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.
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.
Burgundies are not getting any cheaper. With limited supply and ever-increasing demand, good values are harder and harder to find. But one Burgundian town that continues to deliver far more than people expect is St-Aubin. And we’re not the only ones to notice.
Like most of the 2017 red Burgundies, this is simply delightful young wine. It’s ripe and punchy with attractive, crackling tannins and a pleasant mineral finish. Jancis Robinson found “enjoyable redcurrant juiciness,” and “fine, balanced tannins.”
Red Burgundies aren’t known for their heartiness. Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned varietal -- light in color and body. It usually displays subtlety over strength, polish over power.
White Burgundy is among the food-friendliest wines around. It works at the high end – an ageworthy Meursault, decanted for an hour, with veal medallions in a cream sauce, a hint of lemon, carefully sauteed mushrooms, a sprig of parsley… you get the idea.
The best kept secret in a Burgundy collector’s cellar is his stash of St-Aubin. From a once forgotten valley wedged between the superstar towns of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet, the wines of St-Aubin are some of the most overperforming wines we know. Jancis Robinson calls it now “virtually the equal” of its famous neighbors.
We’ve imported Chablis from the Domaine Gautheron for nearly a decade. Cyril Gautheron’s precise, elegant, well-priced white Burgundies have become a staple at our warehouse tastings, our kitchen table, and the cellars of many of our readers.
The seven Grand Crus of Chablis sit side by side on a hillside facing the town. Just off their eastern border lies the premier cru “Montée de Tonnerre,” a vineyard known for overperforming its classification. As Rajat Parr writes, Montée de Tonnerre “produces at Grand Cru status, but still goes for Premier Cru prices.”
We’re often apprehensive when a new generation takes over a domaine. Young winemakers often implement needed modernization, but sometimes get caught chasing trendiness. No winemaker in our portfolio has more expertly balanced these impulses than this line than Gautier Desvignes.
People sometimes ask why we’re so drawn to Burgundy. Partly it’s nostalgia -- we lived here for a year two decades ago, and have a fondness for the place and its people. But our goal at Ansonia is to find wines that reflect their origin, and no region does this better than Burgundy.
Pommard and Volnay are the red Burgundy royalty of the Côte de Beaune. Pommard, the king, produces wines that are sturdy and masculine, drawn from clay and iron rich soils. Volnay, the queen, produces wines of unparalleled elegance, a study in subtlety and grace.
The Clos de Tart is one of Burgundy’s greatest properties. The vineyard has had only four owners since the 12th century, and, unusually for Burgundy, has never been subdivided. Today the wines from this 7.5 hectare monopole start around $500 per bottle.
In a Beaune restaurant last April we stumbled upon that most elusive of wine merchant targets: an unknown Burgundy domaine. Formed in 2002 with just 1.5 hectares of vines, the Domaine Bohrmann has no other importers, zero critical reviews, and hard-to-reach winemaker.
Burgundy has been on a roll of late. Starting in 2014, winemakers have enjoyed excellent quality for five straight vintages. Quantity has been slower to catch up, but in 2017 (at last) Mother Nature delivered a full harvest.