The 'Cantina Alcesti” estate is located in Marsala in the province of Trapani on the Italian island of Sicily. The Alcesti family has been living here for many generations, but wine for sale under an estate label has only been produced since 2003; previously grapes were sold to other larger wine producers. The entire business has been modernised and re-organised, from the grape receiving area via the temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, to the cellar with the French tonneaux. The vineyard area totaling 30 hectares, is planted with well-known varietals such as Nero d´Avola, Grillo, Grecanico and Pignatello (Perricone), as well as less well-known indigenous varietals such as Zibibbo, Frappato and Catarrato. The estate has considerably increased its international profile and is today considered a very fine source of inexpensive, high-quality, organic-farmed Sicilian wines.
Burgundy Direct Wines now import seven different indigenous grape varietals, six of which we offer below. The organic nature of Alcesti’s viticultural pursuit is best expressed in the almost exuberant freshness to be found in these wines.
Chateau des Cabans
A well regarded property owned and managed by Philippe Bérard near the village of Bégadan in the Médoc. This is a sector where many of Bordeaux's finest Cru Bourgeois are located. Here, on 37ha of clay-limestone soils, Bérard's Chateau des Cabans is a mix of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The vines average 40 years. As a result the wine is quite fleshy, soft with subtle hints of liquorice, roasted herbs, red cherry, as well as some spice and earth nuances. Very round, balanced & eminently satisfying.
Note: (The addition of a small quantity of the Petit Verdot grape is interesting. It gives off a delicate bouquet of violets, introduces lively acidity (both Cab Sauv & Merlot have low acidity), controls the alcohol content and brightens the overall colour of the wine).
Montagne Saint-Emilion is located in the hills to the north of St-Emilion itself. The Chateau Calon vineyard is located at the foot of the hill of Calon. Production averages 1400hl per year. The composition of the wine is 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec. The vines average 45 years and the soil is a sand-limestone mixture. The wine has excellent aging qualities, usually up to 15 years. When mature like this 2009, the wine is perfectly balanced, harmonious, soft fruits (Merlot influence) and with a gentle spiciness and mint aspect. Tannins are always delicate and fine. This is a highly regarded estate and is frequently quoted in Guide Hachette, Gault-Millau, Revue des Vins de France and Robert Parker as offering excellent value for a wine of this quality. Listed recently in the Royal Palace in the Principality of Monaco.
Castiglion del Bosco
“Luminous medium-dark red. The captivating nose combines sour red cherry, violet, coconut, tobacco, minerals and a hint of white pepper. Densely packed and youthful but very fresh and lively; this already boasts a silky texture and considerable early appeal owing to its noteworthy sweetness of fruit. Subtle notes of red berries, herbs, graphite and flowers carry through into the rising, very long, vibrant finish. A knockout Brunello that further confirms winemaker Cecilia Leoneschi’s talent at making exceptionally good, very classic Brunellos. I can think of very few wines in all of Italy that have improved more than Castiglion del Bosco’s over the last decade.” James Suckling MW
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino offers excellent balance and carefully delivered power. Both characteristics help to fuel the wine's smooth momentum over the palate. Dark fruit, plum and dried blackberry are announced on the bouquet. Those fruity tones are followed by spice, leather and grilled herb.
Domaine Maurice CHARLEUX
Like his father Maurice and his other ancestors before him, Vincent sticks to tradition and that is to be celebrated. He works old Pinot Noir vines mostly planted right after World War II (some before!) on the steep hillsides just to the north of Dézize. The vines are cordon trained and planted in the middle saddle of the hillside in deep clay and fossilized limestone. His prized holdings are one hectare in a great premier cru site, “La Fussière,” and a small premier cru parcel just below called “Les Clos Roussots.” In addition, Charleux works just over one hectare in the Santenay premier cru holding “Clos Rousseau’. Here the soil has more clay and this manifests in a superbly balanced, rich, generous wine, with elegance. Prices at this address are very attractive.
