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Joseph Roty: Gevrey Old-Vine Purist
Domaine Joseph Roty is one of the great houses of Gevrey Chambertin. Operated by the Roty family since 1710, with a tenure of this length, they have achieved greatness working with true old vines. All of Roty's wines come from 60-plus-year-old vines. Their most famous site, a section of Charmes Chambertin, was grafted in 1881. This ancient vineyard was among the first to be grafted after phylloxera wiped out half of France's vines. The cuvée is aptly labeled "Très Vieilles Vignes," or very old vines.
Stylistically, these wines hold nothing back, with concentration and intensity being the name of the game. 100% destemmed fruit undergoes a three-week fermentation at cool temperatures, followed by time in oak (50-100% new) before bottling without fining or filtration. Roty's masterful techniques and careful barrel selection yield red Burgundy with a tight coil of Gevrey's earthy minerality and a stylistic flair melding black fruits with black truffle.
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Volnay Apex: 1992-2020 Marquis 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. While there may be no Grand Crus in the village, savvy collectors know these top Premier Crus transform and go the long haul, as nearly anything from the Côte de Nuits.
D'Angerville, as well as De Montille, is at the apex of what's been proven possible here in Volnay for decades. Pronounced structure and tightly-coiled mineral tension make these perfect wines to stash in the cellar, though they now have a more open-knit style than has been standard in the past.
D'Angerville's protocol of excluding punch-downs and relying solely on pump-overs for fermentation gives 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 delicious and supremely thought-provoking.
A note from Wine Advocate's William Kelley on the 2020 vintage: "The vintage that on paper was the most extreme of the 2020-2019-2018 trio has in fact delivered the most fine-boned, pretty wines of them all. Perfumed, vibrant and beautifully balanced, this is a compellingly delicate, precise portfolio that comes warmly recommended."
Côte de Beaune Sleeper: Pierre Guillemot
There are fewer and fewer places to turn for great-value red Burgundy, though they exist if you know where to look. One such place is Savigny-lès-Beaune, situated between Corton and Beaune. Here, Pinot Noir is often pegged as only light-bodied and perfumed, but longtime producers like Pierre Guillemot quickly prove otherwise.
Wines from this domaine not only have intensity but incredible aging capabilities. Even the entry-level Bourgogne Rouge will hold for decades, as wine critic William Kelley attested in his latest review. This bottling comes from a parcel spanning the Bourgogne, Savigny, and Chorey appellations. The 1er Cru Aux Serpentières, from the northeast side of Savigny’s slope, is Guillemot’s most age-worthy cuvée (If you can resist drinking it upon release). For those visiting Burgundy, the domaine is generously known for pouring 30-to-50-year-old bottles to prove this point.
The Guillemots have farmed vines in Savigny for eight generations, and today, Pierre’s sons, Vincent and Philippe, continue to produce top-tier wines that transcend the appellation. There’s little more to be said, except this is red Burgundy that consistently delivers. We’ve stocked up on the 2020 vintage and, at this pricing, highly suggest that you do the same. Pierre Guillemot is a quintessential producer to know from the Kermit Lynch portfolio!
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Burgundy's Natural Bravado: Prieuré Roch
Henry-Frédéric Roch, the late co-director of DRC and nephew of Lalou Bize-Leroy, established his domaine in 1988. Around this time, he saw a wooden box of Château Prieuré-Lichine and thought Prieuré had a nice ring to it. But it was when Henri purchased some vineyards from DRC that his eponymous project was truly born.
Wines here begin with organic and biodynamic farmed land, 100% whole cluster fermentation, new oak influence, and next to zero sulfur additions. They are extremely spicy and elegant, with a beef bouillon note that I associate with being the domaine's real calling card.
While Prieuré Roch's wines from past decades showed a lot of variation of soundness due to the sans soufre approach, in the last several years, in my opinion, they've become a gold standard in the non-sulfur category. A 2013 bottling of Le Cloud was crunchy, high-toned, and alive in a way that I wish every wine would be like. These are soulful and singular, and it's my pleasure to offer wines directly from the domaine.
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Burgundy's One & Only: 2020 Domaine Leflaive
Accept no substitutes. It would be challenging to argue there is a more revered white wine domaine in France than Domaine Leflaive. The late Anne-Claude Leflaive was a great champion of organic and biodynamic viticulture. Although she was not the first in Burgundy, she was certainly one of the most high-profile names to lead by example. She took Leflaive to full biodynamic farming in 1997, and her passion for the vines led many other Burgundy greats to follow suit.
From Bourgogne Blanc to Montrachet, there is simply no estate that captures this golden zone of Puligny-Montrachet quite like Domaine Leflaive. Here, you'll find perfectly executed reduction, dream-like balance, and a penetrating, saline-infused grip with dancing minerality on the palate to close things out.
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