From left to right: Stewart Pryce, Gus McLean, Joe Fogg and Jeff Rean
If you would like more information on any of the wines detailed below, or would like some advice on Fine Wine buying, please contact one of our experts in the Fine Wine Team who will be happy to help you with your query.
Our specialist team is comprised of Gus McLean, Stewart Pryce, Joe Fogg and Jeff Rean, who have a wealth of experience of the fine wine trade behind them.
“Antoine Jobard stepped into his father François’ shoes several years back and continues to establish himself as one of the top growers in Meursault.” - Neal Martin
Antoine Jobard took over from his father François on his retirement twelve years ago, becoming the fifth generation to take charge of the Domaine. The 2011 vintage was the first time we had tasted chez Jobard and the wines hugely impressed.
Since then the bar has been raised higher still each year. Here is a perfect example of the trend seen in Meursault over the last few years where the archetypal sweet-fruited, buttery, highly-oaked wines that dominate popular perception of the appellation have started to give way to wines that are more lightly oaked and earlier picked, keeping a tension and focus and allowing the terroir to better express itself. Jobard now produces "some of the most long lived Meursaults" (Andrew Jefford,
The New France). The flavour profile too has shifted too, from tropical fruits to citrus.
The big news chez Jobard from the 2020 vintage is the disappearance of his lieu-dit bottlings. Now, all village Merusault parcels are blended into a single cuvée with the intention that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Tasting the wine, it is hard to disagree. This taut, mineral style of Meursault with an exceptional length must now count as one of the finest village Meursaults out there. Antoines’s wines are a little pricier than some in the village, but this is more than paid back in terms of what is in the bottle.
“Nicolas Potel’s wines have a strong following in the UK, the United States and Japan and for good reason. His wide portfolio of both domaine and négociant wines can be absolutely delicious.”- Neal Martin
Our visits to Nicolas Potel’s Maison Roche de Bellene are always memorable for several reasons, including being reminded of how much of a wine nut Nicolas is – his knowledge of the minutest of details of for example specific sub-plots within vineyards illustrates a real attention to detail that very much manifests itself in the winery too. One would hope from a good Burgundy négociant to get a large range of wines at a consistent and good level of quality and at a keen price – Roche de Bellene ticks these boxes and goes far beyond.
Nicolas described 2020 as “one of the top vintages in Burgundy for many years”, adding that it “has the acidity that Burgundy lovers love”, but that at the same time it “has the capacity to bring people to Burgundy”. He puts much of this success down to the fact that the lack of heat spikes (despite the summer being hot in general) meant that the acidity was mainly tartaric, meaning the wines were fresh but not harsh.
Our tasting here was one of the best for years, especially for the whites and we have consequently listed more wines than ever, including a number of Domaine wines in addition to the Roche de Bellene négociant label. The highlights are too numerous to list, but include an exciting, very well priced Coteaux Bourguignon – L’Enclos des Abeilles and a Puligny Champ Gains that really is a hedonist’s delight. The range even includes two of the most prestigious red Grands Crus of all—Chapelle-Chambertin and Latricières-Chambertin.
“As the wines of the Côte d’Or’s most glamorous communes command seemingly everhigher prices, there has never been a timelier moment to explore the Côte Chalonnaise.” - William Kelley
Domaine Chofflet is located in the picture-book hillside hamlet of Russily, in the Côte Chalonnaise. The estate has been in the family for over 100 years and today the 11 hectare domaine is run by Jean Chofflet’s son-in-law, Denis Valdenaire, a former alpine ski monitor. After taking over the Domaine in 2000, Denis studied viticulture in Beaune where he took on the idea of moving the estate’s farming to more sustainable means, achieving ‘agriculture raisonnée’ certification in 2008.
Domaine Chofflet’s wines are seductively silky, packed full of upfront fruit and rather irresistible, especially given the modest price tag. We expect them to sell well once again in 2020.
“Georges Lignier's nephew Benoît Stehly has
been involved in the domaine since 2002 and took over sole responsibility in 2008, since which time the wines have become finer and finer.” - Jancis Robinson
Among one of the most humble and charming people you would want to meet, Benoît Stehly is producing some delightful wines at this Domaine in Morey. Benoît has been working there since 2002 and has taken on the day to day management in the last decade.
This estate is on a run of top form over recent vintages, producing quite a spread of elegant wines across the range of classifications. It’s notable that Jancis Robinson in particular clearly appreciates the appeal of these wines as her 2016 feature on Domaine George Lignier testifies – “I'd like to draw your attention to a domaine that seems to be getting better and better.”