His formula is pretty simple: gorgeous, expertly managed vineyards, manual harvest, fermentation in concrete tank, long cuvaison, twelve months in oak, bottling without fining or filtration. The Charleuxs long ago understood what makes Maranges special and are dedicating to preserving that tradition, as unglamorous as it may be to some. Here, we raise our hats to Vincent. Tradition means learned from experience, not the latest paraphernalia.
How does this sound? Deep, structured, seriously dark red Burgundies with thickly textured tannins. There’s a nice taste of Burgundian soul in there.
Domaine Robert CHEVILLON
For most wine critics / journalists, there is no finer address in NSTG. Now run by sons Bertrand & Denis. Their vineyards stretch from the far south side of Nuits St-Georges to the very north side next to Vosne-Romanée. All of the wines demonstrate harmony, ripe fruit and structure thanks to both hard work in the vineyard by Denis (who insists on low yields and a strict grape selection) and to a fermentation and barrique elevage carefully controlled by Bertrand.
Remarkably individual, the wines are clearly of their vineyard origin, with a span of idiosyncratic flavours & nuances from Asian spices to blueberry fruits. There is fruit-of-the-forest red & blue berries, or sometimes violets, plum or peony rose notes; they are all there in the range. The vineyards south of Nuits (Pruliers and Vaucrains) tend to have more muscle and drive while those nearer Vosne, such as the Chaignots & Bousselots, verge more on elegance and silkiness
Domaine Marc COLIN
Born in 1944, Marc Colin established his domaine in 1970, from vineyards inherited by him and his wife Michèle. The domaine originally totalled 19 ha and with further acquisitions in the nineties, the family farmed 23ha (large by Burgundy standards). The estate quickly established a fine reputation for making wines of great finesse and opulence.
The Colin’s first son, Pierre-Yves, took over the winemaking duties in 1995 and left in 2002 to pursue his own domaine (Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey) with wife Caroline Morey. From 2002 to 2017 the domaine was ably run by brothers Joseph and Damien, with sister Caroline administering the sales bureau.
In 2017 Joseph has decided to ‘go it alone’, taking 6 hectares from the family estate. The split was completely amicable. Burgundy Direct Wines are now working solely with Damien and sister Caroline. They retain 12 hectares from the original estate; 11ha in white and 1ha in Pinot.
Damien farms as organically as possible but refuses to be hamstrung by dogmatically following any viticulture or winemaking philosophy. He is always seeking finesse and balance; he wants the wine to speak of the vineyards from which they come and has a gentle hand with new oak. He uses only the wild yeast from each vineyard and there is zero lees stirring. The results are superb Burgundies coming from a devoted viticultural family with a lasting legacy. His 12 hectare Domaine is concentrated in and around Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet. Vineyards are farmed lutte raisonnée with some experimentation en culture biologique.
Colin’s wines distinctly represent their place with purity, harmony and complexity. They are flavoursome and multi-dimensional, yet taut and precise as well as representing excellent value.
Domaine Gilles CORSIN
Jean-Jacques and Gilles Corsin are the 5th generation of the Corsin family to run this 13.6 hectares domaine. I have been buying from this domaine since 1992 and have tasted amazing wines as far back as 1990. Jean-Jacques runs the vineyards and Gilles the cuverie. Gilles Corsin is also a courtier and is reputed to have the finest palate in the Macon.
The Vieilles Vignes cuvee is from very old vines that produce wines with layers of lovely concentration and depth, yet retain brilliant freshness and acidity. The 2015 is lovely - fresh and bright, with hints of green apple, pear, and a creamy roundness nicely supported by balancing acidity. The Pouilly is arguably the finest example in the entire appellation. In blind tastings it regularly receives higher ratings than many comparable wines from Meursault and Puligny.
Domaine Vincent DANCER
Vincent Dancer grew up in Alsace, where he inherited a love of wine and photography from his father. After studying engineering, his father suggested that Vincent spend some time in Burgundy, where his family owned some vines that were being rented out to cousins. Dancer was immediately hooked, and decided to settle in Chassagne-Montrachet and make wine from the 5.5 hectares of well-situated vineyards. The winery is small even by the standards of Burgundy, and despite Dancer’s reclusive nature, the wines are well known to a small circle of restaurateurs and wine-lovers who reliably take their miniscule allocation year after year.
