Benjamin Leroux

Ben is now making around fifty different cuvées across the Côte d’Or, with four hectares of vines under his ownership and the equivalent of sixteen hectares being bought in as grapes from reliable growers who are incentivised based on how they work the vines, ensuring the quality remains high and the right work is being done in the vineyard. On the very rare occasions that growers do not meet Ben’s exacting standards, he will not hesitate to end the relationship, such is his determination to get the best fruit. As a result of this and the precarious nature of buying grapes in Burgundy, the range of wines on offer can vary slightly from year to year. He began picking on the 2nd September, started with a new parcel of Pinot in Beaune before moving on to Chardonnay, starting the rest of the reds on the 5th. In quality terms, Ben believes the 2015 wines are exceptional, particularly the reds, but with a special mention to the white wines, most of which were racked into stainless steel tanks after the first year in barrel in order to preserve as much freshness as possible. In pursuit of this freshness, more and more of Ben’s white wines are being aged in larger containers, from demi-muids to foudres. Note also that from the 2014 vintage all white wines are bottled under high quality screwcap.

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Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet

Both Etienne De Montille and Brian Sieve declared themselves to be very impressed with the quality of the fruit they harvested in 2015. The Château is amongst the earliest pickers on the Côte, beginning on the 26th August with the Bourgogne, Clos du Château. Getting out early almost certainly helped to preserve freshness and it was no surprise that they reported good acidity levels despite the warm season. All of the 2015 wines were vinified with no sulphur until after malolactic had been completed, as the domaine strives to reduce the use of sulphur in its wines. As ever, a large proportion of larger containers (600ltr barrels) is used on the cuvées where the volumes allows, again reducing the need for as much SO2 and also minimising the oak influence to preserve freshness and give clean, linear wines. All of the wines were racked into tank before the 2016 harvest, and new oak ranges from 5% for the Clos du Château, around 15% for the Village wines, and 20-25% for Premiers Crus. Brian (Sieve, winemaker at De Montille, but also responsible for Château de Puligny) compared the profile of the wines to 2009, but with much better acidity and freshness. In volume terms 2015 is broadly similar to 2010, 11, 12, 13 and 14. The wines will be bottled in March. The Château is currently in conversion to biodynamic viticulture and, having been certified organic for some years now, will be certified biodynamic (Biodyvin) from 2017.

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Christian Moreau

Fabulous wines from Fabien Moreau – one of the real superstar producers of Chablis. As always, Fabien was very insightful – “2015 was a really good, warm summer. The wines are bigger, but with good acidity. More freshness than 2009, more like 2005. More classic than 2013, with no tropical flavours. The morning of 1st September there was hail damage to the Grand Crus and about 35-40% was lost, but the fruit was already ripe. The vines were quite stressed before the rain. The fruit was picked in a very healthy state, as anything hit by hail was on the floor!”

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Comte Armand

Paul Zinetti has made a fabulous range of wines in 2015, which he likens to 2010 “balance and elegance”. He started picking on 3rd September and finished on 10th September. “The fruit was very clean and there was good maturity. Natural alcohol levels of 13.8 - 14%. Extractions were very gentle with hardly any pigeage”.

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Confuron Cotetidot

In charge of Domaine de Courcel during the mornings, Yves Confuron returns to look after the family domaine, Confuron-Cotetidot, for the rest of the day, helped by his brother Jean-Pierre who also vinifies wines for Domaine Chanson. This is one of the most serious and consistent domaines in the Côte d’Or and even the village wines are superb! However, it is the Premier Cru ‘Les Suchots’ which is many followers’ favourite. Exemplary wines in 2015.

Orders across the range will have most chance of success as stocks are very limited at the top end...

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Domaine Confuron-Gindre

Confuron is a well-known name in the village. We asked Francois Confuron about the family and he said there are four of them in the village. “Do you get on with each other?” I asked. “No” he replied with a smile. Nothing so unusual about that, it seems.

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Domaine de Cherisey

If ever there was a domaine which should benefit from global warming it must be this one. Perched high on the top of the hill in Blagny, straddling the divide between Puligny and Meursault, Laurent Martelet uses this cooler microclimate to his advantage, producing wines of unrivalled elegance and energy. The real step change here has come since Laurent moved into new, purpose-built cellars which allow him to work exactly as he wants, rather than having his winemaking dictated by the rabbit warren of charming but ultimately unsuitable buildings he previously used. This move has allowed him to add extra refinement and precision to his winemaking, producing wines of great character and elegance. 2015 was undeniably the vintage for Blagny; its high altitude kept temperatures a couple of degrees cooler than lower down on the slope, whilst the unique soil profile – with relatively deep clay on top of limestone – stored water through the drier months and allowed the vines to avoid hydric stress. Despite the warmth of the vintage Laurent explained that the levels of alcohol were very modest, around 13°, helped by his vines’ unique location and his decision to pick early on the 28th August.

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Domaine de la Vougeraie

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Domaine des Tilleuls

Young Damien Livera has, again, made an outstanding range of ripe, generous wines from his 8.5ha of wonderfully sited old vines. From his sweet, concentrated, cassis-flavoured Fixin, to his stunning “Clos Village”, from 70 year old vines, from below 1er Cru Clos St Jacques, this is now a wonderful address to be reckoned with. These are lovely, sweet, dark, masculine, hedonistic wines, which manage to retain great class and balance. Damien likens 2015 to a combination of 2009 and 2010. The growing season was perfect and there was little or no hydric stress. He picked early in September, before the rains arrived on the 12th and, whereas he usually has five people manning the table de tri, this year only one was required. No fining or filtration here. A lovely range from a now, established star grower. He is turning potential customers away in droves and our small allocation is unlikely ever to grow beyond its present level.

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Domaine Felettig

If any domaine has made a more meteoric ascent over the last handful of vintages, we would be extremely surprised. Why? Quite simply, after beginning with his father in 2000 and taking over in 2005, Gilbert was dissatisfied by his 2009s, which he found over-ripe and excessively oaky. He therefore set about changing everything. Organic viticulture and lower yields meant that he could pick earlier to retain freshness. Then, gentler extraction, no pumping, everything by gravity and a more judicious use of oak has resulted in finer, purer wines with greater definition. He has also built a brand new cuverie this year. In 2015, he picked between 5th and 12th September. The grapes were in perfect health, with natural alcohols of 12.5-13%. Genuine star wines.

Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Felettig 2015


"The 2015 Bourgogne Rouge, which was completely de-stemmed, has a straightforward bouquet with a slight wet clay scent tincturing the fruit. The palate is nicely balanced, supple in the mouth with crisp mulberry and redcurrant fruit, leading to a pleasant grainy finish. Drink over the next 3-4 years. 85-87" The Wine Advocate

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Winelist last updated: 17/12/2017 23:41:07

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