine bit of that peacock’s tail. This is a beautiful Beaune and emotionally satisfying! John McIlwain
If Domaine des Croix's 2016 Beaune premier cru assemblage is bright and high-toned, the Bressandes is the earthier, richer counterpart. Again there’s that startling energy, though deeper-pitched and more soil-inflected than the premier cru. Dark floral notes, black fruits, and a touch of sauvage gaminess on the nose. Denser and darker fruit and spice, on the richer, broader palate, with a pure core of ferrous minerality that carries over on the long, detailed, sapid finish. Here’s the specificity, the punch, the structure. There’s a sophisticated, albeit sterner character here, but this is deeply satisfying and beautiful. I suppose more Bud Powell than Bill Evans, but immensely pleasurable. Great job in an admittedly difficult vintage. Domaine des Croix is worth a serious look in 2016. Decant now, or better still cellar for 7-10 years and beyond. Fantastic depth and purity and a sublime pairing with duck with wild mushrooms in a red wine sauce. John McIlwain
Dark forest and hedge fruits on nose, earthy and brooding with game aromas. Taut and mineral, with a core of pungent soil notes of black tea, cherry pit, spice and stone on a dense mid-weight palate. Tightly wound, energetic, on the attack; savory and dark-fruited on the finish. This is a bit reserved at the moment and benefits from a substantial decant or 4-7 years in the cellar. John McIlwain
When life gives you lemons (or the worst frost in decades) you make a cuvée from your lieux-dits most devastated by Mother Nature, which is exactly what Jean-Claude Rateau did with the 2016 vintage. Fortunately the resulting Cuvée Ronde is delicious! Strawberry, pomegranate, crushed herbs and beetroot on the nose. On the racy, lithe palate flavors of wild strawberry, red currant, chalk, and raspberry seed, vie for attention with savory notes of thyme, freshly turned soil, and black tea on a lifted, fresh, cool-toned succulent finish. Not a bruiser, but there’s loads of charm, sap, and detail here. Old-fashioned in the best sense and a vibrant expression of 2016. Try this with grilled salmon or roasted chicken. John McIlwain
Jean-Claude says this wine, sourced from lieux-dits Beaux and Bons on the Pommard side of Beaune, always shows aromas of "cerises noires" (black cherries). There is indeed a beautiful nose of bright red cherry with some eucalyptus and floral notes as well. Fresh acidity and very pretty fruit. Truly an elegant and lean expression, without ripe extracted fruit or any oak notes. Fine tannin and a long finish.
Jean-Claude Rateau makes this lovely, light-bodied Burgundy from a small parcel of 50 year-old vines in AOC Hautes Côtes de Beaune, certified biodynamic, "lyre ouverte" pruning. The 2017 shows a bright red/garnet color, with very pretty aromas of tart cherry and raspberry with hints of rose, spice and violet. The palate is light but sapid, and beautifully flavored with bright cherry, red currant and raspberry fruit supported by fresh acidity. There is excellent length of berry fruits, mineral flavors and citrusy acids in the finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir to serve cool with chicken and game birds, fish in sauce, grilled pork and mild cheeses - just delicious! David Lillie
From old vines spread across multiple plots in the village. The 2015 has a dark ruby robe. Plum skin, dark cherry, freshly turned earth on the nose, with notes of brown spice and black tea. Medium weight palate offers flavors of brambly black berry, crushed herbs, damson plum and pungent loamy soil notes on a driving earthy finish. There a fine tension between the ripe dark fruits and earthy Pernand character framed by ripe tannins and a succulent acidity. The frank earthiness is compelling and this should come together beautifully with 4-7 years in the cellar. Rollin makes classically-styled Burgundies which remain a tremendous value and what they may lack in overt polish, is more than made up for in soulfulness. John McIlwain
