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From a .58 HA parcel of vines planted in 1970-75. Fermented with native yeasts, aged 80% in tank 20% cask. The 2014 Samuel Billaud Mont de Milieu is floral, yellow-fruited, generous and pretty on the nose. There's a fine tension between the pretty citrus flavors and a snappy oyster shell saltiness on the brisk, energetic palate. A fabulous Chablis and a good value! Enjoy with fluke crudo, or garlicky steamed clams. John McIlwain
From a parcel of 70-year-old vines adjacent to Sécher. The 2014 Samuel Billaud Vaillons 1er cru displays aromas of sea spray, lemon oil, and oyster shell. The palate is nervy and briny balancing cool citrus flavors with the broad salty minerality of the Kimmeridgian soils. There is good energy on the long, savory lingering finish. Will be a fine pairing with pan-roasted sea bass, sea scallops, or goat cheeses. Delicious! John McIlwain
This is a delicious Chablis from Samuel Billaud. Crisp, mineral with some great acidity, this wine is lively and fun on the mouth with classic flavors of lemon, green and yellow apple, and pear and a touch of tropical and saline notes in the background. This is a lean wine with some good tension that will be the perfect companion to salads and grilled fish. Caroline Coursant
From the hillside 1er cru climat of Grésigny, whose shallow soils are mostly comprised of Jurassic limestone. Fermented with native yeast in a combination on used and new barrels. The 2014 is shows white flowers and fruit with aromas of lemon oil, citrus peel, and lemon blossoms. The palate is briskly mineral, with stony, salty flavors giving way to flavors of green apple, tangerine, and quince, with a racy, snappy finish. Like many of the 2014 white Burgundies, there is a sensational combination of energy and complexity and this over-delivers at the price point. A fine aperitif and a lovely choice for scallops, roast oysters, or fresh flounder. John McIlwain
From 30 -year-old vines in 2 plots in Les Champs Gain 1er cru high on the hill in Puligny-Montrachet. The 2013 is bright and floral on the nose offering alluring aromas of citrus blossom, honeysuckle, and Meyer lemon rind. The mid-weight palate features cool-toned flavors of white apricot, green apple, and lemon curd, with hints of a sweet leafiness and discreet oak on a distinctly mineral, verging on saline, finish. This has plenty of vibrancy and panache and will pair beautifully with shellfish or sautéed flounder. Lovely! John McIlwain
A bright and briny Bouzeron from Aubert de Villaine displays the chalky, ground oyster shell nerviness of the Aligoté grape. The 2014 offers aromas of sea breeze, Meyer lemon peel, lemon verbena, and white fruits on the nose. Citrus fruit and saline character mark the racy, brisk palate with a long chalky lifted finish. Enjoy with fresh goat cheeses, or a platter of raw oysters. John McIlwain
Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, makes this lovely Macon-Villages from certified organic parcels in Chardonnay, Montbellet and Viré-Clessé on Bathonian limestone with clay, rich in silica. Incredibly aromatic, with wildflower, lime blossom, green apple peel, beeswax and spiced poached apple and pear. Supple and ripe in this rather warm vintage with 13.5% alcohol, it’s balanced by excellent acidity and minerality with more orchard fruit, apricot, and salted peach. Remarkably textured and long with succulent fruit, toasted almond, citrus, and saline minerals and pear on the finish. Totally unlike the usual Macon Villages, this is a delightful wine that will accompany grilled fish, fish in sauce, roast chicken and mild cheeses - and it's delicious to enjoy by itself. TG & DL
As easy as it is to forget the quality of Auxey-Duresses Blanc, it's just as easy to overlook the sensational quality of Domaine Lafouge. The Auxey-Duresses Blanc Les Hautés (from the lieu dit situated next to Les Vireuils in Meursault) displays a fine balance of white floral aromas (acacia and honeysuckle) with white orchard fruits on the nose. The palate is racy and mineral with pear and nectarine fruit vying for attention with a good degree of mineral cut. This is pretty and a fine value in white Burgundy. John McIlwain
The lieu-dit Les Casses Têtes is located on the hillside above the premier cru Les Gouttes d'Or and next to Le Tesson. The soils are thin and rocky producing wines of great energy and lift. Hazelnut, lemon pith, beurre noisette, chalk on the nose. Medium-weight, high-toned, fresh. This is very chalky on the mid-palate followed by yellow fruits, pear skin, and a discreet touch of oak. The finish is long, detailed, and articulate. This is quite pretty and would be perfect with soft-shell crabs, roasted cod, or crab cakes remoulade. John McIlwain
One of our favorite producers in Burgundy, Jean and Gilles Lafouge make beautiful wines which offer tremendous value. Les Meix Chavaux located beneath Les Luchets and adjacent to Les Chevalières. Lafouge's vines are 80 years old planted in calcareous clay producing Meursault with textbook richness and minerality. The 2014 shows lemon blossom citrus peel and chalk on the aromas with a discreet touch of oak. The mid-weight palate offers flavors of ripe stone fruits and notes of Meyer lemon surrounding a chalky core of minerality. This shows poise and energy and while delicious now should round out with more time in the bottle. Wonderful with crab or lobster, better still with roasted whole fish or chicken. John McIlwain
While there are few bargains remaining in the Côte d'Or, one source of gently priced and vibrant Burgundy is the commune of St. Romain, whose location and soils produce wines of fine minerality and verve. The vineyards, comprised of limestone, clay, and marls produce Chardonnay, which is bright, vibrant and nervy. The 2014 vintage is floral, yellow-fruited and a hint leesy on the nose with hints of nectarine and pear skin. On the palate the wine is amalgam of ripe pear, fine acids, zesty acidity, and has a savory sense of minerality. There's great energy here with a pungent core of stoniness beneath the fruit. John McIlwain
The 2015 Magnien Aligoté is a bright and lively wine, at 11.5% alcohol, showing herbal, lemon-lime, melon and almond aromas, with pear, mirabelle, stone and ctrus flavors on the fresh, very dry palate. Serve with vegetable soups, fish dishes, quiches and mild cheeses - or make the perfect Kir with 1/5 Creme de Cassis.
