Showing 37–48 of 61 results

  • Valette Macon-Chaintre Vieilles Vignes 2017

    £34.99

    “After years of trying, it was with great interest that I at last paid a visit to Philippe Valette’s elusive 8.5-hectare Chaintré estate. The Valette family were the first to exit the local cooperative, and they rapidly won a reputation for rich, concentrated wines that were frequently celebrated in the pages of this publication. On leaving school in 1990, Philippe began to convert the domaine to organic farming, and since 1992, their wines have never been chaptalized. Influenced by a meeting with Pierre Overnoy, Valette has come to identify with the natural wine movement, and today, his wines see little or no sulfur and increasingly long élevage—indeed, the 2006 Clos de Monsieur Noly spent fully 12 years in barrel. If the estate’s wines through the late 1990s were simply powerful, textural examples of high-quality white Burgundy (notes on several will appear in the next installment of Up From the Cellar), the wines being released today belong in a category of their own. Complex and sapid, I find them fascinating, but readers should be prepared to find wines that are quite different from any of the Valettes’ neighbors. Anyone who appreciates the Jura bottlings of Jean-François Ganevat or the Thomas Pico Chablis wines is likely to love them! My experience is that they often benefit from extended aeration, and I tend to decant Valette’s wines or follow them over several days.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)

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  • Valette Pouilly-Fuisse 2015

    £44.99

    “After years of trying, it was with great interest that I at last paid a visit to Philippe Valette’s elusive 8.5-hectare Chaintré estate. The Valette family were the first to exit the local cooperative, and they rapidly won a reputation for rich, concentrated wines that were frequently celebrated in the pages of this publication. On leaving school in 1990, Philippe began to convert the domaine to organic farming, and since 1992, their wines have never been chaptalized. Influenced by a meeting with Pierre Overnoy, Valette has come to identify with the natural wine movement, and today, his wines see little or no sulfur and increasingly long élevage—indeed, the 2006 Clos de Monsieur Noly spent fully 12 years in barrel. If the estate’s wines through the late 1990s were simply powerful, textural examples of high-quality white Burgundy (notes on several will appear in the next installment of Up From the Cellar), the wines being released today belong in a category of their own. Complex and sapid, I find them fascinating, but readers should be prepared to find wines that are quite different from any of the Valettes’ neighbors. Anyone who appreciates the Jura bottlings of Jean-François Ganevat or the Thomas Pico Chablis wines is likely to love them! My experience is that they often benefit from extended aeration, and I tend to decant Valette’s wines or follow them over several days.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)

    In Stock

  • Domaine de la Borde Cote de Caillot Chardonnay 2018

    £34.99

    “After an extremely challenging 2017 Julien Mareschal was very happy with the 2018 vintage. “A healthy and abundant crop, I’d sign up to have that every year!” he said as I arrived at his functional winery in the village of Pupillin, which is next to his house and around he corner from Pierre Overnoy. He picked early, and the wines are surprisingly fresh. He even compared 2018 with 2016… We tasted some 2018s from barrel, and the whites felt more powerful than the 2016s and felt like they needed a little more time; some of them might stay in barrel for one more year, so I thought it was a bit premature to review them so early. But the Côte de Caillot was again my favorite—serious, mineral and tasty with the limestone soils clearly coming through even at this early stage, rich and more Burgundian.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (243)

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  • Domaines Leflaive Saint-Veran 2018

    £37.75

    “The 2018 Saint-Véran is a very pretty and expressive wine. Yellow orchard fruit, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are pushed forward effortlessly. A touch of reduction adds character without being too dominant. This succulent, mid-weight white Burgundy offers plenty of immediacy and deliciousness. Drinking window: 2020-2026. 89 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (10/20)

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    Droin Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2018

    £49.99

    “The 2018 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru is one of the most exotic, flamboyant wines in the range. Marzipan, candied lemon confit, passionfruit and honeyed notes add to an impression of deep, exotic beauty. The 2018 isn’t a shy wine, nor it is exactly subtle, but it is flat-out delicious and arresting in its beauty. Drink it with richer foods. 93-95 points

    Benoît Droin showed me a stunning range of wines in both 2018 and 2017, culminating with a handful of library wines. I could have spent the whole day in these cellars. Over the last few years, Droin has emerged as one of the most exciting domaines in Chablis. The wines are marked by their energy, nuance and site-specific expression. As is the case in pretty much every cellar, the 2018s are open-knit and inviting, while the 2017s are more vibrant and nervy.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (01/20)

    Benoit, the current winemaker, is the 14th generation of the Droin family to be involved in the wine trade – this lineage goes back to at least 1620! He is putting his stamp on this address by dialling back on his father’s (Jean-Paul’s) use of new oak and each wine now receives the treatment that its terroir can handle, e.g. the village Chablis is fermented and matured in tank whereas the grand cru Les Clos receives 50% barrel fermentation and maturation. However, please note that the percentage of new oak here is limited to 10%. So, if you enjoy Chardonnay in the hands of a top exponent, not to mention that distinctive minerality which is attributable to Kimmeridgean limestone from the Jurassic period, these great wines of terroir are for you!