Dancer was the first producer in Chassagne to become certified organic, and there remain less than a handful of others. He remains quietly individualistic, creating his own pure, bright, and savory style of winemaking, trusting his instincts and experience to make the best possible wine in his own way. His cellar practices are as minimal as possible: native yeasts, no enzymes or acids, natural malo, no battonage, no fining or filtering. Each cuvée, however, is truly a reflection of the terroir — from the rich, unctuous Meursault Perrieres to the incisively fresh Chassagne Tete-du-Clos. It is not an exaggeration to say that the wines from Vincent Dancer are majestically unique, exceptionally delicious, and well worth the effort of seeking out.
Small estate located in Ecueil, the heart & arguably the best / quality area of Champagne. Little-known outside France. we have been buying Champagne here for thirty years. The 'Cuvee Ambré is 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay & 10% Pinot Meunier. Notable biscuity, yeasty flavours and very much in the Bollinger style. The Pinot Noir character is very evident. A good value champagne.
Domaine Guy FARGE
Burgundy may be our holy grail’, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate other fine wines! Of course we do. Our preference however is to work with wine makers whose passion is soil & typicity, thus producing wines which are alive, vivid, strikingly fresh (as in airy, energetic and transparent), mineral and speak of their origin. With Guy & Valérie Farge in Hermitage you have all of the foregoing.
Domaine Guy Farge was recommended to us (we didn’t discover him) from one of our regular Burgundy customers. “Now might be timely, as his reputation is growing”, was the advice. And how pleased we are that we accepted that advice! I have absolutely no doubt you will be as impressed as we were. Indeed, as the international wine press are. This is an estate well worth following. The wines are utterly seductive.
Bottling only began in 2007. The domaine (now 20 hectares) is increasing its international portfolio; always a tell-tale sign of recognition. The range typifies the red and white wines of the Ardeche region, expessed in generic red and white wines. Farge also has some vines in Saint-Peray and makes a lovely example from silex soils.
Perhaps it is his glorious red and white Saint-Josephs that speak loudest. These are brilliant examples of the terroir of the northern Rhone. White and red are equally impressive. The two prestige cuvées of Cornas and Condrieu are stand out examples.
Domaine André FIGEAT
The 6th generation at this family domaine, André Figeat was trained by his father Edmond, and currently tends almost 30 vineyard acres primarily planted to Sauvignon Blanc. Like most successful vignerons the Figeats cut no corners in their vineyards, employing the rigorous, year-round natural viticultural approach of lutte raisonée. A popular choice for small yet highly conscientious, environmentally-concerned French family estates, lutte raisonée is a sustainable regi¬men that avoids chemical herbicides, pesticides and fungi¬cides. In their modern cellar, the Figeats use temperature-controlled stainless steel for both fermentation and aging, concisely and fully extracting and then preserving the precious Sauvignon character as well as the unique statement of each terroir.
Grown in soils of Kimmeridgian limestone, gray flint silex, and sandy clay, Figeat's Pouilly-Fumé “Les Chaumi¬ennes” is fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless. “Straw and honeysuckle notes give way to candied lemon zest and quince hints. The fresh, floral-filled finish shows excellent length.” - Wine Spectator on 2015 Figeat Pouilly-Fumé “les Chaumiennes”
Domaine des GERBEAUX
Located in the village of Solutré, the Drouins have been making wine in Burgundy for over a century and Jean-Michel is producing some of the best and most distinctive wines in the Mâconnais region. Great care is taken over the harvest and vinification: harvesting is entirely by hand using small baskets, no pesticides or herbicides are used and fermentation temperature control is rigorous. These are generous, fruit-laden wines characterised by grapefruit and mineral flavours that can hold their own against much of the finest Côte de Beaune wines. Jean-Michel is obsessive about every aspect of his winemaking. Viticulture is organic in all but name and fermentation temperatures are unusually low to retain as much freshness as possible.