New to the range in 2020 is the village Pommard, from a newly-acquired 12 hectare plot just three metres from the border with Volnay. With Pommard and Volnay both highlighted as particularly strong performers in this vintage, this comes with perfect timing!
“The domaine's extensive holdings, when vinified parcel by parcel, give Hautus and his team a broad palette of blending components to choose from, a rare luxury in Burgundy and one that they appear to be exploiting to the fullest.”
- William Kelley
The purchase, in early 2017 of this estate by Screaming Eagle owner Stan Kroenke created some of the biggest headlines of the year in the world of fine wine, the American businessman falling for the “terroir that exists nowhere else”. Already one of Burgundy’s most prestigious estates, Kroenke is aiming to push Bonneau du Martray that tiny bit further to fully exploit the Domaine’s magnificent holdings. This is the only Domaine in Burgundy that makes solely Grand Cru, owning the single largest block of vineyards on the Corton hill.
Bonneau du Martray’s wines are traditionally released a few months later than most, so we should expect them to come out in the Spring.
“Audoin has once again hit a home run with the quality of his 2020s and given the modest prices for which they sell, no one can credibly argue that good value can’t be found in the Côte de Nuits. Moreover, I can attest that they age splendidly well.”- Burghound
Cyril Audoin, who has run this Domaine with his wife Marie-Françoise since 1972 converting to organic farming in 2017, is passionate about this Northern-most appellation in the Côte de Nuits, right on the edge of the city of Dijon. Back when his father Charles bought up some of Marsannay’s best parcels of land, the village did not even possess its own appellation, while today the talk is of Premiers Crus being given the blessing by the authorities.
Being a relatively young appellation, Marsannay can be had at a very keen price when compared to its fellow Côte de Nuits red villages, but make no mistake, Audoin’s wines are serious stuff, with excellent terroir expression and, as a tasting of older vintages proved, plenty of ability to age gracefully.
If you haven’t yet explored the wines of Domaine Audoin, or Marsannay for that matter, now is the time!
“From the lieux-dits onwards there is a striking potential from this producer who has previously been rather under the radar.”
- Jasper Morris
A quick trip up Rue de la Tâche in Vosne takes you to this Domaine. Under the radar in the UK until now, Jasper Morris visited for the first time to review the 2019s.
These wines, still mainly sold through high-end restaurants in France, are perhaps on the richer side of the Vosne spectrum, but are tremendously well polished and balanced. In an otherwise quite wealthy village of Vosne-Romanée, there’s something refreshingly unpretentious about this estate. One to watch.
Our visit to taste the 2020s demonstrated that this really is an estate on the up, with a young winemaker in Édouard Confuron who is gaining in experience, confidence and quality at quite a pace. Extensive building works since we last visited has given much more room in which to work and the result, in 2020 at least, is a range of wines that stylistically are Vosne to the core (even the Nuits-Saint-Georges and the Bourgogne!), with silky, ripe tannins, floral aromatics and plenty of charm.
“Hearty, characterful wines with plenty of stuffing... I found plenty to admire.”- William Kelley
This estate based in Ladoix-Serrigny, just south of Nuits-Saint-Georges has very rapidly become one of our customer favourites after first being featured in the 2016 vintage. Gaston’s son Pierre now runs the estate, focussing on the viticulture whilst his colleague Vincent takes care of vinification. A true family Domaine which typifies the traditional Burgundy ethos, they primarily sell direct to consumers from the cellar, but we are delighted to be one of the first to offer them in the UK.
True to their geography straddling the border between the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, the wines combine elegance with power, silky tannins with mid-palate weight and red fruit with black.
Early picking in 2020 ensured that red fruits were more dominant in the wines this year, which along with the juicy acidity helped to make the wines wonderfully fresh.
“This is a fine address if you are seeking an alternative to, say, Armand Rousseau. Heresztyn-Mazzini is in the same mould as their neighbour, Pierre Duroché: very hands-off winemaking, letting the vineyard speak; mineral-driven and elegant wines... Yes, I know the name is a bit of a tongue-twister, but trust me, the wines are worth seeking out .” - Neal Martin
Based right in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin, 2020 is the sixth vintage we have offered from this Domaine and the wines were once again on top form. Run by Florence and her husband Simon, in the vineyard the operation is run organically, with full biodynamic certification due to follow imminently. This of course necessitates a painstaking level of attention to detail in the vineyards, something that is also in evidence in the winery, with every decision, for example about the percentage of whole clusters to use, being pored over and each cuvée being treated separately according to its own needs. The wines are an absolute pleasure to drink, with the silky texture of the tannins and the purity of the fruit noteworthy.
