Ballot-Millot

This high-flying, star domaine is making wonderful wines – more akin to Puligny than the old fashioned, stereotypical image of Meursault. There is never any batonnage and the wines always display incisive, tense purity, salinity and minerality. Severe losses to frost this year, especially in Meursault Village, where Charles has made 15 barrels, rather than his usual 50 and “Criots” where he has made 8 rather than 18 barrels. Charles began picking extremely healthy grapes, which he described as “hyper-sain” on 22nd September and finished five days later. He believes the 2016 vintage to be “un très grand millésime, gourmand, fresh and minerally – like 2010 and 2008 in terms of style”. Very little new oak was used here in 2016 – none in village appellations and around 5% in premier crus. His reds, which are always 100% destemmed and are not punched-down, are ripe, supple and sensual. Marvellous wines, as always.

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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 sources 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. Because of this, and the precarious nature of buying grapes in Burgundy, the range of wines on offer can vary slightly from year to year. Ben is a big fan of his 2016s, praising the sizzling tension of the whites and the beautiful quality of the Pinot fruit, which allowed him to generally use more whole bunches than in 2015. In early stages of élevage he drew comparisons to 2010 and feels these are wines which will surprise people and gain complexity with time. Thanks to his strong relationships with suppliers, Ben was able to maintain production around 2015 levels despite the frost, although in general he has less Village and Grand Cru wine and more at the Premier Cru level. For reason of space the limited volumes of grands crus have not been included in this catalogue. Since the 2014 vintage, all white wines are bottled under screwcap.

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Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet

Château de Puligny is one of the rare exceptions of 2016; an estate where they made more wine than in 2017, thanks to the good fortune of Puligny seemingly being protected by cloud cover on the morning of the 27th April. The wines continue to be made by Chef de Cave Jacques Montagnon, who has been at the Chateau for many years and whose winemaking style has evolved with the Chateau’s new direction. For Château de Puligny-Montrachet this is a good vintage, maybe lacking the flesh of a truly great year but, equally, delicious in its accessibility. Not all the vineyards were frosted but there, nevertheless, some serious reductions in some vineyards. On an administrative note, 2016 sees the departure of the Meursault and Meursault Poruzots to join the Domaine de Montille stable.

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Christian Moreau

Superstar wines – but huge losses to frost and hail (please see individual wines below for details). Biblical conditions until July, when things improved greatly. Many high-profile Chablis producers gave up on organic practices. Moreau has continued. They began picking on 26th September and finished 6 days later. “The fruit that was left was in excellent health and quality”. PREVIOUS BUYERS ONLY DUE TO REDUCED ALLOCATIONS.

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Comte Armand

Paul Zinetti likens 2016 to the outstanding 2010 vintage. “We lost around 50-65% of the crop to frost on 27th April, followed by mildew. We continued to treat only biodynamically. July wasn’t very nice, but from mid-August onwards it was very good weather. We picked very healthy fruit at 13.5% potential, natural alcohols, between 26th and 30th September”.

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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 2016.

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

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Domaine de Courcel

They follow organic practices, tight pruning and green harvesting to limit yields to a maximum of 25 hl/ha (although recent vintages have been far less), ploughing to encourage deeper root penetration and late harvesting to ensure maximum physiological ripeness. Following a thorough selection of grapes and 100% whole-bunch inclusion, they carry out a long, cold pre-fermentation maceration, long, cool fermentations and minimal racking prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered – after 21-23 months in around one third new oak. Their 2016s are exceptional, profound, concentrated wines – not least because yields were reduced by 75% due to frost.

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Domaine du Clos Frantin

The Clos Frantin quality drive continues apace. Owned by the Bichot family, this small but perfectly formed domaine is chock-full of great vineyards and all the critics are now agreed that under the careful attention of Albéric Bichot their potential is being realised to great effect. The domaine is based in Nuits-St-Georges, although much of the élevage is carried out in the spacious cellars in Beaune. The wines have a great mix of voluptuousness and elegance with elegance winning the argument more often than not. Yields have been dropped in recent years and new oak management has been well handled. This is another successful vintage for the operation.

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Domaine FEUILLAT-JUILLOT, Montagny les Buxy

Françoise Feuillat-Juillot continues to make exemplary wines from her 14 hectares of prime vineyards in Montagny. 1er Cru Grappes d’Or is a 6 hectare blend of several premier cru vineyards, with an average age of 40 years. It is vinified and matured in 70% stainless steel tanks and 30% oak barrels. 1er Cru Les Coères is the best wine made at the property. It is a 4 hectare vineyard of 60-70 year old vines, vinified and matured in oak barrels – 15% new.

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Domaine Hubert (Olivier) Lamy

This is the Saint-Aubin domaine to which others aspire. It was founded with 8 hectares in 1973 by Hubert Lamy, who was joined by his son, Olivier, in 1995 – following which began major acquisitions in Saint-Aubin, Puligny, Chassagne and Santenay. The domaine now comprises 18.5 hectares (80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir). The reds, all now planted to high-density (minimum of 14,000 vines per hectare) cordon de royat, in order to lower yields and give better maturation, are fine, ripe, pure and juicy. However, the whites are amongst the best in the Cote de Beaune – at once sublimely chiselled, tense, minerally, reticent and crystalline-pure. They are gently pressed then run straight to barrel, with a maximum of 20% new oak (225 ltr pieces and 600 ltr demi-muids),
without debourbage. In 2016, Olivier lost around 30% of his potential harvest to frost. He began picking on 15th September in optimal conditions. The grapes were healthy, ripe and immediately aromatic in the cellar. He believes it to be a classic vintage for his whites “with beautiful balance, aromas of white fruits, purity, freshness and minerality, with great aging potential”. There was no new oak or batonnage employed in 2016. His reds offer “complex aromas of flowers, fruit and spices and great finesse”. A beautiful range of wines.

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Winelist last updated: 21/04/2018 12:23:51

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