Domaine Anne GROS
Small holding of generic to grand cru wines that commands an international following. Gros is a perfectionist, producing wines which are refined & seductive. There is a minerality here that reflects the soil. The tannins are invariably suede-like. The wines are hand-crafted & Gros stands out as one of Burgundy's finest ambassadors. This is one of Burgundy's most sought-after addresses.
Though synonymous with Burgundy, Anne Gros and husband Jean-Paul Tollot (of Tollot-Beaut fame) have been cultivating vines in the Cazelles area of the Minervois since 2010. They chose Cazelles for the diversity of its soils, comprising limestone, clay and sandstone. Initially working with four varietals (Syrah / Cinsault / Grenache / Carignan), they have continued to expand their range.
It is not unfair to say that Gros was ‘taken aback’ at first by the press resistance to her pricing. The press said pricing was above the traditional range. Gros replied that the quality of her wines were above the traditional range, citing Mas de Daumas Gassac and other vin de pays as ‘out-performers’ in their respective regions and which command higher pricing. Gros produces a quality unrivalled in the Minervois and her arrival has caused quite a stir.
Several years on and Gros’s Minervois wines have come to be recognised as benchmark and prove the point that the region has outstanding potential. Interestingly, all of the wines have Gros’s signature elegant stamp; quality follows Anne Gros in everything she produces.
Domaine Jean-Pierre GROSSOT
Domaine Corinne and Jean Pierre Grossot is anchored on the slopes of the famous village of Fleys. It is thanks to the work and commitment of Jean-Pierre's grandparents that the Domaine came into existence in the 1920s. They have since passed their love of the wine to their children who in turn are sharing it with the current generation.
Today, the Grossots are operating organically and were certified in 2014. The Grossot's youngest daughter Eve's passion is being invested in the vines and the wine-making. The focus is on the expression of terroir to develop fine, elegant wines which respect the traditional characteristics of Chablis.
The wines are exclusively from the vineyards of the 18 hectare Domaine which has vines on beautiful plots of Chablis and Chablis Premier Crus Vaucoupin, Mont de Milieu, Cote de Troëmes, Fourchaume and our favourite, Fourneaux.
Domaine Patrick JAVILLIER
A visit to the Javillier family is always both a pleasure and a great learning experience with great insight from either Patrick himself or his daughter Marion. Marion now takes the lead in running the estate with her husband, Pierre Emmanuel. There are now ten hectares (originally 3) which extend over 14 separate appellations. The heart of Domaine Javillier will always be in Meursault, as the Domaine has six different plots of village-level vineyard. Each parcel is vinified separately and then aged in barrel as appropriate before assembling the final blend or cuvée. The result is impeccable quality with modest pricing given that his vineyards and wines are rated so highly.
We have offered Javillier's 'les Tillets' wine since the 1995 vintage. 'Tillets' is a cross in style between the floral, honeyed Pulignys on one side & the mineral, chalky, stony Meursaults of 'on the other. 'Tillets' combines the characteristics of both. Meursault Les Tillets is regularly mistaken for a Premier Cru and in 2017, this quality is once again on show. The family have 1.5 hectares of vines which sit at the top of the Meursault slope. Here, temperatures are cooler than the slopes below, thereby imparting good structure and acidity. The 2017 is surprisingly taut and nervous with plenty of floral character, especially elderflower. This is a well-structured Tillets shaped by a prominent acidity and underpinned by a stony, mineral character. The 2017 fans out on the finish to reveal a layered complexity.
Domaine Jean-Marc JOBLOT
International press is effusive in their praise and I am not aware of any wine critic / writer who is of the opinion that there is a better source in Givry. There are six 3 Star Michelin restaurants in Paris and twelve 2 Star. Eleven of these eighteen restaurants list Joblots wines. That should tell you something. Critics have noted the remarkably fair prices for wines of this quality. The wines are opulent, fruit-driven and coat your palate.
