The Safest White Burgs

I know the topic of premox has been discussed a million different ways and is covered in great detail between the white burg premox wiki and the Don Cornwell annual white burg vintage dinners. But after reading a few recent threads I wanted to ask the question in a slightly different way. If you were building a cellar of white burgs with the intent of seriously aging the wines and you were starting today (including some recent back vintages, but nothing super old), which 5-10 producers (or less) would be a must buy if your goal was to minimize premox risk and cost was not part of the equation?

look at the oxidized burg wiki. A wealth of info is there.

Coche seems like the only one that has been completely (or near completely) resistant.

Is there anyone else with an impeccable record? Raveneau?

Yup, I’ve spent countless hours on there and referenced it in my OP…partially to avoid that exact comment :wink:, just curious with more than two decades of knowledge around premox, what people would be doing to build aged white burg cellars nowadays. And I understand for many the answer to that is they wouldn’t, but would be curious if they’d think differently if money weren’t a consideration.

missed the OP comment that you were aware of the wiki—are you looking for a summary of its contents? Nothing is safe, Chablis a bit less dangerous. My fave producers all have some issues. I drink it younger and lament the need.

Yeah, but some of those producers have had historical issues, when do they go back on the safe list? Is there truly no producer with nearly zero risk like Coche and Raveneau referenced by Ryan (and many other people in recent threads)?

I’ve gotta give this more thought, but I’d start with drouhin Clos des mouches Blanc. Great wine young, can be profound when old. $$doesnt break the bank.

Tons in Chablis to consider

I’d consider DIAM wines, like Bouchard.

Sauzet has gone from bad to excellent. Dauvissat does well. Nobody is perfect. I mentally add 30% to the price to arrive at an adjusted premox price and then decide if I should buy—I build in the anticipated premox. And I don’t buy as costly a wine, but that’s more because I can’t fathom 2018 pricing. Then I drink younger. All that mitigates premox.

I cannot bring myself to drink younger, but in all other respects agree 100% with this advice. Most of my white burgundy purchases now are my favorite premier crus where I can find and afford larger allocations, taking into account the expectation up to a third of the bottles may premox.

And to reiterate what others have said- there are no safe bets in this. Today’s poster child can become tomorrow’s leading premox disaster- Leflaive seems headed in that direction now. While things do seem to be slowly improving, from producer to producer it can still strike unexpectedly- and always years after the wines are sold.

Anything under screw cap…

I’d be a bit wary of Raveneau if I were you.

These bottles were recently pulled from an underground bonded warehouse in the UK. They’d only ever travelled from the Domaine to the cellar.

The picture demonstrates the random nature of premox.

The wine is the 1999 Butteaux

What on earth are those dark splotches on the top right bottles :open_mouth:

You seek the Holy Grail. Are you worthy, Sir Galahad? [cheers.gif]

As others have stated, the longevity of White Burgundy is built on a base of ever shifting sand, so it’s almost impossible to predict which producers are going to give you the best results in 15-20 years. My money has gone into the producers who specialize in white burgundy, pick early, use old school presses, pay attention to every detail (including wax capsules for some), and have a recent track record of resisting pre-mox.

In my cellar, that translates into 5 producers that I bet on starting in 2004: Coche, Raveneau, PYCM, Dauvissat and Roulot. They are not infallible (especially Dauvissat), and I’ve only been cellaring them since 2004, so there’s only 12 vintages of data/experience (2004-2015). Based on CT consumption reports, my pre-mox/corked data from those producers has been:

Raveneau, 4 spoiled out of 88 consumed
PYCM, 3 spoiled out of 69 consumed
Roulot, 2 spoiled out of 66 consumed
Dauvissat, 7 spoiled out of 63 consumed
Coche, 0 spoiled out of 51 consumed

I no longer buy Dauvissat because of pre-mox experience, and I can’t get Coche, Raveneau and Roulot any more from my long time retailer who changed hands and the allocations didn’t transfer to the new owner (thanks Kermit). Prices are insane on those producers in the secondary market.

To conclude, my advice is if you have the money and the access, cellar Coche, Raveneau, Roulot and PYCM.

Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Blanc (screwcap)
Benjamin Leroux (assorted wines under screwcap)

Hi Stephen, Could I buy the 1st, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th bottles from you please?

I like your Premox Detection Chamber. I need one!

Others have said it - but to cellar I buy only in DIAM. Though I’ll happily buy - to drink - wine sealed with anything, so long as it’s less than 3 years old. I expect that screw-cap could also be as good, but in Burgundy their market penetration is tiny - so you can forget finding important wines with that seal - everything is available with DIAM…

And for all the urban myth peddlers, there is no producer that is immune to oxidation and other faults, though some certainly have fewer problems. Wine sealed with cork can be great - obviously! - but avove a certain age, not on my dollar (any more) and it is (at best) variable, and subject to multiple potential taints - not just TCA which some suppliers now offer a guarantee against…

Obviously, people are going to suggest Coche and Raveneau and Roulot though that may not be a lot of help to anyone starting out collecting WB who lacks $quillions or long-standing connections to those with serious allocations. I would suggest:

  • Jacques Carillon, particularly at village and 1er levels I’ve had no issue across dozens and dozens (probably hundreds) of bottles
  • Leflaive, now with Diam. I’ve not had a lot in recent years but tried a beautiful '14 Combettes recently that makes me optimistic
  • Bouchard, who really do do a good range
  • Sauzet, others have said they seem to have very few premox issues now
    Then, if you really must slum it with the occasional wine from the ‘lesser’ regions like Meursault and Chablis I’m sure you can find a couple of names to round things out :wink:

If I want aged white Burgundy, I would buy aged white Burgundy from Ampeau (I bought 1993 Meursault Perrrieres in the last year or two) and not gamble on what will or will not be premoxed.