white burgundy

Burgundy (White)

We have a friend in the wine trade who will tell you in all seriousness that the world's greatest white wines are made from Riesling in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, and whilst the wines from here are often extraordinary, there can surely be few who would argue that they outclass the great Chardonnays of the Côte de Beaune. The monks of the great medieval monasteries of Cîteaux and Cluny knew a thing or two and it is no accident that, for reds and whites, the finest vineyard sites were in monastic hands until the monasteries were despoiled by the revolutionaries. Some of the Mosel's best sites were also owned by monasteries, but nowhere can this have been so comprehensive as in Burgundy, where the 11th and 12th century monastic movement was so extraordinarily successful.

Today, white wine production is focused mainly on the three famous villages of Meursault, Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet, with the Grands Crus, apart from the more northerly Corton Charlemagne (and one (Musigny) in the Côte de Nuits), divided between the communes of Puligny and Chassagne. As so often in Burgundy, the most sought after lends its name to the village - hence the profusion of 'double barrelled' village names. However, most producers in the Côte de Beaune make red and white wines - and many villages (Savigny Les Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses for example), while better known for their red wine production, also make very fine whites, which cannot command the prices of their more famous neighbours. The same is true in reverse - reds from Chassagne can be stunning - as produced by Fontaine Gagnard and Gagnard Delagrange.


White

 
 
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Domaine Simon Bize

On Monday 21st October 2013 we received the tragic news that Patrick had died the afternoon before.  We had been due to see him two days later.  Much has since been written about Patrick and the esteem and affection in which he was held, having run this 22 hectare domaine with such self-effacing flair for so long.  With his keen humour, great personal warmth, and winemaking brilliance, Patrick will be much missed, and we extend our sympathies to his widow Chisa and their children, and the rest of his family.  Patrick’s memory will live on through the bottles which lie in cellars around the world, and through these 2013s – picked just weeks before he died.

At 22 hectares, this is a large estate by Burgundian standards.  It is now run by Patrick's widow Chisa with the brilliant assistance of Guillaume Bott, who trained at Sauzet.  The domaine's origins go back to the 1880s when Simon Bize (Patrick's great-grandfather) bought the first vines.  He was succeeded in 1918 by his son, also Simon, who was able to buy more vineyards in the years after the Great War.  His son, Simon III, who took over the domaine in 1950, began domaine bottling, establishing the reputation of the estate as one of the finest sources of Savigny Les Beaune.  His son, Patrick, built the present winery in 1972 and also added to the vineyard holdings, considerably enhancing this great domaine.

 
Patrick Bize
2015 Bourgogne Blanc Les Champlains, Domaine Simon Bize
 2016-2018
 12 Bottles
£141.00
TBA
 

Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain

As well as working with his maternal grandmother, Marie-Josephe Gagnard (see Domaine Gagnard Delagrange), Marc-Antonin Blain is also making his own wines.  In keeping with the wise traditions of this exceptional Burgundian family, ownership of small parcels of vines are passed down the generations each year, and Marc-Antonin now has 1.16 hectares.  He has also taken over buildings in Chassagne, next to his parents (Domaine Blain Gagnard), which came from Marie-Josephe’s mother’s family (Bachelet) and were previously used by her father, Edmond Delagrange.

 
image domain
2011 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain
 2013-2018
 12 Bottles
£276.00
£360.00
From the lieu dit Les Voillenots, and vines planted in 1976. Bright lemon yellow colour. Seriously impressive on the palate, with a mineral-chalky structure, fine acidity and superb length of flavour. 
2013 Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain x 6
 2017-2023
 6 Bottles
£675.00
£825.00
 
2014 Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain x 6
 2018-2024
 6 Bottles
£612.50
£750.00
Superb – mineral, fresh, vibrant, great length.  
2015 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£349.00
£450.00
 

Domaine de Bois d'Yver

Run by Georges Pico and his son Thomas, the domaine grew out of Georges' grandfather's domaine Pico Race, based in the village of Courgis, just south west of Chablis.  The 20 hectares of vineyards are farmed organically, and the wines express beautifully the steely and mineral qualities of Chardonnay which are classic to the Chablis region.

