Highlights from Burgundy En Primeur
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Burgundy En Primeur tasting on the 8th of January; it was a delight to welcome the Burgundian winemakers to pour their 2017s.
One of the advantages of such a comprehensive tasting is the chance to unearth wines that are truly deserving of the spotlight. Following the tasting, here are three of our favourite producers from the night who are well worth a second look in the 2017 vintage.
See the full offer of 2017 Burgundies HERE and buy online HERE
|Domaine Jean Guiton
Guillaume is the unsung hero of our entire list. Tucked away in quiet Bligny-les-Beaune on the other side of the RN74 from Volnay, Guillaume quietly keeps churning out great wines that offer both rare value for money and, perhaps most importantly, represent the kind of Burgundies everyone enjoys drinking. Ever since we began buying from him in the early days of the company, he has always made wines with fine tannins and a silkiness of texture that lures one in. They have always been just that bit classier than most examples. These elements have not changed, but it is probably fair to say that in the last three to four years there has been a steady rise in the quality of the wines as a whole, making them even better value than before. It’s not massively clear the exact reasons for the nudge upwards but it is undeniable. These 2017s are really great and will age with much grace and poise.
Beaune 1er Cru ‘Les Sizies’
Buy now for £265 IB per 12 bottles
We have a soft spot for this wine as it always brings an approachability and charm to an appellation that, at times, can lack both. Thankfully yields were much better than the fifteen hectolitres per hectare made in 2016. This feels very at ease with itself expressing bright, fresh red fruits and just a touch of structure and tannin to keep things in check on the back palate. Pretty, mineral and lively. Drink from 2022 to 2030.
| Domaine Stéphane Magnien
This small domaine, tucked away behind the church in Morey-St Denis, has been run by Stéphane Magnien (no relation to the other Magnien vignerons in the Côte d’Or!) since 2008, although one gets the sense that it is only in the last four or five years that he has had the complete freedom to really express himself. Having said that, he had no great desire, and indeed there was no great need to revolutionise the domaine, but he has made subtle tweaks here and there, which cumulatively have had a significant impact on the wines being produced. The domaine has a lot of old vines, and Stéphane is consequently well aware that he doesn’t need to be a big interventionist to achieve the best results. Both vinification (5/6 days maceration) and elevage (12- 15 months in barrel followed by 2/3 months en masse in cuve) are pretty traditional. Extraction is gentle (minimal pigeage) and the oak regime is fairly conservative (between 0% and 30% new oak). The expressive, fruit driven character of the vintage really complements the classical character of Stéphane’s wines and merely adds a seductive layer of youthful flesh to the mix. Stephane’s broad smile when tasting these 2017s did not leave his face: quality and quantity together. Marvellous.
Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru ‘Les Faconnières’
Buy now for £250 IB per 6 bottles
Buy now for £255 IB per 3 magnums
Faconnières is undoubtedly one of Morey’s finest 1ers crus and also one of its more definitive stylistically. The fruit here is much darker and more overt than in the Mont Luisants, with lovely fragrance and richesse throughout. Harmonious and a seamless smattering of fine tannins. There were lots of small berries amongst the bunches (the vines are a 70/30 mix of 65 years old and 15 years old) which have contributed an effortless intensity and textural plush right through the palate. Drink from 2022 to 2029.
| Domaine Agnès Paquet
This time last year Agnès was faced with the prospect of having virtually no wine to sell. St Aubin, Chassagne, Pommard had not done well in terms of yields thanks to the devastating late spring frost, and a lot of her vines were in these three appellations.
Thankfully, she is feeling much happier now about the world of wine having just banked two nice vintages on the trot. These 2017s work especially well with her purist, delicate style of wines, the natural richness of the fruit being tamed and directed by the vibrancy that Agnès manages to instill.
Agnès makes wines that impress and surpass their humble origins - Auxey-Duresses is an often overlooked appellation- but she has an excellent, light touch in the cellar and works with very old vines, which add a layer of complexity to the wines.
Auxey-Duresses ‘Cuvée Patience No 10’
Buy now for £128 IB per 6 bottles
This comes from the same vineyard as her ‘basic’ Auxey but she chooses to give it a few more months of elevage. It’s a little richer in style with a touch more oak influence but it is still very much in the medium weight category with an emphasis on purity. Drink from 2020 to 2025.
photo copyright: Jon Wyand