• Côte de Beaune Cache:  2018 Pierre Boisson

    Côte de Beaune Cache: 2018 Pierre Boisson

    Much like the Chardonnay from this domaine, Pierre Boisson's reds are built on precision and purity without artifice. Each of these reds are a window into their respective terroir, and for this, they offer excitement from the first sip to the last.

    2018's reds show an amplitude that we rarely see! This warmer season played perfectly into the hands of Boisson, where the red-fruited Pinot Noir, always defined by grace, has an added layer of magnitude. All elements are heightened in 2018, with the classic proportions of the domaine still ultimately telling the story of place.

    The Boissons do not regularly host visitors, attend trade tastings, or travel to various markets. In fact, coaxing just a little bit of information out of Bernard on afternoons in Meursault was so difficult that I learned quickly to quiet down and enjoy what was poured. But without question, new oak influence is kept well below 30%. The fruit is de-stemmed and sees extremely modest levels of extraction.

    THE WINES


    Hautes-Côtes de Beaune harnesses the cooler microclimate found up in the hills, five miles west of Meursault. Pierre farms just 1.5 hectares of Pinot Noir vines. The most raspberry-inflected and the lightest of Pierre's reds.

    Pierre's Monthelie has many of the qualities of its downslope neighbor in Volnay. This is the softest, most accessible, and charming of the four. The fruit spectrum tends to be a little darker here and has supple tannins that make it, perhaps, the ideal introduction to the domaine's style.

    Like Lafarge, the Pommard is a wildly different expression than what the village is commonly known for, i.e., dark earth and sturdy tannins. Here, the top red of the house has a length of finish that belies its humble villages level designation.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Saint-Aubin Encore

    Saint-Aubin Encore

    While Pierre Yves was the first to go out on his own from the Colin family, his younger brother, Joseph, proved with his 2017 inaugural release that he's also the real deal. In his latest review, wine critic of The Wine Advocate William Kelley says: "Joseph Colin—who left Domaine Marc Colin to start a domaine of his own in 2016—is going from strength to strength and is justly delighted with his 2019 portfolio."

    So how does Joseph's style differ from that of his older brother? They generally have less of a reductive element, and the new oak is a bit more (still just 25% nearly across the board). The fruit profile has a touch more flesh and forward personality but shares the hallmark salinity and verve found in Pierre Yves' wines. Stylistically, the brothers share much more in common than their father, Marc Colin, whose wines have a stronger imprint of new oak and softer, glossier texture.

    In 1993, Joseph began working full-time at his family's domain at the age of 19. The brothers spent ten years working alongside their father until Pierre Yves left to start his own domaine in 2003. Joseph has been at the helm of Domaine Marc Colin ever since and, in 2017, took six hectares of the family's holdings for himself.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Morgon Masterpiece

    Morgon Masterpiece

    From release through decades in bottle, no Cru Beaujolais producer consistently thrills like Jean Foillard. Young producers, like Yann Bertrand, call him a mentor, and other contemporaries call him the Morgon Master. Regardless of where your preferences lie within the unparalleled values found in Cru Beaujolais, Foillard is the benchmark.

    Yes, Foillard's wines are breathtaking after decades in bottle, but the true gift of Cru Beaujolais is its unrivaled approachability upon release. These top cuvées will improve and transform with time, but for those who don't care to wait so long, the silky, harmonious, and pure-fruited elements and perfect focus from day one are how Foillard earned his fame. He offers the best of both worlds!

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Best Champagne Under $85

    Best Champagne Under $85

    While Jacquesson's vintage champagnes are deserving of every ounce of praise it receives for their crystalline transparency, the 700-cuvée series offer the same brilliant detail at a more palatable, everyday price point. When the discussion arises on the best champagnes under $85, Jacquesson is a leader of the pack. This is a non-vintage for the most serious and classic-leaning champagne enthusiasts.

    Talking about Jacquesson's 700-cuvée series in the same breath as other non-vintage standouts doesn't seem right, and the quality has only continued to rise over the past decade as their farming practices reach new heights. 30% reserve wine meets the 2016 vintage of 55% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from Aÿ, Dizy, and Hautvillers, 45% Chardonnay from Avize and Oiry; and less than one gram/liter of dosage.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • First-Class Chablis

    First-Class Chablis

    Savary's old-vine bottling captures everything I love about Chablis: Crushed oyster shell, cool-fruited citrus, and green apple, etc. At $33 per bottle, this old-vine cuvée is a great value wine to go deep on from these famed Kimmeridgian slopes.

    Chablis may be a part of Burgundy, but its extreme northern setting and soil, comprised of fossilized seashells, share more in common with Champagne and Sancerre than with the more luscious Chardonnay found 80 miles southeast in the Côte d'Or. Burgundy's mineral expression matched with Chablis' cold climate is magical for crafting wines brimming with mouth-watering salinity and faint nutty flavors that appear with air.

    Much of Chablis is harvested too early, with many vignerons resting their laurels on the iconic appellation that's printed on the label. Savary is a prime example of what the region can do at its very best, pushing ripeness in this frigid climate to the maximum while preserving tension. Fermentation occurs in 20% neutral wood and 80% stainless steel for the Vielles Vignes cuvée; the wine then ages in neutral demi-muids barrels.

    Olivier Savary follows a long history of vignerons, but due to challenging vintages, his parents chose not to continue the family domaine. Olivier had to start over when he finished enology school in Dijon. Since 1984, he and his wife, Francine, slowly built what was once lost. A serendipitous introduction to importer Kermit Lynch by François Raveneau brought these wines to the U.S.

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    Posted by Max Kogod