From vines planted in Santenots du Bas dating from as far back as the 1920s. The 2015 Nicolas Rossignol Volnay Santenots makes a convincing case for the virtues of this sunny vintage. The wine has a dark ruby robe and a nose redolent of black cherry, red cherry, lavender, exotic spices, and violets. The medium weight palate shows good sap and ripe tannins with concentrated cherry and raspberry flavors overlying a dense core of minerality. There's terrific density and persistence on a long, detailed, layered finish without any sense of excessive weight, which marks some of the wines of the vintage. Great Santenots! John McIlwain
From 50 year old vines in four parcels below the village of Volnay. Cherry pit, iron, and spice box with notes of black tea on the nose, freshly turned soil and violets emerge with air. There is a deft interplay between the bright hedge fruit and stony earth notes on the detailed, mid-weight palate. This is a fine Bourgogne, with enough savory elements in relation to the charm of the fruit to warrant a few years in the cellar. John McIlwain
40+ year-old vines. Adjacent to Mazoyères on the Gevrey side of the the village. One of the cooler locations with a long ripening period. 15% new oak in 2016. This is a step up in class from the village level wines with a similar intensity, if different character than Les Millandes premier cru. Effusively perfumed with aromas of violets, hedge fruits, cassis, black tea and baking spices, mustard seed, and turned earth on the nose. The mid-weight palate is a bit cooler-toned than Millandes, with mouthwatering pure berry fruits and tangy minerality. Great persistence and sap on a finely-detailed, succulent, classy finish. This verges on cerebral, were it not for the equipoise between earthy and fruit notes. Doesn't shout, but speaks eloquently in paragraphs. A great Cheseaux that should age effortlessly! John McIlwain
I’ll always have a soft spot for Domaine Charles Audoin. And frankly I love Marsannay, though it’s no one’s favorite wine, it’s useful at the table. And while the availability of cool, albeit expensive Burgundy is a blessing/curse, it’s a pleasure to have this on the shelf. Medium ruby robe. Wild strawberry, wild cherry, hibiscus on the nose (red and ripely sweet) with a fine streak of earthiness keeping things honest. The palate (with a bit of time open) displays brambly red fruit flavors, wild cherry, raspberry seed, and hints of black tea on a racy, bright mid-palate, girded by a finely savory, mineral core, giving way to a lifted, punchy succulent finish. And while this is firmly Marsannay, there’s a fine level of sophistication and energy that makes it a fine choice for rustic foods (porc à la Dijonnaise and a cheese plate) as well as lending itself to a variety of charcuterie and cheeses This has the 2014 poise and balance that is criminally overshadowed by 2015s and is worthy of a look. Delicious! John McIlwain
Domaine Bart in Marsannay made no rosé in 2016 due to the very low yields, so we're very glad to have this lovely Pinot Noir available again from the 2017 vintage. The wine shows a bright pink color and pretty aromas of ripe cherry, raspberry, rose and citrus. The palate shows ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit with earth and mineral notes, as befits the limestone terroir of Marsannay. The finish is long and refreshing. This is light enough to serve with fish dishes and salads but has the depth and complexity to accompany grilled foods this summer.
Cherry, red plum, red currant, baking spices, and hibiscus on the nose. Good cut and tart fruit underlain by savory earthiness. Fine density on the palate and good lift on finish. With food, riper berry and floral notes emerge--what perfume! Lovely nascent complexity and real verve without the monolithic character of many 2015s. This is a punchy, satisfying Vosne-Romanée and while, not cheap, this is stylish and combines lilting aromatics with pure fruit and a fine sense of minerality. Decant now or cellar for 5-7 years to allow the structural elements to integrate. A fine paring with pork, mushrooms and spaetzle, and would shine with squab or magret of duck. John McIlwain
