PIERRE HENRI ROUGEOT MON PLAISIR PASSETOUTGRAIN ROSE 2019
LIVELY TIGHT FUN
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A complex rose made from multiple sites throughout Burgundy. Mon Plaisir, is about as complex as a rose can get. Brimming with vibrant fruit, acidity and unadulterated pleasure.
From the Producer: In 2010, Pierre-Henri was granted creative agency at Domaine Rougeot, and oversaw wholesale improvements in the winemaking processes that are reflected in the quality we know today. Like his inspiration, Lalou Bize-Leroy, Pierre-Henri is passionate about working with a high percentage of whole bunches for reds and very little sulphur to champion and fully express the fruit. He buys grapes from well located plots with sustainable soil management practices, producing lower but healthier yields. The vineyards of his choosing all engage in organic or low footprint farming methods and his wines are made without oenological ingredients, preserving their regional voice.Pierre-Henri prefers to press both his white and red grapes using a modern version of an ancient vertical grape press. Although made with the latest technology, this unconventional press differs from the pneumatic, horizontal press preferred by most producers and produces higher acid extraction and greater clarity of must. The result is dynamic, complex and elegant wines.
Both reds and whites are matured in supremely balanced, artisan oak barrels where indigenous yeasts within the oak are allowed to work their magic. The superior barrels give grace and richness to the wines without overbearing oaky notes.
YVON CLERGET LES BOUCHERES MEURSAULT 2019
FLINT PRECISION GIVING
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A stunning example of the power and precision of Meursault. Flinty, rich and razor-sharp acid. A great hommage to the vineyard and the lineage of the Clerget family.
From the producer: The Clerget family can trace its lineage back to 1268, in the midst of the crusades. It is believed that crusaders brought back Chardonnay grapes from Jerusalem. From this date onwards, the Clergets have worked hard, gaining recognition for the quality of their wines. Strong believers that vineyards are not born equal, they started to isolate the best plots of the Côte de Beaune and to buy pieces little by little, especially in Volnay, home the most refined Pinot Noirs. In 1936, the family bought a very special and small plot of premier cru called “Clos du Verseuil”, located just next to the magnificent “Taille Pieds” premier cru. They are the sole owners of this climat of 0.68 hectares. In 1945, Jean Clerget took over the vineyards at the end of World War II. Jean got married in 1948 to Edith Bon in Paris and they gave birth to Yvon Félix in Beaune in 1949.
Yvon studied at the Beaune Wine University, worked alongside his father for a few years and then accepted a job for another winery in Switzerland in 1973. Thereafter, his mother Edith took over the reins with the quality of the wines always at hear, such that she only bottled particularly good vintages. It’s in 1975 that Yvon Félix returned and fully took over the Domaine in 1983. After twenty-six vintages under his belt, Yvon decided to sell the grapes to wine merchants. The idea was that eventually, his son Thibaud would take over the reins at the Domaine.
Thibaud went to the Beaune Wine University, the best wine school in the region in order to learn all things wine and get himself ready to take over the family business. However, to further increase his knowledge he worked at Domaine Hudelot-Noellat in 2012 and 2013 in the vineyard and during the wine making process. In 2013, Thibaud travelled to New Zealand and worked at Giesen winery and in 2014 at Domaine Drouhin in Oregon, USA. These experiences opened up Thibaud’s eyes to the expression of the different terroirs* as well as the importance of the identity of a wine.
Domaine Clerget’s staggering mosaic of vineyards is closely nurtured in order to reveal the shades of the magnificent Pinot Noir varietal.
YVON CLERGET LE ROGNET CORTON 2019
STRUCTURE PRECISION LENGTH
CLASSIC / 750ML
A rare gem, in 2019 the Clerget Family managed to purchase a small amount of fruit from the fabled slopes of Corton. The wine was the last to be picked and 40% remained whole bunch throughout the fermentation period. Only four barrels were produced. The wine has considerable power, with a fine oak and stem tannin. The wine will only improve as it uncoils.
From the Producer: At the Clergets, going down to the cellar means going back in time. Go on a journey through 7 centuries and discover the secrets of a family that has lived in Burgundy since 1268. The family’s love for the Burgundian terroir is expressed in each of their vintages. A story woven from father to son over 28 generations.
