• 2017 Jacques Carillon:  Puligny in Prime Time:

    2017 Jacques Carillon: Puligny in Prime Time:

    When it comes to Puligny-Montrachet and its wide range of prized vineyards there's no address I fight harder to source than Jacques Carillon. With only 5 hectares, Jacques has built up the domaine he inherited from his father, Louis, and taken the refinement and incisive detail of these Chardonnays to a new level. This is Prime Time Puligny.

    Today, I'm very happy to offer the 2017 release that has just arrived.

    The Carillon domaine has roots going back to 1520, but it was Louis's work in the 1970's that caught importer Neal Rosenthal's interest. And starting with the 1980 vintage the wines were imported by him to the US. In 2010 the estate was divided in two between brothers, Jacques and François. While both produce top Puligny, the wines of Jacques see less bâttonage and focus more on tension and minerality,  just the way we like it.

    Jacques Carillon's wines always have a wow factor when they're poured. There's a rigor and detail to them magically conveyed within the most elegant frame, sensually begging to be drunk. Rich, golden apple fruit and citrus marries perfectly to the salinity from this fabled village's limestone soils. Their arrival on the table marks a special occasion, no matter the designation of the bottling. As far as I'm concerned, his villages level Puligny Montrachet is simply the perfect bottle of white Burgundy.

    Winemaking is similar to estates like Roulot with one year in barrel (never more than 20% new), and then to stainless steel tank for 6 months prior to bottle. This method employed by many of our favorite domaines is a crucial element in preserving the tension at the core of white Burgundy's allure. Never tiring, it begs you to come back to the glass again and again.

    2.6 hectares make up the Villages Puligny Montrachet bottling. Aging in 225L and 600L barrels, 15% of which are new.

    0.55 hectares for Les Champs Canet. Aging in 225L barrels, 20% new oak. The most linear and fine of the 1ers.


    0.5 hectares for Les Macherelles. Aging in 225L barrels, 15% new oak. The richest and most saturating on the palate of the 1ers.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • White Burgundy Head of Class: The Magic Touch of Benjamin Leroux

    White Burgundy Head of Class: The Magic Touch of Benjamin Leroux

    It's always exciting to follow the evolution of the wines from Burgundy's younger generation. So much of the success of this contemporary group comes from a deep understanding and passion about the families that preceded them. Although still a young man, Benjamin Leroux has more experience than any winemaker his age. Leroux's wines are now clearly in very select company with the likes of Lafon, Roulot, and Colin-Morey. With average production less than 200 cases per wine, the only challenge is securing enough for the demand of this star who's now in the crosshairs of collectors.

    Finding a balance in white Burgundy where silky, gossamer texture doesn't come at the expense of tension and salinity is the ultimate high-wire act. And this is where Leroux excels like no other - In tastings among other terrific producers Benjamin's wines jump out for this quality. They're featherweight on the palate with a deep saturation of fruit, minerals, and finish long and incisive with a haunting salinity that has you reach for another sip immediately. Each cuvée is distinct and carries incredible clarity of place. The sense of luxury in these wines is vivid, but terroir is highlighted above all else.

    Leroux began studying at Beaune's wine school at age 13. After working in Bordeaux, Oregon, and New Zealand he became winemaker at the revered Comte Armand estate in Pommard. After 30 years in the industry he has now began to focus nearly exclusively on his own label, still consulting for a bit for Comte Armand.

    His Bourgogne Blanc is a staple for me each vintage, and brings a complexity that only 70-yr-old vines can, with many parcels sourced from Meursault and Puligny! Aged in 10% new oak.


    Saint Romain Sous le Chateau comes from a 1.12 hectare parcel of vines originally planted in 1930! A personal favorite of the Leroux lineup, and the ideal argument to be made for the unmatched value to be found in the crisp and crystaline wines coming from Saint Romain in the best hands. Often a wine that outclasses those from more famed villages. 90% aged in large, neutral barrel. 10% in stainless steel.

