Winemaker: Where much red Burgundy tends towards subtleness and finesse, the Varoilles style is noticeably more intense. The winemakers harvest relatively late, and use a long cold soak to extract loads of flavor and texture from their grapes. The resulting wines are concentrated, dark, and delicious.
Appellation: Varoilles is best known (and deservedly so) for their terrific village-level and premier cru Gevrey-Chambertins. They only began making a Bourgogne-level wine two years ago, but it’s an exciting addition to their lineup. And in 2018, a year of near-record ripeness, the wine is unusually good.
Wine: The nose is very dark and spiced, with briary blackberry fruit, notes of woods, cinnamon, smoke, and a hint of ginger. The mouth is bold and smooth with a solid texture laid under intense masculine fruit. It’s not as long or as deep as a Gevrey, but there’s far more material than most Bourgogne-level wines.
Suggestions: No need to cellar this — the 2018 red Burgundies are chewy and juicy, and with a carafe and a hearty cut of meat this is a ruggedly beautiful Pinot. If it lacks a bit of refinement and finesse, it makes up for it in character and charm. Give this some air, and enjoy now – 2023.
Varoilles Bourgogne 2018
bottle price: $35
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