“Vibrant” White Burgundy from Chassagne-Montrachet Legend

The Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard is one of the best known and most respected names in Burgundy. Wine writer Neal Martin of Vinous calls them wines “some of my favorite in Chassagne: consistent, well-crafted, and honest.” Since 1989 Caroline Lestimé (daughter of Jean-Noël) has produced wines at the same superlative level as her father: pure, classy, and elegant.

Most of their cuvées are special occasion wines — their extraordinary Grand Cru Batard-Montrachet retails at over $400 per bottle. But in the last decade Caroline has begun to make a few cuvées with friendlier price tags and a more approachable style. The finest of these is her Hautes-Côtes de Beaune “Sous Eguisons.”

With Sous Eguisons, Caroline has combined her father’s rich winemaking tradition with new energy and passion, growing grapes in an excellent location and vinifying them in the same way she makes the family’s Chassagne. Because Caroline views Sous Eguisons as a wine to drink in the years soon after the harvest, she bottles it under screwcap instead of corks.

The 2016 has developed beautifully since it arrived last fall. Like many white Burgundies from this excellent vintage, it strikes a perfect balance between richness and freshness. White flowers and meyer lemon dominate the nose, along with notes of lime rind and chalk. The mouth shows some of the Chassagne richness with which the Gagnard name is synonymous, but also what Burghound calls “a lovely sense of vibrancy.”

Made alongside some of the most expensive and sought-after white Burgundy in the world, Sous Eguisons requires neither the patience nor the investment — it’s an elegant, masterful white Burgundy for today.

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Gagnard Sous Eguisons 2016
bottle price: $39

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