The search for serious value White Burgundy that reverberates with me is an ongoing hunt. The pricing premium on 55 degree storage for all our wines only exacerbates this task. That's why my reaction to tasting a new producer, Pascal Arnoux, was a very enthusiastic one. While the region is moving into the luscious and rich 2015 vintage, I was even more thrilled to see the classic, pitch-perfect 2014 vintage was just released. Many fall into the trap of criticizing Burgundy for falling short on value. I say nothing could be further from the truth. Pascal Arnoux's Bourgogne Blanc at $24 is where I'd turn first to make my case.
Pascal is the 4th generation of his family to farm these Côte de Beaune vineyards. After finishing school at the prestigious Lycée Viticole in Beaune he began working alongside his uncles. In 2007 Pascal took the reigns completely. Arnoux's small US importer is the same that turned me onto several mind-spinning releases, like those ofChambeyron' Côte Rotie Côte Brune, Thibaud Boudignon's Anjou, and Villet's Jura Pinot Noir. When they presented a new discovery in Burgundy I was ready to taste.
Pascal's Bourgogne Blanc is released at the perfect time. Aged entirely in stainless steel, the obvious cut and crispness from this format is married with a layered and textural quality that Côte de Beaune Chardonnay has like nowhere else in the world. On one hand it's supremely refreshing this time of year, but offers a serious depth that grabs the attention of the most avid Burgundy lover. Coupled with perhaps the most complete White Burgundy vintage since 1992 this hits a sweet spot that's very rare.
They say the best way to judge a domaine is not by tasting their Grand Crus, but by their Bourgogne level. This is a rule that's grown more and more true for me over time. After all, the Bourgogne wines from the likes of Roumier, Dancer, Roulot, andD'Angerville would gladly be poured at my house ahead of more heralded appellations from so many others. Pascal Arnoux is a brand new arrival and today's 2014 Bourgogne Blanc is the only listing in the US.
2014 Pascal Arnoux Bourgogne Blanc
$24 per bottle.