Well, what a tasting! The very best that we, and our customers who have also recently visited Charles Ballot, have ever had at this dynamic domaine. Quantities of white wines are down by 40% in 2012 and red wines by 80%. However, we will be buying every bottle we can get our hands on, as the wines are of an astonishingly high level of quality. The Bourgogne Blanc from 30 year old vines around Meursault and Puligny was generous and with lovely intensity and purity. The village Meursault was similar but with greater depth. "Criots" was, as always firm, tense and minerally, whereas, "Narvaux" showed greater richness and ripeness, but with great underlying structure. 1er Cru Charmes, from 40 year old vines at the top, just under Perrières, was full and plump, but with more tension and minerality than usually associated with this site. Genevrières, from 65 year old vines, was great, with an austere, stoney, salinity. Perrières, from 40 year old vines, was very ripe, but with exquisite tension, salinity and minerality. We are also buying his wonderful Volnay 1er Cru Santenots this year. 100% destemmed, it offers concentrated, fresh, pure, crunchy fruit. We cannot recommend these wines highly enough.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Benjamin Leroux

Benjamin’s popularity is growing massively. This, coupled with the small volumes in 2012, has led to us having a more limited range of wines on offer this year. Despite him growing the range of cuvées each year (with more due to come on-stream in 2013) we never seem to have enough. However, we are still delighted to be able to offer some stunning wines from this up-and-coming name in this offer. Pleasingly, the quality here improves year on year and Benjamin seems adept at making not only producing some excellent wines as winemaker at Comte Armand, but also somehow managing a dazzling array of wines
under his own label. He described 2012 as a very good vintage, particularly for red wines, although the whites are delightfully approachable with a pleasant freshness. There are a few peculiarities; there is only one 5.5 barrel cuvee of village Meursault as he lost much of his Vireuils to hail and the Narvaux to wild boar, hail did for much of his St Aubin 1er Cru ‘Murgers des Dents de Chien’ and the village Volnay
is down from around 30 barrels to just 8 (2 of which are 1er Cru ‘Gigottes’).

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Benoit Ente

Benoit began to harvest on the 29/08 (ban des vendanges day) and finished around the 7/09. His aim was to ensure optimal ripeness in a year which where high degrees were difficult to achieve. Benoit is not a proponent of high alcohol/high extract wines so feels this year suits his style where natural acidity gives the wine structure and focus.

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Bernard Moreau

Depressingly low volumes from this top domaine this year which is such a shame given that the wines  are terrific. Alex decided to bring forwarded the harvest by several days as he saw the bunches galloping
towards maturity quicker than expected. The result is a range of wines buzzing with vibrancy. There is  all the natural fruit concentration and structural dry extract resulting from the small harvest but this is all  brought to life with a wonderfully vibrant acidity. This is undoubtedly one of the two brothers' finest ever  vintages.

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Bret Brothers - Domaine La Soufrandiere

The expanded cellar makes work much easier now for the three Bret Brothers. They report a difficult year in the vineyards but a good result overall. They deleafed their vineyards in July to minimise oidium risk, prospered during the better weather in August and started picking on 15th September. Correct yields (around 45hl/ha) from their own vineyards but less from some of their contract growers. The wines have good acidity, if less trenchant than 2010, and more fruit weight than 2011. For the first time the Bret Brothers crushed some of their grapes before pressing them, which they feel gives the wines a fresher dimension. All the Pouilly cuvées listed here now receive 18 months in barrel before bottling.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Bruno Colin

A beautiful range of white wines, the Saint Aubin 1er Cru Les Charmois was particularly impressive. The reds are much improved and are finer and more succulent.

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Charles Audoin

In 2012, Cyril Audoin has a fine but very small vintage in the cellar. He began harvesting a week before most of his neighbours and harvested everything before the rain of 26th September. He observed a normal number of bunches at harvest, but with very small berries. The wines were racked out of barrel at the end of October, and will stay 6 months in tank before bottling. These are very fine and very serious wines, but there is something of a paradox here: Marsannay, as a less exalted village, has a reputation for lighter, and indeed cheaper wines than those from the more famous crus just down the road, but though these wines are 25 – 30% less expensive, they are structured, serious and will certainly be long-lived.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet

Château de Pulingy-Montrachet is now under the full ownership of Etienne de Montille and his sister, Alix, following their purchase of the domaine in 2012. They set about restructuring the vineyard holdings, and as a result the domaine now consists of 15ha of vines spread across the villages of Meursault, Chassagne, Puligny, Monthélie and Saint-Aubin, the aim being to focus on white wines. With this in mind, and knowing that he himself is more suited to red winemaking, Etienne has brought in his sister, Alix, who he feels is more gifted when it comes to making great whites. Alix is the wife of Jean-Marc Roulot, and is responsible for the white wines of Domaine de Montille, so it is fair to say that she comes with a high pedigree! Stylistically, the buzzwords here are purity, focus and minerality. They practice very little batonnage and use no new oak on the village wines and a maximum of 20% new oak for Premier and Grand Cru wines, in order to preserve as much of the minerality and elegance as possible, whilst retaining a sense of intensity and density. In the vines, they have worked organically since Etienne’s arrival in 2002 and the domaine now certified organic by Ecocert and will soon achieve full biodynamic status. His theory is that organic viticulture allows them to achieve better phenolic ripeness without too much alcohol, as they strive towards greater purity and focus.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Christian Moreau

Fabien Moreau is making some of the very finest wines in Chablis and his 2012s are of an astonishingly high level of quality. Production was down by 30-40%. It will be impossible to take on any new customers this year and existing customers must expect reduced allocations. Absolutely top class!

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Clos des Rocs

The energetic and rarely satisfied Olivier Giroux who runs this domaine in Loché, just a stone’s throw from  Fuissé, makes very pure Chardonnays from his various plots dotted around his domaine. He bought the  domaine in the mid­noughties and has spent much time in the vineyards bringing them up to the quality  he craves. He likes his cuveés to express the subtleties of their different expositions and soils where  possible and intervenes as little as possible in the cellar to achieve this. Very good wines.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

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Winelist last updated: 22/12/2014 19:43:21

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