From an assortment of plots around the village, with vines located near the border with Puligny as well as vines in and around Les Masure, per the winery website. Domaine Bernard Morey is one of the finest growers in Chassagne-Montrachet, producing
While the 2014 vintage resulted in a number of stellar white Burgundies graced with energy and complexity, some of the most striking have come from Chablis. Moreau-Naudet was especially successful and the wines show class from the basic villages thru the premier and grand crus. The 2014 Vaillons is a radiant example of the terroir, with airy aromas of stone fruit, citrus peel, honeysuckle, and wet stone. The palate is vibrant with minerality and punchy acidity, with smoky flint vying with cool-toned citrus, and spice flavors on a concentrated, tactile finish, which is just a shade broader than that of the Forêts. Lovely now, but there's plenty of dimension which bodes well for aging (if you can resist drinking your bottles in the near term). John McIlwain
A cracking Chassagne-Montrachet from Les Battaudes, a lieu-dit situated beneath the Morgeots premier cru. 20-year-old vines planted in limestone clay soils, farmed organically. The 2013 Battaudes is cool-toned and perfumed on the nose with lime blossom, orange oil and sea spray on the nose with a hint of oak. The mid-weight palate is racy with flavors of stone, lemon curd, and orange oil on a persistent, layered finish. Enjoy this with soft-shelled crab, or fresh spring vegetable risotto. John McIlwain
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 2015 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. Delicious now, but the 2015 is really worth buying to cellar as well, best 2020 - 2025.
Jean-Claude Rateau makes lovely wines in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune in his east-facing vineyard of clay/limestone and marne soils. Quite racy and bright even in 2015, the wine shows subtle aromas of lemon,almond, stone, pear and apple. Intense, very mineral palate with pear, citrus and stone flavors and terrific length. Decant or open in advance if drinking now, serve with oysters, grilled seafoods, roast chicken and mild cheeses or cellar for 5 to 8 years. This is a real Chardonnay of terroir and a great value!
The Côte d'Or has a near mythical reputation for producing wines of nearly sublime character (and great expense). Luckily there a still a few growers who make distinctive Burgundy that we can afford. Rollin Père et Fils is a grower from Pernand-Verglesses who produces fine wines of terroir in both red and white. One of our favorites is the Pernand-Vergelesses 1er cru Sous Frétille. Of the Pernand-Vergelesses whites, it always seems to capture the energy and mineral pungency of the nearby Corton-Charlemagne with less weight and certainly requiring less patience. With similar geology, but not quite as favorable exposure or exposition, Sous Frétille shows some of the cut if not the scale of nearby grand cru. The 2014 is a lovely version of the cru. There is a bit of reduction on opening, which with air blows off. The nose is floral and tends toward white fruits and citrus peel, while the middle weight palate has good mineral punch and layered flavors of pear, lemon peel, quinine, and limestone framed by discreet oak on a long, stony finish. Decant now, or cellar for 5-10 years to allow the structural and fruit elements to integrate. Enjoy with roasted chicken, pan-roasted halibut, or striped bass. John McIlwain
Jean-Marie Chaland owns two estates in Viré (Macon), Domaine Sainte Barbe and Domaine des Chazelles, both certified organic since 2006. The Sainte Barbe "la Perriere" is made from 35 year-old grapes from a half-hectare parcel near Viré on clay/limestone soils, never treated with herbicides. The grapes are hand-harvested and vinified with wild yeasts, the wine ages for 18 months, half in barrel, have in cuve inox. The 2014 shows elegant, subtle aromas of dried pear, lime-flower, stone, melon, pineapple and honeysuckle. The palate is very mineral, with stone and citrusy acids, dense pear and herbal flavors and terrific length. This should be decanted or opened in advance, or cellar for five to ten years. A lovely white Burgundy at a reasonable price! Serve with asparagus, terrines, scallops, monkfish, halibut. D Lillie