Some short thoughts on some of the producers in the collection
I’m looking for balance , transparency and tension - wines that reflect their terroir and vintage and grape. Intensity is good, extraction is bad. This generally is what these producers reflect. It’s no great surprise therefore that most are winemakers that respect their traditions and heritage. It takes time to understand the land, the vineyards, the terroir, to observe and use that knowledge to making true expressions of those vineyards. Thats why most of the wines I have collected are from domaines that have been in the same family for many generations.
Is there a producer in Burgundy that produces such consistently great wines. They rarely close down. They age effortlessly. They have the trick of making you smile for their vivacious energy and Pinot-ness and be complex at the same time. I will miss these more than most.
A window into the past of Cornas producers. Exceptional Northern Rhone.
What a wonderful comparison. Allemand and Clape.
I love Champagne for its versatility with food. One of the first growers who earned a lot of interest.
My preferred House along with Taittinger’s Comtes. The Blanc de Millenaires 1995 is deeply satisfying and complex.
Wines that reflected the man (a crazy hedonist), Vosne and the traditions of his forbearers. D’Eugenie to my mind have missed the point of Vosne. Philiipe Engel was one of the great Vosne producers. Historical.
Engel’s grandfather was the source of the 1953 Remoissenet Vosne-Romanée in the collection.
Michel Lafarge’s first vintage was 1946 and his last 2019. 77 vintages. So much accumulated knowledge and tradition. The best of the Cote de Beaune producers to my mind. They do take time!
Perhaps the most traditional of Red Burgundy in the collection but they can be wonderful. Lots of old vintages in the collection. Read John Gilmqn on Ganoux.
I love Leflaive some of the very best white Burgundies I’ve drunk. When they’re on such incredible precision. A dodgy phase between 2002 and 2008 with premature oxidisation. Oh Ann-Claude!
I’ve not drunk enough of Charles’s wines to fully understand the prices but they do have incredible purity. His father made much bigger (but not necessarily more intense) wines. The 1998 Vosne Suchots in the collection is wonderful rich Vosne.
Sebastian is making purer wines than his father. The parallel with Arnoux is similar. Gosh these can be incredible.
Tragedy when Romain died in 2004 and civil war broke out but Laurent (Romain’s brother) is making wines in the tradition of the domaine, supple, transparent, a point, representative of their vineyard and vintage. Some of my very favourite wines.
Such supple Red Burgundies. One of my favourite producers. Not grand but immensely enjoyable. Made in a way that a lot of Red Burgundy was 30 years ago with high yields.
Strict but when they are old enough they have a transparency (true to their vineyard and vintage) few others can match. Mostly truly remarkable particularly if you wait.
They take time to come round (drink after 10 years) as they are made generally in quite a reductive style. I have a soft spot for Meursault and he makes full use of his holdings. Perrieres is wonderful but I love Boucheres and the various lieu-dit. The keywords here are taut, dense, energetic.
Not many here and their reputation precedes them but 2 bottles of Volnay 1er Cru 1999 to look forward to.
Mugneret-Gibourg . I wish I‘d bought more. I’m in the minority in that I think the older ones are better. The alcohol in the modern ones are a little ones full. The older ones take time but they blossom into something truly special.
Nicky Potel’s father was a genius and his sue of stems along with Jayer influenced Dujac and a young Aubert de Villaine. Nicky is also a blessed winemaker but his business acumen is not as good.
Wish I’d bought more. I first tasted out of barrel in the 1999 vintage but did not have the money to start using till later on and then allocations got tight. You know the story. Dujac stems influenced by Gerard Potel. Listen to the Levi Dalton podcast No 470 (I’ll Drink To That) when he interviews Jacques Seyss
I tasted the 1999’s out of barrel with the old Duc. What a moment. I could only afford halves.
À humble wine from a humble maker that strums the height of vinous perfection.
Another humble maker and wine. With enough age they soar. I prefer the red to the white.
I was slow to the party but oh boy these are good.
Incredible tension between sweet fruit, minerality and acidity. 2 amazing vineyards in Dompbrost.
Quite the mirror for Chablis vineyards - wonderful expressions of terroir. Particularly good in the cool vintages.
I do love these Grenache based Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines grown on sandy soils. They are beautifully transparent.