 
Cuverie at Bois dYver
2007 Chablis 1er Cru Montmain, Domaine de Bois d'Yver
 2010-2013
 12 Bottles
£153.50
£213.00
Similarly classic, but with an extra dimension thanks to the greater weight and concentration of fruit. 

Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils

Bouchard Père et Fils is the largest vineyard owner of the Côte d'Or, with truly spectacular holdings in the Côte de Nuits and, more particularly, in the Côte de Beaune - where almost all the greatest sites are represented, all the way up to Chevalier and Montrachet.  The firm was founded in 1731, and has had its headquarters in the Château de Beaune, with its magnificent 15th centuray cellars, since 1820.  In 1995 the Bouchards were bought out by Joseph Henriot, whose family has been long-established in Champagne.  The house benefitted from much needed investment in the years which followed - some 30 additional hectares of vineyards were bought and, in 2005, the ultra modern winery came into operation, giving Philippe Prost and his winemaking team all they need to make some of Burgundy's finest wines.

 
Bouchard C's Ch de Beaune
2015 Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils x 6
 2019-2025
 6 Bottles
£687.00
£840.00
 
2015 Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Magnums x 3
 2019-2025
 3 Magnums
£699.50
£855.00
 
2015 Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils x 6
 2019-2025
 6 Bottles
£1,412.00
£1,710.00
"A slightly riper array is composed by notes of petrol, various white orchard fruit, spice and a hint of wood toast. The rich and relatively full-bodied flavors exhibit ample minerality along with plenty of sappy dry extract while delivering excellent length on the impressively long finish where hints of lemon and mandarin orange surface. This is a Chevalier that should be approachable younger than usual yet the material is here to repay mid-term cellaring. 93" Allen Meadows in Burghound 

Pierre Bourée

2015 Meursault, Pierre Bourée
 2018-2022
 12 Bottles
£386.50
£495.00
 

Domaine Faiveley

A house with a long history and today the largest vineyard owner in Burgundy, Faiveley was founded in 1825 by Pierre Faiveley.  The foundations of its modern success however were laid by Georges Faiveley, who saw the firm through the difficult inter-war years when it was said that a new barrel cost more than the wine which filled it.  His grandson François, handed control over to his own son Erwan – the 7th generation – in 2005.  A new team was quickly put in place – most significantly perhaps including Bernard Hervé as Managing Director – who supervised the transformation of Bouchard after Joseph Henriot’s purchase, and an extremely talented winemaker, Jérôme Flous.  Faiveley's winery and principle cellars are in Nuits St Georges - the nerve centre of a genuinely world class operation.

 
Faiveley vines
2015 Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Faiveley x 6
 2019-2025
 6 Bottles
£1,312.00
£1,590.00
 

Domaine William Fèvre

One of the oldest established families of Chablis, the Fèvres have been making wine in the region for more than 250 years, and had already established a formidable reputation for this 47 hectare domaine by the time that it was taken over by Joseph Henriot in 1998.  Henriot, from Champagne, had already transformed the fortunes of the great Beaune house of Bouchard Père et Fils and, since 1998, has taken the wines of William Fèvre to even greater renown, thanks to the incredible talents of his winemaker, Didier Séguier.

 
William Fevre cellar
2013 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, Domaine William Fèvre x 6
 2016-2021
 6 Bottles
£360.00
£450.00
"The perfumed and penetrating nose is unusually expressive for a young Les Clos and there is so much iodine, mineral reduction and oyster shell nuances present that this could be from nowhere else but Chablis. The big, powerful and imposingly scaled flavors ooze both dry extract and a pungent minerality yet the balance is perfect on the intensely saline finish that is markedly dry but once again not really austere. This should be terrific though note that patience will be required. 93-96" Allen Meadows in Burghound 

Domaine Fontaine Gagnard

This outstanding domaine, producing among the very finest white wines of the Côte d’Or, is run by Céline Fontaine with the still very much active involvement of her parents Richard and Laurence – particularly since the birth of her daughter Lison on 2nd July 2014.  Demand for these wines has become enormously strong in recent vintages, and production of the Grands Crus in particular is always very limited. The domaine produces wines of exceptional richness, finesse, and kaleidoscopic mineral complexity. While Fontaine's stellar reputation is based primarily on the immense quality of his whites, the domaine also produces very lovely reds, which are not only beautifully pure expressions of Pinot Noir but also very attractively priced.