From a .41 hectare parcel planted in 1940 and 1984. Les Vaucrains is situated upslope of the premier crus Les St. Georges and Les Cailles in the middle portion of Nuits St. Georges. The soils are a blend of brown clay, limestone, sand, and rock producing vigorous, powerful, and elegant wines of great ageablity. Vigneron Christoph Drag says of the climat, “the fat clays make it hard to work the earth.” Domaine Chauvenet’s 2014 Vaucrains has a darker robe than Les Perrières. The nose is effusive, offering a kaleidoscopic mélange of black fruit aromas, cassis, brown spices, game and iron; over time notes of crushed blackberry, grilled meat, and wet stone emerge. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied and supple, offering flavors of ripe blackberry, Italian plum, iodine, game, and wood smoke on a long, layered, and mouth-watering finish. There is plenty of power and intensity here, without a sense of weight; deft acidity offers a sense of lift and freshness. This is a beautiful and complex Vaucrains and exciting wine in the making, with a sensational interplay of pure, ripe fruit and savory minerality. While one could enjoy this now, it has the structure and balance to age harmoniously for years. John McIlwain
We are happy to have just received (July 2018) a few more cases of the 2014 CDN Villages, as this wine really benefits from some time in the bottle and decanting. Always an earthy and mineral-infused wine, the 2014 is a bit more fruit-forward but is still primarily a Burgundy of terroir. There is reduction when first opened so please decant or open in advance. With aeration the wine shows subtle aromas of red currant, strawberry and tart cherry with violet, brown spice and earth - really quite complex and pretty. The palate is well-structured with chalky mineral flavors underlying the earthy raspberry and strawberry fruit. The finish is long with firm acidity and mineral notes. This is a lovely and beautifully balanced Burgundy for those who enjoy minerals as much as fruit! Note: The wine improves dramatically over 3 to 4 days, re-corked in the fridge, for those with enough patience - or cellar for five to fifteen years. (Note from Sept 2016)
The vines are in the lieu-dit "Queue de Hareng" below an old quarry at the top of the slope in Brochon, next to Fixin 1er Cru "la Perrière," on shallow red/brown soils of mountain silt and limestone pebbles over the limestone bedrock. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentations with minimal SO2. The 2015 Jane et Sylvain Côte de Nuits-Villages is a superb and unusual Burgundy showing intense aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry with rose leaf, brown spice and herbal notes as well as dusty stone and mineral smells which are typical of this vineyard. With aeration the aromas become more pure and fruit-driven and the palate shows lovely black cherry, strawberry and red currant fruit, quite dense and ripe, with a finish that's extraordinarily long and pure. Decant 4 to 6 hours in advance if drinking now, or cellar for 3 to 5 years and drink till 2027. Highly recommended for those who enjoy some minerals in their Burgundy!
Jane et Sylvain have a superb, tiny parcel of Gevrey 1er Cru "Fonteny," high up in the southwest corner, separated from Grand Cru Ruchottes by a dirt track, certified organic. Beautifully balanced for a 2015 and built to age, the wine shows subtle, complex black fruits with hints of spice, citrus and earth. The palate is supple and well-structured with red and black fruits backed by firm acidity and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. Certainly enjoyable now with a long decant, best held for five to eight years then enjoy until 2035. Lovely wine. David Lillie
Jane et Sylvain: A refreshingly unpretentious name for a small organic estate in Gevrey-Chambertin. Their Bourgogne Rouge is from a parcel that has never been chemically treated and always tended organically. Yields were very low in 2016 in most of Burgundy - Jane and Sylvain lost most of their Bourgogne Rouge to mildew and hail, but the small quantity produced is outstanding, showing a deep red/black color and lovely aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry with violet, earth, citrus and spice. The palate is sappy and dense, but balanced with firm acidity, at 13% alcohol, showing chalky black fruits, earth and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. Decant or open in advance if drinking now, best to cellar three to five years. This is a serious Bourgogne Rouge at a great price!