Such a gentle touch with his Chambolle vineyards you’d be forgiven for thinking they are a little simple but you have to wait and this soaring intensity is apparent. Such transparency in his wines. Love them.
Warm vintages seem to bring out the best of Bruno’s winemaking. Chambolle Musigny La Combe d’Orveaux should have been part of Musigny if Bruno’s grandfather had bothered to fill out the paperwork. I’m not so sure it’s as good as Musigny but it is very lovely.
The big powerful end of traditional Red burgundy but they are like proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. They make a lovely midweek drinking Marsannay.
Les Cortons 1999, Clive Coates described it as immortal.
I don’t think he has ever made better vintages than 2009 and 2010 which are fabulous. Very pure, Gevrey based wines.
I wish they still made them. History will show what a great winemaker he was.
The Taillepieds is an exceptional wine.
Ex Washington Post journalist. The domaine is now sold. Made lovely wines. The 2007 in magnum is such fun.
The Queen of natural red burgundy. The Echezeaux is very special.
Another tragedy but Arnaud and Clemence have taken on the mantle and let their wines do the speaking.
Pushing the boundaries of St Aubin. The Criots is one of the best white Burgundy vineyards. His Haut density plantings have captured the imagination of collectors but it is a sensible ideas it promotes competition and send the rotes deeper preserving freshness in the wines.
Chiselled, complex red and white Hermitage. Drink the St Joseph while waiting for the Hermitage,.
Lopez de Heredia
Old school Rioja - the 6 bottles of 1994 in the collection are fabulous.
What wonderful idea. Little pieces of history, a dogmatic ideological way to make Barbaresco.
Mercurial old school Barolo, mercurial as they can be incredible but catch them at the wrong moment and you’ll wonder what all the fuss is. That case of 2004 Franco will be joyous. Please invite me to try it!
A Vajra winery.
One of the great Piedmont estates.
Incredible wine maker from South Africa. I cannot think of a better white wine maker in the country.
Prince Florent de Merode
I really do love these - 02 and 05 are exceptional. Someone else saw the potential in these wines. DRC blend the vineyards together.
They were under the radar but not so much anymore. Wonderful examples of Hermitage.
The 02 Chevalieres is one of the best white Burgundies I’ve ever drunk. Under the radar but so very good.
What a story. A Bordeaux family buy a Loire domaine and Thierry makes good but quite Bordeauxesque style of Cabernet Franc. He wakes up one morning travelling abroad and he cannot remember who he is. Consequently he makes Cabernet France in a completely different way. Less extracted more transparent. His whites are equally good, a tensile interpretation of Chenin Blanc.
I like reading John Gilman and occasionally I’ll take a punt on something new that he recommends to try. Chevalier- Montrachet and Les Pucelles is a compelling argument and they have given me a lot of pleasure.
Mascarello - Bartolo.
There is no more Burgundian producer of Barolo than Maria-Teresa at Cantina Bartolo Mascarello in the town of Barolo. A staunch traditionalist she believes that the sum of the parts is greater that the part and subsequently carries on the old tradition of blending her vineyards (Cannubi, San Lorenzo, Rue, & Rocche del Annunziata) together. The reasoning is that the various qualities of each vineyard will year in year out create a balanced wine. The wines are supple, pure and transparent and for my taste the greatest wine of Barolo. ‘No barrique, no Berlusconi.”
Rinaldi - Giuseppe.
Maria-Teresa’s cousin Beppe Rinaldi produced a slightly different product at Giuseppe Rinaldi just down the road. There are two Barolo’s produced - Brunate-Le Coste and Tre Tine (though this was until 2010 called Canubbi/San Lorenzo) in a slightly more rustic manner. Marta and Carlotta have picked up the baton and I think there will be subtle changes but nothing dramatic.
What a dramatic rise (Galloni!) but as family they are not doing very much thats different than the last 200 years. I love the coolness of Monvigliero and the richness of Cannubi. Like all the other great Piedmont makers the Barbera, Freisa and Dolcetto are fabulous table wines to enjoy with food.
Mascarello - Guiseppe.
Monprivato - one of the great Barolo vineyards.
Old red Tempier is a wonderful expression of Malbec (mainly) and the Peyraud family. I had the pleasure of tasting with Lulu.
He was a magician. I love the terroir, the idea, the story and the wines.