Florence reported that yields were down around 50% in 2020, with so little juice left in the berries after the dry period prior to harvest. The resultant concentration in the wines is to be expected, but thankfully there was also no lack of freshness nor elegance. This is another strong line up from an admirable estate.
“For my palate, the results are some of the finest white wines produced on the Côte de Beaune, and they occupy a prominent place in my personal cellar. The market is certainly taking notice, and prices are rising fast, but readers won't want to miss the 2020s.” - William Kelley
A trip to Domaine Moreau is always a treat. The tiny winery is attached to the bustling family home and the Moreaus are always very welcoming. The winery’s roots stretch back to 1809 and original owner Auguste Moreau, but it took on its current guise in 1930 under Marcel Moreau. Bernard started to look after the vineyards at the tender age of fourteen and Moreau’s reputation as one of the top Chassagne producers was well established by the 1980s. Bernard’s son Alex is now in charge of the estate.
The Domaine owns plots in six Chassagne Premiers Crus, so it’s always a joy and an education to try them alongside each other and note the subtle differences. We only have one problem with this Domaine; we cannot get enough!
2020 was another wonderful vintage at this estate, the wines showing all of that trademark electric freshness and terroir transparency for which they have become famed. Jasper Morris calls the whites in 2020 “frequently sensational”, picking out Alex’s white from home turf as “just about the best example of village Chassagne-Montrachet available.”
“One of the most important growers in Burgundy… A producer that I greatly admire.” - Neal Martin
Domaine Gouges is one of Nuits-Saint-Georges’s most famous Domaines and one of the appellation’s best – “the doyen of Nuits-Saint-Georges with magnificent wines” says Clive Coates MW. The Gouges family have been owners of this Domaine since 1919 and founder Henri is something of a Burgundian revolutionary. He was a key player in the battle against fraud and was the first Burgundian to bottle his own wine because it guarantees provenance and therefore quality. Domaine bottling is now practised throughout Burgundy. Grandson Gregory runs the Domaine with the same drive and passion for quality as his legendary grandfather.
The Domaine’s wines were renowned under Henri as some of the most structured and long-lived of Nuits-Saint-Georges. However, Gregory has been working towards a more approachable style. That said, these are still wines very much built for ageing.
“There are some exceptional wines here that rank alongside the illustrious names of Burgundy. He certainly has the gift of touch that seems to elevate everything from village crus to grand crus.” - Neal Martin
Having started studying viticulture at the age of 13 and then started as the general manager of Domaine Comte Armand at just 26, it’s fair to say Benjamin was a bit of a child prodigy, it’s easy to forget how young he is now despite his wealth of experience garnered already. Now based in a winery in the heart of the town of Beaune, he has been acquiring new parcels of vineyard sites at quite a rate, but the quality is rising just as quickly as his vineyard holdings. Given the number of wines he now makes, it is remarkable how consistently excellent these wines are from top to bottom.
Benjamin has never seen reds with as much colour as in 2020, so he took a light-touch when it came to pressing. He also took advantage of the vintage’s ripeness to increase the proportion of whole bunches used.
Freshness is the order of the day for the whites, with a good line of acidity retained in what are ultimately full-bodied Chardonnays.
“This is an excellent source for keenly priced, classically balanced wines that consistently develop well in the cellar, so it's a mystery why this 7.5-hectare domaine isn't better known.” - William Kelley
Although there is archival evidence dating this Domaine back to 1704, for almost 250 years the succession passed through a sole female heir. Until the birth of Lucien Camus in 1949 therefore, the Domaine name changed with each successive generation. Luc and his wife Bernadette (née Bruchon) are blessed with both a son, Guillaume, who since 2001 has been working full-time at the Domaine and a daughter, Alexandra, who is the oenologist at the well-known Beaune négociant Albert Bichot.
Based on the edge of Savigny and overlooking the village’s finest plots, this Domaine has 9.5ha of vineyard across regional, village and Premier Cru sites in Savigny, Pommard and Beaune, this wines aged mainly in 500 litre barrels in order to ensure the oaking is subtle and well integrated into the wines. A judicious mix of conventional and organic methods is practiced.
With their cool room, Camus-Bruchon are well set up for dealing with a hot year and an early harvest that needed to be brought in during the August heat. Cold ferments also helped make the 2020s here very impressive, with good acidities retained and well integrated into the wines, giving vibrancy to the concentrated fruit. The entry level Bourgogne is very much a junior Savigny, while the range topping Les Lavières is a stunning Premier Cru that offer so much for the money when compared with many of its peers in the Côte de Nuits.