Les Faconnières, planted in 1948, is located beneath Clos St. Denis. 50% whole cluster. This is always the most stylish of Virgile Lignier's premier crus. More floral and denser on the palate than Les Chenevery, with a good deal of the class of the grand crus. The 2015 is effusively perfumed with heady aromas of black and red hedge fruits, wild cherry, and spice. The palate is distinctly mineral, framing lush flavors of sweetly ripe cherry and blackberry, with notes of game and mustard seed on a tense, vibrant finish. As with others of Lignier-Michelot's 2015s, the effusive ripeness in underlain by good structure and bodes well for long-term cellaring. John McIlwain
Les Faconnières, planted in 1948, is located beneath Clos St. Denis. 50% whole cluster. This is always the most stylish of Virgile Lignier's premier crus. More floral and denser on the palate than Les Chenevery, with a good deal of the class of the grand crus. The 2015 is effusively perfumed with heady aromas of black and red hedge fruits, wild cherry, and spice. The palate is distinctly mineral, framing lush flavors of sweetly ripe cherry and blackberry, with notes of game and mustard seed on a tense, vibrant finish. As with others of Lignier-Michelot's 2015s, the effusive ripeness is underlain by good structure and bodes well for long-term cellaring. John McIlwain
Like the rest of the 2015 Lignier-Michelot lineup, the Clos de la Roche combines beautiful soaring aromatics with beautiful pure fruit, and a savory sense of earthiness. The nose is explosively perfumed with beguiling aromas of ripe black cherry, red plum, violets, exotic spices, and roasted game. Supple palate shows impressive concentration, with dark fruit flavors, and layers of minerality on a long, driving finish. This has a all the elements to age effortlessly and should reward 10-15 years in the cellar and beyond. John McIlwain
From mixed limestone and clay soils in premier crus Clos Baulet and Les Gruenchers, which bracket Clos Sorbe beneath the village of Morey-Saint-Denis. The 2014 Petites Noix offers high-toned aromas of Morello cherry, violets, wild raspberry with cool herbal notes and spice. The mid-weight and silky palate is racy, ripe and pretty with juicy red fruits earth tones, and a fine spine of chalky minerality. Vibrant and lifted with a captivating interplay between the salty stoniness and perfumed, succulent berry fruit. Long on the finish and precise. Charming now, but with the balance to age effortlessly. This is a beautiful release of "Les Petites Noix!" John McIlwain
From two premier crus, Les Gruenchers and Clos Baulet, mid slope in Morey Saint-Denis, giving a slightly fuller wine than Faconnieres. As with all of Stephane's parcels, there is a high percentage of old vines of "pinot tordu." The wine is more structured due to the deeper clay soils and gets less pigeage. The 2015, tasted in January 2017, was less aromatic than the Faconnières with very deep ripe red and black fruits, showing more weight and a bit more fruit-forward than the more "classic" 2016s, with herbal and mineral flavors and terrific length. This will need time in the cellar but is an excellent example of the more heavily fruited 2015s, and it should be a superb mature wine. David Lillie
From 35-55 year-old vines below the village in deep clay soils, 50% Pinot Noir/50% Gamay (with the new AOC Coteaux Bourguignons replacing Borgogne Passetoutgrain and Bourgogne Rouge). Hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and aged 16 months in tonneaux and stainless steel vats, bottled unfined and unfiltered, about 150 cases made. Bright red color, high-toned aromas of cassis, red currant, tart cherry. The palate shows vibrant cherry and red currant fruit, quite refreshing with a nice finish of juicy red fruits with firm acidity. Drink this lively Pinot/Gamay blend over the next five years. Great value! DL
The Morey-Saint-Denis "Grains Fins" is another new cuvée from Stephane Magnien, and it's an absolutely delicious wine! It's made from young vines of Pinot Fin, in the vineyards of "Bas-Chenevery" and "Crais-Gillon" on gravelly soils. There is a 12-month elevage in mostly old barrels, followed by 4 months in cuve inox - only 200 cases were made. The wine shows beautiful aromas of ripe black raspberry, red currant, cherry and blood orange with hints of violets, earth and cocoa. There is lovely ripeness on the palate, which is light and balanced, with deep, dense cherry and raspberry fruit. The finish is very long and balanced with lingering red fruits and minerally acids. This is simply delicious now, but please decant or open in advance, probably best 2020 - 2028. Beautiful wine! David Lillie
