As Burgundy is the backbone of our selections, you can imagine the #1 question I receive is on recommendations for under-the-radar and younger producers making waves. There are very few names I put in the same category as Thomas Bouley of Volnay. And concerning one of the Côte de Beaune's legendary vineyards, Bouley's example is the first place I turn.

Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 & 2017 Jean-Marc Bouley Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes.

2019's October tasting with Thomas Bouley was followed by dinner with a Côte de Nuits producer where the question was posed about favorite under-radar-producers. When I mentioned where I had just finished tasting, the group around the table concurred, as all have been lucky enough to taste these incredibly concentrated and elegant Pinot Noirs from the Côte de Beaune village most associated with finesse. The famed "Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove" descriptor is reserved for these best Volnay sites and only most capable stewards.

Clos des Chênes comes from just a 0.43-hectare parcel of vines planted in 1951 and 1971 near the vineyard's upper portion. Grapes are mostly de-stemmed, fermentation takes place in concrete, and élevage is in 20% new French oak barrels.

Family succession in Burgundy can lead a domaine in many directions. The stewardship of Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley by Thomas starting in 2012 has proven to be a tremendous success. Thomas joined in 2002 to work alongside his father, and throughout that time, the domaine's popularity steadily grew.

Why does Bouley's work stand out from a region filled with young talent? The top wines walk that high-wire balance between sappy, concentrated fruit and deft incorporation of new wood – it's this marriage that really sounded the fireworks upon initially tasting. Perhaps the biggest change since Thomas took over in 2012 has been the stark fine-ness to the wines. It's impossible to miss. Out of his range, Clos des Chênes really captures this quality the very most.