Discovery. It’s difficult to find new winemakers in Burgundy. Supply is very limited and most producers work with other US importers. Finding high quality additions to our portfolio involves lots of research and tasting, along with good timing and a healthy dose of luck.
When we first read about the Domaine des Varoilles, we were skeptical. Their past was storied, with vines first planted in the 12th century (not a typo). Their properties are remarkable — no fewer than four monopoles in Gevrey-Chambertin, two at the premier cru level. They boast 90+ scores from Burghound, high praise from Jancis Robinson, and a raft of Coup de Coeur awards from the Guide Hachette.
Such expectations set an awfully high bar for our first visit a few months ago, but in fact the wines at Varoilles exceeded their lofty billing. It’s been some time since we’ve been this excited about a new domaine. Four of their 2014 cuvées will be in the July Futures out next week, but we’re starting the bidding early on their flagship wine.
Density. The Domaine des Varoilles is named for the Clos des Varoilles, a huge 6-hectare premier cru monopole located among the best premier crus in Gevrey-Chambertin. (For reference Michel Gros’s quite large monopole Clos des Réas in Vosne-Romanée is just over two hectares.) Historical documents reference its initial planting in the 12th century, and it’s from this vineyard that today’s wine comes.
The terroirs of Gevrey-Chambertin produce the meatiest and most intense red wines in all of Burgundy. The Varoilles winemaking style is toward richness and density, and when married to their exceptional terroir, results in wines of impressive intensity. The 2014 Varoilles is exceptional, with inky notes of plum, earth, cassis, and a hint of sauvage. Allen Meadows (Burghound) found it “velvety” and “super rich” with a “firm, serious, and powerful finish,” and awarded 92 points.
We’re highly optimistic about Varoilles, for both the future of their wines in our cellar, and the future of the domaine in our portfolio. With 900 years of history we can’t claim to be getting you in on the ground floor, but we can’t imagine there will be any disappointed customers for these wines.
VAROILLES Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru Mônopole “Clos des Varoilles” 2014
Ansonia Retail: $1,176/case
Futures price: $785/case ($65.42/bot)
AVAILABLE BY THE CASE AND HALF-CASE