Amid Champagne’s glitz and glamour, winemaker Pascal Bardoux stands out. His cuvées are quietly exceptional — his tasting room is his small untidy office, where we taste slowly and thoughtfully from an old beat-up leather sofa. “Le marketing” is nowhere to be seen.
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This April, during a tasting at Domaine des Varoilles with owner Gilbert Hammel, he left the room suddenly, saying “I think I have something you might be interested in.” He returned with a bottle of 2014 Gevrey-Chambertin, but a cuvée we didn’t recognize from his price list or vineyard map.
The Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard is part of the old guard of Chassagne Montrachet. For decades they’ve been among the most recognizable names in white Burgundy, synonymous with class and elegance. Master of Wine Jasper Morris writes that Gagnard’s wines “truly reflect their terroirs and combine intensity and richness with elegance and balance.”
Pouilly-Fuissé was once the darling of American wine drinkers. Fun to pronounce, rich and voluptuous in texture, it was among the first high-end French wines to gain wide appeal in the US.
The famous wine writer Hugh Johnson once wrote, “If one had to single out one commune of Bordeaux to head the list, there would be no argument. It would be Pauillac.” Best known for its three superstar chateaux – Latour, Lafite-Rothschild, and Mouton-Rothschild — Pauillac also offers excellent, less famous wines from its storied terroir.
For many years at the start of every tasting, Rhône winemaker Denis Basset would give us small taste of his only white. “Just to set the palate,” he’d explain, before continuing on to his rich, syrah-based reds. The white was always lovely — floral and fresh, beautifully expressive, and a perfect way to start a tasting.
The Domaine Ravaut is the ultimate local wine source. For 120 years the family has cultivated a loyal clientele of friends, neighbors, and workers at the stone quarry in their tiny hamlet of Ladoix. Today winemaker Vincent Ravaut still sells over half their wine to folks who walk in the front door.
These days cellaring wine has become a rarity. Not all wines are meant to age, and indeed the wine world’s style continues to shift toward early maturity. But for wine that rewards patience, the transformation of bottle aging is nothing short of magic.
Of all the white Burgundy we import, none is a purer expression of Chardonnay than Nicolas Maillet’s classic Maconnais cuvées. If the Côte d’Or offers Burgundies of pedigree and refinement, then the Maconnais offers Burgundies of vibrancy and joy.
The town of Maragnes is an underrated source for red Burgundy. Located at the very southern end of the Côte d’Or, it’s often left off regional maps, and its reputation is for rusticity over refinement.
Vincent Boyer is one of Meursault’s young superstar winemakers. His golden white Burgundies from Meursault and Puligny are among the finest in our cellar. Vinous calls his wines “superb” and “very impressive;” Japer Morris MW writes “Boyer seems to make better wines year after year.”
Vignerons: From meticulously cultivated old vines and with careful use of oak, the Perrachon creates remarkably delicious and refined cuvées. Perrachon’s reds are honest, complex, delicious red Burgundies; they just happen to be made from Gamay. Appellation: Beaujolais is best known for the Beaujolais Nouveau, a cheap insipid red rushed to market a month after […]
Burgundians have made wine in Meursault since 1098. Over the last nine centuries the village has proudly earned its glowing reputation, and today is among the most sought after wines in the world. Though it has no Grand Cru vineyards, Meursault’s wines are shimmering white Burgundies at their finest.
To the uninitiated, Riesling is a cheap, insipid wine — rarely interesting, and never noble. But to those in the know, Riesling can be vibrant, dry, and extraordinarily well priced.
Each town in Burgundy produces wines of a distinct character. Some are dark and brooding, others are lightweight and ethereal – but the boldest and most intense is Gevrey-Chambertin.