Cote de Beaune


Showing 25–36 of 50 results

  • Jean Javillier Volnay Premier Cru Clos des Chenes 2021

    £54.95

    “As I wrote only a few months ago, Domaine Jean Javillier & Fils is the sort of estate that this wine critic dreams of discovering. Hiding in plain sight equidistant between the premises of Coche-Dury and Roulot, this small domaine—producing a mere 20,000 bottles per year—does everything the old-fashioned way. Farming vineyards that have never seen chemicals and which have been certified organic since 1971, Alain Javillier favors massal selections: “We tried clones in the past, but they are not as good; I’m only going to let you taste wines made from massal selections.” Reds and whites alike are harvested in small crates, with whites pressed in an old Vaslin mechanical press. The musts are chilled to 15 degrees Celsius, and Alain tastes the lees when barreling down. Twelve months maturation in barrel and four in tank ensue, followed by bottling by hand, by gravity. Reds, by contrast, ferment without temperature control, and only free-run juice is used. The result is chewy, structured whites with plenty of texture and dry extract and sumptuous, supple and exquisitely elegant reds. “Some people tell me I make red wine for girls,” Javillier remarks. The inspiration here is sound: the white and red Burgundies of the 1940s. How much longer can such methods endure? “Now everyone works faster and faster, we have more and more Chardonnay, less and less Meursault,” Javillier poignantly observes. Indeed, so unspoiled is this domaine, I hesitated to write about it. But any readers nostalgic for the wines of yesteryear, before the stylistic excesses of the 1990s and the subsequent reaction against them, will find them at this address.

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/22)

    In Stock

  • Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Abbaye de Morgeot 2021

    £89.95

    “The 2021 Chassagne-Montrachet Abbaye de Morgeot 1er Cru has the best, most complex and well-defined bouquet amongst Jadot’s Chassagne, demonstrating more mineralité and nuance. The palate is well-balanced with a fine bead of acidity. It’s pretty saline in the mouth, with impressive depth and extract on the finish. This should drink beautifully over the next 15-20 years. Drinking window: 2024-2038. 91-93 points

    “The frost was clearly the worst event we have had for 40-50 years that affected all the vineyards from Chablis to Beaujolais,” head winemaker Frédéric Barnier admits in our usual two session comprehensive tasting, albeit shortened by numerous cuvées falling victim to the frost and their percentage of contracted fruit. “We did not expect the reds to be affected as well. There was little you could do to fight it. The first night, I said not to use candles…there was no point except for those growers that pruned late. Personally, I am more keen to work on agronomic solutions that might delay the bud break via rootstock and clones and so forth. You can delay by one week to ten days; that can make the difference between a 2021 and a 2022. We need to understand the risk plot-by-plot, why some are affected more than others. The vines were stressed for a long time, and it took a while to see the vineyards recover. By the end of May, it looked like the beginning of April in the vines. They were sensitive to the oïdium. It was not a cold year like 2013, but in terms of humidity, it was the necessary amount of rain, but the fact that there were constant light showers created a humid atmosphere. So, rot pressure was constant, which inhibited vine growth because they needed hot temperatures.”

    “We started picking on 21 September, knowing that we would have a shorter time to pick; the last fruit was picked on 30 September, starting in the Côte de Beaune and then in the Côte de Nuits and the later parts of the Côte de Beaune. Usually, it takes a fortnight. The fruit was not perfect, so key things were the quality of pressing to adapt to small volumes and choosing the right lees, as sometimes they were not good. So during settling, it was vital to choose the lees that you want to use for the fermentation and ageing. For the reds, it was important to sort the grapes, which we had not done in recent years, to select what you want for the maceration. The fermentation was normal, but the maturation was challenging. If we buy few new barrels in 2021, then this has a knock-on for the next vintage [i.e. a lack of used wood]. Some of the whites are in large oak tanks to maintain a classic balance. For the whites, we have natural nervosité because of the higher malic acid, so we blocked some of the malolactic fermentation to capture that. I am thinking about bottling the reds at the end of the year after racking – I’m not sure what ageing will bring, whereas the whites could accept a longer élevage.”

    Barnier is a winemaker that showcases a refreshing change in being unafraid to speak his mind. “It’s not: back to a classic vintage,” he contentiously says, contradicting numerous other winemakers. “Nowadays, a classic vintage is 2018, 2019 and 2020. In fact, for the reds, the pH is quite high, and acidity is quite low.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (01/23)

    In Stock

  • Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle Rouge 2017

    £59.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge 2017

    £44.95

    “The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge, which has been in tank for two weeks, has a very pure, almost Cotes de Nuits like bouquet, a little sensual like a Vosne-Romanée. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, fine acidity, quite compact and just needing more flesh to come through on the finish. I think this will gain some stuffing after it has completed its elevage. (DIAM closure). Drinking window: 2022-2030. 87-89 points

    Long-term readers will be aware of the esteem in which I hold this domaine, based in Gamay. In recent years, they have built up a loyal following of wine-lovers who adore their mainly white crus that focus on Saint-Aubin, yet extend into Chassagne- and Puligny-Montrachet, including a prized plot in Montrachet. For me, their range really shines at Premier and even Village Cru level. Damien Colin is a congenial winemaker who has pushed quality to greater heights in recent years. He started off by explaining the recent amicable division between himself and his brother. “My brother Joseph has created his own domaine with six hectares and so Caroline and I will keep 12 hectares,” he said. “Some vineyards go to him entirely and others are split between us. Joseph has his own family and so naturally he wanted his own enterprise.” Some of the minutiae of the division and reconfiguration of holdings can be found in the tasting notes, but basically the crus that will no longer appear under “Marc Colin” but “Joseph Colin” henceforth include Puligny La Garenne, Saint-Aubin Clos de Meix, Sous la Roche Dumay and Sur Le Sentier du Clou. I will try to taste Joseph’s wines in future, but I was unable to do so this year due to time constraints.

    “We had no problem with the frost in 2017,” Damien continued. “There was some pressure of mildew but none during the harvest. It was more difficult in July when it was hot. The harvest began on September 2 and it went well, taking place over nine days. The vinification was normal. One thing that has changed is that from 2017, all the wines spend six months minimum in tank after 12 months in bottle, and now we have more space in the winery that makes this possible. It gives more freshness and density to the wines, but keeps the same style. Also, I use slightly larger barrels, 300 and 350 litres in size for the whites, to moderate the influence of oak.”

    This was yet another strong set of performances from the domaine and perhaps with fewer cuvées to tend, Damien Colin can focus even more attention on quality. Amongst several Saint-Aubins, the Le Charmois really stood out as a scintillating expression of the 2017 vintage, and the Les Combes, en Creots and en Montceau were not far behind. Generally, I probably found more “bite” amongst the 2016s last year, but the 2017s are still very fine examples of the appellation and excellent value. Of course, the Montrachet is a brilliant wine, though a recent sensational 2009 was a reminder that it benefits from bottle age. Damien uses DIAM throughout his range.

    Neal Martin, Vinous (01/19)

    In Stock

  • Marc Colin Santenay Les Champs Claude Vieilles Vignes 2015

    £49.95

    “The 2015 Santenay Vieilles Vignes Champs Claude, which comes from vines planted back in 1901 (so they are genuine Vieilles Vignes!) has a vibrant, edgy, redcurrant and cranberry scented bouquet, hints of tomato vine and persimmon developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle, caressing tannin. This is one of the best balanced and harmonious of the domaine’s 2015s, with a sensual and quite beguiling finish that lingers long in the mouth. This comes highly recommended. Drink: 2017-2026. 90-92 points

    Damien Colin informed me that he had been taking English lessons in recent weeks so he invited me to conduct the tasting in his second language, rather than French as we usually do. I must say, he has a good teacher because he spoke very well. But it was the wines that did the talking, fluently translating the vagaries of their respective terroirs. A few of his whites had been bottled in August just before the harvest, although most of the range will be bottled early spring next year. “The 2015 vintage was easy,” Damien told me, laughing at that thought after the trauma of the 2016. “After the high temperatures we started picking on 2 September. We thought that the fruit would be riper after a sunny vintage but the alcoholic degree was very correct in the end, between 12.5° and 13.0°. The problem was the acidity but after the malolactic the acidity levels stayed constant. [A phenomenon that a couple of growers had told me, including David Croix at Domaine des Croix.] The wines were less rich and fresher than we expected. We search more and more freshness and acidity, and we had a lot of that in Saint Aubin because of the limestone soils. The vinification was normal although now we are using more and more foudres, which we like because it helps us keep the freshness and does not impart too much taste of the wood. In addition we discovered that there is more carbonic gas remaining after the two fermentations so that means that the wine is more protected and we do not need to use so much SO2. It means these wines have more energy. We use 30-40% maximum for each cuvée.”

    This was another very impressive set of wines from Damien and Joseph Colin, reaffirming their position as one of the best winemakers in the Côte de Beaune. As I remarked to Damien, I felt that their strongest suit is their Saint Aubins, whose limestone soils advantaged them in the warmth of the 2015 season, imparting the acidity naturally and retaining good pH levels. This was evidenced by the Chassagne-Montrachet that did not quite deliver the same race and nervosité. If you can find their Grand Crus, then you have my congratulations. As I mention in the tasting notes, they had the novel idea of commissioning a specially-made barrel with staves alternating between old and new to inhibit the influence of the oak. I thought this worked especially well with the exemplary Montrachet Grand Cru. Overall, it was a marvelous set of whites from Joseph and Damien Colin that are mostly strongly recommended.”

    Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (228)

    In Stock

  • Michel Gaunoux Beaune 2020

    £57.95

    “Time seems to stand still at Domaine Michel Gaunoux. A tasting at this small ten-hectare estate, headquartered off Pommard’s Place d’Eglise, is an encounter with red Burgundy as it used to be: firm, concentrated and uncompromisingly built for the long haul. Richly extracted and tight-knit in their youth, Gaunoux wines need time; and fortunately, the domaine accommodates their clientele’s impatience by retaining large stocks of the best vintages for release somewhat closer to full maturity. Whether because of that policy—which means this address is never included in current vintage reports—or the family’s sense of discretion, Domaine Michel Gaunoux also remains among the region’s best kept secrets for lovers of traditionally styled red Burgundy.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

  • Michel Gaunoux Corton Grand Cru Renardes 2020

    £139.95

    “Time seems to stand still at Domaine Michel Gaunoux. A tasting at this small ten-hectare estate, headquartered off Pommard’s Place d’Eglise, is an encounter with red Burgundy as it used to be: firm, concentrated and uncompromisingly built for the long haul. Richly extracted and tight-knit in their youth, Gaunoux wines need time; and fortunately, the domaine accommodates their clientele’s impatience by retaining large stocks of the best vintages for release somewhat closer to full maturity. Whether because of that policy—which means this address is never included in current vintage reports—or the family’s sense of discretion, Domaine Michel Gaunoux also remains among the region’s best kept secrets for lovers of traditionally styled red Burgundy.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

  • Michel Gaunoux Pommard Premier Cru Arvelets 2020

    £134.95

    “Time seems to stand still at Domaine Michel Gaunoux. A tasting at this small ten-hectare estate, headquartered off Pommard’s Place d’Eglise, is an encounter with red Burgundy as it used to be: firm, concentrated and uncompromisingly built for the long haul. Richly extracted and tight-knit in their youth, Gaunoux wines need time; and fortunately, the domaine accommodates their clientele’s impatience by retaining large stocks of the best vintages for release somewhat closer to full maturity. Whether because of that policy—which means this address is never included in current vintage reports—or the family’s sense of discretion, Domaine Michel Gaunoux also remains among the region’s best kept secrets for lovers of traditionally styled red Burgundy.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

  • Michel Gaunoux Pommard Premier Cru Grands Epenots 2020

    £134.95

    “Time seems to stand still at Domaine Michel Gaunoux. A tasting at this small ten-hectare estate, headquartered off Pommard’s Place d’Eglise, is an encounter with red Burgundy as it used to be: firm, concentrated and uncompromisingly built for the long haul. Richly extracted and tight-knit in their youth, Gaunoux wines need time; and fortunately, the domaine accommodates their clientele’s impatience by retaining large stocks of the best vintages for release somewhat closer to full maturity. Whether because of that policy—which means this address is never included in current vintage reports—or the family’s sense of discretion, Domaine Michel Gaunoux also remains among the region’s best kept secrets for lovers of traditionally styled red Burgundy.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

  • Michel Gaunoux Pommard Premier Cru Rugiens 2020

    £139.95

    “Time seems to stand still at Domaine Michel Gaunoux. A tasting at this small ten-hectare estate, headquartered off Pommard’s Place d’Eglise, is an encounter with red Burgundy as it used to be: firm, concentrated and uncompromisingly built for the long haul. Richly extracted and tight-knit in their youth, Gaunoux wines need time; and fortunately, the domaine accommodates their clientele’s impatience by retaining large stocks of the best vintages for release somewhat closer to full maturity. Whether because of that policy—which means this address is never included in current vintage reports—or the family’s sense of discretion, Domaine Michel Gaunoux also remains among the region’s best kept secrets for lovers of traditionally styled red Burgundy.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

  • Rollin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2021

    £150.00

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Terres de Velle Chassagne-Montrachet La Platiere 2018

    £71.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock