Earlier this week we tasted through Pierre Amiot’s lineup of 2018s. The new vintage is excellent — full, ripe, and lush, but with bold foundation and plenty of material. The Amiots sent along bottles of 2017 to taste side by side, and the comparison was fascinating.
Christophe Mersiol’s wines embody the Alsace’s signature blend of fruit, flowers, and freshness. He attributes the exceptional purity in his wines to organic agriculture. They’re humble, well priced, and just delicious.
We’ve gathered the Ansonia team in Maine this week to taste through nearly 100 wines for the next two Futures issues. (We know, we know — someone’s gotta do it.) By this point in the year we usually have a good feel for the vintage, having spent a week tasting in Burgundy — but our cancelled trip means we’ve had to wait for samples to arrive from France.
Our Burgundy focus means we write a lot about subtlety: the nuances of terroir, the intricacies of weather patterns, etc. But sometimes we like to drink wine that’s a bit simpler — not boring or one-dimensional, just uncomplicated enjoyment.
For many years our pick from Gigondas (as well as Robert Parker’s and Jancis Robinson’s) has been the Domaine les Goubert. The always-excellent wines are even more refined since the family’s daughter Florence took over the winemaking a few years ago.
There’s something about drinking wine outside that makes it come alive. And between a tardy spring and current restraints on outdoor activity, we find ourselves savoring the hours en plein air even more. A glass of something tasty at just the right temperature is the perfect ideal to a spring afternoon.
Roger Belland and his daughter Julie are 5th and 6th generation winemakers in Santenay, at the southern end of the Côte d’Or. The domaine’s wines are so approachable young that they’re often not given the chance to age – today’s is an argument for patience.
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 iconic World Atlas of Wine, Hugh Johnson calls Pomerol “richest, most velvety and instantly appealing form of red Bordeaux.”
Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard is among the best known names in Chassagne-Montrachet. Jean-Noël himself is in his 90s, and for the last 30 years his daughter Caroline has run the domaine.
We don’t import much Bordeaux. Burgundy’s scale and culture have always fit us better: smaller estates, a less formal atmosphere, etc. But it’s no secret that Bordeaux makes some extraordinary wines, and we’re glad to have some in our portfolio.
Fabien Demois is a young winemaker crafting subtle, pure, organic cuvées. He took over his family’s hundred-year-old domaine ten years ago, and has converted his vineyards to organic. His wines are humble, pure, well-made, and great values.
Thirty-something winemaker Cyril Gautheron has elevated his family domaine in Chablis new heights. His fanatical attention to detail and purity results in an astonishing clarity and precision in his wines. He relies on terroir and skill, rather than oak, to craft his wines.
Great Burgundy vintages tend to have two lives: an pleasant, fruit-filled youth, and a mature, sophisticated adulthood. And between these two windows, there’s often an awkward phase (call it the teenage years) where even the best wines in top vintages are quiet and underwhelming.
Bordeaux is best known for its serious wines — famous cuvées that fetch thousands of dollars and require decades to reach their potential. But it’s a large region, with lots of affordable, well made wines from excellent terroir.
Vincent Gross is a fourth generation winemaker just outside Colmar in Alsace. He crafts exquisite, biodynamic cuvées from a handful of grapes, each a precise expression of terroir and technique. Ranging from dry to sweet, and from red to white or orange, Gross’s wines are exciting and bursting with life.