"Readers who have not tasted these wines yet owe it to themselves to do so, as Clerget has all the passion, talent and skill to be one of the next generation of superstar vignerons in Burgundy."- Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, January 2018
Thibaud Clerget's debut release of the 2015 Volnay 1er Cru Monopole Clos du Verseuil was, without question, the single most exhilarating new Burgundy find of the last three vintages.
Today, I'm happy to offer the 3rd release from the talented Thibaud Clerget, the 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Monopole Clos du Verseuil, complete with a steep discount on vertical 3-packs with 2016 & 2015.
Much of what draws me into Burgundy is the history of the delineated parcels and the family domaines who've tended them for generations. Careful study over hundreds of years have keyed vignerons into where good terroir becomes great, and that line is often very fine.
It's unlikely to find a young vigneron's initial vintages met with such warm reception. And even rarer is the fact that the pinnacle of Clerget's Volnay lineup comes from a monopole Premier Cru vineyard that's relatively unknown by name, but in terms of real estate it's the secret crown jewel of the village.
I'm too young to remember when Mugnier took Maréchale back from Faiveley and produced his first vintage, or when Dujac released the inaugural Malconsorts. But, I will always remember where I was the day I sat down and tasted the first release from Thibaud Clerget. The chatter surrounding the reborn Domaine Yvon Clerget has been steadily increasing over the two vintages. And the story of how this rebirth came to fruition is one destined for a Burgundy silver screen.
The Clerget family has been producing wines in Volnay for 28 generations. (Yes, that's a very different sort of family winemaking history). In 2009, Yvon Clerget chose to retire and wanted to hand the reigns off to his son, Thibaud. Although passionate and extremely knowledgeable about wine and the terroir of the domaine, Thibaud had a mature perspective. He knew in order to reach the heights he'd envisioned for the domaine the best course would be to work for other Burgundy elites. So, father and son decided all the fruit from the domaine would be sold off during this phase from 2009 to 2014.
Thibaud worked with the greatest terroir in Burgundy while at Hudelot-Noellat and Henri Boillot, intensely studying vineyard management and vinification practices. He also traveled to work with Pinot Noir-focused wineries in Oregon and New Zealand. In 2015 he returned to produce his first vintage at his home domaine in Volnay. Of his entire Côte de Beaune lineup it's the monopole vineyard (owned exclusively by Clerget) that had me twisting arms to get every possible bottle from the minuscule production of this secret site.
Clos du Verseuil is the .6 hectare monopole that Thibaud Clerget will be celebrated for as the next several decades unfold, of this I'm sure. Situated in between fabled 1ers, Taillepieds & Clos de la Bousse d'Or, this site is all about that thrilling combination of power, elegance, and underlying tension. The same attributes that have placed D'Angerville and Lafarge's Volnay monopoles into the cellars of every serious Burgundy collector. There's no way to mince words, this bottling is Volnay at its best. And today pricing is far below where this will rise.
"A softly spoken-perfectionist, Rémi Jobard produces beautifully pure and vibrant expressions of Meursault that merit considerable interest...The result is a precise, almost minimalist style that produces Meursault of unusual transparency: classy wines that evolve slowly in bottle. 2017 is an excellent vintage at this address."- William Kelley of The Wine Advocate (01/19)
Remi Jobard is on a roll. And the most exciting part may be that very few have really taken adequate notice. William Kelley, a true Burgundian authority in more ways than one as I see it, really nails why Remi Jobard stands out from the pack in Meursault.
Today, I'm very happy to offer four wines of Remi Jobard's 2017's that capture Meursault at its best. And, I've created special vertical 4-pack pricing on the domaine's most head-spinning value play.
Judging an entire domaine on their Bourgogne level wines is more than just fair, it's a requirement. After all, why should we pony up top dollar for Premier and Grand Crus from a domaine who can't wow us with their entry level offerings? And, in Meursault Rémi Jobard does precisely that. Sort of.
De-classifications in Burgundy might sound confusing, but in actuality they are pretty straight forward and exactly the wines I love to pounce on the most. Rémi Jobard produces three Bourgogne Blancs. I know, that's a bit odd, isn't it? I work with just one. The Cuvée Vielles Vignes (old vines) is sourced entirely from vines planted in the village of Meursault, all over 40 years of age. This is case in point for why declassifying Meursault into "Bourgogne Blanc" can be a lot of fun, very delicious, and our little secret.
Rémi Jobard has always been a personal favorite within Meursault. His protocol for fermentation is one that breaks with tradition, all with his eye's set on crystal clear reflection of terroir. This is the domaine I've turned to continually for the style of white Burgundy that hits the bulls-eye for me, especially in the face of rocketing pricing for Roulot and Arnaud Ente.