“There is a lot to admire in de Montille’s 2020s in both colors. By managing to stay in that red fruit profile, Sieve retained that sense of Pinoté that eluded others, avoiding any confit-like aromas or flavors. In addition, the use of whole bunch is very assiduous (see tasting notes for exact percentages) and lends the reds freshness when it might have been lacking.” - Neal Martin
Made from grapes grown in what is effectively the front garden of the Château de Puligny-Montrachet, in the heart of the village of Puligny-Montrachet itself, the ‘Clos du Château’ Bourgogne blanc made a very welcome return to our range in 2018 and we are delighted that is on particularly good form in 2020, being awarded 5 stars from Jasper Morris, indicating that it is “an outstanding wine in its category”. New rules mean that Château names can no longer contain a geographical reference if the wine itself does not carry that appellation, so Etienne de Montille has taken the decision to merge the Château de Puligny-Montrachet labels into his Domaine de Montille portfolio.
While nature dictated that picking dates in 2020, starting on the 23rd August, Etienne de Montille was described by his Head Winemaker Brian Sieve as “being like a pig in a mud puddle with the results” (InsideBurgundy.com), as both whites and reds really hit the mark in this vintage.
“I agree with Grivot in both his assessments of the 2019s and the 2020s as I thought that the 2019s are terrific but when taken as a portfolio of wines, his 2020s are a cut above and are among the best that I have ever seen here.” - Burghound
One of the Côte d’Or’s greatest and longest-established Domaines, Grivot is now predominantly in the hands of Mathilde, who in the last few years has been gradually taking over from her father Etienne.
The house style remains the same, with late harvesting and extended periods of barrel ageing resulting in a muscular, structured style that can be difficult to taste when young, but which after a few years in the cellar open up to reveal beautiful black-fruit driven wines. The quality of the Domaine’s holdings helps in no small part, however the Grivot magic is evident across the range, even on the Gamay-based Coteaux Bourguignons.
2020 was one of the very best tastings we have ever had at this Domaine. As Etienne put it; “everything is perfectly balanced” despite starting harvest later than most on the 3rd September. They believe in a long vegetative cycle at this estate, and this vintage even more than others before it showed the benefits of this approach. When asked for vintage comparisons Etienne reached back to 1947 and 1929, adding that back then they did not have the advantage of technical knowledge that they do now. He calls the 2020s “indestructible, because of the balance of everything” and it is hard to disagree with this assessment of a truly brilliant line up from the Coteaux Bourguignons up.
“Domaine Méo-Camuzet boasts one of the most enviable portfolios in Vosne-Romanée.” - Neal Martin
Méo-Camuzet is always one of the highlights of our Burgundy primeur offerings. If you have not had the pleasure of encountering the wines before, they are one of the biggest names not only in their home town of Vosne-Romanée, but in all of Burgundy. Stylistically they produce very polished, but exotic, rich wines which take oak well. They are very ageworthy, yet show well in their relative youth. Individual vineyard expression is very strong, so it is worth reading the individual notes in detail. Some stems (rather than whole bunches) are added, but no more than about 10%.
As well as some of the most heavily oversubscribed Premiers Crus of all, Méo-Camuzet’s line up includes a handful of wines us mere mortals can secure to get a taste of this estate’s winemaking magic. The village Fixin and Vosne-Romanée reds are joined by a noteworthy pair of whites— the ever-popular Hautes-Côtes de Nuits ‘Clos Saint Philibert’ from a plot situated 300 yards above the Grand Cru Echezeaux is joined by a Bourgogne Blanc comprised of fruit from Pommard and some from the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits above Nuits-Saint-Georges.
“This was an impressive set of 2020s to follow their superb 2019s … Time to discover this domaine if you haven’t already.” - Neal Martin
Domaine Matrot was established in 1909 by Joseph Matrot and had been run solely by his understated but talented grandson Thierry since 1976, with 2015 his last vintage before handing over the reigns to his daughters Elsa and Adèle. They are now renowned as “a top-class Meursault producer” (Wine International) and own some of the best plots in Meursault’s finest vineyards.
The sisters, like their father before them, believe in using oak only very sparingly. They are firm believers that quality comes from the vineyard, so let the fruit do the talking.
2020 saw the estate’s earliest ever harvest, with picking commencing on the 17th August. This helped to retain the Domaine’s trademark freshness and lightness of touch, something furthered by very gentle extractions and full destemming of the Pinot Noir.
