Pre Arrival Offer March 2022
OFFER CLOSED 25 MARCH 2022
ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE JUNE 2022
Pre Arrival Offer March 2022 (VIEW LANDED WINES)
Producers included in this offer:
- Domaine Lucie Thiéblemont, Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis (New to FWC)
- Domaine de la Bongran, Viré Clessé, Burgundy
- Domaine Michel Niellon, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
- Château de Bonnezeaux, Bonnezeaux, Loire Valley (New to FWC)
- Domaine Frédéric Berne, Lantignié, Beaujolais
This could be my favourite Pre Arrival Offer of recent times. Big statement, I know. Here’s why..
The most unassuming product is included; a little Cremant de Bourgogne from Domaine Lucie Thieblemont. Firstly, if you do not wish to attempt pronunciation lets all make a pact now to call it “Lucie’s Cremant” or "Lucie’s Bubbles”. It's Pinot Noir from very old vines just outside of Chablis, close to Champagne and Cremant de Bourgogne production laws mirror those of NV Champagne.
Next, is Domaine de la Bongran and over the period of this offer I am going to repeat William Kelley’s words on this domaine numerous times!
“The Thevenet family's Domaine de la Bongran is one of my favorite wineries in the world. The Cuvée E.J. Thevenet ranks as one of Burgundy's greatest wines. What's more, its longevity is legendary: even in challenging vintages such as 1984, the Thevenets' humble Mâcon is still cruising along in the cellar, while most of the Côte de Beaune's grandest whites are already senescent.” - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
We understand that is an absolutely huge statement, so we have included Neal Martin’s words also, to reinforce the quality of this cuvee (in the text below). We have a whopping 600 bottles so please do not hesitate in going long, particularly when longevity of this wine is so infamous!!!
The third producer, Domaine Michel Niellon, requires no introduction for those that have ordered these wines before, they are magnificent. Almost forgotten about in Australia until the 2017 release, yet they are seen as equal with Ramonet as top dogs of Chassagne-Montrachet around the globe. Wines of this calibre are near impossible to purchase in ample volumes to cellar, let alone at pre arrival prices. First in best dressed as per usual.
Bonnezeaux is a region in the Loire Valley that is historically known for sweet wines. However, Chateau de Bonnezeaux which was established in the 19th century, has just returned from a 30 year hiatus and have gained cult status for their dry Chenin Blancs under the guise of ‘Vin de France’. Make no mistake, these are wild wines that require a lot of air to show their true beauty. They are rich yet salty with lots of oxidative handling. For those that don’t mind a little bit of vinous adventure I believe you will genuinely enjoy these bottles. For those that are curious but usually stick to more elegant and less wild examples, I suggest giving a bottle or two a try, as they are truly unique.
Last, but definitely not least, Freddy Berne! I find the most famous names of Beaujolais to be a little challenging. The humble Freddy sticks to hard work and clean wines for building his reputation rather than hype and dramatic styles. These are delicious wines, perfect for in-between those grand reds of Burgundy.
Any questions at all, please reach out!
Domaine Lucie Thiéblemont, Crémant de Bourgogne, Chablis (New to FWC)
Here is a little more technical detail than I would usually include. However, my point is to show that this is different to a mass produced Crémant de Bourgogne found on the shelves.
TERROIR | It is between Tonnerre and Molosmes, on a Kimmeridgian-type terroir close to that of Chablis. The limestone subsoil and the stony ground, remarkably well drained, ensure the grapes an optimal development.
SITUATION | Added to Burgundy's soil are the advantages of the Champagne climate, with Champagne being only a few kilometers away. On perfectly exposed hillsides - south, south-east - the Pinot Noir vines flourish beautifully and condense the best of the two great wine regions that surround them.
IN THE VINEYARD | Plowing and tillage to limit inputs. Manual harvest of course!
VINIFICATION AND ELEVAGE | Pressing in pneumatic presses for slow and "gentle" juice extraction. Fermentation - natural alcoholic and malolactic, under regulated temperatures. The base wine is aged for a year before being bottled. It is then kept for two years minimum "on slats". No liqueur is added at the time of disgorging: this Crémant extra-brut is said to be non-dosed, hence its name "BRUT ZÉRO"
NV Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Zero Blanc de Noirs RRP $55
Huge red fruit energy that jumps out of the glass. Raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, fennel and mountain herbs. The palate is alive and focused with beautifully defined red fruits. This is seriously fine, exciting fizz. - Jono Hersey, FWC⏤
Domaine de la Bongran, Viré Clessé, Burgundy
I will let William Kelley speak for these…..