    Puligny Montrachet shows the more opulent and deeply layered composition of the heralded village. From three lieu dit parcels. Aged in 300-liter barrels, 15% new, with no bâttonage. Quintessential Puligny with an unrivaled lacy texture.

    Meursault Vireuils comes from a .5 hectare parcel of 44-yr-old vines located in Meursault's highest altitude lieu dit, on chalky white limestone-dominant soil. Quintessential Meursault salinity with a tightly wrapped mineral core buffered with the ample fruit of the vintage. Aged in larger 300-L barrels, 15% new wood.


    Meursault Narvaux comes from a .12 hectare parcel of 45-yr-old vines on iron-rich red soil in this famed Meursault site located just above 1er Cru Genevrières. Aged in one-year old barrels.

    Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos is the ultimate class act of the lineup, with dense concentrated fruit balanced by weightless texture. A .4 hectare parcel of 62-yr-old vines famous for its tiny clusters. This is one of Chassagne's most fabled 1er Crus. Aged in 20% new wood.

    2012 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Blanc 
    $38 per bottle

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Blanc
    $35 per bottle.

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Saint Romain Sous le Château
    $44 per bottle.

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Puligny Montrachet
    $81 per bottle.

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursualt Vireuils
    $78 per bottle.

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursualt Narvaux
    $84 per bottle.

    2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos
    $135 per bottle

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Burgundy Royalty: The Magic Touch of Benjamin Leroux

    Burgundy Royalty: The Magic Touch of Benjamin Leroux

    It's always exciting to follow the evolution of the wines from Burgundy's younger generation. So much of the success of this contemporary group comes from a deep understanding and passion about the families that preceded them. The steep history of the place they're so fortunate to express each day through their work is never lost on them. Although still a young man, Benjamin Leroux has more experience than any winemaker his age. His recent release of 2014's was nothing short of a revelation for me, as the purity, balance, and texture of the entire lineup was utterly sensational.Leroux's wines are now clearly in very select company with the likes of Lafon, Roulot, and Colin-Morey. With average production less than 200 cases per wine the only challenge is securing enough for the demand of this star who's now in the crosshairs of collectors.

    Finding a balance in white Burgundy where silky, gossamer texture doesn't come at the expense of tension and salinity is the ultimate high-wire act. And this is where Leroux excels like no other - In tastings among other terrific producers Benjamin's wines jump out for this quality. They're featherweight on the palate with a deep saturation of fruit, minerals, and finish long and incisive with a haunting salinity that has you reach for another sip immediately. Each cuvée is distinct and carries incredible clarity of place. The sense of luxury in these wines is vivid, but terroir is highlighted above all else.

    Leroux began studying at Beaune's wine school at age 13. After working in Bordeaux, Oregon, and New Zealand he became winemaker at the revered Comte Armand estate in Pommard. After 30 years in the industry he has now began to focus nearly exclusively on his own label, still consulting for a bit for Comte Armand.

    His Saint Romain Sous le Chateau is a disciplined wine full of tension and rocky minerality perfectly buffered by its texture. His Puligny Montrachet shows the more opulent and deeply layered composition of the heralded village. His Premier Cru Champ Gain is a model on finely woven, intricate detail. And the Premier Cru Aux Etelois is one of those secret sites sitting below Grand Cru Griotte-Chambertin that's as sensual and sweetly spiced as any wine of the village, with gloss that still showcases the dark earth elements that Gevrey is so famous for.

    2012 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Blanc 
    $38 per bottle

    2014 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Blanc
    $36 per bottle.

    From vines planted as far back as 1935 in parcels within Meursault and Puligny Montrachet! Aged in 10% new oak.

    2014 Benjamin Leroux Saint Romain Sous le Château
    $46 per bottle.

    From vines planted as far back as 1930. Personifies the heights capable of this extremely brisk and high altitude village. One of the greatest value white Burgundies to be found. 90% aged in large, neutral barrel. 10% in stainless steel.