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  • Gramenon La Vie on y est Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc 2020

    £27.99

    Review to follow

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  • J.L. Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche 2017

    £54.99

    “By now it’s no secret that Erin Cannon-Chave and Jean-Louis Chave’s semi-négociant operation is producing a range of consistently excellent wines that clearly show the Chave magic at user-friendly prices. While the Hermitage Blanc Blanche will inevitably be compared to the white Hermitage from the J.L. Chave domaine, the wines that intrigue me are that Crozes-Hermitage Blanc and Saint-Joseph Blanc since neither of those appellations are present under the family’s estate label. There may be a domaine Saint-Joseph Blanc, someday, “that’s probably a job that’ll wait for our children to take on,” Chave told me.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (05/20)

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  • Maison Dampt Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2019

    £49.99

    Review to follow

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  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Champs Gain 2019

    £89.99

    “The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Champs Gain 1er Cru is more reserved on the nose compared to the Chenevottes, touches of lemon rind and light fumé aromas. The palate is very well balanced with a crisp opening. Quintessentially Chassagne, there are lovely orange pith and tangerine notes coming through towards the finish with a long spicy aftertaste tinged with crème brûlée. Excellent. Drinking window: 2022-2040. 91-93 points

    Since splitting with his brother Joseph, whose wines will hopefully be added to this report in the not-too-distant future, winemaker Damien Colin, together with his sister Caroline, has continued to create some of the best Burgundy wines you will find in Saint-Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny-Montrachet, from his winery based in the confusingly-titled village of Gamay. “It is a complicated growing season with the frost and the ‘canicule’ [heat wave]. In some appellations we produced just 30% of a normal crop in 2019, though there are others that produced a normal yield.” Damien Colin added that in Saint-Aubin, parcels located on the slopes that normally escape frost, were affected in 2019. Vines on flatter areas that are prone to frost damage seemed to escape Scot-free. He continued saying that in Saint-Aubin, buds had already begun opening, allowing moisture to enter, causing some of them to ‘explode’ when it turned to ice.

    “Flowering was normal and then there was a heatwave in the summer, but the vines did not suffer much hydric stress despite the high temperatures that reached around 40°C. The harvest was small, so the maturity came very quickly. The vintage was expected to be 15 September but by the end of August the natural alcohol was around 12.0° to 12.5°. Therefore, we brought the picking forward and began on 7 September until 18-19 September. For the whites the alcohol degree is 13.5° to 14.0°C but with high acidity, mainly tartaric. The malic was low so after the malolactic fermentation the acidity levels are still good. The harvest was rapid because of the small yields, though we had to keep stopping and starting to be precise in terms of picking. The fermentation was quite quick, finishing around mid-November and the malos passed normally in springtime. From 2019 we no longer use SO2 until after the malolactic, which was fine in 2019 as the fruit was healthy. The SO2 inhibits some of the natural yeasts and without SO2 we have a broad spectrum of yeasts that engender more complex wine. The Village Crus are matured in around 15% new oak and the Premier Crus between 20% and 25% new oak. The 2019s are all taken from vat and will be bottled next spring with the final six months in tank.”

    The 2019s from Domaine Marc Colin do not disappoint and it is remarkable, almost irrational that such freshness could be conjured in such a dry and warm season. Standout? Perhaps surprising to some, it is not their morsel of Montrachet, good as that is, but a thrilling Bâtard-Montrachet, a Grand Cru that I feel over-performs in this vintage. If unable to splash the cash, then head for their outstanding Saint-Aubin Les Charmois or Les Combes or just buy both. I also found much to admire apropos their nervy Chassagne-Montrachets, particularly in Les Vides Bourses. Not every cuvée hit the bulls-eye, but generally these 2019s continue to consolidate Damien Colin’s reputation as winemaker par excellence. Pressing him to choose between 2018 and 2019 he replies: “It is difficult for me to say one vintage is better than the other. I find more terroir character in 2019 and I think that they will need more time.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (12/20)

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  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Vide-Bourses 2017

    £99.75

    “The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Vide Bourse bursts with aromas of pear, Meyer lemon, honeycomb and toasty new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, muscular and quite youthfully introverted, with lively acids and fine overall balance. In this generally quite open and expressive vintage chez Colin, it’s one wine that will need a little time. Drink: 2025-2045. 92+ points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Puligny-Montrachet Le Trezin 2018

    £55.99

    “The 2018 Puligny-Montrachet Le Trézin unfurls in the glass with scents of white flowers, fresh peach and citrus oil, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive palate that’s tensile and chalky. That’s quite typical of this sunny but high-altitude side. 89-91 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignieres 2017

    £59.99

    “The 2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignières is performing especially well from bottle, opening in the glass with a pretty bouquet that mingles apple and pear with notions of white flowers, citrus zest and praline. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive, with lovely depth and tension but also considerable charm and upfront appeal. Drink: 2021-2037. 91 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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