If you ever need to convert someone to white Burgundy, pour them a glass of Meursault. Made from pure Chardonnay and grown in soils balanced between marl and chalk, Meursault is some of most opulent white wine in the world. Chardonnay can make rich, mouthfilling wines in most locations -- but those from Meursault also contain elegance, minerality, and balance.
At a glance, Côte Rôtie might seem the last place in the world to grow vines. The steep slopes reach 60 degrees in places, and so all field work — planting, pruning, treating, harvesting — must be done entirely by hand. And yet the citizens of this land have tended vines here since Roman times. What makes them continue to work this land?
Francis Muré lives in a charming Alsatian hill town. His farmhouse nestles on vine-covered slopes near stone streets lined with colorful flower boxes. It’s idyllic, quaint, and picturesque, like something from a fairy tale.
It’s getting harder to find bargains in Burgundy. Demand continues to increase, and the small supply is even smaller after a string of difficult years in the vines. At many domaines, the least available cuvées are at the Bourgogne level.
The Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard is one of the best known and most highly respected names in Chassange-Montrachet. British Master of Wine Serena Sutcliffe credited Jean-Noël with “opening her eyes to white Burgundy,” and today his daughter Caroline continues to produce wines at the same superlative level. Their wines are pure, classy, and elegant.
Winemaking began in the Languedoc around 125 BC, and over the last two millennia, little has changed in the basic chemistry. Though the past century has seen the advent of new chemicals and measurements, winemaking is still the combination of grapes, yeast, and time.
“Puligny-Montrachet is where Burgundian Chardonnay is at its most complete,” writes Clive Coates MW. The tiny town, covering over less than one square mile, has made highly sought-after wine for nearly a thousand years. Today many consider it, as Coates puts it, “the greatest white wine commune on earth.”
The 2015 vintage in Red Burgundy has been called one of the best in decades. Ideal growing conditions produced perfectly ripe fruit, resulting in wines that are full bodied, deeply colored, and simply delicious. We tasted over a hundred during our tasting trip last month, and the vintage is undoubtedly one of the best we’ve seen.
We've just released the May 2017 Issue of our Futures program. Ansonia Futures offers near-wholesale pricing through advance orders. The May Issue includes 2015 red Burgundies, white, red and rosé from Alsace, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, sparkling wines from Burgundy, Châteauneuf du Pape, left and right bank Bordeaux, and more....
It’s always a pleasure to arrive in France for a tasting trip. We do so often enough now that we know which way to go for the luggage, where to grab a quick coffee, and whether we need to hustle for the TGV when the plane is late. (Making the TGV was a near thing this time thanks to a late flight out of Boston, and we were pretty relieved to see the bags spill onto the belt. The next three trains south were all booked up, and had we missed ours the whole schedule would have been thrown out of whack).
In Burgundy as in real estate, it’s said that location is everything. But while it may be the most important thing to know about a wine, it’s not the only thing: sometimes the winemaker can be just as important. We’ve had disappointing wines from some of the finest Grand Cru vineyards in the world.
Champagne is unlike any other region in France. For a century winemakers have built their product into a worldwide brand associated with celebration, wealth, and opulence. The glitz and glamour of Champagne is in stark contrast to regions like Burgundy, where winemakers often arrive for our tastings with mud on their boots and dirt on their hands.
“Natural wine” is a popular buzzword these days, one with varied definitions and no lack of controversy. Whatever you take it to mean — biodynamic, no sulfites, organic, unfiltered — the goal is the same: to create wine with little intervention between grape and glass.