    2014 Benjamin Leroux Puligny Montrachet
    $83 per bottle.

    From three lieu dit parcels. Aged in 300-liter barrels, 15% new, with no bâttonage. Quintessential Puligny with an unrivaled lacy texture.

    2014 Benjamin Leroux Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain
    $128 per bottle.

    From a tiny parcel of .02 hectares. 52-year old vines in this higher altitude 1er Cru vineyarde known for it's rocky limestone soil and excellent exposure for ripening. Aged in 1-year old barrels. Weightless and regal like only top sites in Puligny can show.

    2014 Benjamin Leroux Gevrey Chambertin Aux Etelois
    $79 per bottle.

    From the base of Grand Cru Griotte-Chambertin. 20% whole cluster fermentation, and sees 20% new oak. One of the great, secret values in all of the Côte de Nuits!

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Crystal Clear: White Burgundy 2004 & 2007

    Crystal Clear: White Burgundy 2004 & 2007

    Capturing a white Burgundy at the perfect moment in evolution is an unrivaled experience. Fruit and salinity have melded together, while texture has unfolded and edges softened. Vintages that favor freshness over power have showed the greatest promise in aging slowly.

    Today we take a close look at two vintages that have given me the most personal pleasure from their era. Highlighted are producers whose wines are built for the cellar. From Vincent Dauvissat in Chablis to Vincent Dancer in Chassagne-Montrachet this collection varies in appellations, but stylistically each producer is after shimmering clarity in their wines. 

    2004 had been a cool and cloudy vintage throughout the start of the growing season, but in mid July temperatures warmed with August and early September delivering dry and sunny weather. Chardonnay benefitted really well from the conditions that proved to be extremely challenging for Pinot Noir. The whites here have been crisp and mineral-driven from the start. Angular qualities to the wines have dissipated each year and at this point everything has fallen into place perfectly. A vintage that classicists have praised from the start and with time our fondness has only grown.

    2007 was a rare case where Chardonnay flowered after Pinot Noir. Like 2004, this was a vintage where whites strived. August winds were a welcomed assist after very damp conditions in June and July. Growers who pushed harvest dates back were rewarded, as sugars needed more time to accumulate, and unlike Pinot Noir rot was not a threat for whites. Harvest took place for Chardonnay throughout cool, dry September days. A vintage that emphasizes purity of fruit, with clarity and site-specificity really pronounced. At 10 years of age this list is full of wines that are now showing their full spectrum of potential, with many years left for the cellar.


    2004

    2004 Chandon de Briailles Corton Le Charlemagne
    $127 per bottle.

    2004 Colin-Deléger Chevalier Montrachet
    $229 per bottle.

    2004 Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
    $421 per bottle.

    2004 Dauvissat, Vincent Chablis
    $78 per bottle.

    2004 Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
    $149 per bottle.

    2004 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 1.5L
    $499 per bottle.

    2004 Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
    $97 per bottle.

    2004 Pierre Morey Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
    $148 per bottle.

    2004 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet
    $669

    2004 Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux
    $249 per bottle.

    2004 Roulot Meursault Les Meix Chavaux
    $257 per bottle.

    2004 Roulot Meursault Les Tillets
    $271 per bottle.

    2004 Vincent Dancer Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos
    $149 per bottle.

    2004 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis Les Preuses
    $269 per bottle.

    2004 Vogüé Bourgogne Blanc
    $399 per bottle.

    2007

    2007 Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc
    $279 per bottle.

    2007 Hubert Lamy Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly
    $99 per bottle

    2007 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 1.5L
    $499 per bottle.

    2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet
    $699 per bottle.

    2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Corton Charlemagne 1.5L
    $674 per bottle.

    2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Meursault 1er Cru Goutte d'Or
    $159 per bottle.

    2007 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet
    $388 per bottle.

    2007 Simon Bize Savigny les Beaune Blanc 1er Cru Aux Vergelesses
    $86 per bottle.

    2007 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
    $229 per bottle.
    Posted by Max Kogod