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. Charles Ballot enthused “In 2015 I thought I would never see such beautiful grapes. In 2017 I changed my mind! Un grand millésime. Volumes correct, very healthy, sunny, some rain helped the maturity. Acidity and pH are magnificent. The wines have matière, complexity, aromatics, balance – they are easy to drink, gourmands and easy to understand. Better than 2012 – less big and ripe. More complexity – more like 2014”. Charles began picking on 3rd September. “Yields were correct 40-45 hl/ha. Natural alcohols, without chaptalization, of 13 -13.8 degrees.”

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Benjamin Leroux

Not only was it the biggest vintage in production terms, Ben declared that 2017 is so good, it’s the kind of vintage he would sign up for every year. Having avoided the spring frosts, the growing season was straightforward, and he began picking on the 30th August with the whites, moving straight on to reds. The quality of fruit was outstanding, and the wines have gained in complexity with age. Ben loves his whites in particular, describing them as “beautiful, with balance, purity, finesse and definition, rich and fine at the same time”, and the reds as “pretty, with plenty of appeal, and the fruit and body to support decent ageing”.

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Billard Pere et Fils

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Catherine et Claude Marechal

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Christian Bellang

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Christian Bergeret

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Christian Moreau

Whilst regretting the catastrophic damage inflicted by spring frosts, Fabien Moreau was very upbeat about the quality of the resulting wines. “The climatic conditions of the growing season were evidently dominated by 8 nights of frosts between 19th and 28th April. We had temperatures between -2 °C and -7 °C. throughout the right bank of the Serein. The worst of the damage was in that area – Fourchaume, all the Grand Crus, Montée de Tonnerre and Mont de Milieu. Without frost protection in Blanchots, Valmur and Vaudesir, we had yields of between 12 and 15hl/ha. For Les Clos, even with the protection of bougies (fires/candles), we only produced 22 hl/ha. After this, conditions were ideal with a good spring and a beautiful, sunny summer. We began picking on 4th September and finished on the 12th in perfect, dry conditions and the grapes were very healthy. The volumes in Chablis and Vaillon are correct, with only a couple of areas touched by frost – and I am not going to mention the Grands Crus again, other than to say that it is the smallest (80% down) harvest we have ever made! The wines are classiques – between 2012 and 2014, with a beautiful balance between acidity and concentration and more accessible at this stage than 2014 – with citrus rather than tropical aromas.”

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Comte Armand

A fabulous tasting here. Paul Zinetti was very happy with the results obtained. "It was a generous vintage. The quality of the grapes was excellent, and it will be one of the reference vintages of the last decade in the Côte de Beaune. Extraction was carried out very gently, but I thought it was necessary to extend the macerations for 5-7 weeks so that the terroirs could fully express themselves. I also decided to shorten the ageing in oak to preserve better the fresh and digest character of the vintage. It is un millésime très Bourguignon and the wines have a pure, precise, salty profile. One can say that the wines pinotent bien".

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Confuron Cotetidot

Yves Confuron said "2017 was a dry vintage overall – particularly from 14th July. The dry summer retarded the phenolic matutity and the vintage began on 15th September. The wines are very balanced and dense with aromas of red and black fruits."

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Domaine Belleville

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Domaine de Courcel

According to Gilles de Courcel, “Temperatures were generally above normal all year. After a mild winter and hot spring, the thermometer reached 35 C. in June, the summer remained hot and there was a magnificent Indian summer. There was about 25% less rain than a normal year, but the regularity of the showers prevented any hydric stress. There was no frost, hail, storms nor diseases and the grapes were extremely healthy when the harvest began on 17th September. The resulting wines have great aromatic freshness and are rich and suave with great finesse.”

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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 Felettig

This fabulously run domaine has experienced a meteoric rise in its reputation over the last few vintages and is now one of the most highly reputed in the village. According to Gilbert, “In 2017, there was no frost and the vintage is about the same size as, but much better than, 2014. It was an easy, ideal, classic vintage – with maturity, freshness, sufficient acidity, no solaire aromas and very healthy fruit, which hardly needed to be sorted. The wines have taken on even more precision during elevage”. Chambolle was heavily frosted in 2016 and the vines compensated in 2017 – which he controlled by both de-budding and green harvest. Gilbert began harvesting on 8th September and concluded a week later. He destemmed entirely in 2017.

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Domaine FEUILLAT-JUILLOT, Montagny les Buxy

Françoise Feuillat-Juillot continues to make exemplary wines from her 16 hectares of prime vineyards in Montagny. Francoise told us "Summer 2017 was very dry, particularly in August and the expected rains only arrived in mid-September. The grapes matured very quickly and we had to harvest in haste at the beginning of September. There was little juice in the grapes and we were therefore down about 30% in volume. Despite the conditions, the wines have remained fresh, yet ample and rich."