Domaine Antoine LIENHARDT
In 2011 Antoine Lienhardt took over the 4.2 hectares of family vineyards that had been in long-term lease since his grandfather's retirement in 1992. Antoine had previously cut his teeth working for four years at Domaine Amiot-Servelle in Chambolle-Musigny, with shorter stints in Chablis and in South Africa. Gifted with family vines and not encumbered by the pressures of tradition and heritage, Antoine set out to be the first in his family to make wine.
“I make my wines as if I were making a Grand Cru”, said Antoine the first time we met. Like any accomplished Burgundian, he understands that the key to great wines begins in the vineyards. He believes that the vineyards of Comblanchien are hugely undervalued and that if they were to ever to re-classify the hierarchy of Burgundy, there would most certainly be Premier Cru if not Grand Cru vineyards amongst the village’s choicest sectors. Like other top Cru vineyards in the Cote de Nuits, his original two lieu-dits in Comblanchien – “Les Essards” and “Les Plantes Aux Bois” have a mere 30-40 cm of topsoil before passing directly into the mother rock of limestone. His third parcel, "Aux Vignottes", produced since the 2015 vintage is located directly across from Mugnier's Nuits St Georges "Clos de la Marechale", has deeper clay and is less stony that its Cote de Nuits Villages brethren. The vines in these sites are now well established at 50-60 years of age. In the vineyards, pruning is severe, with a goal of about 40 hl/h, though in his first two vintages yields were closer to 27 hl/h! Antoine began organic conversion in the 2016 vintage and is now farming biodynamically. Additionally, the soils are worked with a horse and plow.
“At the heart of domaine's holdings are three lieux-dits in Comblancien planted in the 1960s by his grandfather. The main differences between the parcels are the rockier top soils in Les Essards and greater clay content of those in Les Plantes. As in the rest of Burgundy, small variations make for distinctive flavour profiles: Les Plantes Aux Bois is more generous, a touch broader and more lush; Les Essards - more classic in style, is nervier, taut and more pungently mineral and cool-toned. Both have lively acidity, energetic minerality and a compelling tension between the pure Pinot fruit and savoury earthiness. The "Aux Vignottes", by contrast, is more refined, but is also endowed with a structure and minerality that is somewhat reminiscent of it's more noble northerly neighbour (Nuit Saint Georges)! There is a drive and energy in these wines that command your attention immediately. Decant if enjoying now or cellar for 5-10 years to allow for further knitting of the structural elements. These are delicious and terroir-specific Burgundies to grace the table. Bravo to Antoine Liendhardt” . . . . . John McIlwain MW
Domaine Bruno LORENZON
Lorenzon produces the best wines in the Chalonnaise. Whose opinion is that? Lorenzon was voted as Burgundy Winemaker of the Year 2013 ('Aujord Hui' Burgundy magazine). There are over 2000 winemakers in all of Burgundy. A remarkable achievement for a winemaker from Mercurey.
The red 'Carline' is a monopole. It has animal notes on the nose, followed by a basketful of cherries (both red & black) and a hint, ever so subtle, of chocolate. Wonderfully pure. Beautiful fragrances, especially rose petals. The 2011 is fully mature, with gorgeous tertiary aromas and light, elegant fruit. The more richly textured 2012 is beginning is show it’s true potential.
The Limoux wine region is at the western most point of the Languedoc and is located just south of the medieval city of Carcassonne. It has a unique geoclimate, a situation due to the dual influences of the Atlantic which brings cool and wet weather and the Mediterranean which delivers hot and dry conditions.
The Domaine de Martinolles was owned by the Vergnes family from 1926 until 2011 when the estate was sold to the native Languedoc vigneron, Jean Claude Mas. The vineyards lie on the same hillsides that the monks of St. Hilaire cultivated in 1531 when they produced the world’s first sparkling wine.
The vines, which are planted in chalky soils at elevations ranging from 200 to 600 meters, are worked traditionally without herbicides or fertilizers. Domaine de Martinolles is a member of Terra Vitis, an organization that certifies the practice of sustainable agriculture. We have been buying from Domaine Martinolles for over 25 years and highly recommend their wines.
