(2021) From a tiny plot of little over 0.3 hectares facing south-east and largely limestone, also including rock, marl, sand, red silt, and large crushed pebbles. Planted over 1990 and 1991. Benoit says the acidity is always a little higher here. A beautifully perfumed and bright style here, and yes, reminds me of pomegranate and redcurrant (groseilles is French for redcurrant) with a lovely bite of energising acidity, but free-flowing and juicy, a stripe of fine tannin, but such lovely elegance here. Approximate bottle equivalent price given.
(2021) The only white wine tasted here, though the domaine also produces a Chevalier-Montrachet, the 'Cailleret' name of this Premier Cru comes from the high pebble presence in the vineyard, planted in 1976 and purchased from the Chartron family in 2004. Benoit explains that historiclly it was regarded as a 'Grand Cru', but some historical local politics meant it enjoys the Premier Cru designation. There's a gorgeous lemon-butter shortbread richness on the nose, but that does not dominate: a steely, stony citrus takes the honours. In the mouth a great thrust of lemon again and a really intriguing orange note to the acidity, almost like the bite of a Negroni, shimmering with energy into the long finish. A delicious bitter-sweet and long finish to the wine.
(2021) From an east-facing vineyard of limestone soil in the Côte de Nuits, where large blocks of stone give the vineyard its name, vines were planted in 1950-1951. Deep, and relatively saturated garnet in colour, the nose is suffused with spiced black fruits, a little wild cherry note, and sweet earthiness hinting at menthol in this very young wine. In the mouth there's a phalanx of tannin and keen cherry-pit acidity driving for now, the firm, savoury fruit more in the red fruit specturm, a little umami and hard, steely precision of cool concentration. A tightly-wound wine that will need years to properly develop its aromas and flavours, and will cellar for decades. Intensity and balance are both superb already. Price and stockist quoted is for the previous vintage at time of review. Around 280€ per bottle in France.
(2021) What a lovely young wine this is, from a 'monopole' walled vineyard in the middle of Volnay, extending to 2.3 hectares and named 'Bousse d'Or' because authorities would not allow a domaine and vineyard of the same name. Vineyards were planted between the 1950s and 1970s. There's a delightful raspberry-scented, bright red fruit character here, spices, flowers and pomegranate in a fragrant and crunchy profile. In the mouth it is so racy and bright, etched and edged by its acidity and tight tannins, the character is red fruited again, with fine length and lots of character. Price quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2021) Well, the first thing that gives a clue that this is no 'ordinary' Provence rosé is arguably not the super-heavyweight bottle, but the 14.5% alcohol. It is made from a single vineyard of nearly 100 year-old Grenache vines, blended with a little Rolle (Vermentino), and fermented in new and second-use French oak barrels of 600-litres, where it is aged for a further 10 months with batonnage.
The colour is still delicate and appealing, but the nose is intriguing: the herbs and light floral and summer fruit scents are there, but it seems deeper, it seems as though it is a rosé that is holding something in reserve and not putting it all there from the start. In the mouth it is bone dry, and though there's a hint of passion fruit and even mango, that is soon tempered and calmed by a serious bit of structure, salts and lemon acids yes, but also an intensity of small red berries from cranberry to redcurrant, the concentration seeming to build in the mouth. It's a wine that plays mind-games with you, seeming like a typically fresh, floral and herb-strewn Provence pink one minute, perhaps a delicate and feminine Pinot Noir the next, and yet with the texture and balance of a fine white wine. Truly something exceptional and will cellar positively too. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the previous vintage.
(2021) Banfi's Rosso is aged for around 12 months, partly in French oak barriques and partly in large Slavonian oak casks. The nose is vinous and dark, but reveals very little about the wine initially. In the mouth it is powerful and savoury, edged with bitter cherry and with a plummy character, the tannins are quite finely grained but grippy, and the classic Italianate bite of the acidity joins the finish. This could be cellared for a few years or decanted if opening now perhaps. Note Majestic may be stocking the 2019 in some stores, but their 'mix six' price is a sharp £16.99. Watch the video review for more information.
(2021) From a famous vineyard with an easterly sun exposure, the soil a mixture of clay and limestone, half of the vines were planted in 1979, the remainder in 1987. Benoit thinks the red wines of Corton are under-appreciated and under-valued, perhaps based on poorer wines once made by local négociants. Good depth of colour but far from opaque. So much more meaty substance than the Volnay, earthy, smoky, meaty. The perfume begins to emerge and certainly on tasting the sweet, ripe, cherry fruit is almost surprisingly bright, but there is that earthy, truffly character too, quite a masculine spine of tannin, but it is not at all austere or overly muscular. Perhaps lacks a touch of the zipping freshness of some others here, but very fine indeed. Price is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2021) Stressing its natural credentials, this is fermented with wild yeasts from old vine fruit, not organic, but sustainably farmed. The nose is peachy-creamy with a hint of lemon meringue pie, but the wild yeast does give that little bready, lightly spicy note too. In the mouth it has a really nice texture, a little bit of grip, and that downy peach character is buttressed by firm salts and lemons acidity, into a decent length of finish. Very easy to sip, yet has a bit of real character too. Watch my video review for more information.
(2021) From Dugat's sustainably farmed vineyards on clay and limestone soils, there is a very gentle fermentatin and ageing for around 18 months in barrels, around half of which were new. Gorgeous colour, pale and transulscent garnet with a broad rim of brick, the nose suffused with sweet damp forest floor and gentle coffee and tobacco leaf, a soft pulpy red fruit too, fragrant hints of anise and violet. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and has a silkiness, the tannins resolved and the cherry-pit acidity giving very nice freshness. Fruit at first appeared faded, but still sweet and most importantly, still there, but seemed to gain weight in the glass giving this immense drinkability, a medium to long finish and hugely enjoyable. Recent vintages cost around £80 per bottle.
(2020) A blend of several Premier Cru parcels from Beaune, this has a fine, rich garnet colour and a lovely and welcoming nose suffused with soft red berries and sweet smoky vanilla. There's a nice tobacco and herb, almost floral edge too. In the mouth there's plenty of ripe, sweet and plush berry fruit that is mouth-filling and velvetty, in a full, hedonistic and strawberry-touched fruity Burgundy. Lovely.