More information can be found on the domaine's website: http://www.domaine-fontaine-gagnard.com/

 
Fontaine\'s Cuverie
2007 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Fontaine Gagnard
 2010-2017
 12 Bottles
£308.00
£399.00
“A pungent and expressive nose of resin oil, lemon zest and soil tones leads to textured, fresh and precise flavors that culminate in a dry, clean, tangy and persistent finish. An attractive villages. 88” Allen Meadows 
2013 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Morgeot, Domaine Fontaine Gagnard
 2016-2021
 12 Bottles
£418.00
£531.00
 

Domaine Gagnard Delagrange

Since the death of the wonderful Jacques Gagnard in July 2009, this domaine has been run by his widow Marie-Josèphe (daughter of Edmond Delagrange) and their grandson Marc-Antonin Blain.  Over the last fifteen years or so, most of the vineyards have been handed on to their two daughters (Laurence, married to Richard Fontaine; and Claudine, married to Jean-Marc Blain).  However, the domaine continues to produce outstanding, long-lived wines from the approximately 3 hectares it retains.  These include a 1er Cru red Chassagne from vines planted in 1928, the year of Jacques' birth.

 
Tasting in the Gagnard cellar
2007 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2010-2017
 12 Bottles
£308.00
£399.00
Fresh, vibrant and full of minerality. 
2007 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Morgeots, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2010-2018
 12 Bottles
£390.00
£495.00
Very fine and precise, with lots of freshness and delicious white fruit character.  
2010 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Boudriotte, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2013-2019
 12 Bottles
£418.00
£531.00
Intense, citrus fruit and wonderful length of flavour. 
2010 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Morgeots, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2013-2019
 12 Bottles
£418.00
£531.00
Fine, elegant and with lots of minerality. 
2011 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Boudriotte, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2014-2019
 12 Bottles
£418.00
£531.00
Concentrated and with a hint of honey on the finish. 
2013 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Boudriotte, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2016-2021
 12 Bottles
£418.00
£531.00
 
2014 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2016-2020
 12 Bottles
£295.00
£384.00
Lively and fresh, and bursting with mineral character.  
2015 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£329.00
£426.00
 
2015 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Morgeots, Domaine Gagnard Delagrange
 2018-2023
 12 Bottles
£429.00
£546.00
 

Domaine Marc Morey

This 9 hectare estate, with its cellars in Chassagne Montrachet, is run by Sabine Mollard, grand-daughter of Marc Morey, while her father Bernard retains an overseeing eye.  Along with the Gagnard family (see above) the Morey family dominates the village; Bernard and Sabine have made this the finest of the various Morey estates.  Winemaking is traditional in style, with great emphasis placed on the quality of fruit produced in the vineyard.

 
Marc Morey cellar
2012 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Marc Morey
 2014-2018
 12 Bottles
£158.00
£219.00
Fresh, crisp and intense with gorgeous fruit. 
2015 St Aubin 1er Cru Charmois, Domaine Marc Morey
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£299.00
£390.00
 
2015 Puligny Montrachet, Domaine Marc Morey
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£386.50
£495.00
 
2015 Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru Les Caillerets, Domaine Marc Morey
 2018-2023
 12 Bottles
£544.00
£684.00
 

Jean Rijckaert

After many years making some of the most interesting wines which the Mâconnais has to offer, Jean has found a way of securing his legacy as he approaches retirement.  For the last year, and for one more year to come, he will work alongside Florent Rouve, whom he first met via his involvement with the famous viticultural Lycée de Davayé.  Cuverie and cellar space is being rented from Domaine des Deux Roches in Davayé, and Florent – a great admirer of Jean’s philosophy and techniques – is steadily taking on the Rijckaert mantle.  2013 is the first vintage to be made in the winery in Davayé.  Jean and Florent illustrate how intelligent vineyard management, winemaking and élévage can produce spectacular results from vineyards that more often underperform in the hands of others.

