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- Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier, Pernand Vergelesses, Burgundy
- Domaine Michel Gros, Vosne Romanée, Burgundy
- Domaine Rouchier, Saint Joseph, Rhône
Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier
These wines have immediate wow factor. That is, they are energetic yet ripe and velvety Pinot Noirs. Only one Chardonnay was tasted due to the very, very small volumes available. It was incredibly energetic also. Jean-Baptiste has a delicate touch and understands the land. This is a producer to watch, his first vintage being in 2015 and only just inheriting more vineyards to bring the count from three to six hectares as of the 2021 vintage. Highly recommended.
Producer note: Allen Meadows, The Burghound:
For those readers who are not familiar with the young and extremely talented Jean-Baptiste Boudier, please see Issue 90 for an introduction to both him and his domaine.
The young Jean-Baptiste Boudier is a trained oenologist and comes from a long line of vignerons, but he is the first in his family to directly commercialize his wines in any meaningful quantity. After working in a variety of regions, including Burgundy (he is second cousins with Nicolas Rossignol), he began in 2015 with only 3 ha of vines and has slowly added to that core to where he now farms 6.5 ha. He presently declares wines in 11 different appellations where 80% of the production is in red and is spread mostly over the communes of Savigny, Aloxe and Pernand. His approach in the vines is presently lutte raisonnée (a system whereby the vines are treated only when there are actual signs of disease pressure, not in anticipation of them) though he told me that he is progressively moving to a 100% organic regimen. The harvest is performed manually and the fruit is sorted twice, once in the vineyard and again in the cuverie. Whole clusters are used in the indigenous yeast only vinifications though he stresses that nothing is systematic and the use of stems is more of a feeling than a preordained notion. He employs more of an infusion approach during a 12-to-14-day cuvaison, which he believes is enough to obtain the best the fruit has to offer without any of the astringency that longer fermentations sometimes extract. The élevage can vary as well because even though most of the reds see 14 to 15 months, for some wines and vintages, he will allow them 18-to-20 months in around 25% new wood (though in 2021, it was zero). The wines are not fined and rarely filtered, though Boudier again stresses that if he thinks a wine would benefit from it, he is not philosophically opposed to doing so. Boudier told me that above all, he wants to craft wines of elegance and finesse where the underlying terroir is more easily allowed to express itself. As he noted, "I'm just here to help reveal what is already in the fruit." I was impressed by what I found here and this is a young Burgundian to follow going forward. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.leserbet.com, Beaune, France; Skurnik Wines, www.skurnik.com, NY, USA; Haynes, Hanson & Clark, www.hhandc.co.uk, UK; and Corney & Barrow, www.corneyandbarrow.com, Hong Kong.
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Pernand Vergelesses Blanc
RRP $169 | Offer $115
A one-hectare plot, two thirds planted in the 50s and the rest in 90s. Quite high sites; half just below the forest and the other at 400 metres facing west. Both in shallow soils.
Note: from a .95 ha holding in Les Pins, Es Larret et Vignes Blanches and Le Devant des Clous. | Cool, pure and airy aromas of petrol, just sliced lemon and green apple give way to racy, delicious and overtly stony middleweight flavors that terminate in a clean, agreeably dry and lingering finish that is shaped by citrus-tinged acidity. This lovely effort is worth considering and one that could be aged for a few years or enjoyed young. 89 points, Outstanding - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Fretille Blanc
RRP $258 | Offer $176
A miniscule 0.11-hectare plot planted in the 50s with some replanting over the last ten years. South east facing, at the top of the slope.