The whites, and increasingly reds, of this Domaine are really staring to get noticed now. In addition to Neal Martin’s very positive words, Jasper Morris suggests “there are some really lovely wines in both colours” in 2020. We continue to support Matrot as we have done for many years now, as the new generation take things on to the next level of quality.
“Drouhin continues to demonstrate what a class act they have become.” - Neal Martin
Maison Drouhin was established in 1880 by Joseph Drouhin and has remained a family affair ever since, being run nowadays by the fourth generation. Frédéric is assuming overall control of the firm from his father Robert while his brother Philippe and sister Véronique, who both studied at Dijon now look after the vineyards and winemaking respectively. The estate itself occupies the breathtaking Parliament building, one of the most beautiful cellars in all of Beaune, originating from the time when Burgundy was an independent duchy.
Nearly all of Drouhin’s holdings are fully organic and biodynamic, with that very same philosophy being extended to newly acquired vineyards. Benefitting from the use of optical sorting tables from 2013 onwards, these wines are often darker, denser and more concentrated than many.
“It's a terrific set of wines for Faiveley, with lower alcohol and lower pHs than in 2019 but with incredible concentration and purity. Everything reviewed here comes warmly recommended.”- William Kelley
While Faiveley’s vineyard holdings are extensive by Burgundian standards, quality reflects the fact that this is a family Domaine, making wine from parcels under its own ownership. In fact, they care for their wines so much, this is the only cellar I have ever seen where the most precious wine is kept in a barrel closed with a lockable bung!
The number of decades-old examples of Faiveley’s wines that are pulled out for retrospective tastings underlines the fact that these wines are likely to appeal greatly to the traditionalist who is looking for more structure and for wines to cellar rather than for instant gratification. Some of the most impressive Burgundies we have tasted are from this Domaine, but all of them have been at the peak of maturity, so patience is certainly rewarded here. Though in saying that, the charming Mercurey ‘La Framboisière is once again a notable exception which can be enjoyed young. In fact, 2020 may well be the best vintage yet of this great value red from the Côte Chalonnaise.
In 2020, the Faiveley team did a wonderful job of turning out a range of wines that showed plenty of freshness, tension and focus from a growing season that on paper should not lend itself to such wines. Bravo!
“The 30-hectare Domaine Servin, ably directed by François Servin and Australian-born winemaker Marc Cameron, continues to number among Chablis's underappreciated addresses... This domaine comes warmly recommended.” - William Kelley
Documented by the monks of Saint Martin for owning vineyards as far back as the 16th century, successive generations of the Servin family have continued the tradition of winemaking in Chablis ever since.
Today the approach is very much a mixture of modern and traditional techniques. The best vineyard sites are hand harvested to ensure fruit arrives at optimum ripeness. Single plot vinification takes place in a mixture of stainless steel and oak, letting the differences in terroir shine in each wine. The vines average 40 years and most of the sites are on Kimmeridgian limestone soils. This gives the wines their power, concentration and minerality which is so typical of the Domaine’s style. The Grands Crus in particular have great cellaring potential.
2020 was another hot vintage, but Marc Cameron considers it a more typical Chablis vintage than the two that preceded it, with better acidities. Allen Meadows reports that in 2020, “my impression is that generally speaking Servin did well in 2020 and several of these wines are worth considering.”
“The 2020 vintage is another striking success chez Felettig, matching and, in some cases, surpassing what Gilbert achieved in 2019. Balanced, concentrated and seamless, they impress at every level.”
- William Kelley
Allen Meadows, Neal Martin and William Kelley have all earmarked siblings Gilbert and Christine Felettig’s Chambolle-Musigny Domaine as a rising star and our visits here over the last half decade or so have really reinforced this view.
Gilbert is not shy of using a little new oak where it is called for, naturally increasing in the percentage used as we go up to the Premiers and Grands Crus. Whole bunch inclusion is practiced here, but always varying according to the plot, so 0% for some and up to 45% for others, but this always varies by plot and does not follow the appellation hierarchy. In 2020, more whole bunch was used than ever before, thanks to the ripeness of the bunches.
Gilbert considers 2020 the best vintage he has made to date, with Allen Meadows inclined towards a similar view, as are we. Our tasting reinforced the idea that this is a winemaker really honing in on his signature style and executing it better than ever, all while retaining the individual terroir expressions of his various cuvées.
“Joseph Colin—who left Domaine Marc Colin to start a domaine of his own in 2016—is going from strength to strength.” - William Kelley
Splitting from the family estate Domaine Marc Colin in 2016, 2020 was the fourth vintage produced by Joseph under his own name and he has already established his wines as some of the most sought-after whites in our range.
