The Côte d’Or produces nearly all of Burgundy’s most famous wines. It’s split into the Côte de Nuits (famous for its reds), and the Côte de Beaune (famous for its whites); if you’ve got an expensive, ageworthy Burgundy, it’s almost certainly from the Côte d’Or.
But Burgundy doesn’t have to be expensive or ageworthy to be delicious. A talented winemaker with excellent terroir can make terrific wine miles from the main drag, and today’s wine is a perfect example.
Michel Gros is best known for his brilliant red Burgundies from towns like Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle Musigny, and Nuits-St-Georges. But he also holds quite a bit of land in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. With so many excellent reds, one might wonder why Gros bothers with a white at all. But one taste of this wine will settle the question.
The Fontaine-Saint-Martin vineyard is named for an ancient Cistercian abbey dating to 1127. The hillside of vines has been in production for centuries, and tended by Michel and his father before him for the last 40 years. In 2014 Gros determined this special terroir was sufficiently different to merit its own cuvée.
The Fontaine Saint Martin is indeed special — its soil is the same mix of marl, clay, and limestone found on the Hill of Corton. The wine may not match the richness or longevity of a Corton-Charlemagne, but its smooth floral quality readily calls to mind the famous Grand Cru.
From a rich year with perfect ripeness, the 2015 Fontaine-St-Martin blanc is not a wine to keep for a decade. It’s open, approachable, and simply delicious today. Burghound found “fine richness” and “round and utterly delicious flavors.” The nose is floral, showing gardenia, white pepper, pears, toasted lemon. The mouth is intense and smooth, at once mouthfilling and fresh.
It’s a perfect cocktail white — don’t tell your guests it’s not from the hill of Corton, and they’ll never know what you paid for it.
Gros Fontaine-St-Martin blanc 2015
bottle price: $35
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