Note: from a small .12 ha holding in La Morand. | This is aromatically quite similar to the straight Pernand villages though with the addition of a floral component. There is by contrast more volume on the plump but punchy medium-bodied flavors that exude a refreshing salinity on the clean and dry but not really austere finale. This could use more depth but the stuffing appears to be present for that to occur if given a chance. 90 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Savigny les Beaune Rouge
RRP $146 | Offer $99
Note: from a holding in the villages portion of Peuillets and Ez Connardises that totals .5 ha; 20% whole clusters. | A cool, pure and attractively airy nose combines notes of various red berries with those of earth and underbrush. The delicious and vibrant lighter weight flavors possess both good energy and detail on the linear and youthfully austere finale. This has the balance to be enjoyed young though I would suggest allowing it at least a few years first. A quality Savigny villages. 88 points - Allen Meadows, The Burhound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Les Peuillets Rouge
RRP $184 | Offer $125
Once again there is a lovely coolness to the airy and pure red berry fruit aromas that are cut with more floral character along with newly turned earth. The caressing but punchy and well-detailed medium weight flavors that deliver solid depth and persistence is a more supple package. As is typically the case with the wines of Peuillets, this should drink well young but repay up to a decade of keeping. 90 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Les Fichots Rouge
RRP $184 | Offer $125
Planted in the ‘50s with rich soils that produce wines of power. | Here too the nose is exceptionally fresh, airy and cool with its beautifully pure essence of red pinot fruit that reflects background hints of both earth and spice. There is excellent intensity to the lightly stony barely middleweight flavors that exude a bracing salinity on the slightly firmer and more complex finale. This too is worth considering provided you intend to hold it for at least a few years first. 90 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Aloxe Corton ‘Les Combes’ Rouge
RRP $192 | Offer $130
Another miniscule plot, 0.17 hectares. Just below Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, as the slope starts to fan out. | This is also exceptionally fresh and airy with its even cooler array of floral and earth-inflected red cherry scents. There is better volume and mid-palate density to the precise and moderately powerful flavors that possess a bit more overall depth and persistence though the finish is also more structured as well. This is worth considering. 89 points. Outstanding, Top Value - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Jean-Baptiste Boudier Corton Rouge 'Les Renardes' Grand Cru
RRP $599 | Offer $411
A softly floral-suffused nose reluctantly offers up its array of red and dark cherry, violet and a touch of the sauvage. The rich and punchy medium-bodied flavors possess only average concentration but there is nonetheless a sense of focused power that carries over to the bitter pit fruit-inflected and impressively persistent finale. This is presently moderately compact and should repay up to a decade of keeping, perhaps even a bit more. 92 Points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
Domaine Michel Gros, Vosne Romanée
The Gros family were one of, if not the first to ‘domaine bottle’ in Burgundy. The history and entwined structure of the extended family is a great way to spend an evening and I encourage those interested to do so with a bottle of their monopole ‘Clos des Reas’!
The wines are 100% destemmed and have a long maceration. They are elegant and very pretty with fantastic ageing capacity. It is well known that wine writers review the wines too early as they are usually still in barrel with a while to go before bottling when they taste. Michel is one of the premier resources for those trying to understand the weather and characteristics of a vintage.
The Hautes-Côtes de Nuits
The high hills that nestle within picturesque villages above the Côte d’Or, are scattered with beautiful vineyards that boast a cooler climate to those on the Côte d’Or. They produce refreshing high acid wines. With vintages becoming warmer and dryer, the vineyards are producing wines with riper and resolved tannins, which is something they did not always have.
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge
RRP $114 | Offer $75
Moderate reduction pushes the underlying fruit to the background. Otherwise, there is even better density to the sleek and intense flavors that exude more evident minerality on the youthfully austere finish that is shaped by a firmer core of acidity. This needs at least a year or two of patience first. 86-88 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge 'Au Vallon'
RRP $123 | Offer $80
A somewhat cooler array is composed by notes of red and dark pinot fruit, plum, violet and a touch of green tea. The lighter weight if less concentrated flavors also possess very good verve and detail while displaying a finer texture on the chiseled and lightly austere finale. 86-88 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge 'Fontaine St Martin’
RRP $128 | Offer $83
Note: a 7-ha monopole of the domaine, 4 of which are planted to pinot. | Here the nose is at once slightly riper yet a bit more elegant as well with its combination of red and blue pinot fruit, spice and discreet floral hints. I very much like the texture of the energetic and slightly denser flavors that exude evident minerality on the dusty, lightly austere and sneaky long finale. Worth considering. 86-89 points. Outstanding - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Nuits St Georges 'Les Chaliots'
RRP $246 | Offer $162
Just north of ‘Les Saint Georges’ and east of ‘Les Poirets’. According to Michel, the vineyard produces wines with an incredible finely detailed mineral character while maintaining an abundance of fruit.
A top note of green tea is present on the cool and ultra-fresh nose of just sliced plum, red berries and just enough wood influence to merit mentioning. There is slightly more volume to the richer flavors that are slightly more rustic on the more complex and slightly longer and firmer finale. 88-91 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound.
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Morey St Denis 'en la Rue de Vergy’
RRP $246 | Offer $162
A vineyard that sits directly above Clos de tart Grand Cru. With thin topsoil, the resultant wines are mineral and light on their feet as well as having oodles of complexity.
Firm reduction dominates the underlying fruit today. Otherwise, there is excellent freshness, detail and verve to the caressing and delicious middleweight flavors where a subtle bead of minerality adds a sense of lift to the linear, youthfully austere and slightly angular if long finale. 87-90 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Chambolle Musigny
RRP $387 | Offer $254
Note: two-thirds of the total is from Les Argillières, a lieu-dit that directly abuts Musigny on its northern border with the rest being from Les Maladières, Les Mombies and Les Nazoires.
Spicy aromas of plum, dark currant and violet are trimmed in just a soupçon of wood. There is very good volume to the sleek, refined and punchy medium-bodied flavors that exude a refreshing salinity on the clean, mildly austere and sneaky long finish that is also sufficiently structured to repay up to a decade of cellaring. 89-91 points. Outstanding - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Vosne Romanee
RRP $387 | Offer $254
Note: from 3 different parcels in Aux Réas, La Colombière and Au-Dessus de la Rivière.
This is also quite firmly reduced and unreadable in its present condition. More interesting are the slightly richer and more refined medium weight flavors that possess a lovely underlying tension as well as a seductive texture, all wrapped in a lingering and moderately austere finale. This could use more depth, but the necessary material appears to be present for that to occur. 88-91 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Nuits St Georges 1er Cru
RRP $418 | Offer $274
A blend of Aux Murgers and Vignerondes that connect, Vignerondes is to the south. Both have lighter soils with Murgers having more sand and gravel and Vignerondes with more Comblanchien limestone. The result is a wine with brooding fruit of Nuits Saint Georges but a little more finesse like Vosne Romanée.
This is also very spicy with its array of decidedly earthy dark currant, black cherry and soft sauvage nuances. The utterly delicious, round and solidly concentrated medium weight flavors possess solid length on the robust and slightly rustic finish. This also could use better depth, but more will almost certainly develop if given a chance as this wine has a good aging track record. 90-92 points - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Vosne Romanee 1er Cru 'Les Brulees'
RRP $604 | Offer $396
Situated in the Combe de Conceour and as any Combe throughout the Côte, is on varied soil. This combined with varying aspects makes it particularly hard to pinpoint the style of the wine produced by Les Brulees. The name would suggest a very warm site however this is not necessarily the case and there are north facing aspects as well as the cool breeze that comes down from the Hautes Côte, through the Combe de Conceour. It is often said, including by Allen Meadows, that if Les Brulees was in any other village than Vosne Romanée, it would almost definitely be a grand cru.
Note: 35+ year old vines that abut the A.-F. Gros Richebourg parcel in Veroilles. | A restrained but perfumed and even spicier nose reflects notes of sandalwood, anise, exotic tea and pretty floral nuances on the mostly red and dark raspberry scents that are also trimmed is discreet wood. The sleek and almost painfully intense middleweight flavors coat the palate with dry extract while exhibiting impressive power on the balanced, long and more complex finale. At least some patience would be beneficial. 91-93 points. Outstanding - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
2021 Domaine Michel Gros Vosne Romanee 1er Cru 'Clos des Reas'
RRP $604 | Offer $396
Clos des Reas is the only premier cru monopole in Vosne Romanée. The current walls that encompass the vineyard were built between 1800 and 1810, the Gros family purchasing the 2.12 hectare vineyard in 1860. The high walls and buildings to the east protect the vineyard from the harsh cool winds from the north and east. In regard to soil, it is a little different, and in turn results in a supremely elegant wine - the top 50 centimetres is red soil with limestone, the subsoil is oligence marlwith salmon veins and large limestone blocks. The result is a wine with finesse and suppleness.
