Burgundy, France, WINE

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Arguably the world's most revered wine region, the name Burgundy is evocative of so many superlatives that's its futile to list them all. The red Pinot Noir wines and white Chardonnay wines from France's landlocked, continental east stand squarely in the pantheon of the world's finest. The region's fame is centered on its various geographical and climatic expressions of very specific vineyard sites through the medium of two grapes. Indeed, the term terroir seems to be have coined specifically to describe this phenomenon. The broad Bourgogne AOC designation encompasses so many sub-zones, villages, and single-vineyards that entire tomes have been written throughout the centuries attempting to explain it in all its intricacies.

The region's finest wines come from the long, east facing slope of the Côte d'Or, which is further divided into two main sections. The northern section of Côte de Nuits contains the most cherished Pinot Noir vineyards in the world. Up and down the slope, differnt patches of marlstone and clay overlay the limestone crest of the Côte, and numerous pockets and gentle folds create an array of slope aspects. Travelling south down the Côte, the villages of Marsanny and Fixin are a good introduction to the landscape of the Côte de Nuits, and although the wines are not nearly as refined or revered as those further south, they offer a rustic, savage edge that is distinct to their particularly iron-rich soils. The village of Gevrey is the beginning of a truly stunning run of excellence, with wines known for power, depth, and the longest lives of any Pinot Noir in the world. The highlight is the Grand Cru complex of Chambertin. While all plots bearing the name are considered excellent, Chambertin itself is the apex of power in Burgundy. Morey-St-Denis is an afterthought sandwiched between its more illustrious neighbors, but this tiny commune boasts five of the twenty-two red Grand Crus on the Côte, and the overall village style is similar to that of Gevrey, but without quite such intense stucture. Chambolle-Musigny is one of the crown jewels of Burgundy, thanks in large part to the Musigny Grand Cru, one of the three or four greatest vineyard sites in the world, period. The wines from this village are the epitome of elegance and grace, quite the opposite of its neighbors to the north. Moving south through the village of Flagey and the lesser Grands Crus of Echezeaux and Clos de Vougeot, greatness again rears its head. The Grand Cru and Premier Cru plots in Vosne-Romanée are among the finest, most expensive lands under vine in the entire world, and rightly so. The wines of Vosne-Romanée combine elements of spicy concentration and sappy texture with the most suave finesse imaginable. The profile is truly indescribable. The commune of Nuits-St-Georges can claim no Grands Crus, but the best sites in this village can certainly rival the lesser Grands Crus for complexity and ageworthiness, as the wines display a certain fortitude reminiscient of Gevrey-Chambertin.

After a brief break in prime vineyard land, the Côte de Beaune resumes the line of great sites at Corton, a prominent, solitary, conical hill, which has vines on all sides. The eastern slope is covered by secondary red Grand Cru plots, but its true claim to fame are the white Grands Crus on the south slope, centered around Le Charlemagne. On the backside of the hill, across from its western slope, the small village of Pernand-Vergelesses is quietly producing racy, if a bit rustic, red wines from cool, east-facing vineyards. One of a handful of side valleys running west off the main slope of the Côte, Savigny-les-Beaune is another lesser-known village that is nonetheless making some of Burgundy's best value wines for their prices. The village of Beaune in the centerpiece of all of Burgundy, its commercial and cultural heart. The vineyards above the village are predominantly Pinot Noir, but there are also some very admirable Chardonnay plantings among the red vines. The wines are typically gentle, medium-full examples with plenty of charm and mid-term life spans, but without the depth or complexity of the Côte de Nuits. Pommard's iron-rich red soils impart a stern tannic streak to the wines, which is not generally countered by any level elegance. Rather, these wines are brooding, darkly structured, and stout, but just across the AOC line, the soils abruptly change to limestone, and the red wines from Volnay, though lighter and racier, are exemplary of the perfumed elegance that this terroir brings to its wines. Up another side valley outside of the town of Meursault, the villages of Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, and St-Romain are produce compelling red wines and very enjoyable whites. The Meursault AOC itself is on the same limestone bed as Volnay and, although there are no Grands Crus here, the best premier cru sites yield white wines of softer, richer texture and long, perfumed flavour profiles. The next two village AOCs lay claim to the greatest white wine vineyard in the world. Puligny-Montrachet, just south of Meursault, is apogee of refinement, elegance, and finesse in white Burgundy. Beginning with the ultimate white Grand Cru, Le Montrachet, the top vineyards here produce wines with bright structure, medium weight, and ethereal mineral and floral character. Chassagne-Montrachet to the south contains about a third of the area of the Montrachet Grand Cru complex, but this village is at least as well known for its rustic red wines. The white wines do not display the richness of Meursault or the finesse of Puligny, but they still show tremendously appealing floral and nutty components backed by firm, acidic structure. The red wine village of Santenay marks the southern terminus of the Côte d'Or, where the wines are generally well-made, but lack the profundity of those from the best villages to the north.

