September Newsletter: Starter Cellar, 2008 Red Burgundy PA, Provence in Berkeley, Vintage Saint Émilion
The September newsletter is now available. Download the pdf here.
Highlights from this month’s newsletter…
by Dixon Brooke
2008 PIERRE GUILLEMOT
Our pick of the bunch in Savigny-lès-Beaune, the Guillemot family, has won our confidence with their consistently impeccable quality, great prices, and all around good humor. Their 2008s are instant classics of the Burgundian old school, with brilliant, dark garnet robes, sweet Pinot fruit, and spicy, earthy tannins. Picotins is pushing premier cru territory with its great core of sappy fruit, smooth attack, then some bite to its finish. Don’t let the delicate perfume of the Narbantons fool you, this creeps up on you with chiseled, fine-grained tannins. In this case, delicacy is a virtue. Their Jarrons, also premier cru, is typically muscular, deep, and meaty. Serpentières shows me the best qualities of both Narbantons and Jarrons—typically firm in its youth, it evolves at a glacial pace. These wines are always snapped up quickly by the Guillemot faithful, but if you are looking to put a toe into Burgundy without a huge investment, this is a great place to start.
|2008 Savigny-lès-Beaune “Les Grands Picotins”||$279.00|
|2008 Savigny “Les Narbantons” 1er Cru||348.00|
|2008 Savigny “Les Jarrons” 1er Cru||348.00|
|2008 Savigny “Aux Serpentières” 1er Cru||348.00|
|2008 Corton “Le Rognet et Corton” Grand Cru||816.00|
2008 ROBERT CHEVILLON
There is no pretension from brothers Bertrand and Denis Chevillon, but there is a lot of pride, and their great wines speak for themselves in the same down-to-earth fashion. It is le vrai Pinot from these veterans of Nuits-Saint-Georges, and the Pinot really shows its true colors in their capable hands in 2008. These are across-the-board must-buys for Burgundy lovers, Pinot lovers, wine lovers period. Not to imply that color is any harbinger of quality for Pinot, but these are full-colored, full-throttle Pinots of impressive ripeness and structure. In short, the Chevillons have done it again.
The wines are listed below in a general order of most approachable to longest lived. Chaignots and Bousselots are from the Vosne side of Nuits and have silkier textures, while Vaucrains has the manliest structure of the bunch.
|2008 Bourgogne Rouge||$318.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges “Vieilles Vignes”||618.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Chaignots”||816.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Bousselots”||816.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Perrières”||816.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Roncières”||816.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Pruliers”||816.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Cailles”||1014.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Saint Georges”||1014.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Vaucrains”||1014.00|
2008 LUCIEN BOILLOT & FILS
Some of the greatest red Burgundies of our era come from this address in Gevrey-Chambertin—the domaine run by Lucien’s son, Pierre Boillot, and his wife, Sophie. Pierre has the good fortune to be working family vineyards at many of the top sites in both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, which is rare for a Burgundian vigneron. He prefers a classic, no-frills vinification after a year of judicious work in his vines, and chooses to work with a small percentage of new oak in order to preserve the signature aromas, flavor, and tannic profiles of each of his sites with purity and authenticity. These wines demand two to three years in the cellar before you embark upon measured, patient, and soul-satisfying consumption. Please inquire about Pierre’s stunning but very limited-quantity 2008 white Burgundy, the grand Puligny-Montrachet premier cru Les Perrières. He makes a barrel or two per year.
|2008 Gevrey Chambertin||$516.00|
|2008 Gevrey Chambertin “Les Évocelles”||615.00|
|2008 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Corbeaux”||747.00|
|2008 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “La Perrière”||747.00|
|2008 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Cherbaudes”||846.00|
|2008 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Les Pruliers”||846.00|
|2008 Pommard 1er Cru “Les Fremiers”||726.00|
|2008 Pommard 1er Cru “Les Croix Noires”||747.00|
|2008 Volnay 1er Cru “Les Brouillards”||627.00|
|2008 Volnay 1er Cru “Les Angles”||666.00|
|2008 Volnay 1er Cru “Les Caillerets”||747.00|
|2008 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru “Les Perrières”||987.00|
RAIDING BELLEVUE’S CELLAR
by Steve Waters
I’ll never forget visiting André Chatenoud of Château de Bellevue a few years back during a tasting trip. After a visit to the winery, we were treated to a very simple and delicious lunch: grilled magret de canard. On an open hearth, André lit a pile of dried grapevines, waited till they smoldered into embers, and then placed a grill on top covered with the fresh duck breasts. The intense heat quickly seared the meat to a perfect medium-rare, or à point, as the French say. André opened a few magnums of older vintages of his Lussac Saint-Émilion that washed down the duck effortlessly with a velvety texture and lip-smacking acidity. We have received older vintages of Château de Bellevue before, but nothing like the line-up we have for you right now. Let’s not forget that André is an organic producer as well. Considering how ludicrously expensive 2009 Bordeaux futures have already become, these prices are absolute bargains!
1998 LUSSAC SAINT-ÉMILION
From a superb vintage for this bank of the Gironde, the 1998 is drinkable now but could still benefit from a few more years of aging, if you like. Predominately Merlot with Cabernet Franc, give it an hour or more in the decanter and the wine will open up gloriously for you.
$26.00 per bottle $280.80 per case
1999 LUSSAC SAINT-ÉMILION
In our staff tasting of all three vintages last week, the 1999 was drinking beautifully—not quite as intense or concentrated as the others, but with a lot of style, elegance, and it is already agreeable to being explored. It has complexity, a silkiness on the palate, and a finish that lingers on and on.
$24.00 per bottle $259.20 per case
2000 LUSSAC SAINT-ÉMILION
Considered by many as one of the greatest Bordeaux vintages ever, the 2000 Château de Bellevue is truly classic. With a deep core of black cherry fruit and earthy notes, coffee, and cedar, the 2000 is just starting to reveal its captivating personality. Drink now but make sure you cellar enough to follow what will be a magnificent evolution.
$28.00 per bottle $302.40 per case