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Domaine Hubert (Olivier) Lamy

Olivier was, again, badly hit by frost in 2017. What he did make was absolutely superb. “The end of winter was quite hot and then, on the 25th April, a large part of Saint-Aubin was frosted – especially the parcels of village and 1er cru vineyards on the lower slopes at the centre of the village. May and June were hot and dry – the flowering was completed rapidly and an early vintage was predicted. July saw a little rain and August was hot and dry – which allowed the grapes to reach perfect maturity. We began harvesting the whites on 25th August with a beautiful balance between sugar (13.2 – 13.5 natural) and acidity (pH 3.20). It is a warm, sunny vintage, which has retained freshness. The yields are very low – often less than 2016. The wines were vinified in hardly any new oak (0-5%). There was little settling of the juice and the malos finished rapidly. After a year of élevage, the wines are beautifully balanced, and each terroir is clearly distinct.”

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Domaine Philippe Livera (Dom. des Tilleuls)

Damien began picking on 8th September and finished five days later. The following day, it rained. “Very healthy grapes, no rot – but we always sort every grape. No problems with blocked maturities.” Everything was 100% destemmed in 2017. An excellent range from a domaine very much in the ascendency.

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Dugat-Py

As always, tasting at this sensational, super-star domaine was one of the great pleasures and highlights of our vinous year. According to Loïc “It was une belle année. A hot summer, 36-37 °C and a canicule at the end of August. Yields had to be controlled, by green harvest, to result in 25-30 hl/ha. We began picking on 2nd September and finished on the 12th. The fruit was very healthy and hardly any sorting was necessary. Natural alcohols ranged from 12.9-13.5 degrees. The wines are concentrated, aériens, floral and round with no surmaturité.” Words are inadequate to describe our admiration for the work being done here by Loïc Dugat and his parents Bernard and Jocelyne.

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Eric Forest

A majority of Eric’s vines are on the limestone hill of Vergisson side, rather than the granitic, opposite hill. In 2017, yields were lower, due to frost, but his domaine now comprises 6 hectares. He picked between 31st August and 7th September. According to Eric “2017 is an extremely good vintage with beautiful, rich textures and good acidity, lots of fruit and freshness – very warm, but not as hot as 2003 or 2009 – which are drinking wonderfully now”. He believes that levels of acidity matter for the first three years after harvest but are not important thereafter, provided one practices long elevages. “There was 25mm of rain on 26th August, but the soil was so dry that the vines hardly took up any water. Most growers rushed to pick, fearing rot, but the grapes were not ripe. By mid-November, any grapes left on the vines still did not have any trace of rot!”- vindicating Eric’s decision to wait.

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Fernand & Laurent Pillot

This superb 15 hectare domaine goes from strength to strength. Laurent has now been joined by his son, Adrien, who made the 2017s, with Laurent managing the vineyards. The whites have always been very special, but the reds have improved beyond all recognition over the last few vintages. They are now gorgeous, ripe, generous, supple and multifaceted. Laurent, in his understated way, described the 2017 growing season as “normal”, with a perfect, rapid flowering. He said that vines most heavily frosted in 2016 produced higher yields in 2017 – which he prefers to control by de-budding, rather than green harvest. “It was a beautiful harvest, without any climatic hazards and no spring frosts – even if temperatures got worryingly low. There was nice weather in May and regular sun and rain allowed for homogenous growth of the vines. Some heat in early June allowed for a quick, easy flowering. There was some rain in July and August was hot. Picking, of exceptionally healthy fruit, began on 2nd September and continued for a week in excellent conditions.”

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Francois Buffet

Whilst this domaine continues to fly under the radar, it is telling that Marc-Olivier’s wines came out particularly well in a recent blind tasting of 2015 wines, several of his Premiers Crus coming top of their respective flights. After experimenting with varying levels of whole bunches and different vinification techniques and struggling to work with small volumes as a result of hail and frost, it feels as though Marc Olivier is now at ease and in the groove, and this was one of the most impressive red cellars of the vintage.
Harvest here began on the 5th September, finishing on the 15th with Marc Olivier taking his time to pick his 8 hectares as each parcel achieved perfect ripeness. After 5 catastrophic years in volumes terms, he is delighted with the yield in 2017, as well as the quality of the wines, which he feels have ripeness of both tannins and fruit, along with great acidity which, he argues, gives freshness and ageing potential. Whole bunches do not exceed a third on any wine, and the proportion of oak rarely passes a quarter. This is a confident and elegant range of wines which all have a touch of Volnay finesse, alongside their individual characters.

