The Bouzereau family has been growing vines in Meursault for nine generations, dating back to the 18th century. The current Château de Cîteaux was established by Philippe Bouzereau (senior) in the 1960s. His son Philippe (junior) took over the running of the estate in 2006, having completed his studies in Beaune and worked vintages in Beaujolais, Australia and New Zealand. The 18 hectares of vines are cultivated according to the principles of la ‘Lutte Raisonnée’, or sustainable farming. Philippe passionately believes in letting the wine express its terroir, through minimum intervention in the winery and a judicious use of oak. He has certainly achieved this, as the resulting wines are rich, concentrated and showcase the terroir beautifully.
Auxey-Duresses is located in a valley in the Côte de Beaune, west of Meursault. The vineyard is situated on a north facing hillside and is subject to cooler winds than other areas of the Côte de Beaune. The soil is clayey at the bottom of the hill, with a rocky superficial soil at the top. The vineyard is managed using sustainable practices; only organic fertilisers and composts are used and chemical herbicides have not been used for over 15 years. The vineyard is cultivated in the traditional Burgundian manner and the grapes are manually harvested.
The grapes were pressed pneumatically and fermented on the fine lees in oak barrels, with regular lees stirring known as bâtonnage. The wine was matured in the family cellars, spending 12 months in oak barrels. 20% to 30% of the oak barrels for this cuvée were new. The use of oak was carefully monitored to ensure a pure expression of the Auxey-Duresses terroir was captured.
A rich and creamy style, with generous apple fruit aromas combined with hints of almond, spice and a linear minerality. Delicate floral notes and aromas of grapefruit and citrus notes combine with a hint of spice. This is also a rich and concentrated style, which is harmoniously balanced with a beautifully integrated oak character and delicious mineral overtones through to an elegant finish.
ABV = 13.5%.
This Burgundian domaine has been a family estate for nearly 200 years. Erwan Faiveley, 7th generation, took the reins in 2006 from his father when he was only 25. They have earned their reputation as one of Burgundy’s finest and most trusted, with an unparalleled selection from the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise totalling over 120 hectares.
The village of Rully has been inhabited since Ancient times and its wines have long enjoyed a reputation for excellence. In 1629, King Louis XIII received a gift of 22 barrels of wine from Rully when travelling through Chalon-sur-Saône. The white wine from Rully is now one of the Côte Chalonnaise’s most iconic wines.
The climatic conditions were very mixed in 2016. The harvests took place later than usual in order to allow the grapes to reach their optimum ripeness levels. Our wines present fruity aromas. The wines are smooth and fleshy. This promises to be a very distinctive vintage.
The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The musts are extracted using a pneumatic press before being settled. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 4 weeks and takes place for a proportion of the musts (50%) in French oak barrels, 10% of which are new oak. The ageing period lasts 16 months with regular stirring whilst the rest of the blend is aged in vats. This allows the wine to develop delicate woody notes whilst conserving its freshness and distinctive character.
Clear, light yellow colour and a fresh nose characterised by flinty, mineral notes. The palate is smooth, round and very distinctive with a delicate touch of acidity that lingers on the fresh finish. Pairs well with baked salmon parcels, vegetable terrine.
ABV = 13.0%.
Domaine Fichet is situated in Burgundy in a small village named Igé, and more exactly in the hamlet Le Martoret. Part of a wine growers’ family for many generations, Francis Fichet decided to take the risk of creating his domain by withdrawing from the cooperative cellar of the village, during a wines crisis in 1976.
Maconnais superstar, Domaine Fichet, is giving its Cote de Beaune neighbours a run for their money. By focusing on individual vineyards, the Fichet brothers have unlocked the potential of their land and claim they will not stop improving their output until their family winery is held in the same regard as the famous names from Puligny- or Chassagne-Montrachet. Working in the commune of Igé, they own a 4.6-hectare vineyard that sits on the side of the valley. Called ‘Château London’, it is considered one of the top sites in the Maconnais.
Old vines, free draining shale soils and the perfect amount of sunshine work in collaboration to ensure the grapes ripen evenly. The grapes are sorted carefully and aged on their lees, then fermented in old barriques. The results are simply superb.
To see a fiche technique / tasting sheet for this wine that has been prepared by the team at Domain Fichet, please click on the blue link below.
ABV = 13.0%.
