The 2018 vintage was a hot one across France, and in Burgundy it produced bold wines with broad shoulders and impressive density. The wines may be light on Burgundy’s signature elegance and precision, but they more than make up for it with gusto and pluck.
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We’re big fans of “pantry pasta.” You know the type — al dente spaghetti, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, butter, and some combination of pepper flakes, anchovy, lemon, etc. Sometimes we love spending hours in the kitchen working on a multistep gustatory masterpiece — other times, we make this.
Winemaker Caroline Lestimé is a remarkable talent. For over thirty years she has steered her family’s prestigious winery Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard to new heights. She strikes a delicate balance between tradition and innovation, converting to organic viticulture a decade ago, but continuing to produce rich, classic cuvées from Chassagne-Montrachet.
The Domaine les Goubert is among the most consistent winemakers in our portfolio. No matter the vintage – warm or cool, sunny or wet, easy or difficult — the Goubert wines are reliably outstanding. The winemakers allow the vintage to influence the character of the wine, but never the quality.
The Domaine Michel Gros is best known for its magnificent red Burgundies from famous towns in the Côte de Nuits. But for decades the domaine has also farmed a wide swath of vines in the hills to the west of “la Côte.” The neighborhood isn’t quite as posh and the terroir not quite as perfect, but the “Hautes-Côtes,” as they’re called, have long provided excellent value.
Some of the wines in our portfolio are “high-maintenance.” Pricey Burgundies require patience, timing, careful food pairing, and decanting to realize their potential. In the right context, they’re extraordinary — but to a more casual drinker, they might be described as “fussy.”
French wines have long been the focus of the Ansonia portfolio. Of the 45 winemakers we work with, about half are from Burgundy, and all but a few are French. Our longtime exception to this rule is the Fattoria Poggerino.
Riesling still has an image problem. Among sommeliers and wine professionals, the grape is lauded for its value, its ability to communicate terroir, and its ability to age. But many wine drinkers still associate it with a sweet, insipid style of wine with little balance and no complexity.
Gautier Desvignes took over his family domaine just a few years ago, but his arrival is already having an impact. He’s rebuilt his winery, replanted with new clones, and tightened up the fermenting and bottling regime. In the last two years Vinous and the Wine Advocate have arrived, calling his wines “superb,” “succulent,” and one of the region’s “five emerging talents to watch.”
France’s Southern Rhône valley produces rich, smooth red blends. At one end of the spectrum there’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape, famous and long-lived; at the other there’s Côtes du Rhône, uncomplicated and inexpensive. Today’s wine is from the middle.
Winemaker Frederic Michot is as brisk and energetic as his wines. He talks (and drives) fast, and sports the same no-nonsense attitude found in a glass of his Pouilly-Fumé: pure Sauvignon blanc, no oak, clean and crisp.
Where much red Burgundy tends towards subtleness and finesse, the Varoilles style is noticeably more intense. They harvest relatively late, and use a long cold soak to extract loads of flavor and texture from their grapes.
Some wines are esoteric — subtly funky Burgundies; oxidative Jura whites; dessert wines made from moldy grapes, skin-contact orange wines, etc. Like a Rothko canvas or a Philip Glass composition, these wines are best understood with some context.
We’re excited about our newest source for grower Champagne: the Domaine Jacques Robin. Robin is in the Côtes des Bar, a sub-region of Champagne located near Chablis and known for its Pinot Noir-heavy cuvées. All four of their wines are well priced, easy to like, and hard to put down.
The Hill of Corton lies just north of Beaune, an important landmark (both visual and vinous) at the midway point of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or. The enormous Grand Cru vineyard on its slopes covers 236 acres, only slightly smaller than the entire appellation of Morey-St-Denis.