To the immediate south of the Côte d'Or lies the rolling, pastoral hills of the Côte Chalonnaise, similar to Beaune in soil type, but at a higher elevation and without the defined ridge line. A great volume of both red and white wines are produced here, with wide ranges of quality, but the best tend to come from the villages of Montagny, Rully, Givry, and Mercurey. Some 35km south is the white wine hotbed of Mâconnais. Limestone bedrock and slightly warmer climate favor Chardonnay over all else, and some of the Côte d'Or's best producers are now staking claims around the villages of St-Véran, Viré-Clessé, and most notably, Pouilly-Fuissé.

At either end of the main stretch of Burgundy lie two highly distinctive AOCs with very particular specialties. Approximately 100km northwest of Dijon is the village of Chablis, where ancient sea beds form the distinctive Kimmeridgian limestone soils that give the Chardonnay wines their highly specific character — clean, chalky minerality and dancing, electric acidity. The finest premier cru wines, and even some Grands Crus, are among the greatest price-to-quality wines in Burgundy, and the regional style has attracted a devoted, almost fanatical following from aficionados. The nearby red wine AOC of Irancy does much the same for Pinot Noir.

South of Mâcon, the Beaujolais AOC is technically part of Burgundy, but really only on paper. The heavy, granitic soils are best suited to the Gamay grape, yielding lightly fruity, highly mineral, elegant wines, in general. Vineyard plantings are widespread, but the best wines come from ten specific communes under the Beaujolais Cru designation. Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, and Côte de Brouilly produce the most profound wines with the best aging potential, while Fleurie and Regnie are the epitome of elegance and finesse here.

Burgundy is without question the most complex, byzantine, and often confusing region in France, but it's also without question the most rewarding. Every serious wine lover can point the moment in which they discovered the impossible greatness of these wines. When one descends down the Burgundy rabbit hole, the world wine is turned on its head.

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96 points Tim Atkin, MW: Folatières’ position at the same level on the slope as Chevalier-Montrachet is a clue to the way it often tastes in the right hands. This comes from a parcel that the Drouhins have purchased for 40 years and it’s a stunning wine in 2014, showing pear and orange peel notes, a… ...
TA 96
WA 93-95
FWR 91-95
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Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Folatieres 2014  (#332252)

Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, France

96 points Tim Atkin, MW: Folatières’ position at the same level on the slope as Chevalier-Montrachet is a clue to the way it often tastes in the right hands. This comes from a parcel that the Drouhins have purchased for 40 years and it’s a stunning…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TA 96
WA 93-95
FWR 91-95
$99.95
$115.00
Save $15.05 (13%)115.00
Save $15.05 (13%)
91 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): The 2017 Chablis has a fresh, what you might call transparent bouquet with impressive mineralité for a Village Cru. The palate is well balanced and intense, just the right amount of bitterness that lends tension, dovetailing into a vibrant, malic, energetic… ...
WA 91
AM 88-91
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Seguinot-Bordet Chablis 2017  (#333056)

Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France

91 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate): The 2017 Chablis has a fresh, what you might call transparent bouquet with impressive mineralité for a Village Cru. The palate is well balanced and intense, just the right amount of bitterness that lends tension…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$17.95
$28.00
Save $10.05 (36%)28.00
Save $10.05 (36%)
At 3.0 ha, this is by far the domaine's largest holding. A blend of some 20 vineyards, this is quintessential Chambolle combining both elegance and finesse at a superb price. (Compare against Vogue, Roumier or Mugnier, all at $100 !) 90 points John Gilman: ...fine bouquet of black cherries, red… ...
JG 90
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Felettig Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2014  (#332099)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

At 3.0 ha, this is by far the domaine's largest holding. A blend of some 20 vineyards, this is quintessential Chambolle combining both elegance and finesse at a superb price. (Compare against Vogue, Roumier or Mugnier, all at $100 !) 90 points John…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
94-97 points Fine Wine Review: Bertrand Chevillon said that losses due to the frost were from 50-80% of a normal crop... The fruit here is ripe, almost syrupy, but without sacrificing freshness or purity. Those lucky enough to obtain some of the wine will find that as usual, the quality here is… ...
FWR 94-97
JG 95
JM 95
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Chevillon Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru Les Vaucrains 2016  (#331415)

Pinot Noir from Nuits-St.-Georges, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