Domaine André MOINGEON
I met Michel (André's son - now in his late 50's) for the first time on a visit in January 2020 on the strength of a recommendation from the Colin family of Saint-Aubin. I was forcibly struck by both the style and the quality of wines being made. Across the entire range there is a maximum 20% new oak application. Given the high percentage of limestone in the domaines holdings, low level oaking is essential. The resulting wines are strikingly mineral, fresh and energised, have good citrus fruit and finishi with a mouth-watering 'edginess' that smacks of flint, crushed stones and residual sea brine.
Michel’s son Florent joined the team a few years ago and as is so often the case, this has proven to be the catalyst for change. Florent has injected new life into the domaine with his energy, knowledge and considerable ambition and has set out to elevate the domaine from local recognition to international status. That step up is enormous. Talent, ambition and financial resources are key. The latter takes time and only comes from success. Ambition is laudable; having the talent to match is essential. Since 2015 he has introduced stricter vineyard husbandry measures, including homeopathic soil treatments, lower density for new plantings, de-budding (lower yields), canopy management in hot years, new triage measures and no punching down - to name but a few.
The quality is not yet that of Vincent Dancer just over 2km away, but young Florent Moingeon would make an able Lieutenant. Note well - this is a young man to follow. Pricing for the quality is remarkably fair. For how long we shall have to see
Domaines Paul MAS
At the beginning of the 1990s, Jean-Claude Mas worked for 4 years in Bordeaux. This experience was to prove hugely influential, as much as his encounter in 1992 with one of Italy's most famous winemakers, Giorgio Grai. He taught him the art of blending and to create wines with style. This teaching process has in fact never stopped! In 1996 Paul Mas made his first blendings of the estate bottled wines at Pézenas: his first vintage being 1995. Jean-Claude Mas is often described as a pioneer from the New Languedoc, belonging to the New wave of French wines; one of those on a mission to give Languedoc it's former glory back in a region where wine production goes back to more than 2000 years.
Mas comments: "Innovation, expansion and a constant need to push the boundaries of what is achievable in the Languedoc is at the heart of our company's philosophy. We have been experimenting with low SO2 fermentation techniques and the results are convincing: the cuvées without sulphur taste far better than those to which sulphur has been used throughout the fermentation and they continue to develop in intensity,"
Monte da RAVASQUEIRA
Monte da Ravasqueira is an interesting winery. It has been owned by the José de Mello family for several generations. This winery is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, which together with the Douro, is leading the revolution in table wines coming from Portugal. Monte da Ravasqueira is a traditional Portuguese winery but has done a major upgrade of its facilities, using Napa as a model, so it produces clean, modern wines, but at traditional Portuguese prices.
It is the wines that sets Monte da Ravasqueira apart. There are few vineyards in the world that produce better value. Napa boutique wineries are not highlighting what consumers are saying (understable!), but increasingly wine lovers think that Monte da Ravasqueira is the future and this is simply due to their high quality wines at very reasonable prices.
My two favourite Monte da Ravasqueira wine sources are Dona Vitoria and Coutada Velha.
Remi POUIZIN – Domaine Dieu-le-Fit
Rémi Pouizin formerly made wine at his father’s property, Domaine La Fourmente, just outside Visan. Now he has branched out on his own, buying a magnificent 19th century château in the heart of the village, and securing a biodynamic accreditation for his vineyards, which essentially remain the same. Only the legal structure and the location of the winery have changed substantially: the essence of the excellent Domaine La Fourmente still remains, albeit a little improved and with a new, divinely inspired name.
Visan is one of the more self-effacing of the Côtes du Rhône Villages, not clamouring self-righteously for standalone appellation status, and therefore less well-known than near neighbours such as Rasteau and Vacqueyras. Despite this, the wines can be excellent.
Pouizin’s outstanding generic Cotes du Rhone 'Amour de Fruit' is 33.3% each Grenache, Carignan & Syrah from clay-limestone soils. It is destemmed, undergoes an 8-10 day cool vinification, concrete vat raised for 5 months and is an unfined, unfiltered, organic wine.
