Burgundy, France, WINE

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Arguably the world's most revered wine region, the name Burgundy is evocative of so many superlatives that's its futile to list them all. The red Pinot Noir wines and white Chardonnay wines from France's landlocked, continental east stand squarely in the pantheon of the world's finest. The region's fame is centered on its various geographical and climatic expressions of very specific vineyard sites through the medium of two grapes. Indeed, the term terroir seems to be have coined specifically to describe this phenomenon. The broad Bourgogne AOC designation encompasses so many sub-zones, villages, and single-vineyards that entire tomes have been written throughout the centuries attempting to explain it in all its intricacies.

The region's finest wines come from the long, east facing slope of the Côte d'Or, which is further divided into two main sections. The northern section of Côte de Nuits contains the most cherished Pinot Noir vineyards in the world. Up and down the slope, differnt patches of marlstone and clay overlay the limestone crest of the Côte, and numerous pockets and gentle folds create an array of slope aspects. Travelling south down the Côte, the villages of Marsanny and Fixin are a good introduction to the landscape of the Côte de Nuits, and although the wines are not nearly as refined or revered as those further south, they offer a rustic, savage edge that is distinct to their particularly iron-rich soils. The village of Gevrey is the beginning of a truly stunning run of excellence, with wines known for power, depth, and the longest lives of any Pinot Noir in the world. The highlight is the Grand Cru complex of Chambertin. While all plots bearing the name are considered excellent, Chambertin itself is the apex of power in Burgundy. Morey-St-Denis is an afterthought sandwiched between its more illustrious neighbors, but this tiny commune boasts five of the twenty-two red Grand Crus on the Côte, and the overall village style is similar to that of Gevrey, but without quite such intense stucture. Chambolle-Musigny is one of the crown jewels of Burgundy, thanks in large part to the Musigny Grand Cru, one of the three or four greatest vineyard sites in the world, period. The wines from this village are the epitome of elegance and grace, quite the opposite of its neighbors to the north. Moving south through the village of Flagey and the lesser Grands Crus of Echezeaux and Clos de Vougeot, greatness again rears its head. The Grand Cru and Premier Cru plots in Vosne-Romanée are among the finest, most expensive lands under vine in the entire world, and rightly so. The wines of Vosne-Romanée combine elements of spicy concentration and sappy texture with the most suave finesse imaginable. The profile is truly indescribable. The commune of Nuits-St-Georges can claim no Grands Crus, but the best sites in this village can certainly rival the lesser Grands Crus for complexity and ageworthiness, as the wines display a certain fortitude reminiscient of Gevrey-Chambertin.

After a brief break in prime vineyard land, the Côte de Beaune resumes the line of great sites at Corton, a prominent, solitary, conical hill, which has vines on all sides. The eastern slope is covered by secondary red Grand Cru plots, but its true claim to fame are the white Grands Crus on the south slope, centered around Le Charlemagne. On the backside of the hill, across from its western slope, the small village of Pernand-Vergelesses is quietly producing racy, if a bit rustic, red wines from cool, east-facing vineyards. One of a handful of side valleys running west off the main slope of the Côte, Savigny-les-Beaune is another lesser-known village that is nonetheless making some of Burgundy's best value wines for their prices. The village of Beaune in the centerpiece of all of Burgundy, its commercial and cultural heart. The vineyards above the village are predominantly Pinot Noir, but there are also some very admirable Chardonnay plantings among the red vines. The wines are typically gentle, medium-full examples with plenty of charm and mid-term life spans, but without the depth or complexity of the Côte de Nuits. Pommard's iron-rich red soils impart a stern tannic streak to the wines, which is not generally countered by any level elegance. Rather, these wines are brooding, darkly structured, and stout, but just across the AOC line, the soils abruptly change to limestone, and the red wines from Volnay, though lighter and racier, are exemplary of the perfumed elegance that this terroir brings to its wines. Up another side valley outside of the town of Meursault, the villages of Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, and St-Romain are produce compelling red wines and very enjoyable whites. The Meursault AOC itself is on the same limestone bed as Volnay and, although there are no Grands Crus here, the best premier cru sites yield white wines of softer, richer texture and long, perfumed flavour profiles. The next two village AOCs lay claim to the greatest white wine vineyard in the world. Puligny-Montrachet, just south of Meursault, is apogee of refinement, elegance, and finesse in white Burgundy. Beginning with the ultimate white Grand Cru, Le Montrachet, the top vineyards here produce wines with bright structure, medium weight, and ethereal mineral and floral character. Chassagne-Montrachet to the south contains about a third of the area of the Montrachet Grand Cru complex, but this village is at least as well known for its rustic red wines. The white wines do not display the richness of Meursault or the finesse of Puligny, but they still show tremendously appealing floral and nutty components backed by firm, acidic structure. The red wine village of Santenay marks the southern terminus of the Côte d'Or, where the wines are generally well-made, but lack the profundity of those from the best villages to the north.

