Kermit says he has several great memories of visiting with the Guillemots, and his favorite happened about fifteen years ago when Robert Parker asked us to arrange a big tasting of our Burgundy selections. It took place in the cellar below our Beaune office, and Mr. Parker approved Kermit’s suggestion that we invite the winemakers to the tasting. The place was packed and there were over two hundred red and white Burgundies to taste. Pierre Guillemot was there with his big belly and bristly moustache. Everyone loved having him, because he wowed them with comparisons of certain wines with various characteristics of the male and female genders. Kermit noticed at some point in the morning that Pierre had quieted down. He looked over and saw that, as Pierre tasted, he did not avail himself of a spit bucket. Suddenly there was an “Alors, au revoir, à bientôt j’espère,” and up the stairs he went. Kermit followed and watched Pierre walk away, awfully close to a Charlie Chaplin pantomime of a drunken French vigneron weaving down the street, barely able to stand up.
The Guillemot family has worked Savigny-lès-Beaune vines for eight generations (!) and produces wines with classic Burgundian finesse and balance, all while leaving us a reminder of Savigny’s rustic character. Guillemot is one of the quintessential KLWM producers, with wines that epitomize the local terroir and emphasize grace and elegance over power and structure. But do not be fooled into thinking that this means they lack aging potential; the Guillemots are very proud of their old wines and thankfully have the foresight to set aside a good supply and follow their wines’ development over the years. A recent tasting at the domaine included a 1989 and 1975 Savigny Blanc (that’s 35 years old, everyone!), as well as the ‘90, ‘88, ‘85, ‘82, ‘76, ’72, and ‘64 Rouge. There was not a single tired bottle in the bunch. We challenge anyone to find a better deal on Burgundies that are built to last like these!