Jobard's wines are always noted for their emphasis on revealing place through an ultra-pale hue, citrus-inflection, and mouth-watering salinity that drives through the finish of each cuvée. With air in the glass they reveal ginger notes, hazelnut, and a crunchy minerality that's simply hypnotic.
The secret to these unique traits from Jobard are surely tied to his divergent protocol in the cellar. Half of Jobard's wines are aged in large foudres from Stockinger, the famed Austrian cooper celebrated for precision and deft use of oak. While the other half of production is aged in standard, smaller Burgundy barrels, of which no more than 20% new wood is used.
After one year in wood the wines are transferred to stainless steel for 6 months prior to bottling, a method employed to firm up the tension and preserve those crisp, mineral-drenched notes that this best class of Meursault vignerons have become rightfully admired for.
As I mentioned repeatedly, 2017 is the most exciting white Burgundy vintage since 2014. My vigneron friends in Burgundy remarked right after the wines settled in barrel on just how fantastic the balance was for all their 2017 whites. 2014 may have shown a touch more extract and breadth, but the 2017's may very well be the stronger vintage when all is said and done. Upon release, each four wines is already giving immediate pleasure.
Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes is sourced entirely from vines over 40-years-old, covering 6 parcels within the village of Meursault.
Meursault Les Chevalières is sourced from a 0.44 hectare parcel of 80+ year-old vines in this high altitude, and single most under-the-radar lieu dit of village. Always a site that imparts bursting salinity with a depth and finish that's anything but a villages-designate wine.
1er Cru Les Poruzots-Dessus comes from a 0.51 hectare parcel of 60+ yr-old vines in the upper "Dessus" portion of Poruzots. This Premier Cru is known for its power, but this upper parcel has much more limestone (as opposed to clay), and in turn, this showcases a much more fine-grained and graceful personality of this famous vineyard.
1er Cru Les Genevrières is Jobard's top wine, and part of the famous trio of Meursault's Premier Cru sites. A vineyard known for its elegance and regal structure that make it ideal for both the dining table and a dark corner of your cellar to slowly transform. From a 0.62 hectare parcel of 40+ year old vines.
Today, I'm happy to offer the second release of the highly anticipated 2017 white and 2016 Red Burgundy vintages from Pierre Yves Colin-Morey. Pernand Vergelesses, Santenay, Vosne Romanée, as well as a very small allocation of wines from Caroline Morey.
The vintage as a whole is reminiscent of the 2014 whites. If there's an edge to the 2017's it's in their superb balance and harmony at this early stage. All indications from these early bottlings, as well as my experience tasting in barrel, point to a white Burgundy vintage that is destined for greatness.
It will be very exciting to follow the Puligny, Chassagne, and Meursault cuvées arriving later this year, but for now, there's no doubt this second release will bring pleasure right out of the gate!
"These are pure, tangy, acid-driven wines, and I suspect that it's only because Fichet has no premiers crus in Meursault that he has attained less celebrity than several other famous growers who operate in a similar stylistic register, currently very much in vogue"
- William Kelley of The Wine Advocate
Jean-Philippe Fichet is one of Meursault's great talents, as well as one of its rarest. His demanding mission of favoring single vineyard cuvées as opposed to a larger production village bottling is the root of scarcity. And without Premier Cru holdings in Meursault, the name is primarily just whispered only among avid collectors. But, when these micro-production lieu dit bottlings are opened, the magic of each of these esteemed parcels becomes obvious in glass.
Today, I'm happy to offer the 2017 Fichet Meursault Le Tessson, Meursault Les Gruyaches, and Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes.
Fichet's wines are centered around rigorous detail of site, utilizing very low yields, and very low new oak influence. Purity is front-and-center, yet the wines bring an unmistakable textural depth that marry brilliantly to the precise, mineral-laden finish.
Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes taps 40-yr-old vines from the village of Meursault. Of the two parcels, one is directly across road from famed Meursault 1er Cru Charmes.
Meursault Les Gruyaches comes from a very small parcel of 77-yr-old vines enclosed on two sides by Meursault 1er Cru Charmes. Each year, this is his richest expression of Meursault.
Meursault Le Tesson is simply one of the very elite lieu dits of Meursault. Along with Chevalières, Tesson is all about laser-precision and focus. However, Fichet, once again, coaxes out gorgeous texture and mid-palate amplitude. A wonderful counter in style to his Gruyaches.
Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, young and aged, today's list features top domaines that deliver pleasure tonight, as well as years of cellar transformation. Newer names on the block like Genot-Boulanger's Puligny 1er Folatières is a prime example of under-the-radar TOP wines of the village - sleek, mineral-driven, and supremely long finish, my favorite bottling of this domaine's brilliant range.
Value hunters can see Joseph Colin and Jean-Marc Roulot's Bourgogne Blancs are in name only, as each sources exclusively from parcels in Puligny and Meursault, respectively.
And, there's no shortage on top Grand Crus here from Ramonet, Leflaive, Roulot, and PYCM.