Until 2005, the Perraud family was one of many making their living from growing grapes for the local cooperative. Encouraged by his parents, Jean-Christophe Perraud, then 24, began to make and bottle wine from the family's 25 hectares of Bourgogne, Mâcon and Saint-Véran vineyards and sold them on the local market until 2009. Produced from what the Perrauds describe as 'young vines' (both the Chardonnay and the Aligoté are between 20-25 years old), the wines show remarkable elegance, purity and complexity at modest price tags. Domaine Perraud is a fine example of a young vigneron striking out on his own with the family's vineyards to create what will soon be one of the Mâconnais' most respected domaines.
The Aligoté was all grown in Jean-Christophe Perraud's own vineyards in Mâcon, in the communes of La Roche Vineuse, Verzé and Salornay sur Guy. The Aligoté variety thrives on silex (flint) or chalk soils as found here and gives expressive, aromatic wines with excellent minerality. The grapes were machine harvested in the cool of early morning. This ensured a quick turnaround so that the precious stone fruit character was kept intact, without danger of oxidation.
For most producers, 2017 was a plentiful harvest with good concentration and expressive fruit. This achievement was not without effort. In the Mâconnais the summer heat meant that maintaining acidity was the main challenge. The high summer temperatures also affected the size of the berries, which resulted in good concentration but less juice. For Domaine Perraud, it was crucial to start the harvest at the end of August to preserve maximum acidity and achieve wines with both balance and freshness.
Wild yeasts were used for the fermentation and the malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place in order to encourage a round, supple feel. The wine rested for six months on its lees and was aged for a further four months in bottle to encourage complexity, before blending and then bottling. Only stainless steel was used.
Bright lemon yellow in colour, with abundant aromas of citrus and stone fruit. The medium-bodied palate shows lovely purity of lemon and mineral flavours, balanced by riper peach and pear fruit, which last well on the elegant and refreshing finish.
ABV = 12.0%.
Gaunoux is an old Côte de Beaune family whose most famous member was Henri Gaunoux—a celebrated vigneron in the decades on either side of the second war. Upon his death in 1972 his estate was divided among his family, and his two sons consolidated the vineyard parcels into two domains: Domaine François Gaunoux in Meursault, and Domaine Michel Gaunoux in Pommard.
Henri’s grandson, Jean-Michel, went to work side by side with François in 1978. In 1990, Jean-Michel split with his father and started his own domain, Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, with vineyard parcels from his mother’s family. In 1991, he put in a new, very deep and cold cellar and aging room. In 2012, after completing enology studies and working a harvest at Saint Innocent in Oregon, Jean-Michel’s son Henri joined the domain. These days, the father and son team farm nearly six hectares, or 14.5 acres, in the villages of Meursault, Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, and Volnay.Production is just about evenly split between Pinot and Chardonnay, and Jean-Michel is equal to either variety. The distinguishing characteristic of his wines is—and I hope you appreciate this term—their regal nature. These are self-assured wines, without need of flash or pizzazz (you won’t find big extractions, high toast oak, or the like here). They know themselves and are solidly built, pure, long, very mineral, and ageworthy.
He manipulates very little in the cellar, and limits the use of new oak to about 30% for the Premier Cru red in good years (15-20% for the whites). He racks the wine out of barrel and into vats shortly after the following vintage so that his barrels never go empty and dry out. He quit lees stirring in 2004, fearing that it encouraged premature oxidation, and subsequently found that this permitted him to cut his SO2 additions in half. He does not filter the reds. In good years, Jean-Michel takes the rare step of putting aside a certain amount of a given year’s wine to age in bottle in his cellar for later release. This allows him to offer beautifully stored bottles of his wine to clients. And the thing is, he does so at near the same prices as the current release.
Gaunoux's village Meursault is an assemblage of 4 parcels: Terres Blanches (1.15 acres) and Pelles (0.5 acres) on the south side of town, giving richer fruit and elegance; and Criots (1 acre) and Malpoiriers (2 acres) on the north side, giving a leaner, more mineral wine. The average age of the vines is 45 years.
Long, cool fermentation in barrel; 15-20% of French oak barrels are new and the rest are one-year-old. Aging/elevage: racked into neutral vats after 12 months, and then bottled.
Well developed with ripe, tropical fruit on the nose and an enticing note of honey leading to an intense and concentrated palate with well balanced acidity and a crisp, clean, lengthy finish.
ABV = 13.0%.
Important note: this wine replaces Drouhin's 'standard' Mâcon-Lugny (M-L), which has been popular at Exel for some years. To be clear, 2016 was the last vintage of that wine; Drouhin no longer produce it.
This replacement is taken from a much smaller, high-quality vineyard area, the Les Crays lieu-dit (on high-limestone-content soils, hence the name) within the M-L appellation (indeed, the previous M-L drew heavily on this vineyard, but was also blended with grapes from outwith).