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Francois Lumpp

The new generation of Anne-Cécile and Pierre are now firmly implanted in this fine 9.5 hectare domaine, founded by their parents François and Isabelle in 1977, with no inherited vines. Francois’s measured and understated verdict on the 2017 vintage was “C’est bon. A vintage I like very much – and, especially, in Pinot. It was a hot summer, but no blockage. Yields were 20% down because of frost. Picking began at the beginning of September of beautiful, healthy fruit – with average maturities of 13.5 degrees, natural. Analytically, there is not much acidity and the pHs are quite high. However, there is no lack of freshness due to the good, natural levels of tartaric acid”. He believes it resembles 1999 – which is one of his favourite vintages. “The wines will age well - but won’t necessarily need to”. They use up to 70% new oak for their red wines and 30% for whites.

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Francois Raquillet

According to Francois, “The vines profited greatly from a very summery spring and bud-break was at the beginning of April – predicting an early vintage. From the middle of June, the vines were in flower and fruit set was rapid. Summer saw a few heat waves (canicules), which alternated with some cooler weather and showers. Maturity continued with a good rhythm and by the end of August, the first grapes were harvested – concluding on 12th September. They are wines with lots of vivacity with lovely weight and balance. They exhibit crisp fruit and will reveal themselves quite young. They are similar to 2012 in style”.

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Gaelle et Jerome Meunier

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Heritiers du Comtes Lafon

The hot and dry conditons in summer 2017 have yielded mixed blessings; the wines are deliciously ripe but the volumes have suffered a little due to drought stress. Picking began early at the end of August, with the resulting wines being described by Caroline as of really high quality, with good balance and maturity. Dominique and Caroline take great care to pick each parcel (and indeed sub-parcel) at precisely the right time to ensure optimum ripeness.

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Jean Chauvenet

‘Christophe Drag was a happy man when we visited, explaining that 2017 is the first full vintage since 2009. He was delighted with the wines as well, opining that they possess fruit, freshness and energy. The season was simple, with a little frost threatening at the end of April; the proximity to the town of Nuits meant that burning bales was not an option, but the dry conditions (in contrast to 2016) meant that there was limited damage. He began picking on the 9th September and finished on the 15th, bringing in the grapes between 12 and 13 degrees and using 15% new oak on the village wines and 20 to 30% on the Premiers Crus, essentially according to the number of barrels per cuvée. This is a genuinely impressive range of wines, one of the highlights of the vintage, and these wines continue to offer excellent value, particularly in comparison to some of their more fêted neighbours’.

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Jean Fournier

The scars of the 2016 vintage appear to have healed, although with Laurent’s positive attitude that was never in doubt. Having had to compromise his organic status last year to fight the mildew which followed the frost, he has begun organic certification again. Since 2016 Laurent has made a conscious effort to “have faith in the grapes”, and extract less from them, allowing the terroir to speak clearly. The results are exciting, the wines showing more grace, elegance and purity than ever before, and it is clear that this is one of the success stories of the vintage.

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Joseph Colin

Following the route taken by his elder brother, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Joseph left the family domaine in 2016 to forge his own path. With only 6 hectares presently under vine, based in the hamlet of Gamay near Saint-Aubin, he is able to work in a way that was previously not possible.
Everything is carried out manually in the vines, with ploughing between the rows and no herbicides or chemical fertilizers. On the steep slopes of Chatenieres and Sentier du Clou, he grows grasses to combat erosion. He uses organic products whenever possible to control pests and diseases. For his white wines, the grapes are gently whole-cluster pressed, the must run-off straight into barrel, and is neither settled, chilled nor are sulphites added. Only indigenous yeasts are used. The wines spend 12 months in barrel, without bâtonnage and the barrels are topped twice a week. Racking is after 12 months, without SO2, when the moon is descending, on either "fruit" or "flower" days. Everything is done by gravity. After racking, the wines are lightly fined and sulfited and then spend 2 months in tank, prior to being bottled without filtration. He uses between 15% and 20% new oak barrels.
These are stunning wines – Exquisite, generous and full of intense flavours, whilst retaining great tension, poise, energy, minerality, and salinity.