94-97 points Fine Wine Review: Bertrand Chevillon said that losses due to the frost were from 50-80% of a normal crop... The fruit here is ripe, almost syrupy, but without sacrificing freshness or purity. Those lucky enough to obtain some of the wine…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
FWR 94-97
JG 95
JM 95
PRE-ARRIVAL
96-99 points Jasper Morris, MW: 15 barrels from 6.5 ha is a miserable return, especially sad given the extraordinary quality of the wine. It has a huge rich dense inky colour. The massive nose is not clumsy but denotes an intensity which is scarcely ready to speak. With time we start to see an… ...
JM 96-99
JG 97
TA 96
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Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#332867)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

96-99 points Jasper Morris, MW: 15 barrels from 6.5 ha is a miserable return, especially sad given the extraordinary quality of the wine. It has a huge rich dense inky colour. The massive nose is not clumsy but denotes an intensity which is scarcely…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JM 96-99
JG 97
TA 96
93 points Tim Atkin, MW (Jan 2017). 88-91 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): (from 4 different parcels in Queue de Hareng that now total about .37 ha). A discreet touch of wood sets off earthier and more deeply pitched aromas of softly spiced dark currant scents. There is good intensity to the sleek… ...
TA 93
AM 88-91
JG 90
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Bachelet/Denis Cote de Nuits-Villages 2015  (#330838)

Pinot Noir from Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

93 points Tim Atkin, MW (Jan 2017). 88-91 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): (from 4 different parcels in Queue de Hareng that now total about .37 ha). A discreet touch of wood sets off earthier and more deeply pitched aromas of softly spiced dark…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
TA 93
AM 88-91
JG 90
93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): Cecile Trémblay’s father split this plot of Feusselottes with Dr. Georges Mugneret back in 1985, so the two domaines’ parcels of vines lie right next to each other in the vineyard. The 2012 has turned out beautifully well, delivering a deep and very… ...
JG 93
AM 90-93
WA 92
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Tremblay/Cecile Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Feusselottes 2012  (#323736)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): Cecile Trémblay’s father split this plot of Feusselottes with Dr. Georges Mugneret back in 1985, so the two domaines’ parcels of vines lie right next to each other in the vineyard. The 2012 has turned…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JG 93
AM 90-93
WA 92
85-87 points Steen Öhman (Winehog): The Glantenay Bourgogne Pinot Noir 'Maison Dieu' 2017 is a delightful wine, offering what I want to find in a 2017. It’s fresh, vivid and lively with plenty of fruit and a quite impressive intensity for this level. A lovely Bourgogne in my view – drinking very… ...
WH 85-87
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Glantenay/Georges Bourgogne-Pinot Noir Maison Dieu 2017  (#333761)

Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France

85-87 points Steen Öhman (Winehog): The Glantenay Bourgogne Pinot Noir 'Maison Dieu' 2017 is a delightful wine, offering what I want to find in a 2017. It’s fresh, vivid and lively with plenty of fruit and a quite impressive intensity for this level.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
90-93 points Fine Wine Review: This wine is medium-weight with good energy, purity, and finesse to its dark fruits. In the past, this wine had been sold off to négociants in Beaune. I believe that this wine is to be commercialized under the Arnaud Mortet label. (4/1/18) ...
FWR 90-93
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Mortet/Arnaud Gevrey-Chambertin 2016  (#333319)

Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

90-93 points Fine Wine Review: This wine is medium-weight with good energy, purity, and finesse to its dark fruits. In the past, this wine had been sold off to négociants in Beaune. I believe that this wine is to be commercialized under the Arnaud…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
100% Pinot Noir. Its delicate color and unique aromas are obtained through a short maceration of the Pinot Noir. Fruity nose and fine effervescence. Round and elegant. A delicious compliment to any dessert. John Gilman: ...lovely color of bright salmon. The bouquet is a stylish blend of orange,… ...
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Parigot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose NV  (#107697)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Burgundy, France

100% Pinot Noir. Its delicate color and unique aromas are obtained through a short maceration of the Pinot Noir. Fruity nose and fine effervescence. Round and elegant. A delicious compliment to any dessert. John Gilman: ...lovely color of bright…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
Bill Nanson (Burgundy Report): Aromatically this is very similar to the Clos du Roy -- though with a little less impact. In the mouth this is more supple and giving -- a little rounder too -- though only a little, it’s still muscled and lean. Fine, more obvious fruit flavour in the finish. Very good… ...
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Fournier/Jean Marsannay Longerois 2012  (#329089)

Pinot Noir from Marsannay, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

Bill Nanson (Burgundy Report): Aromatically this is very similar to the Clos du Roy -- though with a little less impact. In the mouth this is more supple and giving -- a little rounder too -- though only a little, it’s still muscled and lean. Fine,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
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