Depending on just what you like in your white Macon, this is almost certainly a better wine.
Founded in 1880 by the then 22 year old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy negociant is still family-owned. Of the current, fourth generation, Veronique Drouhin is the winemaker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by Joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche through to Meursault and to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domaines produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to Grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.
Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.
Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use, and the time the wine spends in them, are determined by the appellation and the vintage.
The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage; Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes to the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped with Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.
For more detail on this, the Les Crays 2018, see blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Drouhin themselves.
The wine reveals an appealing freshness. It combines the maturity of the fruit and freshness over an almost saline structure. It shows a shining colour, a nose reminiscent of flower and peach, and a full mouth with a mineral finish.It can be served with summer salads, raw or grilled fish, tempura, roast chicken, vegetable and prawn wok dishes and goat's cheese.
ABV = 13.0%.
La Chablisienne, founded in 1923, has been at the vanguard of the modern co-operative movement and has challenged the assumption that big (250,000 bottles/year) cannot be beautiful. Over the years, La Chablisienne has given birth to a series of wonderful, ageworthy wines that have positioned the estate at the top of the cooperative wine quality hierarchy; indeed, there are fewer cooperatives anywhere that make better wines than La Chablisienne. The grapes come from 300 winegrowers in the region and are vinified under the talented eye of Vincent Bartement, who yet again, has secured La Chablisienne the award of IWSC French Wine Producer of the Year 2018.
A signature characteristic of La Chablisienne is a mosaic of climates, or vineyard plots, making it one of the few sources from which wine lovers can truly taste the differences between the various premier cru and Grand Cru sites. The wines are made from a single grape variety, Chardonnay; therefore, the differences between the wines express phenomenal terroir diversity. The unique soils, specifically Kimmeridgian soils, and microclimates of Chablis prove an ideal place for Chardonnay cultivation. Here mineral examples are produced, as well as, wines of superb finesse unmatched by any other Chardonnay in the world. La Chablisienne’s range of Chablis offerings cover the full spectrum from Petit Chablis’ to Grand Crus. Their quality is consistently outstanding. They have established themselves as the benchmark for Chablis producers and the bar continues to be raised.
The vines used to make this wine are situated in the villages of Beines, Béru, Chablis, La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, Chemilly sur Serein, Chichée, Collan, Courgis, Fleys, Fontenay, Lignorelles, Ligny le Châtel, Maligny, Poilly, Préhy, Saint Cyr les Colons, Viviers and Villy. The vines used are on average around 20 years old.
The must undergoes cold settling before fermentation which happens in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation is also allowed to occur. The wine is then left to mature on its fine lees, in tanks.
This is a clear and brilliant wine with golden-yellow colour. A well-developed and mature bouquet reveals white and yellow-fleshed fruits. A very distinguished mineral note becomes more noticeable on aeration. Good aromatic length. Very pleasant volume in the mouth accompanied by freshness and crisp, well-defined fruitiness. The ripeness detected in the nose returns elegantly in the mouth. Good persistence in the finish.
ABV = 12.5%.
From the tip of Chablis to the toe of Beaujolais, from regional, village, 1er Cru and Grand Cru wines Louis Jadot produces Burgundy and nothing but Burgundy. The familiar Bacchus head label has become the reliable stamp of quality and consistency from what can often be a confusing region.
Louis Henri Denis Jadot founded the business in 1859. His vision was to build a business with a high quality reputation. One of his key aims, as well as to make top wines, was to build a significant vineyard base. This vision remains core to the business today. Today, the business is headed up by Pierre-Henry Gagey, son of André Gagey, who was entrusted with the management of Louis Jadot in 1962 by Madame Jadot following the tragic death of her son, Louis Auguste Jadot. Pierre-Henry is a passionate believer in terroir, allowing the wines to present the very essence of Burgundy.
Ladoix is a village located to the north of Côte de Beaune, to the north-east of the village called Aloxe-Corton, next to the famous hill of Corton. The altitude is between 220 and 360 m and the exposure is east/south-east. The soil contains clay and marls.
For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
The 2017 Ladoix Clos d’Orge Blanc has an appealing, harmonious bouquet of citrus fruit with touches of crushed granite and later, flecks of orange peel. The palate is well balanced, with quite a rich but controlled entry. This Ladoix feels as if it contains a lot of nascent energy, a touch of lemongrass and ginger emerging toward a finish that offers good persistence. Don’t overlook this fine white Ladoix from Jadot.
ABV = 13.0%.