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Joseph Voillot

This fine family-owned domaine, comprising 9 hectares of vines, has been run impeccably since 1995 by Jean-Pierre Charlot, son-in-law of Joseph Voillot who sadly passed away in July 2014. Over recent years Jean-Pierre has refined the quality and style of wines produced here. Sustainable viticulture holds sway. He has dispensed with the inclusion of stems, as he prefers the essence of fruit, and he has shortened the length of time the wines spend in barrel – typically 14-16 months followed by 1 month in stainless steel prior to bottling. Jean-Pierre has also reduced the percentage of new oak - now 10-20% depending on the cru. He prefers a light filtration, but no fining. Jean-Pierre is excited by the quality of his 2016s, understandably.

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JP Fichet

They say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, but in Jean-Philippe Fichet’s case you should substitute the word ‘shoes’ for ‘workbench’, where every tool has its place, lined up neatly on hooks on the wall in order of size. For me this epitomises a man who is precise, correct and pays great attention to detail. Thus his wines always have a sense of precision and freshness, and he is constantly striving to better himself.

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La Croix Senaillet

Richard and Stéphane Martin are making some of the most delightfully, crystalline-pure wines in the Mâconnais, from their 25 hectares of organic vineyards around Davayé.

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Les Parcellaires de Saulx

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Marc Roy

Alexandrine Roy explained that 2017 was “so much easier to manage than 2016 that it almost seemed like a vacation relatively speaking. With that said, we had the same frost scare that we did in the prior year and thus we were out in the wee hours of the morning on the 26th and 27th of April ready to burn straw bales to create the necessary smoke screen. Ultimately, we had no damage because the conditions were drier than those of 2016 and we essentially had no damage to speak of. Moreover, because we had a real winter it killed many of the pests and spores so the growing season had almost no disease pressure. Bud burst came early and there was a generous fruit set along with a very fast and successful flowering with virtually no shatter. The summer was quite warm without being excessively hot which had the effect of thickening the skins and this helped against what little disease pressure there was. We picked from the 5th to the 9th of September and there was almost no sorting required. I destemmed the fruit completely and did a very soft vinification that favored pumping over relative to punching down during the 15 to 18 day cuvaison. Regarding the wines, I love the ‘17s for their unabashed freshness and energy. They are already a pleasure to drink and I think that they will be enjoyable young, old or in between.” As commented on in the past, Roy just doesn’t seem to miss as she’s a perfectionist and 2017 will not disappoint her legion of fans.

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Michel Bouzereau

The harvest started on 30th August in Caillerets and Charmes, and was finished by 9th September. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay flowered in warm weather at the same time but, whilst the Pinot loved the heat, Chardonnay did not, with the resulting coulure and millerandage restricting yields to around 50hl/ha. There was also some frost damage on the lower-lying Bourgogne parcels (which now carry the Côte d’Or appellation) and volumes are consequently down on 2016. Jean-Baptiste looked to get texture into his wines from skin contact (he crushes before pressing) and an extended fermentation rather than through batonnage, seeking to capture as much of the vital balancing freshness as possible. For Jean-Baptiste, 2017 is a very complete vintage, offering a wide and complex range of aromas and flavours.

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Michel Gros

Michel picked between 8th and 20th September. "There was a little rain, but no problem. The fruit was very ripe. There were two months of minimum daytime temperatures of more than 30 °C – but maturity was not blocked. There are good volumes – the biggest vintage since 2009. The vines which were frosted in 2016 have given a bigger yield than those which weren’t. There was no rot at all and the grapes hardly needed sorting. There is low acidity, low malic acid and pHs are quite high – similar to 2007, but with more density and concentration. The wines are round and rich, with supple tannins."

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Michel Moingeon

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Michel Niellon

Michel Coutoux told us “It was an early vintage. An early, hot spring, everything developed rapidly. Good weather, warm temperatures and some rain. The end of August was hot, and rain came at the right time to ensure physiological maturity. There were no maladies and the fruit was very healthy”. Michel began picking on 3rd September and concluded 6 days later. “It was an easy vinification. Good pH, good sugar and acidity. Alcoholic fermentations were rapid and problem free and the wines were perfectly dry with no residual sugar. Malolactic was equally trouble free in February and March”. Michel likens his whites to the 2014 vintage.

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Michele et Patrice Rion

Patrice explains that the hard work they did at the start of the year in pruning short and carrying out a severe de-budding, as well as a little green harvest on younger vines, paid dividends in terms of avoiding excessive yields and consequent dilution. The dry and warm conditions towards the end of the season allowed them the luxury of choosing when to harvest, in fact beginning on the 9th September. Patrice compares the vintage to 1979 and 1989, highlighting the wines’ impeccable balance and freshness (the latter he prefers over power) as particular strengths.

