After more than a decade of tasting across Burgundy, we feel we know the area pretty well. But the region still holds surprises, and perhaps none as exciting as the Ladoix Blanc from the Domaine Ravaut. It was this wine, described by wine writer Bill Nanson as a “baby Corton-Charlemagne,” that first drew us to the Ravaut domaine about five years ago.
Nicolas Maillet might be our favorite new source for White Burgundy. His wines are classic examples of the best white Maconnais — cool, round chardonnay with excellent balance and little or no oak. If the Côte d’Or offers Burgundies of pedigree and refinement, then the Maconnais offers Burgundies of vibrancy and joy.
Burgundy may be the heart of our portfolio, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy wines from the other “B.” Bordeaux is different from Burgundy in just about every way -- scale, grapes, style, history, culture -- but the wines can be just as delicious. Particularly when there’s a well-browned steak around, it’s hard to beat a classic Bordeaux.
There’s no better wine for wintery weather than one made in a sunny spot. The rich wines of the Southern Rhône valley spend the summer soaking in the clear Provençal sun — they’re a perfect match for cold weather. Châteauneuf-du-Pape gets most of the attention in the Rhône, but if you know where to look, there are delicious, affordable wines across the valley.
Winter in Harpswell has its own rhythm. Up and down the Sound the boats are gone and the docks hauled up. The front yards of lobstermen hold mountains of empty traps. Ospreys and Eiders have left for warmer weather, leaving the Bald Eagle and the Buffleheads behind. Our experiment in aquaculture...
The town of Ladoix is easy to miss. It’s not famous -- most people blow right by it on their way to the Côte de Nuits to the north or the city of Beaune just to the south. But over the years we’ve found excellent values here, and none better than those from the family winemakers at the Domaine Ravaut.
On the list of the world’s most widely planted grapes, Poulsard ranks pretty close to the bottom. Grown almost exclusively in a the tiny Jura region of eastern France, Poulsard (sometimes spelled Ploussard), is a red variety that makes light-colored, crisp, fascinating wines. Even in the Jura there are only a few hundred acres of the grape left, including those farmed by today’s vigneron, Hervé Ligier.
One look out the window these days will confirm it: winter has arrived. As the mounds of snow grow larger in our front yard, we feel all the cozier inside by the fireplace. We love winter outdoors -- on skis, snowshoes, or just a brisk walk; but it’s the promise of a warm home at the end that makes the outdoors in winter that much more fun.
Chardonnay grown in Burgundy has been prized for centuries. Nowhere else in the world does the grape achieve the same balance of richness and freshness. The top white Burgundy cuvées — particularly from the hallowed hillside of Montrachet — will match the region’s finest reds in scarcity, price, and complexity.
The wines of Volnay are all about finesse. Setting a perfect foil to the rich, meaty wines of its neighbor Pommard, Volnay creates subtlety and elegance. The soils of Volnay are unusually rich in limestone, and the resulting wines have a distinctive lace-like minerality. As Rajat Parr puts it, “Volnay makes some of the most charming and delightful red wines of the Côte d’Or.”
Our favorite kale to use for this recipe is Lacinato Kale, which also goes by “black”, “dinosaur”, or “Tuscan” kale. It’s that sturdy, dark green (almost blue) kale that almost looks rubbery. Initially found in Italy and used most famously in minstrone soup, Lacinato kale was also grown in Jefferson’s garden at Monticello.
Many domaines imbue their wines with a distinct style, but at the Domaine Quivy the wines are unusually close expressions of their source. Gérard Quivy is a well dressed fifty-something winemaker, whose domaine is an impeccably restored 18th century manor house in Gevrey Chambertin. Quivy’s wines are similarly polished and elegant, as meticulous and refined as their maker and domaine.
The Côte de Nuits is the northern half of Burgundy’s famous Côte d’Or. This narrow 15-mile strip of land is home to nearly all of Burgundy’s greatest red wine vineyards. Wine has been made on this hallowed slope for over a thousand years, and today it produces the world’s finest expression of Pinot Noir.
The Jura region is only an hour east of Burgundy, but the feel is totally different. The gently sloping hills of Burgundy turn to craggy outcroppings, the forests become denser, and the accent turns faintly Swiss. The whole region feels a bit less tamed than its famous neighbor, and the wines follow suit.