We have been blown away by the quality of the whites from this estate since Joseph’s solo debut 2017 vintage. Specialising in Chassagne-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin, these are some of the most pure, mineral whites in the Côte de Beaune, rivalling Moreau’s efforts as the very best in this neck of the woods.
Obsessively focused on the minutest of details, full biodynamics are in operation here, with minimal sulphur use, very little new oak in play and no filtration at all. This may be a fairly new Domaine onto the scene, but they have rocketed right into the top echelon of quality and we have again taken everything we can get our hands on in 2020, which unfortunately is unlikely to be enough to go around given the skyrocketing demand for this estate’s wines.
“Gotta soft spot for Hudelot-Baillet...I don't mind admitting that. It's just got everything that I like about Burgundy: not too big, congenial winemaker, choice selection of premier crus with a grand cru if you fancy, straightforward winemaking, nothing fancy, nothing self-aggrandising. Just delicious, nuanced wines that need but a sip to compel a purchase.” - Neal Martin
A Domaine often thought of for producing big, powerful Chambolle-Musigny has, based on our more recent tastings of their wares, produced a selection of wines we feel are perhaps more typical of the appellation; really very charming, precise and elegant. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the critics either, with William Kelley noting that “given the level of quality now being attained at this address, to say nothing of its enviable palette of appellations, readers should take notice.”
Dominique Leguen, in charge of the Domaine since 1998, described his 2020s as “having the impression of being lighter than they are”, adding “they have a real energy. They make you want to drink them. Very gourmet.” This is true of many 2020s as certainly applies here, the reds showing a freshness unmatched elsewhere in Chambolle.
“Jean-Michel Chartron has gone about turning his winery into one of the finest examples of Puligny-Montrachet in recent years… Chartron’s wines remain reasonably priced in the scheme of things and are well worth seeking out.” - Neal Martin
We have spent the last few years repeating the fact that Domaine Chartron has seen a steep rise in quality over the last decade or two and that sooner or later everyone would notice… but now that time may have come. William Kelley calls this estate “an excellent source of pure and precise Puligny that deserves more recognition”, while Neal Martin calls the wines “now unquestionably superior” to those produced in the late 1990s.
Jean-Michel was beaming as he presented his 2020s to us to taste, as well he might. Asked if his 2020s could be compared to previous vintages, he replied that 2020 was “for me as good as 14, just a little more solar”. Those who remember the outstanding 2014s at this address will know that getting mentioned in the in the same breath as that year is a great place for the 2020s to be. With a mid-August start to picking, the estate’s trademark freshness was very much in evidence, yet the palates were broader and more open than they usually are at this stage, thanks to the summer’s sunny conditions.
“This is an estate whose wines I recommend with much enthusiasm.” - Robert Parker
Jean Monnier is a producer who leaves us scratching our heads more so than any other, for a number of reasons. First of all, the quality of the wines are superb. It is absolutely crazy how inexpensive they are given the quality, but the owner is so down to earth and is perhaps very fortunate with the plots he has. He seems to have no desire to charge more than he does. How more merchants have not jumped on this producer is beyond us. Maybe they just don’t know this tucked away Meursault Domaine? Monnier’s is a style which complements our range very well at prices that are hard to argue with. This seventh generation family Domaine own 100% of the fruit they use and it is all hand harvested. The wines are lovely and they really are very difficult to beat when it comes to value for money. Stylistically they very much appeal to us given they are more refreshing, with higher acidity. A perfect partner for food, although given the style we think would be lovely to enjoy on a warm summer day.
The 2020s showcased the Domaine’s combination of freshness and roundedness perfectly, from the new Bourgogne-Côte d’Or through to what must be one of the best value Premier Crus in the Côte de Beaune in the shape of their wonderful Genevrières.
“Domaine de la Vougeraie has almost discretely become a major player in top quality, occasionally profound Burgundy wine. With winemaker Pierre Vincent, there was a significant turnaround in style and quality - the wines discovering terroir expression, nuance and elegance, poise and complexity. I’ve lost count the number of times their wines have triumphed in blind tastings and yet still, I don’t think this domaine receives the credit that is due.” - Neal Martin
By common consent of most Burgundy followers, quality at Domaine de la Vougeraie was lifted to a significant degree during the tenure of head winemaker Pierre Vincent. 2017 though was the first vintage since his departure and the big question was whether the winemaking team, now led by the delightfully enthusiastic Sylvie Poillot, had learnt sufficiently from the master to simply pick up the baton and run. Based on the evidence of the vintages since, the answer is a most definite yes! The sheer attention to detail required in the vineyard to commit to biodynamic wine production means every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, no short cut is taken and this level of precision makes for impeccable quality fruit. The estate even produces its own oak barrels.
