The Bonnefond family’s star continues to rise. Once firmly in the ripe, oaky, “extroverted” camp that made them a darling of Robert Parker, the domaine has shifted towards subtler expression in recent years: less time in oak, larger barrels, and earlier harvests.
After three years away from in-person tastings, we were worried we might feel a bit rusty as we began our tasting trip yesterday morning. So we chose to begin with Christophe Mestre, a warm, generous winemaker who welcomed us into his cave as though we’d seen him only last week.
The Ansonia team arrived in France this morning, after the longest stretch away (three years) in more than two decades. The world has changed a bit since April 2019, as has the market for Burgundy, Ansonia Wines, and even your trusty tasters. We’ve added new family members, new customers, new vignerons and even a few new gray hairs, but our…
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.
Chenin blanc has an enormous range of expression. It can be anywhere from bone dry to very sweet depending on vintage, terroir, and winemaker. Vouvray is the original source for Chenin Blanc, but the surrounding towns in the central Loire Valley produce excellent examples as well.
Red Burgundy is classically a study in finesse and understatement. Pinot Noir’s thin skin and clear juice enable remarkable subtlety, and at their best, Red Burgundies can be hauntingly beautiful. They’re rarely the loudest voice in the room, but often the most impressive. But as with most rules, there are exceptions.
Well-priced white Burgundy is getting harder to find. Demand is up, supply is (way) down, and the wines themselves just keep getting better. As prices at the high end reach to stratospheric levels and more consumers focus on entry level cuvées, it’s become trickier to find that weeknight Bourgogne blanc.
Last week we brought up the remaining stock from our offsite warehouse, a location whose inventory control hasn’t exactly been Amazon level. (We know – pot, kettle, etc.) But when the stock arrived we were excited to find a small lot of ten year old Bordeaux which was listed as white was in fact red – a happy surprise.
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 Gautier Desvignes.
French winemakers have spent centuries perfecting the ideal marriages of grape and land. Each region has its own match: Pinot Noir in Burgundy, Sauvignon blanc in Sancerre, Merlot in Bordeaux, Grenache in the Rhône, etc.
Some wines are esoteric: subtly funky Burgundies, oxidative Jura whites, skin-contact orange wines, etc. Like a Rothko canvas or a Philip Glass composition, these wines are best understood with some context, and they’re not for everyone.
Red Burgundies aren’t known for their heartiness. Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned varietal -- and typically tends towards subtlety over strength. But what red Burgundies may lack in weight they more than make up in elegance. The finest examples are unmatched in their ability to convey complexity, subtlety, and grace. In the Côte de Nuits it’s hard to pick…
For years we used to visit the Domaine Desvignes in Givry for humble, straightforward red Burgundies with excellent pricing. But in the years since Gautier Desvignes has taken over, the domaine has transformed into one of the leading lights in the Côte Chalonnaise. In a remarkably short time, Gautier has upgraded the winemaking facilities, bottling practices, and viticulture, with truly…
Denis Basset is best known for his rich pure Syrahs from Crozes-Hermitage. They’re delicious, well priced, and pulsing with energy and life. For years our only look at his lone white cuvée was in his barrel room – just a splash “to set the palate” before moving on to the reds. The white was always lovely — floral and fresh,…
Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet produce the world’s finest dry white wines. In production for nearly two thousand years, the vineyards surrounding these villages produce wines of different characters -- Puligny a bit more serious, Chassagne a bit friendlier.