After years of searching, we at last found a source for Chambolle-Musigny last spring. With a stellar reputation and miniscule size, it hasn’t been easy to find a domaine without existing importing relationships. But this spring we finally stumbled upon the Domaine Boursot, a humble family of winemakers right in the heart of Chambolle.
We work with many winemakers with low profiles, but Jean-Marc Monnet might be the least visible. He has no roadside, no website, no employees, and no other American importer. Jean-Marc himself is as humble as his winery is hidden, but the wines themselves are a wholly different story.
The Domaine Ravaut is the ultimate local wine source. For over a century the Ravaut family has cultivated a loyal clientele of friends, neighbors, and local workers -- our tasting visits are frequently interrupted by neighbors stocking up their cellars. The domaine continues to sell nearly half its wine to folks who walk in their front door.
When we shape our portfolio, we look for wines that “punch above their weight.” These are wines that exceed expectations based on the price tag and the name on the label. For overperforming white Burgundies, many of our favorites come from the towns of St-Aubin and Santenay.
The Perrachon family has made wine in Juliénas since the 1870s. Perrachon makes the most complex and sophisticated Beaujolais reds we’ve had. Raised carefully in oak barrels, their pure Gamay wines compete with entry level Burgundy Pinots on complexity and value.
The wine writers’ notes on 2018 reds are full of qualified enthusiasm. The best are said to be ripe, rich, mouthfilling, bold, and delicious -- Vinous’s Neal Martin found “a sense of nascent joie-de-vivre” across the vintage. But wines picked too late can be overripe -- “very ripe wines of highly variable quality,” concluded Allen Meadows (Burghound).
Chiroubles may occupy the lightweight end of the Cru Beaujolais spectrum, but in a vintage as warm as 2019, that means it offers elusive balance. There’s nothing lightweight about today’s cuvée, which combines bright floral precision with inky, juicy gamay density.
Burgundy is where Chardonnay finds its finest expression. In cold climates, the grape can be acidic and thin; in hot climates, it runs the risk of high alcohol and over extraction. But in Burgundy, Chardonnay has the potential to strike its most elegant balance between soft, mouthfilling fruit, and crisp, refreshing acidity.
New winemakers in Burgundy are hard to come by. It’s a tiny region, and between small harvests, ever increasing demand, and well-established importers, it can seem there’s nothing new to discover.
Beaujolais is the source of plenty of uninteresting wines. Fully a third of the region’s production is the Beaujolais Nouveau, a cheap insipid red rushed to market a month after harvest. But the rest of the region contains many highly undervalued wines, some in the same class of top wines from the north of Burgundy.
Maranges is the Côte d’Or’s forgotten appellation. In the past it was known for its unrefined, tannic wines -- Burgundians used to call it “le medecin” (the doctor) because some secretly blended it into thinner Côte d’Or reds to bulk up weak vintages.
White Burgundy is among the best food-pairing wines around. It works at the high end – an ageworthy Meursault, a rich dish of veal in cream, etc. But it answers the call for something uncomplicated and reliable -- a hearty bowl of mussels, chicken thighs on the grill.
It’s starting to feel like Fall again -- football is back, there’s a chill in the air, and pumpkins are popping up at the market. Chez nous, the change in seasons means a change in our wine habits -- a shift towards bottles that are richer, redder, and more robust. But most importantly, autumn means Beaujolais.
If we were to sum up Thomas Morey’s wines in one word, it would be “precise.” Much like the man himself -- wire rim glasses, serious demeanor, Zalto stemware in his tasting room -- Morey’s wines offer crystalline elegance, with not one hair out of place. Each cuvée conveys its terroir with honesty and clarity.
Romain Collet took over his family’s fines in 2008, and has since made great strides. Having introduced organic farming, natural yeasts, and a lighter hand in the cellar, the Domaine Collet has regained its once lofty status among sources for high-end Chablis.