On a frigid April morning in 2012 I visited with a newer producer for me. There were lots of rumblings about what Vincent Dancer was doing in Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault. Some had spoken about his radical approach, others simply noted that his Chardonnay from his grand vineyards were a departure from what his neighbors had been producing for generations. After meeting and tasting with the humble, and somewhat shy Dancer, it became clear as day that this was the domaine I would have a laser-focus on going forward. My plans to open my shop were still years ahead, but I began collecting Dancer's wines for myself immediately.
Vincent came from Alsace and quietly grew his estate in Chassagne-Montrachet into five hectares of vines. He became the very first vigneron in the fabled village of Chassagne to become certified organic. Slowly his wines began to show up onMichelin star restaurants throughout France. The accolades began to follow:
“The highly gifted perfectionist, Vincent Dancer, incarnates the new generation of young, dynamic wine growers.” -La Revue du Vin de France
Dancer's style is one that looks to tell the story of vineyard and vintage without any background noise. There are no labratory yeasts, enzymes, acid adjustments, fining, or filtering. Battonage (stirring of the lees in barrel), a practice widely used in Chassagne to give weight, texture, and creaminess to wines in not utilized here. This is the ultimate hands-off approach to natural winemaking.
Dancer's wines jump out initially for their intensity of bright, perfectly ripe fruit. The precision of each cuvée is finely woven and there's a tremendous difference between each of his bottlings. His style is most closely connected with Pierre Yves Colin-Morey, but yields are kept lower by Dancer and the wines showcase more concentration and power. And that is the secret to what makes these wines so marvelous. They walk that ultimate high wire of lean, defined structure with a huge depth of flavor intensity and concentration.
I've been assembling this relatively large collection of wines from Vincent for some time now. The 2014 vintage marks the first time these have been widely imported to the United States, and I jumped on them.
2014 is clearly shaping up to be one of the greatest white Burgundy vintages over the last several decades. The hallmark was thick skins with a tremendous amount of extract met with bright acidity that provided a once-in-a-decade like balance. It reminds me quite a lot of the 2015 vintage throughout Gemany. The wines are not short on power, and they are filled with a rocky core of minerality with all the buffering needed to signify a near perfect vintage.
2014 Vincent Dancer Bourgogne Blanc
2014 Vincent Dancer Meursault Les Corbins
From the northern end of the village where richer and more textural Chardonnays are common, this shows a rare combination of saturating texture with a firm mineral spine.
2014 Vincent Dancer Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos
From a special walled-in-parcel located in the 1er Cru Morgeot vineyard. Crystalline, full of verve. Considered to be a Grand Cru level parcel within Morgeot.
2014 Vincent Dancer Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée
The richest of the Chassagne wines here. Located next to the famed Grandes Ruchottes vineyard.
2014 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
The greatest vineyard of Meursault. With air notes of hazelnuts, meyer lemon, and cream. All in a Grand Cru-level chiseled frame. The ultimate combination of power and finesse!
2013 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
2012 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
2007 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
2012 Vincent Dancer Bourgogne Blanc
2004 Vincent Dancer Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos