Julien Guillot Bourgogne Cuvee Auguste 2019


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“Bursting with aromas of peonies, orange rind, sweet berries, plums and rose petals, the 2019 Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Auguste is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with lively acids and a perfumed core of fruit that’s framed by melting tannins. While this cuvée sometimes behaves erratically in the cellar, Guillot assures me that more attention to detail when racking and the use of a new, in-house bottling line will help to improve consistency. Today, this is certainly a beautiful wine, the most delicious Cuvée Auguste I’ve tasted. Drink: 2021-2025. 91 points

In a sense, a visit to Julien Guillot’s Domaine des Vignes du Maynes is like stepping back in time. Farmed organically since the Second World War, these vineyards have never seen pesticides or herbicides. The Guillot family also never planted clonal selections of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay, preferring to keep the lower yielding local selections that have since died out elsewhere. Even the estate’s cellars are constructed on the ruins of a Roman villa. Yet for all the weight of history here, Domaine des Vignes du Maynes is also decidedly innovative. Guillot is a pioneer of biodynamics in Southern Burgundy: when he made the shift in 1998, his neighbors referred to his endeavors as “les conneries de Guillot”—”Guillot’s bullshit.” He vinifies with little or no sulfur dioxide. And he’s a darling of the so-called natural wine movement, his wines coveted by Parisian cavistes and East Coast sommeliers alike. They merit all the attention, because Guillot is far from a follower of fashion: wander through the vineyards of Cruzille in springtime, and the chances are you’ll run into him on a tractor. Complex and textural, the whites are exotic examples of white Burgundy that will surprise anyone habituated to aseptic, sterile commercial Mâcon. And the reds are superb: satiny and perfumed expressions of Pinot Noir and Gamay that disappear dangerously rapidly. This is an iconic estate in the Mâconnais, and readers shouldn’t hesitate to experience these singular wines for themselves.”

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (08/21)