“The Thevenet family's Domaine de la Bongran is one of my favorite wineries in the world. Today, seventh-generation vigneron Gautier Thevenet directs the domaine, though his father Jean, pioneer of organic farming in the Mâconnais, is still very much on the scene. Nothing is hurried here, from the harvest—which typically begins weeks after the region's other growers have finished picking—to the long, slow vinification. The Thevenets believe that Chardonnay in Quintaine (the hamlet within the appellation of Viré-Clessé where their cellars are located) only develops interest at advanced levels of maturity, so 14% alcohol is commonplace here. The grapes are then gently pressed (Gautier has recently acquired a Coquard press that allows him to work even more precisely), with the must settled for three or four days before being racked into epoxy-lined tanks for vinification. Fermentation is cool—proceeding at 14-17 degrees Celsius—and protracted, as is élevage on the lees. The wine thus clarifies and stabilizes naturally. While these methods are shared between the Thevenets' three domaines, Domaine de la Bongran's peculiarity is that its subsoils are calcium-rich white marls. Fermentation and élevage are invariably longer, and the wines are deeper and more complex. Some of the domaine's vineyards also harbor botrytis, which in certain vintages produces a dry Cuvée Levroutée (marked by the inclusion of some 20% botrytized grapes) and a famous nobly sweet Cuvée Botrytis. The latter is splendid and singular, but readers would be making a mistake if they pursue this rare dessert wine at the expense of the domaine's emblematic bottling, the Cuvée E.J. Thevenet, which ranks as one of Burgundy's greatest wines. What's more, its longevity is legendary: even in challenging vintages such as 1984, the Thevenets' humble Mâcon is still cruising along in the cellar, while most of the Côte de Beaune's grandest whites are already senescent. One of my New Year's resolutions was to buy more of these special wines, and I'm happy to say that I'm on course to fulfill it.” - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2017 Cuvee EJ Thevenet RRP $127
2017 Cuvee EJ Thevenet 1500ml RRP $252
2017 Cuvee EJ Thevenet 375ml RRP $78
“The Cuvée E.J. Thevenet, which ranks as one of Burgundy's greatest wines. What's more, its longevity is legendary: even in challenging vintages such as 1984, the Thevenets' humble Mâcon is still cruising along in the cellar, while most of the Côte de Beaune's grandest whites are already senescent” - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
The 2017 Viré-Clessé, which will be bottled at the beginning of 2022, has a killer nose with an almost Germanic feel, intense nectarine, melon and damp earthy scents with just a hint of petrol. The palate is beautifully balanced with a line of acidity keeping everything taut and linear. The 2017 is a little waxy in texture with orange rind, stem ginger and white pepper furnishing the very persistent finish. This is superb - a Viré-Clessé with genuine substance and longevity. 92-94 Points. - Neal Martin, Vinous.com
A rich yet bright and energetic nose, underlying tropical fruits with a dried and concentrated character. A ‘furry’, savoury, honey aspect also. The palate is incredibly rich and unctuous yet seemingly so light on its feet with fresh, lovely and lingering acidity. VERY long with the same flavour profile as the nose. -Jono Hersey, FWC
2016 Cuvee EJ Thevenet 375ml RRP $78
The 2016 Viré-Clessé is the vintage currently on the market, although Guillaume Thevenet suggested that it will benefit from five to seven years in bottle. That’s easier said than done given the irresistible bouquet with gorgeous white peach, nectarine, blood orange and light minerally notes. The palate is very harmonious and smooth with ginger and white pepper notes interlaced with the very subtle tropical fruit of pineapple and a hint of guava. Great linearity and length here, this is only just beginning to show what it can do, so maybe heed Guillaume’s advice! 93 Points - Neal Martin, Vinous.com
The 2016 Viré-Clessé Cuvée E. J. Thevenet is showing beautifully, unfurling in the glass with notes of elderflower, beeswax, pear, white flowers and peach. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and precise, it's lively and concentrated, concluding with a saline finish. This is a more elegant, less muscular wine than the 2015, nodding to the style of the lovely 2013. I vividly remember visiting the domaine in October 2016, in pouring rain, when everyone else in the neighborhood had finished picking and Gautier Thevenet hadn't yet begun! 94 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Domaine Michel Niellon, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
Below is a little snippet I have previously written, I believe it still gets my point across so I will leave as is:
Domaine Michel Niellon and Domaine Ramonet are the two leading producers in Chassagne-Montrachet; with cult status and followed closely by those in the know. Their minute volumes make them a name you need to search for or stumble across, but you have struck gold when you do. Niellon are often the first to pick in the village stating that they would rather pick earlier than later. Even with this mindset their wines have a wonderful volume to them, with a beautiful energetic rock salt minerality all the while.
