• Volnay's Dynmaic Duo:  D'Angerville & De Montille D'Angerville

    Volnay's Dynmaic Duo: D'Angerville & De Montille D'Angerville

    Volnay and its high limestone content sit in rare company with Chambolle-Musigny as one of Burgundy's most ethereal and delicate examples of Pinot Noir. Looking at the duo of D'Angerville and De Montille we're at the apex of what's proven possible here over many decades. While there may be no Grand Crus in the village, savvy collectors know these top Premier Crus transform and go the long haul as well as nearly anything from the Côte de Nuits.

    Pronounced structure and tightly-coiled mineral tension make D'Angerville and De Montille perfect domaines to stash in the cellar, yet each has a more open-knit style than has been standard in the past. Today's list covers 2016 through 1985.

    D'Angerville's protocol on excluding punchdowns and relying solely on pumpovers for fermentation give these wines a plush and soft-fruited personality that meshes brilliantly with the chalky terroir of Volnay. This combo brings enough slight austerity to make these both delicious and supremely thought-provoking.

    De Montille has always been associated with whole cluster ferments, and, in turn, that elevated exotic spice component and stemmy crunch had made these famous for their fortress-like persona of the Hubert de Montille  era. As son Etienne has taken over, these past decades have been moving to round their structure out a bit and provide an earlier drinking window. The style here is not a huge shift from one generation to the next as much as it is simply keen on allowing wines to offer more joy and expression in the early-going.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • 2016 Hubert Lignier:  Côte de Nuits' Long-Distance Runner

    2016 Hubert Lignier: Côte de Nuits' Long-Distance Runner

    Huber Lignier is best known for his iconic Grand Cru, Clos de la Roche, as well as for his extended macerations and long barrel aging. Today, I'm happy to offer a range of Lignier from 2011 through 2016. The concentration and intensity of the 2016 vintage particularly suits the domaine's winemaking protocol and sets up this stable to again reflect the long-distance runner that has enamored collectors for forty years.

    Lignier has been imported by Neal Rosenthal (Barthod, Fourrier, Jacques Carillon) since the 1978 vintage, marking one of Neal's earliest and greatest successes. The style of the domaine has always been one that emphasized structure and a distinct terroir-driven soil expression. Located in Morey Saint Denis, Lignier's wines all display that gorgeous rusted earth, black cherry, and hoisin note that the village is often associated.

    2016 follows the dark-fruited and robust 2015 vintage. At first, 2016 appeared to be considerably brighter, but as the wines evolved in barrel they gained a darker profile and richness. They still show a more lifted style as compared to 2015, but in the end these are also going to be wines with very long aging potential. They are deeply complex, arguably a bit more site-specific in profile than the 2015's. They are terrific, but surely the Grand Crus will begin to enter their peak drinking window likely at age 15, and perhaps at age 10 for the Premier Crus.

    Each cuvée is unique from the next, and modest levels of new oak keep the focus squarely on site.  20-30% new wood for 
    Villages and Premiers, 50% for the Grand Crus. All grapes are destemmed, receive a 5-day cold soak, and then a relatively long fermentation of 15-20 days. The Villages wines are raised in barrel for 18 months, with Premier and Grand Crus receiving a 24-month elévage.

    Coming up short on finding back-vintages of Hubert Lignier has always been a thorn in my side. Rarely do collectors part with these aged gems, as the reward with years in bottle is too significant to part with. 
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • de Montille 1985 thru 2016:  Volnay, Pommard, & Vosne Romanée

    de Montille 1985 thru 2016: Volnay, Pommard, & Vosne Romanée

    The red Burgundies of Domaine de Montille still stand among the great wines of terroir from both the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. They were once famed for their sturdiness and unwavering authenticity of place that perfectly mirrored its vigneron, Hubert de Montille who revived his family's vineyards in 1947. Hubert passed away in 2014 at the age of 84, fittingly with a glass of 1999 Rugiens in hand. Today, that iconic cuvée now bears his name. Son, Etienne, has long since been responsible for the reds, and while they are as soulful as ever they have found ways to become much more accessible in youth.

    Today, I'm very happy to offer the 2016 release from Domaine de Montille, along with a nice collection of back-vintage wines stretching through 1985.


    Whereas whole cluster fermentation was often the calling card of this domaine (50-100% always), there has been a slow decrease for some cuvées in this regard. Now 30% whole cluster ferments are common for many wines, with Taillepieds seeing 100%, Malconsorts and Mitans seeing 66%. Maceration time has also been reduced over the last several vintages, from 20 days now to about 17 days. A move to pick earlier to preserve acidity has also been put in place to combat rising temperatures.

    New oak is relatively modest here given the top tier vineyards in play - cuvées like Malconsorts and Rugiens see 60% and 40%, respectively.

    Personally, over the last few vintages I've seen the wines show a brightness and fresher personality. No doubt my reading on this derives from the common saline tone on the finish that's a lovely counter to the sweet brown spices and ripe red and black primary fruits on the mid palate.   
    Posted by Alexander Rosen