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Burgundy 2015 En Primeur

Finally, the producers uttered - we have a proper vintage for our reds for the first time in what seems ages. The vignerons on Burgundy have been blighted these past few years with hail, bugs, hail, storms and so on. 2015 was without a doubt a blessing and many a winemaker could not keep the smiles off their faces at tastings of the 2014's. And then came 2016...more on that later.

2015 was a warm vintage for certain, and so white wines required plenty of attention to keep the freshness - some succeeded and plenty will have failed. Such conditions tend to lead to small berries and thicker skins for the reds so again the amount of whole bunches used during fermentation was a key element in preserving the freshness and balance in the reds. Many growers pointed to the need to pick quickly in order to retain natural freshness in the fruit, before acidities fell too far. The berries proved to be small thanks to the hot, dry summer. Such was the quality of the incoming fruit that sorting tables were largely redundant! Fruit was beautifully healthy and thick-skinned. The amount of juice was causing average yields to be on the low side. Acidities proved to be more marked than first anticipated - this was especially important for the white wines in order to ensure sufficient counterpoint to the natural richness of the fruit. Sensitive, gentle winemaking, without over extraction or manipulation, has allowed the wonderfully ripe fruit to show itself to its full potential. There are many, many red wines of real class, brimming with beautifully ripe fruit that is framed with refined, silken tannins. There is a high level of red wine consistency across communes and appellations, with many wines offering a quality/style that Burgundy lovers crave, be it a humble Bourgogne Rouge or “village” wine (both with associated good value), a more refined 1er Cru or a noble Grand Cru. There is sufficient freshness too, providing fine balance and allowing their Burgundian heritage to show itself with great clarity and typicité. The best will age superbly over many years. The oft-declared higher proportion of whole bunches used in vinifications has clearly aided this retention of freshness – key in the dry warmth of 2015 – so bringing real benefit to the wines, and not just about being ‘modish’! Their early charm belies their longer term ageing potential.

Due to the appallingly bad 2016 vintage, many prices have increased and while we have done what we can to mitigate that, the value of sterling against the euro is not helping.

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.

Auxey-Duresses Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £100.00 (£16.67 per bottle)

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru 'Les Murgers des Dents de Chien' Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £180.00 (£30.00 per bottle)

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Baudines' Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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Savigny-les-Beaune Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £99.00 (£16.50 per bottle)

Volnay 1er Cru 'Mitans' Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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Vosne-Romanee Benjamin Leroux 2015

France

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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.

Bourgogne 'Le Clos du Chateau' Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 12 Under Bond Case Price: £189.00 (£15.75 per bottle)

Meursault Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 12 Under Bond Case Price: £359.00 (£29.92 per bottle)

Puligny-Montrachet Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 12 Under Bond Case Price: £415.00 (£34.58 per bottle)

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru 'En Remilly' Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

"The 2015 St Aubin 1er Cru en Remilly has a fragrant bouquet, demonstrating the mineralité, that cold stone scent that often defines this vineyard. The palate is crisp and fresh with plenty of green apple, fresh pear and saline notes, nicely focused with good concentration towards the persistent finish. This is an excellent en Remilly from the domaine." 90-92 The Wine Advocate

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Buy now Case Qty: 12 Under Bond Case Price: £287.00 (£23.92 per bottle)

Meursault 1er Cru 'Les Poruzots' Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

"The 2015 Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots has a refined, mineral-driven bouquet that opens nicely in the glass, offering wet limestone, orange zest and hints of white peach with time. The palate is fresh and crisp with a fine line of acidity, hints of white peach and fresh pear, quite saline in the mouth leading to an austere, but nicely focused finish. This is excellent." 90-92 The Wine Advocate

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £249.00 (£41.50 per bottle)

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Chalumeaux' Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £281.00 (£46.83 per bottle)

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Folatieres' Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2015

France

"The 2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières has a lovely bouquet with hints of fennel tincturing the vivid citrus fruit aromas. This is precocious and yet maintains admirable control. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity. Lovely poise here with hints of peach and fresh apricot developing towards the finish that fans out with good vigor. This comes highly recommended." 91-93 The Wine Advocate

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £345.00 (£57.50 per bottle)

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!”

Chablis 1er Cru 'Vaillons' Domaine Christian Moreau 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £93.00 (£15.50 per bottle)

Chablis Grand Cru 'Valmur' Domaine Christian Moreau 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £165.00 (£27.50 per bottle)

Chablis Grand Cru 'Vaudesir' Domaine Christian Moreau 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £165.00 (£27.50 per bottle)

Chablis Grand Cru 'Clos des Hospices' Domaine Christian Moreau 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £230.00 (£38.33 per bottle)

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”.

