15 November 2023

Burgundy Diaries – Day 3

By Jason Haynes, Burgundy Buyer


A slightly quieter day today, spent entirely in the Côte de Beaune, although I still didn’t manage to close my tasting book until 7pm this evening! 

The morning began in beautiful sunshine as I breathed in the magnificent view of the vineyards of Puligny from the smart new tasting room at Etienne Sauzet. I was hosted by Benoit Riffault, winemaker and husband to Emilie Boudot, Etienne Sauzet’s great granddaughter. As breakfasts go, this one was pretty special, beginning with yet another humble but quite lovely Aligoté and ending with a not so humble Montrachet, which was also lovely if a little more ambitious! In between we had some definitive Pulignys, the pick of which was the Hameau de Blagny, the quite brilliant Folatières En La Richarde and the delightfully stony Combettes. Amongst the GCs the Bienvenues was a real delight. Lunch and chat at the Tessiers in Meursault were followed by a couple of tastings in Chassagne. First up was Vincent Morey, whose son Maxime has now joined him at the Domaine. The wines here are picked a few days later than at some domaines, and consequently they retain a certain richness to them. The highlights were probably the stony Baudines and signature Embrazées, of which he has a whopping 4.5 hectares! 

And then off up the road to Jean-Marc Pillot where son Antonin left further proof that he is moving the Domaine up to a new level. Another lovely old vine Aligoté tasted here plus a couple of cracking 1ers Crus in Caillerets and Vergers Clos St Marc, a tiny but perfectly formed sub parcel of just 1.5 hectares within Les Vergers. 

Heavy rain enveloped my last tasting at Château Bligny, not too far from Volnay and Beaune, where Pierre Brisset creates a handful of small parcel whites in a shared winery owned by Dominique Lafon. I spent the last 10 minutes trying to persuade Pierre to make us some magnums of his deliciously sapid St Aubin Sur La Roche Dumay. You’ll have to wait until our January offer to find out if I was successful or not!