From a parcel of old vines grown in Les Faconnières, one of the best situated climats in Morey-Saint-Denis, located beneath Clos de la Roche and between the Millandes and Charrières premier crus. The 2016 has a deeply-pitched, perfumed nose, redolent of dark fruits, wild rose petals, and violets with aromas of black cherry and mustard seed, with cool notes of crushed herbs. The midweight and energetic palate offers punchy ripe black and red fruit flavors over a distinctly earthy and savory structure. The finish is expansive, mouthwatering, gamy, mineral, and long, with fine persistence. Plenty of charm, but the inherent structure and poise cry out for some time in the cellar. This is a fabulous Faconnières and a worthy candidate for long term aging. Just beautiful! John McIlwain
(Situated to the west of Grand Cru "Clos de la Roche," this steep and stony parcel has very thin topsoil over the limestone, with vines from 15 to 75 years-old.) Smoldering and smoky—Lauren Bacall in Key Largo? Violets, plum skin, freshly-turned soil lends plenty of gravitas on the nose. Perfumed; beyond floral—a hothouse full of orchids. Earthy and ripe and perfectly fruited. Loamy soil notes and perfect pitch. Motown and Farmer’s Almanac—a wine so pretty it begs for sentiment, yet so frankly earthy, it has you consult a geology textbook. This is beautiful Monts-Luisants and will make some old bones and offer charm and character for years. Lovely. John McIlwain
2016 is a superb vintage for Stéphane Magnien and in particular for this first vintage of his new Morey-Saint-Denis "Vieilles Vignes," from 45 to 65 year-old vines in "Clos Slon" and "Cognes" on clay/limestone soils. The wine shows deep, elegant blackberry and black cherry aromas, quite floral with mineral and meaty notes. The palate is ripe and dense with blackberry/cherry fruit with hints of earth, citrus and spice, pure, long and well-structured with firm tannins and chalky acidity. Excellent length of black fruits with stone and mineral flavors. Decant to drink now with a nice steak, best to hold three to five years, drink till 2030+ as this will be a superb mature Burgundy. David Lillie
From two small parcels in "Aux Eletois" (below Grand Cru Griottes) and "les Epointures" (below 1er Cru Clos Prieur) on the more fine and aromatic side of Gevrey. The midweight palate is lithe, racy, and offers up vibrant flavors of dark fruits, crushed herbs, game, and salty soil notes. Great lifted acidity and core of minerality overlain by an assortment of wild berry fruits. This is another great example of the combination of perfume, pure fruit, and detailed earthiness that is a hallmark of the 2016 vintage. Great tension and verve and a bargain at the price. Wonderful with veau aux champignons. John McIlwain
The Trapet 2016 Passetoutgrains A Minima is from 50% Pinot Noir, %50 Gamay grown in the biodynamically farmed Grands Champs parcel in Gevrey. Wild cherry, strawberry, beetroot, and blood orange peel on the bones. Fresh blast of red fruits, followed by ferrous soil notes, and tangy red currant/pomegranate flavors. Mouthwatering and bottled with a minimum of SO2. Served with a chill, this is perfect burger or barbecue wine. John McIlwain
Tight upon opening. Black tea, vine smoke, dark berry fruit, and wet iron aromas on the nose. With air, earthy notes, cherry pit and Italian plum skin aromas appear. The palate is similarly circumspect out of the gate, but with time in the decanter offers a melange of flavors of black fruit, Earl Grey tea, mustard seed, cherry pit and a pungent, ferrous, mineral core, with hints of anise. There’s a lot coiled within, with the balance currently veering toward earthy rather than fruiy, but this has nice tension and over the course of the evening gains in weight and overt fruit. Trapet makes beautiful, age-worthy Burgundies and the 2016 shows best with a long decant now, and will shine brightly with 3-5 years in the cellar and beyond. A fine pairing with roasted sausages with grapes and better still with cheeses afterward. John McIlwain
Certified organic, from a limestone terroir rich in seashells, with iron-rich soil, just below the 1er Cru Clos des Miglands. Very low yields, 80% de-stemmed, wild-yeast fermentation, one-year aging in 40% new fine-grained barrels, bottled by gravity, no fining or filtration. The 2016 Marcoeurs shows subtle aromas of black cherry with plum skin, earth, graphite and hints of violet and citrus. The palate is very mineral and saline with flavors of earth and tart black cherry that are intense and long, finishing with firm acidity. This shows the intensity of the 2016 Burgundies and is delicious now with a long decant, or cellar for five years and enjoy until 2030. David Lillie
