• Designations be Damned:  2017 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Clos du Roy

    Designations be Damned: 2017 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 2017 Marsannay Clos du Roy for $65 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.

    Addtionally, I've listed a Chardonnay from Pataille's La Charme 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, this unique cuvée is among my favorites in all of Burgundy. Do not miss!

    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 $65 per bottle, this is the Côte de Nuits' best and most serious value play year after year.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Lieu-Dit Lust:  2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur

    Lieu-Dit Lust: 2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur

    “As I have commented in the past, Roy just doesn’t seem to miss as she’s a perfectionist.”

    – Allen Meadows, Burghound

    As any lover of Burgundy knows, one of the most satisfying aspects of collecting is finding special vineyards that fly under-the-radar due to humble villages designations, yet hang tight with Grand Cru terroir. Clos Prieur of Gevrey Chambertin is one of those secret sites, and Alexandrine Roy of Domaine Marc Roy now defines the heights this lieu-dit (named vineyard) is capable of achieving.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur for $89 per bottle. 


    Clos Prieur is a very small vineyard located directly east and adjacent to Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin. Situated on limestone bedrock with high portions of iron and clay, vines organically farmed here by Alexandrine are 60+ yrs old. Stylistically, Roy is known for very concentrated and ripe fruit coming from an unusual collection of nearly all old vines. Purity is front and center with all grapes being de-stemmed, and extraction kept modest. Aging here is 50% new French oak to soften Gevrey's inherently formidable tannins, though in bottle, Clos Prieur is all about silky fuit and exotic spices.

    Alexandrine's Clos Prieur is undoubtedly fruit-forward in style, with black cherry and plum fruit melding with game and forest floor notes that will ensure drinkers are very much in the old world. The real skill, as I see it, is Clos Prieur's finish, always wrapping up dry and full of lingering mouth-watering mineral notes. If there was one lieu-dit and one producer to embody the secrets to be found tucked adjacent to Grand Crus, Roy's Clos Prieur would be atop my list.

    Alexandrine also produces a very rare cuvée comprised exclusively of millerandage grapes clusters - those that are very tiny and result in high skin:juice ratio. This micro-production wine is fermented in small stainless steel vats and is punched down exclusively by foot. Aging takes place in 70% new French oak.

    And, finally, her rare Côte de Nuits Chardonnay from Marsannay's Les Champs Perdrix lieu-dit is a wonderful place to turn to see what the more limited Chardonnay plantings in this Pinot Noir-dominant zone of Burgundy can reveal. More tropical and broad on the palate with a serious dollop of salty inflection make this a great departure from what you may be accustomed to from Côte de Beaune villages like Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet.
    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