Note: a 2.12 ha monopole with vines averaging 40+ years of age. | Reduction dominates everything save for subtle spice wisps that are discernible through the funk. The rich, seductive and caressing medium-bodied flavors also coat the palate thanks to the abundance of dry extract that also buffers the moderately firm tannic spine shaping the balanced and youthfully austere finale. This will also need to develop more depth but like the Nuits 1er, this also has an excellent aging track record. 90-93 points. Outstanding - Allen Meadows, The Burghound
Domaine Rouchier, Saint Joseph
Martine and Christian Rouchier are making some of the most exciting wines in Northern Rhône. Despite minute volumes, their unicorn status is growing globally with wines that display complexity few can reach. They are now growing their estate. Small, younger plantings are spread across the village in very random locations, more like veggie patches than commercial vineyards. Christian is a wizard in the cuveree but my god does he make life hard for himself! Their original two hectares are organic and biodynamic, managed by hand and horse.
‘Luc’ was planted in 1972 on the hills above St Jean de Muzols. The vineyard has a west facing aspect, an elevation of 250 metres and the soils consist of clay and schist.
‘Chave’ was planted in 1958. It has western exposure and predominantly granitic gneiss soils. The grapes spend two weeks as whole clusters in concrete tanks using indigenous yeast. Pigeage and remontage is utilised before going to neutral wood for 16-18 months. The wine is neither fined nor filtered. No sulfur is added throughout the entirety of the vinification process.
2020 Domaine Rouchier Syrah Antraigue
RRP $96 | Offer $59
Pretty, lifted but with more coaxing additional layers of complex red and black plum start to show. Balanced and bright but not lacking interest. The palate has a lovely core of firm, present, ripe tannins wrapped in vibrant, salivating and juicy fruit. Long. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Incredibly bright, violet-scented style. Flowers appear first, with blueberries coming in underneath, and a touch of bubblegum. Medium-bodied, this is very fresh, with low tannin - only a subtly tight squeeze on the finish. A very authentic Ardèche Syrah, to drink young. 91 points - Matt Wallis, Decanter
2020 Domaine Rouchier Puat
RRP $136 | Offer $83
80% Syrah, 20% Chasselas. A brooding black fruited nose that remains light and olfactory filling. The palate, in contrast, is more red fruited, lighter and vibrant. Nice structure. Nice energy and lovely drinkability. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Lovely sense of freshness to this wine, with a palate that’s bright, spicy and pure, with a touch of liquorice coming from the Syrah. Fresh and very digestible, with very fine, powdery tannins. Light, charming and drinkable. 93 points - Matt Wallis, Decanter
2020 Domaine Rouchier St Joseph 'Luc' RRP $164 | Offer $108
2020 Domaine Rouchier St Joseph 'Luc' MAGNUM RRP $393 | Offer $258
Black cherry, black olive, bird pecked black plum. An incredible depth. An array of dried, crushed violet and lavender. The palate is firm with perfectly ripe but present, granular tannins. Lovely red and black suave fruits wraps the firm structure and drives with lovely acid. Good length. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Domaine Rouchier St Joseph 'Chave' RRP $182 | Offer $115
2020 Domaine Rouchier St Joseph 'Chave' MAGNUM RRP $410 | Offer $268
More volume, more fruit sweetness but still with the same underlying black cherry, black olive, bird pecked plum but just turned up a notch. The palate is mouthfilling with rich, complex and vibrant fruit that is carried by an even more present structure that entwines to give exceptional length, interest and supreme cellarability. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Rising aerial freshness, this gently hovers out of the glass, with a petrichor note on the nose. Light-bodied, but no lack of impact or intensity. Deeply textural, with a mass of ripe tannin, it finishes dry and saline. Great freshness and energy. Whole-bunch fermented with natural yeasts, followed by 16 months élevage in old barrels. 95 points - Matt Wallis, Decanter
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