Domaines Vincent RAPET
Domaine Rapet Père Et Fils' lineage can be traced back to at least 1765 thanks to a dated, silver tastevin much treasured by the family. Rapet is one of the most ancient families of the Côte D’Or and the estate is now under the control of Vincent Rapet and his charming wife Sylvette who manage the 20 hectares with skill and a keen eye to nature. Based in the village of Pernand-Vergelesses, Domaine Rapet’s vineyards lie on and around the hill of Corton.
The wines of Pernand-Vergelesses have great individuality and at Domaine Rapet, a full spectrum can be tasted. The white wines are fresh and lively with delicious citrus and floral notes. As you would expect, the premiers crus give more power on the palate and of these vineyards Sous Frétille is perhaps regarded as the best. That is of course, if you don't count the grand cru Corton Charlemagne vineyard that produces stunning, long-lived wines that age for decades in the finest vintages.
The finely fleshed red wines of Domaine Rapet are quite simply stunning and offer great value. The premier cru of Les Vergelesses backs onto the appellation of Savigny-Lès-Beaune and seems to bear a similar charm, whilst also benefitting from a distict minerality beneath the bright berry fruit and fine tannins. The grand cru of Corton is big and structured, and it generally needs a little time to soften and become rounded. But it's well worth the wait, for Vincent's hands always craft a superb wine that is a sensational food partner when mature.
Domaines Christian SÉRAFIN
The reserved and considered son of a Polish immigrant Christian Sérafin holds a stunning suite of fabulous vineyards which produce intense and structured Côte de Nuits reds. The fruit concentration from low yields and a propensity to harvest late is such that the wines easily handle the oak regime, which integrate seamlessly after 3-5 years. The Sérafin wines have excellent structure, firmly supported by powerful tannin and acid levels, thus having the capacity to age superbly if cellared correctly. The vineyards are managed biologically with no regular application of systemic herbicides or pesticides (preferring to keep options open depending on climatic challenges etc). The vinification is both simple and natural with no artificial yeasts or enzymes, done in stainless steel. They are not racked until they are homogenized prior to bottling, nor are they fined or filtered. There are two main oak producers used, François Frère and Taransaud of which the village Gevrey receives 50% new with the Premiers Cru’s 75% and the Grand Cru 100%.
Today the wines are made by Sérafin’s niece Fréderique and the domaine is run by his daughter Karine. The ladies have already stamped their imprimatur with a very tangible shift to producing refined wines. There is a definite reduction in colour, extraction and delightful lighter touch in these very classy wines. In fact they are so well balanced that it is possible that they will drink young as well as old.
For a ‘close up’ view of the domaine and cultivation techniques and goals, as explained by Karine & Frédérique, copy and paste the following link into your browser / Youtube http://www.weygandtmetzler.com/serafin-pere-fils/ – just look at the magnificent colour of the grapes on the ‘table de triage’ (sorting table)!:
Domaines Robert SIRUGUE
Clive Coates MW . . . “The wines are pure, stylish, well made and offer a lovely drinkability.”
Based in Vosne-Romanée, Domaine Robert Sirugue is a family-run estate, medium in size and with a growing reputation. Our first visit to this domaine was in 1987 – thirty years ago. Then it was the man himself, Robert. Now in his early eighties he is retired. Today it is grandson Arnaud, a fifth generation Sirugue, that makes the wine. Arnaud is a son of Marie-France (Robert's daughter) and Jean-Louis.
Domaine Sirugue may not rank in the very top tier of Vosne vignerons, though it received excellent reviews from the wine critics 20-30 years ago. The domaine unquestionably lost some momentum over the years. When Marie-France and Jean-Louis Sirugue took over in 2007, they began to improve quality and in recent vintages have shown that there is a fine potential here. The quality is improving year after year and with the 2015s the Sirugue family have re-established the Domaines position. Hence my return. Burgundy is all about knowledge and timing.
Domaines Comte Georges de VOGUÉ
Second only in prestige to Domaine de la Romanée Conti as the finest domaine in Burgundy. Standards here are incredibly exacting, making beautiful wines that can age a lifetime. These are highly prized wines and as such, generally sell out on release in Feb of each year. We currently have no availability.