Perfectly Drinkable Red Burgundy: Charming 2017 from Michel Gros

An early vintage, an underrated terroir, and a master vigneron.

Michel Gros produces some of our favorite red Burgundies. His style is smooth and elegant, with warm, enticing notes of toast, red berries, and a silky texture. Gros’s village level and premier cru wines can be truly extraordinary, but they often need investment and patience to achieve their potential.

But not all Gros wines hail from such exalted zip codes. Gros makes several “petits vins,” which aren’t as complex or long-lived, but offer a chance to sample his brilliance at a more affordable price. And not all Gros cuvées require patience — with appealingly soft tannin and relatively low acidity the 2017 vintage is, to quote Burghound, “user-friendly.”

Gros farms several plots in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, a subregion just to the west of the famous Côte d’Or. The Fontaine-Saint-Martin vineyard is named for a nearby Cistercian abbey that dates to 1127. It’s a special plot — soil analysis revealed the parcel contains the same mix of marl, clay, and limestone found on the Hill of Corton

The 2017 Fontaine-St-Martin is smooth and simply delicious. It’s beautiful today, particularly after just 20 minutes in a carafe — beautifully textured tannins underlie dark blue fruit and floral notes of violets and roses. If you’re in the market for the Gros village and premier cru wines, we recommend them with enthusiasm. But if you’re new to the producer, or in search of a terrific sub-$40 red Burgundy, look no further.


Michel Gros Hautes-Côtes “Fontaine St-Martin” 2017
bottle price: $38

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