Domaine de la Vougeraie was our final call of a packed week’s tasting the 2020s, yet the wines delighted our jaded palates with the estate’s trademark roundness and approachability. There can be no better set of wines with which to introduce a neophyte to the charms of Burgundy, yet at the same time these are serious wines that appeal every bit as much to seasoned Burgundy aficionados.
“Romain Taupenot has been behind the ascent of Taupenot-Merme in recent years. It is almost as if fashion has caught up with them, traditionally furrowing their own path of slightly leaner, terroir-driven wines that were as much about texture as fruit, now many growers have changed back more to this style.” - Neal Martin
While there is no doubt that whole bunch fermentation is in fashion currently, here is an estate that uses none at all, yet which makes utterly delicious, appealing wines. New oak is used only minimally too and the net result of these factors, plus a focus on organic farming and minimal interventional winemaking makes for a selection that is fresh, elegant and expressive of the wines’ various terroirs.
Winemaking here is in its seventh generation with the incumbent Romain Taupenot and his hand on the tiller has really seen this estate rise through the ranks, not necessarily yet noticed by all. As Neal Martin puts it, this is “a domaine where quality has dramatically improved in recent years – as I keep telling anyone that will listen”.
“A dream vintage until the end of June,” Romain Taupenot explained to us that the lack of rain from then onwards led to hydric stress that concentrated everything , including acidity and minerality, so a much smaller harvest, but one of balance came in. He calls 2020 “a fresh, dynamic vintage driven by black fruit, but also terroir.” Once again, the purity of fruit here was outstanding, making these some wonderful choices for the cellar.
“David Lavantureux is making some very stylish Chablis from his base in Lignorelles.” - Tim Atkin
Brothers David and Arnaud Lavantureux took over from their parents Roland and Brigitte in 2010, becoming the third generation of winemakers at this Chablis estate. Their philosophy is one of fully expressing the differences between different terroirs and vintages, while making “intense Chablis with richness and complexity”.
Unquestionably rising stars, the only unfortunate grey cloud on the horizon is how little there is of these wines to go around in 2020.
“His 2020s are simply terrific and this is true up and down his hierarchy. If you can find them, don’t hesitate.” - Burghound
What can be said about Cathiard besides the fact that their range is so heavily oversubscribed each year that they do not typically make it into this brochure? Aware of the worldwide clamour for this wines, Sébastien Cathiard now has in his range a pair of reds from the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. More accessibly priced than his Vosne, Nuits and Chambolle wines, but fully showcasing the quality of his winemaking ‘Les Dames Huguettes’ and ‘Aux Chaumes’ are well worth checking out, scoring as well with Neal Martin as the Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny village wines.
“The 2020s are among the better wines I have ever seen from Drag.” - Burghound
Domaine Jean Chauvenet are Nuits-St-Georges specialists. Not only do they specialise in this particular village, but more specifically they focus on wines of real approachability and friendliness. Red fruits predominate and while the long-term ageing potential is certainly less than at the likes of Gouges, that is no
bad thing for those looking to drink and enjoy their Nuits in the first three or four years of its life, especially given the quality on offer for the price.
Winemaker Christophe Drag, Jean Chauvenet’s son-in-law, is extremely happy with his 2020s, despite darker than usual colours. Burghound’s Allen Meadows quotes Drag’s summing up of the vintage thus: “The aromas are ripe but fresh and the palate impression is one of vibrancy, indeed the wines make you want to drink them! The have excellent densities and should age accordingly.”
“Philippe Colin exudes an air of quiet seriousness, and his style is pure and elegant, beautifully defined by site, eschewing any stylistic successes… I encourage readers to seek out these wines. Clearly, the domaine flies somewhat under the radar when one considers the quality to be found in the bottle.” - William Kelley
A new addition to our range in the 2019, this Chassagne estate is already becoming a customer favourite. While we are delighted to offer the wines of Domaines Bernard Moreau and Joseph Colin in Chassagne, there is never anywhere near enough produced each year to satisfy demand. For this reason, we were on the lookout for a new producer to join our ranks for the last couple of years, none quite managing to tick all the necessary boxes until we came across this estate.
Domaine Philippe Colin is based in a modern winery in Chassagne-Montrachet, crafting a range that is very well received by the critics while spanning the whole spectrum from a great value Bourgogne Blanc to a stellar Chevalier-Montrachet. The house style is one of elegance, with new oak use minimised so as better to better allow the wines to express their origins. If you are yet to experience the charms of Philippe Colin do not hesitate to dive in!