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Patrick Javillier

Since our visit last year, Patrick’s dream of an appellation exclusively for generic wines from the Côte d’Or has been realised and the label of the estate’s estimable Cuvée Oligocène proudly announces its new status. For 2017 Patrick’s daughter Marion explained that they didn’t need to keep too much the lees, as the musts were already rich and they preferred to use batonnage for complexity. Harvesting began on 28th August, and Marion feels there is a purer expression of terroir this year than last.

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Paul et Marie Jacqueson

According to Marie Jacqueson, "2017 was a year of sunshine; a fresh spring, with a little frost on the 28th and 29th April, then the months of May, June, July and August were sunny. We started harvesting on 5th September and finished on 18th September in perfect conditions. We are very happy with this year. It gave some great whites and gourmands reds. In spite of the heat, the whites have beautiful acidities and will keep very well. The reds are already crunchy and they will begin to give pleasure rapidly".

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Philippe Colin

Philippe began picking the whites at the end of August, then the reds on the 5th and 6th September, the perfect conditions at harvest allowing them to take their time to pick each parcel as it ripened. He feels it is a good vintage for both colours, with correct - but not excessive - volumes and wines which are precise, with good acid structure, perfect balance and a good level of ripeness, “un millésime classique bourguignon” in his own words. In volume terms there is more wine across the board, the exception being Puligny Demoiselles, where there is slightly less than in 2016, and Chevalier-Montrachet, which is identical to 2016, Philippe’s parcel having been spared in ’16.

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R et P Bouley

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Remi Jeanniard

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Remoriquet

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Rene Bouvier

Bernard began picking on 5th September and finished on 15th September. “The fruit was ripe and very healthy, but still sorted to remove any scorched grapes. The wines are more open, more balanced, more fruit and less acidity than 2016. They are bright and vibrant with excellent freshness and balance. The village wines are already ready to drink. The premiers and grand crus will need a further 3-4 years and age for a minimum of 15 years”.

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Rene Cacheux

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Robert Chevillon

Bertrand Chevillon called 2017 “a vintage where I feel like we dodged a bullet because we could have easily suffered severe frost damage yet again the way we did in 2016. By sheer chance, the temperatures fell to the same level as last year but the big difference was that the humidity was so low that the new leaves weren’t really bathed in a layer of moisture. Otherwise the season was really pretty benign as it was warm but not super-hot and relatively dry which allowed a relatively large crop to reach very good maturity levels. We chose to begin the harvest on the 5th of September and brought in clean and ripe fruit that averaged between 12 and 12.5% in terms of potential alcohol. Yields were disparate but on average they came in around 40 hl/ha for us. As to the wines, I would describe them as being more fruit forward in style that should appeal to restaurants and to consumers who want to be able to drink their wines earlier. This doesn’t mean that the 2017s won’t age well, just that they’re not so tight and rigid that it’s a waste to open them young.”

All wines are subject to confirmation and 1er Cru purchases will require village purchase as well.

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Roche de Bellene

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Sylvain Dussort

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Taupenot-Merme

Romain Taupenot said "I can honestly say that I really like the style of the ‘17s as there is this highly appealing freshness and energy plus the terroir definition is outstanding. While it’s always risky to predict whether a given vintage will shut down or not once it’s in bottle, my sense is that they will always remain open with easy accessibility. We will of course see over time but I think the vintage is very promising.”

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Vincent & Sophie Morey

Having had the good fortune to have avoided much of the frost damage in 2016, Vincent was not as ‘relieved’ as many growers in Burgundy, but was still pleased to have a good-sized harvest in the cellar, especially in vineyards such as Chassagne-Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet, which had suffered last year. Those wines which had been damaged by frost, he explained, gave very good volumes, while those which had survived unscathed last year, produced less in 2017. The growing season was perfect; flowering was quick and the grapes grew quickly thanks to the dry conditions and regular rain which kept the vines happy.

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Vincent Girardin

An excellent tasting with long-standing winemaker Eric Germain. “In 2017, April was very warm, and everything grew rapidly. There was no frost. The end of spring, May, June and July were not too hot. There was a little rain and no stress. The beginning of August was not too hot, but the end of the month much hotter.” They began picking on 27th August. There were 2 days of rain at the beginning of September, after which the weather was fine and by 15th September everything had been harvested – at 12.5 to 13 degrees natural, with no chaptalization. 21 hectares (out of their total production from 80 hectares) is now owned or under their complete control – all of which they farm organically or biodynamically. Their aim is to be 50% own vines. Half their production comprises Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Blanc, Pouilly Fuissé and Macon Fuissé and many of the top cuvees are made in very limited quantities. In 2017, 55% of their production was white and 45% red. The reds were all destemmed (except for Volnay 1er Cru Santenots).

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Winelist last updated: 10/18/2019 4:44:38 PM

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