To the immediate south of the Côte d'Or lies the rolling, pastoral hills of the Côte Chalonnaise, similar to Beaune in soil type, but at a higher elevation and without the defined ridge line. A great volume of both red and white wines are produced here, with wide ranges of quality, but the best tend to come from the villages of Montagny, Rully, Givry, and Mercurey. Some 35km south is the white wine hotbed of Mâconnais. Limestone bedrock and slightly warmer climate favor Chardonnay over all else, and some of the Côte d'Or's best producers are now staking claims around the villages of St-Véran, Viré-Clessé, and most notably, Pouilly-Fuissé.

At either end of the main stretch of Burgundy lie two highly distinctive AOCs with very particular specialties. Approximately 100km northwest of Dijon is the village of Chablis, where ancient sea beds form the distinctive Kimmeridgian limestone soils that give the Chardonnay wines their highly specific character — clean, chalky minerality and dancing, electric acidity. The finest premier cru wines, and even some Grands Crus, are among the greatest price-to-quality wines in Burgundy, and the regional style has attracted a devoted, almost fanatical following from aficionados. The nearby red wine AOC of Irancy does much the same for Pinot Noir.

South of Mâcon, the Beaujolais AOC is technically part of Burgundy, but really only on paper. The heavy, granitic soils are best suited to the Gamay grape, yielding lightly fruity, highly mineral, elegant wines, in general. Vineyard plantings are widespread, but the best wines come from ten specific communes under the Beaujolais Cru designation. Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, and Côte de Brouilly produce the most profound wines with the best aging potential, while Fleurie and Regnie are the epitome of elegance and finesse here.

Burgundy is without question the most complex, byzantine, and often confusing region in France, but it's also without question the most rewarding. Every serious wine lover can point the moment in which they discovered the impossible greatness of these wines. When one descends down the Burgundy rabbit hole, the world wine is turned on its head.

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92 points and 'Outstanding,' Allen Meadows (Burghound): (20% whole cluster). There is a hint of menthol to the markedly floral red and blue berry fruit aromas with spice, earth and exotic tea scents. There is fine volume to the attractively textured middle weight flavors that also enjoy solid mid… ...
AM 92
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Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Charmes 2011  (#334160)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

92 points and 'Outstanding,' Allen Meadows (Burghound): (20% whole cluster). There is a hint of menthol to the markedly floral red and blue berry fruit aromas with spice, earth and exotic tea scents. There is fine volume to the attractively textured…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
97 points Tim Atkin, MW: It’s always interesting to compare this tiny production of Clos des Lambrays (all 180 litres of it) with what’s produced in the rest of the Grand Cru. Super fine and ethereal, this is sappy and refreshing with no whole bunches and layers of sweet summer berry fruit.… ...
TA 97
WE 96
JG 95
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Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2014  (#326710)

Pinot Noir from Morey-St.-Denis, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

97 points Tim Atkin, MW: It’s always interesting to compare this tiny production of Clos des Lambrays (all 180 litres of it) with what’s produced in the rest of the Grand Cru. Super fine and ethereal, this is sappy and refreshing with no whole…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
TA 97
WE 96
JG 95
96-99 points Fine Wine Review: This is undoubtedly the greatest young Corton I’ve tasted from Faiveley, and probably from anyone. The nose is intense with spicy dark fruits. The mouth is pure, precise, dense, and long with amazing energy and elegance, power, and length. Perhaps I just caught this… ...
FWR 96-99
AM 96
ST 95
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Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley 2015  (#332491)

Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, France

96-99 points Fine Wine Review: This is undoubtedly the greatest young Corton I’ve tasted from Faiveley, and probably from anyone. The nose is intense with spicy dark fruits. The mouth is pure, precise, dense, and long with amazing energy and elegance…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
FWR 96-99
AM 96
ST 95
$219.95
$300.00
Save $80.05 (27%)300.00
Save $80.05 (27%)
87-90 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): (from a 1.06 ha parcel planted in 1950). This too is quite earthy with the same dark cherry aromas though here there is a bit more breadth in the form of pepper and sauvage nuances. There is good volume to the punchy medium-bodied flavors that possess solid… ...
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Lamy/Hubert Chassagne-Montrachet La Goujonne Rouge 2013  (#334284)

Pinot Noir from Chassagne-Montrachet, Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, France

87-90 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): (from a 1.06 ha parcel planted in 1950). This too is quite earthy with the same dark cherry aromas though here there is a bit more breadth in the form of pepper and sauvage nuances. There is good volume to the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
95 points Tim Atkin, MW: Influenced by the proximity of the village, which provides a little more heat and protection, this vineyard is now 60 years old. The resulting wine is typically subtle and aromatic, with delicate tannins, sweet red cherry and wild strawberry fruit. Wonderfully subtle. 2016… ...
TA 95
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Barthod/Ghislaine Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Gruenchers 2014  (#332127)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

