“Vibrant” 2016 White Burgundy from an Iconic Chassagne-Montrachet Source

The Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard is one of the best known and most respected names in Burgundy. Wine writer Neal Martin of Vinous calls the Gagnard 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.

Anyone fortunate enough to have 2016 white Burgundies left in their cellar can attest to how beautiful they are today — a perfect mix of texture and tension, richness and freshness. We overbought the 2016 Sous Eguisons from Gagnard — a lucky mistake that has turned out better than we could have hoped.

Today the wine shows 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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