There are three wines that are regarded as the most legendary white wines Burgundy has ever produced - Coche Dury’s 1989 Corton Charlemagne, Ramonet’s 1982 Montrachet and Michel Niellon’s 1996 Chevalier Montrachet. It hasn’t always been so for these three wines, they have had their ups and downs. In particular Niellon’s Chevalier would go through swings and roundabouts, from a perfect, polarising wine to subdued and unremarkable. This, like Burgundy itself can be half of the appeal, the raw emotion of triumph or disappointment. One moment it creates feelings and tastes never experienced then the next all has disappeared and one is left confused and lost.
It hasn’t been until the last few vintages that it seems Niellon has brought the wine back to where it needs to be, and consistently. Each year when I think of the vintage that is, I hope for years like 1996, 2008, 2010, 2014 where the conditions give the ability for great white wines to reach truly remarkable levels. Each year I wonder when this wine will reach the same level as 1993 or 1996. It gives new meaning to ‘following’ or ‘collecting’ a producer. I am going to list two reviews which sum up the wine at its peak, the first by Allen Meadows, The Burghound and the second from Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate.
2020 Bourgogne Blanc RRP $103
Bright fresh pear, preserved lemon, classic with beautiful tension. Petrol, smokey, slight gunflint. Soft ripe pear skin phenolics, baked apple. Welcoming with a little roundness but not without a nice core and drive of fine minerality. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Chassagne-Montrachet RRP $212An assembly of 15 terroirs throughout Chassagne-Montrachet.
Tighter and more detailed. Slight gunflint/petrol but ever so subtle. Preserved lemon, lemon oil, fresh mandarin juice, fresh pear and baked apple. There is a core of beautifully gentle minerality laced with light lime acidity. Wonderful length with pear and pear skin phenolics. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Bursting with aromas of pear, toasted nuts and freshly baked bread, the 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc is medium-bodied, lively and charming, with a pretty core of fruit and chalky grip on the finish. 88 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos de la Maltroie' RRP $295More focused, preserved lemon, very white floral dominant nose with beautifully bright, bitter pithiness. Gun flint, struck match. The palate is driven, mineral, lemon, grapefruit, pithy and long. Very fresh. Showing its bones with almost no puppy fat. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Aromas of pear, beeswax, toasted nuts, white flowers and youthful reduction introduce the 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Maltroie, a medium to full-bodied, lively and tightly wound young wine built around bright acids and chalky extract. 91 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 'Champgains' RRP $295
A little more ripe lemon juice focused rather than the above. A gentle, yet apparent seaspray lifts from the glass. Mountain herbs, crushed florals and a nuance of grapefruit oil. The palate is salivating and driven with higher toned and rounder fruit than the previous. Mouth coating phenolics and a lovely grapefruit pith bitterness on the finish. - Jono Hersey, FWC
The 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Champs Gain unwinds in the glass with aromas of pear, fresh bread, confit citrus and toasted almonds. Medium to full-bodied, bright and chalky, with a charming core of fruit, lively acids and a saline finish, it's a fine effort. 92 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 'Chenevottes' RRP $295High toned, tense, passionfruit, splice lime, orange oil and mandarin. Quite exotic but very detailed aromatics. The palate has a very pleasing mandarin profile with round, exotic citrus juice, fine pithiness with gentle minerality and phenolics. A nice cooling nature present. - Jono Hersey, FWC
Aromas of orange oil, pear, beeswax, bread dough and anise introduce the 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes, a medium to full-bodied, taut but fleshy wine that's bright and charming. This is a gourmand but controlled Chenevottes that will offer a broad drinking window. 92 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate.
2020 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos St Jean' RRP $295
A mineral and petrol based nose with nuances of herbs, mountain grass, ripe pear skin, plum, passionfruit with oodles of detail lifting from the glass. A very restrained and entwined palatewhich is painfullyclosed. The aggressive mineral core is wrapped in citrus oils and puppy fat. Very long and very promising. - Jono Hersey, FWC
As was the case in 2017, the 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jean has turned out especially well this year. Bursting with aromas of pear, freshly baked bread, orange oil and beeswax and framed by a deft touch of reduction, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and satiny, its fleshy core of fruit girdled by tangy acids. 94 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Chaumées, Clos de la Truffière' RRP $295
Again a mineral and petrol infused nose but showing more detail and openness. More delicate floral nuances rather than fruit and citrus. Beautiful perfume. Very intricate. The palate is light on its feet with delicately woven structure between minerality and bitter pith. It dances. Long and airy. - Jono Hersey, FWC
The 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées Clos de la Truffière mingles aromas of orange rind and pear with hints of fresh bread, buttered pastry, toasted nuts and dried white flowers in an inviting bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, bright and ample, with fine depth at the core, lively acids and a chalky finish, it's a fine success. 94 Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru RRP $1395
Very restrained yet showing some fine detail, still mostly closed. An underlying dried Greek yoghurt and citrus oil with crushed dried herbs. The palate is muted yet present for almost a minute. You know it is there but gives almost nothing. This nothingness seems to last forever. - Jono Hersey, FWC
The 2020 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru opens in the glass with aromas of confit citrus, pear, freshly baked bread, hazelnuts, pastry cream and white flowers. Full-bodied, ample and seamless, it's layered and concentrated, with lively acids and a long, saline finish. 95+ Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
2020 Chassagne Montrachet Rouge RRP $125
Aromas of dark cherries, spices and licorice introduce the 2020 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge, a medium to full-bodied, bright and fleshy wine built around supple tannins and lively acids. It's a fine effort. 89+ Points - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate⏤
Château de Bonnezeaux, Bonnezeaux, Loire Valley (New to FWC)
A miniscule AOC of 80 hecatres on prized sandstone schists with quartz and pthanite lodes which is usually reserved for sweet wine production using the Chenin Blanc grape variety. Chateau de Bonnezeaux began its history in the 19th century. A large hill ontop of the gentle hill of Bonnezeaux. After a 30 year period of vineyards that have periodically been rented out or abandoned, Louis-Edgard de Pinieux inherited the vines and brought on family member, Guyonne Saclier de la Bâtie and hit the ground running, saving the old abandoned vineyards as well as planting/purchasing more ideally located vines. Pierre Bousseau and Florian Zuliani joined the Domaine to facilitate the above activities.
Walking through the vines there is incredible life. The period of being abandoned was a time for many other vineyards, a time of heavy chemical application and as such life would cease to live there creating uninteresting, stale soils. Not the case for these magical vineyards.
As for the wines themselves. These are wild and not for the faint hearted. They require air and attention. They are truly unique and I encourage everyone with any desire of vinous adventure to get around these.
2020 Montagne RRP $126
Dry Chenin Blanc from the hill surrounding the Chateau. Schist soils with relative slope.
2020 Frimas RRP $111
75% of this cuvee is from their own vineyards and the rest is from neighbouring vineyards who practice organic viticulture.
2020 Minee Haute RRP $141
A new cuvee from further down the slope. Less Schist and more shale and gravel by an old stream. A different expression of Chenin.
2020 Coquerie RRP $156
Schist and quartz rich soil keeps the wine very straight and tightly wound. Picked very late for full evolution. Truly unique.
Domaine Frédéric Berne, Lantignié, Beaujolais
Time flies when you are having fun… Freddy started producing his own wine in 2014, we started with him in 2015. At that time he still had wine lying around waiting for someone like me to come along and purchase it and with not much press outside of France there was no rush to grab allocations, we made it work with our schedule. How times have changed! If we don’t lock away, pay and ship the wines someone else grabs them! These are brilliantly crafted Beaujolais; juicy and bright yet structured. No rockstar trend seeking here, just honest hard work and organic viticulture.
2020 Beaujolais Lantignié 'Pierres Bleues' RRP $55
Darker, more brooding fruit with plum, black cherry and blackberry cassis. The palate is vibrant and juicy with more underlying plum bramble. Granular tannins roll in the mouth. Long. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Beaujolais Lantignié 'Les Vergers' RRP $73
A little more restrained and serious with violets and plum. A spicy nose lifts from the tightly wound nose. The palate is structured with granular tannins. Overtly ripe black plum and ripe blackberry. Powerful but very defined and full of incredible interest. Beautiful wine. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Regnie 'aux Bruyères' RRP $73
A liquer and cassis ripeness with blackberry, black currant and overtly ripe raspberry. The palate has a liqeur richness with extreme structure. Very present tannins. Very long and built for the long haul. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Chiroubles 'Les Terraces' RRP $73
Rich plum, red currant, violets but quite bright with more red fruit and florals than the Morgon. Structured with sandy tannins laced with bright red currant acidity and beautiful fruit weight through the length of the entire palate. - Jono Hersey, FWC
2020 Morgon 'Corcelette' RRP $75
Floral, violets, lavender, red currant and black currant. A Morgon of class with balance between florals, fruit and a nuance of spice. The palate is overtly juicy with mouth filling fruit. Long and serious with granular tannins. - Jono Hersey, FWC