There’s no better match for wintery weather than Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The best Châteauneufs all contain a splash of southern sunlight, combining the region’s rugged, sunbaked earthiness with rich, mouthfilling fruit.
The 2018 vintage was a warm one in Burgundy. The grapes were ripe and full, and the harvest began in September in 86 degree heat. We visited France around harvest time in 2018, and wondered aloud whether the wines would be warm and missing balance. At least in the Maconnais, we needn’t have worried. The […]
Experienced collectors often say that Burgundy’s best values come from a great winemaker’s simpler wines. Today’s winemaker, Michel Gros, is world famous for his exquisite, high-end red Burgundies – several older vintages of his finer cuvées are listed here.
Pomerol is Bordeaux on a Burgundy scale. The small right bank appellation covers less than three square miles, and is home to only 150 winemakers. But the wines of Pomerol are anything but small. In his landmark World Atlas of Wine, Hugh Johnson calls Pomerol “richest, most velvety and instantly appealing form of red Bordeaux.”
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.
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.”