• Sub-$50 Pinot Noir Thriller

    Sub-$50 Pinot Noir Thriller

    In recent years of La Paulée tastings, one domaine has particularly dominated the overachiever category, and pulling off a sub-$50 attention grabber in a room filled with the most expensive and adored wines of Burgundy is no easy feat.

    The tale of magic that Didier Fornerol puts in bottle cannot be told without Burgundy legend Jean-Pierre de Smet. Fornerol worked alongside de Smet at his Domaine de l'Arlot from 1982 until 1998, then leaving to take over his own family's domaine.

    De Smet and l'Arlot's famed whole cluster regimen and translucent, traditional style of Pinot Noir is on full display in Didier's 2018 Côte de Nuits-Villages. Six hectares in Corgoloin (between Ladoix and Nuits-Saint-Georges) comprise the vines of the domaine—right in the same relative zone that put l'Arlot on the map with their NSG 1er Crus Clos des Forets and Clos de l'Arlot.

    Finding wines that overdeliver for their price point in Burgundy always marks a special day. Considering the pedigree here, the style closely tied to l'Arlot's golden era under Jean-Pierre de Smet, this small-production Pinot Noir deserves immediate attention.

    Shop Didier Fornerol wines

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Fireworks from the Young Gun:  Charlopin-Tissier Morey Saint Denis & More!

    Fireworks from the Young Gun: Charlopin-Tissier Morey Saint Denis & More!

    A June 2016 visit in Burgundy gave the opportunity to setup visits with some of the most storied domaines. What I had not expected was to be introduced to a brand new vigneron. But, one afternoon in Morey Saint Denis after sharing some 1993 Clos de la Roche at Chez Dujac I made my way across the street to the new home (and domaine) of Yann Charlopin-Tissier. 

    Today, I'm happy offer a range of Charlopin-Tissier's 2016 release.


    Tissier's background is one surrounded by legendary figures. His father, Philippe, was a student of Henri Jayer as he started his own domaine in 1978. Yann worked closely with his father starting in 2004, and then with another mentor, Jean-Marie Fourrier, before launching his own domaine.

    Of all Yann's wines, the secret in the lineup is surely Le Chapitre:


    Le Chapitre is one of the few Bourgogne Rouge designated vineyards that can legally be named on a bottle. In the 16th century, wines from this single vineyard were only surpassed in price by Chambertin-Clos de Beze. Among secret lieu-dits in Burgundy Le Chapitre is simply legendary.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Designations be Damned:  2016 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Clos du Roy

    Designations be Damned: 2016 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Clos du Roy

    Sylvain Pataille is famous for three things. Producing some of the most texturally seamless and balanced wines in the Côte de Nuits, serving as oenologist to over 15 other domaines, and having really, really awesome hair. Visiting at the domaine on my birthday in July ended up being a masterclass in terroir, as we tasted over 20 different wines from Marsannay.

    Today, I'm happy to offer my favorite red from Sylvain Pataille, the 2016 Marsannay Clos du Roy for $64 per bottle. 


    Marsannay and Pataille are a match made in heaven. Both have seemingly flown under-the-radar for far too long. Search through any savvy Burgundy collector's cellar and next to the Rousseau and Dujac you're sure to find a host of Pataille Marsannay.

    Located in the very north of the Côte de Nuits above Gevrey Chambertin, the village has a complicated history. Planted with Gamay during the time of classifications, by law no vineyards could receive status higher than villages. But, today there is no debate, Clos du Roy would undoubtedly be a Premier Cru.

    The "Kings Vineyard" is comprised of a mix of light red clay and sand on top of Comblanchien limestone, with vines planted as far back as 1952. Pataille is a big proponent of whole cluster fermentation, and we see 100% here.

    I buy Pataille's Clos du Roy vintage after vintage because it's a steal within the hierarchy of Burgundy's elite bottlings. It always finds that elusive mix between power and elegance. There's never any shyness from Clos du Roy, but the silken tannins Pataille endows here without relying on overt new oak influence is remarkable.

    While Sylvain's wines are fabulous from top to bottom, the Clos du Roy is the bottling that demands the greatest admiration. At $59 per bottle, this is the Côte de Nuits' best and most serious value play year after year.

    Addtionally, I've listed an Aligote (1949-planted) and Chardonnay (1985-planted) from Pataille's La Charmes Aux Prêtres vineyard in Marsannay. I've never found a white vineyard in the Côte de Nuits that rivals the same fascination and delicious factor from what Pataille has bottled here. This very porous vineyard produces both Aligote and Chardonnay with extremely pronounced reductive traits (flinty, matchstick, smokey) in its wines. Côte de Nuits whites are known for their weightier texture and more broad shouldered personality. While this is true even here, the reductive element adds a fresh, saline streak I find absolutely captivating. While not inexpensive, these two unique cuvées are among my favorites in all of Burgundy. Do not miss them!
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • 2016 Denis Bachelet:  Gevrey Chambertin's Gold Standard

    2016 Denis Bachelet: Gevrey Chambertin's Gold Standard

    It's Saturday, so I'll keep things extra brief. Denis Bachelet produces a small range each year, but in 2016 it's painfully low. No producer in Burgundy beats Bachelet at his game: Pinot Noir of ruthlessly intense concentration meeting polish and finesse. The wines are so unmistakable. There's almost a painfulness to the tone of the fruit, in the best possible way in their laser-focused style. Bachelet is also famous for his entry levelwines (Bourgogne Rouge and Côte de Nuits Villages) showing lights-out with decades in bottle - Most of this is due to the very old vines in play here. Within these humble designations, Bachelet is THE king.

    Today, I'm happy to offer a small grouping of Bachelet's three benchmark wines, complete with a 4-vintage vertical of his Bourgogne Rouge.


    Bourgogne Rouge comes from a total of 0.61 hectares. Two lieu dits, Pressonier and Grands Champs, planted in 1977 and 1986, respectively. All destemmed and aged in neutral barrels. 

    Côte de Nuits Villages comes from a 0.95 hectare parcel planted in 1952. The very old vines are sourced from vineyards just north of the Gevrey appellation. All destemmed and aged in 25% new barrels.

    Gevrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes comes from a 1.23 hectare parcel of vines planted in between 1932 and 1937. All destemmed and aged in 20% new barrels.

    Bachelet's wines, and particularly these three, have been a staple of my personal collection for years. I cannot think of another producer whose entry level wines still represent a special occasion every single time they are poured. 
    Posted by Alexander Rosen