Auxey-Duresses Rouge 1er Cru Domaine du Comte Armand 2015

France

"The 2015 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru, which is a blend of 60% Breterins and 40% Les Bas des Duresses close to Monthélie, had received a bit of SO2 a week before my visit and was due to be transferred into tank for around two months. It contains 10% whole bunch fruit this year and sees 20% new oak. It has a sensual bouquet with black cherries, raspberry and confit fruit all with fine delineation. The tannins here are finer than the village cru as you would expect, the acidity nicely judged (3.4 pH) with a poised and tensile finish that delivers a welcome salinity on the finish. This comes highly recommended and is certainly one of the best 2015s that I have encountered from the appellation. 90-92" The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £155.00 (£25.83 per bottle)

Volnay Domaine du Comte Armand 2015

France

"The 2015 Volnay Villages was a small quantity this year, cropped at 10 hectoliters per hectare due to the hail and was showing just a small touch of reduction on the nose. Blackberry and boysenberry fruit gather pace with just a hint of white pepper loitering in the background, more tight and backward than the two Auxey-Duresses from barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin that lends this Volnay a sense of accessibility. Pure and harmonious in the mouth with well-judged acidity, I appreciate the focus and energy contained in this wine. Sure, it needs time for the 20% new oak to fully integrate, so I would lend it a couple of years in bottle. 89-91" The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £180.00 (£30.00 per bottle)

Volnay 1er Cru 'Les Fremiets' Domaine du Comte Armand 2015

France

"There are only two barrels of the 2015 Volnay 1er Cru Frémiets, which was impacted by the hail and consequently yields were reduced to 15 hectoliters per hectare. The vines here are more than 80 years old, assisted by younger 30-year-old vines. It tended to have small grapes on the older vines, generally with thick skins. The nose is a mixture of red and black fruit, raspberry coulis and wild strawberry, a touch of thyme. The palate is well structured with sappy red berry fruit, a pinch of white pepper and nicely structured on the finish à la Pommard, which is unsurprising given its location. What a beautiful Volnay. One to seek out if you couldn't get your mits on the Clos des Epenaux. 92-94" The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £316.00 (£52.67 per bottle)

Pommard 1er Cru 'Clos des Epeneaux' Domaine du Comte Armand 2015

France

"The 2015 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epenaux was tasted from barrel as a mixture of the old and younger vines. Cropped at 15 hectoliters per hectare, because of the hail, it matured in a maximum of 30% new oak. There was less pigeage this year as the wine does not usually need a big extraction, with just two punch downs. It was kept in tank for one week at 32 degrees Celsius before transferring into barrel. It has a very refined, quite powerful bouquet that manages to retain superb delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, hints of brown spice infusing the red berry fruit, black truffle and sage. This is a sophisticated Clos des Epenaux, clearly less extracted in the past, with a long tail on the aftertaste. This is a sublime expression of one of the best Côte de Beaune terroirs and an affirmation of Paul Zinetti as a talented winemaker worthy of following in Benjamin Leroux's footsteps. 94-96" The Wine Advocate

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £505.00 (£84.17 per bottle)

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...

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

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.

Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Confuron-Gindre 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £56.00 (£9.33 per bottle)

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.

Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru 'La Genelotte' Domaine de Cherisey 2015

France

"The 2015 Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru La Genelotte, from vines planted between 1946 and 1955, was showing just a little reduction on the nose, but that soon dissipated to reveal enticing scents of citrus peel, dandelion and cold wet granite. So much energy palpable here. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry, the acidity very well judged and lending this vivacity and tension all the way through from start to finish. This will be wonderful once in bottle—just exquisite!" 92-94 The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £232.00 (£38.67 per bottle)

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Hameau de Blagny' Domaine de Cherisey 2015

France

"The 2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Hameau de Blagny was too reduced on the nose for me to read this barrel sample. The palate is much more indicative of where this wine is going to go: tensile from the start, steely with vibrant acidity. This demonstrates fine weight in the mouth, a keen line of acidity, a dash of spice on the tight-wound finish that will clearly require 4-5 years to really find its groove, which it will." 90-92 The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £232.00 (£38.67 per bottle)

Domaine de la Vougeraie

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

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.

Cotes de Nuits Villages Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £98.00 (£16.33 per bottle)

Marsannay Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £112.00 (£18.67 per bottle)

Fixin Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £112.00 (£18.67 per bottle)

Gevrey-Chambertin 'En Champs' Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £155.00 (£25.83 per bottle)

Gevrey-Chambertin 'Les Evocelles' Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £169.00 (£28.17 per bottle)

Gevrey-Chambertin 'Clos Village' Domaine des Tilleuls 2015

France

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Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £176.00 (£29.33 per bottle)

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

France

"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

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 12 Under Bond Case Price: £121.00 (£10.08 per bottle)

Morey-St-Denis 'En La Rue de Vergy' Domaine Felettig 2015

France

"The 2015 Morey Saint Denis En La Rue de Vergy comes from an exchange of grapes with Virgile Lignier at Domaine Lignier-Michelot. It includes no whole bunch. It has a crisp, well-defined bouquet with blackberry, boysenberry and blood orange aromas, nicely defined and quite focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, fresh and vibrant with that blood orange note continuing, a gentle grip on the slightly confit finish with a dash of white pepper lending an edge. Very fine, especially for a village cru. 90-92" The Wine Advocate

Retail price - Per bottle

Buy now Case Qty: 6 Under Bond Case Price: £161.00 (£26.83 per bottle)

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Winelist last updated: 27/04/2017 14:45:48

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