ROUGE QUEUES MARANGES ROUGE EN BULIET PINOT NOIR 2018
GRIP CHERRY LENGTH
EDGY / BIODYNAMIC / 750ML
The vineyard is south facing sitting at 200masl. The wine is 100% whole bunch Pinot Noir. Once fermentation has commenced it is foot stomped and left on skins for two weeks. The wine offers dark cherries and a broad tannin profile that rides the fruit spectrum all the way to the end.
From the distributor: Humble, sensitive, generous, honest.... there are so many adjectives that could describe Isabelle and Pierre Vantley, owners and vignerons of Domaine des Rouges Queues. I have met them and tasted their wines a few times on my journey and I have always liked the energy in what they produce.
Located in the town of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, this lovely couple farm six hectares of certified organic/biodynamic principal vineyards in Maranges, Santenay, and the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. These wines are an excellent representation of good farming in Burgundy and they have worked the vines without chemicals since 1998, date where they started the domaine. Showcasing unique, expressive character of the terroir that is sometimes lost in the bigger estates. These are pure, alive and raw wines crafted with loved by this avant-garde couple that do almost everything themselves.
Situated at the southernmost end of the Côte d'Or, they are relatively more affordable than any other famous appellations of Burgundy.
LA CADETTE LA CHATELAINE VEZELAY CHARDONNAY 2018
PURE EXCITING PRECISE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A truly inspiring wine. The Chatelaine sees no oak and is a raw unadulterated example of Chardonnay. By keeping the Chardonnay 'pure' the site and season are forced to centre stage. the site - Vezelay, is comprised of various types of clay (blue-red) over shallow limestone. the combination of the two soil types gives it a unique typicity that straddles both Burgundy (Cote D'Or) and Chablis. The season - was shorter than average yielding higher levels of alcohol (13.5%) over a shorter period of time. The alcohol level in the Chatelaine isn't overwhelming and in fact, complements the fruit profile and underlying minerality of the wine.
From the Distributor: The wine comes from grapes from the vineyards on the pretty south-facing slopes of the Vézelay hills.The grapes are harvested by hand and then fermented naturally in stainless steel tanks. This is a beautifully-textured wine, showing that white wines of considerable elegance can be produced in this region. All of the La Cadette wines are made with skill and care and result in clean, clear, flavoursome wines of great elegance. Rarely do you find such consistency of flavour and texture as in the wines of this Domaine. It is easy to determine why many of the great restaurants of Europe including Le Chateaubriand and others stocks the wines of this Domaine.
TAUPENOT MERME BOURGOGNE ROUGE PINOT NOIR 2017
DESTEMMED SAVOURY TIDY
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Fully destemmed fruit often aids in the extraction of skin tannins and promotes a punctual fermentation. The Bourgogne Rouge is a rich but pretty Pinot Noir. Taupenot Merme take a hands-off approach in their winemaking, aiming to highlight the fruit/place, not the maker.
From the Distributor: Brother-and-sister team Virginie and Romain are at the helm at this domaine. It has 13 hectares on the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, with grands crus including Clos des Lambrays, Charmes-Chambertin, Corton-Rognet and Mazoyères-Chambertin. These seventh-generation winegrowers are typical of the new crop of young Burgundian vignerons who are realising the full potential of priceless family vineyard parcels through sensitive viticulture and thoughtful winemaking. All grapes are de-stemmed, with 25% new oak used for the village wines and 40% for grand and premier cru. Virginie looks after sales while Romain works the cellar, producing structured, self-assured Burgundy that expresses the vineyards well. The wines are getting better and better.
SMITH-CHAPEL BOURGOGNE ALIGOTE 2019
CRYSTALINE POISE LIMESTONE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Husband and wife team David and Michele make their wines in Beaujolais, however, they also source fruit from the Macon. The Aligote is from the sloped hills of Ige, Macon. Strong acid drive with a tactile talc line. Preserved lemons and apples occupy centre stage.