95 points Tim Atkin, MW: Influenced by the proximity of the village, which provides a little more heat and protection, this vineyard is now 60 years old. The resulting wine is typically subtle and aromatic, with delicate tannins, sweet red cherry and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny Village, which contains 10% whole bunches, seems more expressive on the nose than the Morey-Saint-Denis, offering blackberry, raspberry and light loamy aromas. The palate is well balanced, the 30% new oak nicely integrated. The charming, open-knit… ...
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Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 2017  (#335242)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny Village, which contains 10% whole bunches, seems more expressive on the nose than the Morey-Saint-Denis, offering blackberry, raspberry and light loamy aromas. The palate is well balanced, the 30% new…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
PRE-ARRIVAL
90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Corton La Vigne au Saint is a relatively soft, supple wine for the year. Sweet rose petal, mint, berries, wild flowers and cherries are all given an extra touch of finesse from the silky tannins. Here it is the wine's delicacy that stands out. Drink:… ...
AG 90-93
AM 89-92
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Domaine des Croix Corton La Vigne au Saint 2013  (#327539)

Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, France

90-93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Corton La Vigne au Saint is a relatively soft, supple wine for the year. Sweet rose petal, mint, berries, wild flowers and cherries are all given an extra touch of finesse from the silky tannins. Here…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
AG 90-93
AM 89-92
$119.95
$145.00
Save $25.05 (17%)145.00
Save $25.05 (17%)
96 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): An intensely floral nose features notes of dried rose petal and lavender along with cool red berry fruit that is liberally laced with earth, spice and menthol nuances. The taut and muscular broad-scaled and concentrated flavors are precise, intense and… ...
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Dujac Clos de la Roche 2010  (#314356)

Pinot Noir from Morey-St.-Denis, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

96 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): An intensely floral nose features notes of dried rose petal and lavender along with cool red berry fruit that is liberally laced with earth, spice and menthol nuances. The taut and muscular broad-scaled and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
97 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): I always have a sweet spot in my heart for the Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis, but in 2017, even I have to admit that the beautiful Clos de la Roche is a step up! The bouquet is flamboyant and sappy this year, soaring from the glass in a great blend of… ...
JG 97
DE 97
JM 93-96
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Dujac Clos de la Roche 2017  (#334405)

Pinot Noir from Morey-St.-Denis, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

97 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): I always have a sweet spot in my heart for the Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis, but in 2017, even I have to admit that the beautiful Clos de la Roche is a step up! The bouquet is flamboyant and sappy this…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
JG 97
DE 97
JM 93-96
89-92 points Jasper Morris, MW: Fine bright mid purple, with slight torrefaction notes though also some vibrant hillside fruit trying to escape. Fresh redcurrant and raspberry on the plate, higher acidity. Ripe enough but fresh. This should get there with a little more elevage. Tasted: November 2018… ...
JM 92
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Felettig Morey-St-Denis En la Rue de Vergy 2017  (#333859)

Pinot Noir from Morey-St.-Denis, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

89-92 points Jasper Morris, MW: Fine bright mid purple, with slight torrefaction notes though also some vibrant hillside fruit trying to escape. Fresh redcurrant and raspberry on the plate, higher acidity. Ripe enough but fresh. This should get there…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 5 available
NEW ITEM
91-93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru, containing 10% whole bunches, has an expressive, well-defined bouquet, the fruit a little darker than other Premier Crus from the domaine and hints of marmalade and quince surfacing with aeration. The taut, focused… ...
V 91-93
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Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Charmes 2017  (#335245)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

91-93 points Neal Martin (Vinous): The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru, containing 10% whole bunches, has an expressive, well-defined bouquet, the fruit a little darker than other Premier Crus from the domaine and hints of marmalade and…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
PRE-ARRIVAL
89-92 points Jasper Morris, MW: Fine bright mid purple, with slight torrefaction notes though also some vibrant hillside fruit trying to escape. Fresh redcurrant and raspberry on the plate, higher acidity. Ripe enough but fresh. This should get there with a little more elevage. Tasted: November 2018… ...
JM 92
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Pic

Felettig Morey-St-Denis En la Rue de Vergy 2017  (#333845)

Pinot Noir from Morey-St.-Denis, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

89-92 points Jasper Morris, MW: Fine bright mid purple, with slight torrefaction notes though also some vibrant hillside fruit trying to escape. Fresh redcurrant and raspberry on the plate, higher acidity. Ripe enough but fresh. This should get there…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
NEW ITEM
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