 
Rijckaert
2015 Mâcon Fuissé Vieilles Vignes, Jean Rijckaert
 2017-2020
 12 Bottles
£114.00
TBA
 

Domaine Marc Roy

Alexandrine Roy’s great-grandfather founded this small domaine which has been bottling its production since 1982.   Alexandrine took responsibility for it in 2003.  She coaxes wines of the most exceptional quality from her 4 hectares of village vineyards – sadly the domaine has no 1er or Grand Cru holdings, though from 2011 vintage they have some ‘La Justice’ which is another of Gevrey’s finest village sites (along with Clos Prieur).  Alexandrine brings exceptional passion to her winemaking, and everything is done by hand (or, in the case of pressing, by foot!).  This is a source for wines of the most outstanding purity, very much in the Fourrier style for example.

 
Domaine Marc Roy label
2015 Marsannay Blanc Les Champs Perdrix, Domaine Marc Roy
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£291.50
£381.00
 

Etienne Sauzet

Sauzet is among the greatest of Burgundy's white wine producers.  Gerard Boudot, with his daughter Emilie and son-in-law Benoit Riffault, runs this immaculate operation.  We always think that the hosepipe illustrates the extraordinary precision and attention to detail in the cellar!  The wines are sensational.

 
Sauzets famous hose pipe
2013 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne, Etienne Sauzet x 6
 2016-2021
 6 Bottles
£402.70
£498.00
 
2014 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne, Etienne Sauzet x 6
 2017-2022
 6 Bottles
£387.50
£480.00
"The 2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru la Garenne was missing a bit of substance on the nose when I tasted it at the domaine, though with modest encouragement it opens up to deliver hints of citrus fruit. This just did not quite express the terroir as other of Sauzet's premier crus. The palate is fresh and crisp on the entry, the oak just rounding this out rather, hints of toffee apple and peach surfacing towards the poised finish. It actually finished better than it begins, so let's see what it can do once in bottle. 87-89" Neal Martin in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Perrières, Etienne Sauzet x 6
 2017-2022
 6 Bottles
£445.00
£549.00
"The 2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru les Perrières has a terroir-driven, mineral-rich bouquet, flint and cold limestone. The palate is fresh and saline on the entry, good density here with a little more spiciness than Sauzet's other premier crus. There is an edginess here, tensile and animated with impressive weight on the finish. This is very fine and probably deserves 2-3 years in the cellar. This is one of the domaine's best premier crus in 2014. 91-93" Neal Martin in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet, Etienne Sauzet x 6
 2017-2022
 6 Bottles
£487.50
£600.00
"The 2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet didn't quite seem to match the complexity of the Truffières when I tasted it at the domaine. It is nicely detailed but at least at the moment, has not developed the personality. The palate is fresh and detailed, and here it compensates for the aromatics with lovely white peach and fresh pear notes, gradually fanning out with a long and saline finish, as well as a particularly extended aftertaste. This has great potential. 91-93" Neal Martin in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2015 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne, Etienne Sauzet x 6
 2018-2023
 6 Bottles
£477.00
£588.00
 

Vignerons des Terres Secrètes

A co-operative winery founded by a group of growers in the Mâconnais village of Prissé in 1928 the Cave de Prissé (as it used to be called) has become one of the most successful of its type; since it merged with the co-operatives of the neighbouring villages of Verzé and Sologny, it sources grapes from more than 400 small-scale growers who together own almost 980 hectares of the surrounding vineyards.  Success on this scale is the result of one thing – consistently high quality.

 
Maconnais vines
2015 Mâcon Blanc, Terres Secrètes, Blasons de Bourgogne, Prissé x 6
 2016-2019
 6 Bottles
£47.50
£72.00
 
2016 Mâcon Blanc, Terres Secrètes, Blasons de Bourgogne, Prissé x 6
 2017-2020
 6 Bottles
£48.00
£73.50
 

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