From the Distributor: 2019 Bourgogne Aligoté is from Igé, Mâcon. The grapes are grown on a single parcel of land, sloped with marl and calcaire soil, giving the wine a unique citrus note. Michele best describes this as “like drinking salty lemonade with a lick of limestone”. The wine was pressed and fermented with no sulphur added. Unfined and unfiltered, it sees fermentation and elevage in stainless steel
Domaine Chapel is a Beaujolais estate founded by husband and wife team David Chapel and Michele Smith-Chapel in the cru village of Régnié. It was in Beaujolais, while working at Domaine Lapierre in 2013, that David met Michele, a wine director based in New York. After living together in New York, the Chapels returned to Beaujolais to found Domaine Chapel. The Chapels produced their first wine - a 2016 Juliénas “Côte de Bessay” - in partnership with Mathieu and Camille Lapierre, winemakers and owners of acclaimed Morgon estate Domaine Lapierre.
Currently farming 4 hectares of vines on the slopes of Beaujolais, Domaine Chapel is divided between the crus Chiroubles and Fleurie. Working by hand, in organic agriculture, the focus is always to promote the health of the soil and work with respect for the natural environment.
2018 was an important year for Domaine Chapel, as they started farming 3 plots in two different crus of Beaujolais: Fleurie (Charbonnieres) and Chiroubles (Saint-Roch and Poullet). Sitting at 460m and 400m respectively the subsequent work they’ve done has been organic and by hand, using only garden tools and a cable plough. The following year, they began farming one additional hectare of old vines in the parcel Charbonnières.
Domaine Chapel has recently introduced Smith-Chapel wines, an exploration of high altitude parcels located on the slopes of Beaujolais and the nearby Mâconnais region. They partner with growers who work with respect for the land they care for, who are either already certified organic or are in the conversion period.
The wines are bottled in lightweight glass to create a minimal impact on the environment when shipped. There is a Nomacorc cork-like closure, made from carbon-neutral sugarcane, a renewable resource which is also recyclable.
FRANCOIS LAMARCHE CLOS VOUGEOT VOSNE-ROMANEE PINOT NOIR 2017
PURE DELICATE BRIGHT
CLASSIC / 750ML
I first tried these wines at a small Restaurant in France called Pot D'Etain. The bottle was to this day the great red Burgundy (Les Malconsorts) I've had in my life. The Clos Vougeot is a delicate example of the vineyard with at least 80% of the fruit being destemmed. It spends roughly two weeks on skins before being pressed to oak (60-100% new oak) for a minimum of 16 months. I still get giddy thinking about that wine.
From the Distributor: The rapid, Lazarus-like rebirth of this Domaine seems to have caught some quarters of the French cognoscenti by complete surprise. In fact it has been the English speaking commentators like Allen Meadows, Jasper Morris, Jancis Robinson and Clive Coates that have been the first to pick up the scent. This is a tale of Domaine François Lamarche, an Estate that has, without doubt, one of the finest collections of vineyards in the entire Côte or, more specifically, Vosne Romanée/Echézeaux. After a long period of underperformance, the Domaine has managed to turn its fortunes around and is today producing wines that honour the lofty expectations of their holdings. To be specific about these holdings, Domaine François Lamarche are sole owners of La Grande Rue - one of the four, legendary Grand Cru monopoles of Vosne-Romanée - as well as holding choice parcels of Echézeaux, Grands Echézeaux, Clos de Vougeot, Suchots, Chaumes and Malconsorts! Terroir was never a problem here!
The upturn in quality has been the result of a gradual series of key changes, most significant of which has been the emergence and ensuing influence of the Domaine's 6th generation, Nicole and Nathalie Lamarche, who now control every aspect of Domaine François Lamarche’s operations. Since 2007 Nicole Lamarche has been solely in charge of the vineyards and winemaking while her cousin, Nathalie Lamarche, has had the role of régisseur, or general manager. Since taking the reins of this jewel of an estate, these ladies have seriously reduced yields, converted the vineyards to organic viticulture (certified from 2010), implemented procedures to handle their grapes more gently and have stopped fining or filtering. The barrel suppliers have also been changed and there is less new wood used. In short they have pulled out all stops to produce the highest possible quality from their remarkable patrimony of vineyards. These changes, combined with a new, gravity-fed cuverie and a much needed upgrade of equipment and new cooling apparatus (that had already occurred in 2010), has resulted in a rapid improvement in quality that continues to improve each year.