From the biodynamically farmed high altitude Les Sous Roches lieu-dit on the northwest slope in Monthélie composed of thin stony clay soils over limestone. 2016 is a great vintage for the Monthélie "Les Sous Roches" from Alain and Isabelle Hasard showing the classic structure and density of this excellent vintage. The wine shows vibrant aromas of fraises des bois and cherry liqueur with earth, mint and citrus. The palate is dense and sapid with bright blackberry and black cherry fruit, spice, earth and firm acidity. Impressive length with sappy black fruits, mineral flavors and refreshing acidity. Delicious now if a bit intense?perhaps open the night before and re-cork?best to cellar 5 years and drink until 2030+. Serve with mushroom pappardelle, roast veal, grilled meats. David Lillie
From 10 to 50 year-old vines grown on limestone soils (Middle Jurassic!) in the commune of Aluze, Côtes Chalonnaise, certified organic since 1999. This is a lovely Pinot Noir, a bit rounder and riper than previous vintages - the 2017 shows aromas of ripe black cherry, earth, roast meat and violets. The palate is bright but lush with ripe raspberry and cherry fruit, earth and mineral flavors with ripe, sappy fruit in the finish. It's a great value in Red Burgundy - serve cool with chicken and pork dishes, mild cow cheeses. Decant if possible or hold two to five years. David Lillie
Organic since 1997, Alain and Isabelle Hasard produce, pure, vibrant Burgundies at their small estate near Mercurey. The 2017 Clos des Roches is a true Clos of about one-half hectare, known for hundreds of years for the quality of its limestone terroir, facing due south. This is a beautiful Pinot Noir, showing very ripe black cherry aromas with hints of citrus peel and violets with earth and mineral notes. The palate shows lush black cherry and blackberry fruit, quite earthy and dark balanced by bright acidity and with very pronounced saline minerals. This is a unique and delicious Burgundy, perfect with pork and chicken dishes, charcuterie and full-flavored cow cheeses. Only five cases for the US. David Lillie
The 2017 Côtes Chalonnaise "les Claveaux" is a lovely new cuvée from Alain and Isabelle Hasard at Les Champs de l'Abbaye. Made from young vines of Pinot Fin, with 10% Chardonnay, the wine is delicate and delicious and should be served a bit cool. The aromas are vivid and very pretty - tart cherry, raspberry, citrus and violet. The palate is light and refreshing with cherry and berry fruits and hints of citrus and earth. Serve with chicken and white meats and save some for grilled foods this summer...
From south-facing slopes in Bouzeron, a village more famous for its excellent Aligoté. The 2016 is luminously fruited with an array for red berry and hedge fruit aromas with notes of cool herbs and chalk following. The palate is similarly pure and fresh and lifted, with succulent, ripe red fruit flavors with a fine core of chalky minerality. This has plenty of energy and expressiveness to the finish. And while delicious now, this should evolve beautifully. John McIlwain
Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes has made a superb Macon Rouge in 2016, from organic grapes, and vinified without SO2. The wine shows a quite dense black/red color with aromas of ripe blackberry, candied cherry, violet, citrus and white pepper. The palate is dense but balanced and sapid with blackberry and cherry fruit lifted by firm acidity. The finish is very long with saline minerals and berry fruits and refreshing acidity. This is a somewhat intense but beautiful and complex Gamay that will be superb with grilled foods this summer and should develop nicely over the next few years. David Lillie
The Vignes du Maynes "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica. Yields of 20 hl/ha, semi-carbonic and normal alcoholic fermentations, with zero additives, bottled under nitrogen. Yields were quite low in 2016, but as with much of Burgundy, the 2016 Cuvee Auguste is a classic, well structured wine that should age beautifully. The wine shows beautiful aromas of tart cherry, rose, earth, orange peel and spice. The palate is dense and earthy with a core of deep berry fruit, silky and elegant with notes of citrus, licorice and roast meat. The finish is long and sapid with chalky minerals, citrus, spice and berry fruits. This is a gorgeous living wine - decant a few hours if drinking now or cellar five to ten years or more. A very small quantity is available of this rare and beautiful wine. David Lillie
Pomegranate, cranberry, cassis, and violets on the nose. Punchy and fresh on the mid-weight, pungently earthy palate. Great tension between tart fruit, sapid herbal notes, and salty (iodine?) stoniness at core. Ripe tannins and a densely earthy core are finely knit. Decant now, or cellar for another couple of years to allow structural elements to further integrate. I hate to say this is a “serious Bourgogne,” but looks like I just did. John McIlwain