Philippe, who is now handing over winemaking duties to his son Simon, was very pleased with his 2020 harvest, in particular the balance between ripeness and acidity. Neal Martin was pleased too: “Among the barrel samples, his Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes really stood out for me, challenging even his Chevalier-Montrachet.”
“A very persuasive portfolio of 2020s, defined by deep and vibrant fruit tones, rich and powdery tannins and the impressively saturated hues that characterize the vintage along the Côte d'Or.”- William Kelley
This legendary estate has led the way on seemingly everything from the modern trend towards using whole bunches, through to single-handedly lifting public perception of their home village of Morey-Saint-Denis.
We are able to offer three wines from Dujac’s négociant ‘Fils et Père’ range, which receive the same loving care and attention in the winery as the Domaine wines, but which are offered at keener prices.
“Bursting with perfumed aromatics and structured around fine, powdery tannins, Duband's wines carry a strong signature but remain nicely differentiated within the range .”
- William Kelley
A new addition to our range this year, David Duband is situated up in the picturesque Hautes Côtes above Nuits, but holds an enviable portfolio of vineyards in the Côte d’Or.
Having worked at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, David Duband took over the family estate in 1991 aged just 19. He immediately stopped selling the family’s production to négociants, instead making his own wine, and later added a number of prestigious vineyards acquired from the legendary Jacky Truchot on his retirement, purchased in conjunction with his business partner François Feuillet in 2005.
Since diving in at the deep end back in the 1990s, David has honed and refined his winemaking style to one that makes judicious use of whole bunch fermentation and which coaxes out the charm of every parcel he owns.
Today, David works closely with some of Burgundy’s most prestigious names—Dujac, Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti—to research and explore ideas and methods, while his wines are listed in 16 of France’s 25 3-Michelin-starred restaurants.
“Superb 2020s from Buffet ... I find great purity, poise and terroir expression here, with
silky tannins and vivacious red fruit.” - Neal Martin
Based in a cracking spot in the heart of Volnay behind the church, Marc-Olivier Buffet has some low-roofed, charming cellars comprising not only the 2020s in their barrels, but a selection of bottled wines dating back to the Second World War, alas not available for sale! In his vineyards he is a keen exponent of repiquage, replacing individual wines once they are dead or have stopped producing rather than ripping up large plots at one time, thus maximising the age of his vines. He has seven hectares spanning Volnay, Pommard and Savigny-Lès-Beaune.
Buffet’s wines remain great value, despite the quality on show here in 2020. This is a Domaine whose wines just keep on getting better and better as Marc-Olivier fine tunes his skills.
“Albert Bichot is one of those Beaune-based producers that can really surprise. Maybe like me, you spent years dismissing the wines while drinking your La Tâche and then lo and behold, you are served a bottle of Bichot blind and marvel at how well it shows.” - Neal Martin
Bichot’s wines are characterised by their elegance and nuance – think of a ballerina rather than a rugby player! The wines feel so unforced and effortless; the very essence of what Burgundy should be about. These are perhaps not wines to convert New World drinkers, but they most certainly are wines to bring a smile to the face of many an existing Burgundy fan.
While HQ is in the centre of Beaune, Bichot’s holdings are vinified locally—Domaine du Pavillon in Pommard, Domaine du Clos Frantin and the monopole Château Gris in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Domaine Long-Depaquit up in Chablis. This means each wine gets the same care and attention as it would at a standalone property, but also the back up of a well-resourced and widely experienced winemaking team.
We have selected our highlights from the Bichot stable in 2020, including a good range of Chablis and a stunning Meursault ‘Charmes’ from an ex-Domaine Leflaive winemaker.
It means reserving top vintages before they are bottled. By paying an instalment ‘up front’, you reserve wine while it is still in the barrel, before the wines are shipped to the UK during the course of late 2022 and early 2023.
How does payment work?
Now you need only pay the ‘cellar door’ price. Prior to delivery, we will invoice you for the second instalment (duty - around £2.23 a bottle at today’s prices) plus VAT on the total. Delivery (currently £7.99) is also applicable, unless you are a member of Unlimited. Alternatively, you can keep your case stored In Bond or Duty Paid in our state of the art temperature- and humidity-controlled customer storage facility (currently £12.60 per case per year).
The advantages of 'En Primeur' buying
Demand for fine wines is always high as there simply isn’t enough to go around. En Primeur guarantees you an allocation of the finest wines at opening prices - providing you are quick!
Once we receive your order we will send you a Reservation Certificate to your customer address. If the wines you have chosen are sold out we’ll contact you to advise which are still available.