Join us and Courtier Wines for a tasting of four great wines from Beaune for $55.
Beaune is very much the center of the Burgundy wine trade, where many of the grand traditional negociants are based – each of these has historic premises inside the city walls have a winemaking center somewhere just outside. For centuries, this has been the place from which these wine shippers ruled Burgundy, owning most of the best vineyards in the appellation. Beaune wines should be all about the fruit, either richer or more graceful depending on the location of the vineyard – the best sites are those mid-slope and in the center of the commune, on the slopes above the town itself.
Michel Lafarge Beaune 1er Cru Les Aigrots Blanc 2010
The Lafarge family has been in Volnay since the 18th century. Michel Lafarge, now in his eighties, and his son Frederic make use of their combined experience top produce some of the greatest wines in the appellation. Frederic introduced biodynamic winemaking to the estate, but otherwise uses almost all of the same practices as his predecessors. He believes that there is already a natural balance in the grapes, and therefore little human intervention is necessary. Domaine Lafarge now includes 10 hectares of vines in some of the very best sites. Respect for the terroir allows the wines to speak for themselves, and they are wonderfully fragrant, complex and harmonious – the essence of great Volnay.
Les Aigrots Blanc from Lafarge is certainly is an insider’s wine. Charming aromas of peach, orange zest, apple and chalky soil tones. Full-bodied, but very elegant in the mouth, with a silky core of fruit, zesty acidity, lovely focus and beautiful balance.
Nicolas Rossignol Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 2009
Nicolas Rossignol is among the best in a new generation of Burgundy winemakers. After completing his studies at oenology school in Beaune, he put his knowledge into practice, interning at Domaine Joseph Voillot and Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf du Pape. After working with his father at the family estate, he simultaneously developed another domaine in his own name in 1997. Nicolas is now buying all of the fruit from his family’s domaine, which he also farms, and produces an incredible range of wines.
His Beaune Clos des Mouches has beautiful aromas of red berry liqueur, menthol and spice. Pliant and deep, showing a smooth texture and impressive volume. The red berry flavors have good verve on the long, ripely tannic finish. An excellent Beaune premier cru, with great aging potential.
Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge 2010
Originally from the Yonne department, Joseph Drouhin founded the negociant company which bears his name in 1880. His son Maurice took over in 1918, buying the first vineyards including the famous Beaune Clos des Mouches – it took him a while to put this together, since he had to buy the plots piecemeal from many different growers. This domaine is now run by Joseph’s grandchildren, and consists of 73 hectares spread throughout the region. All of their vineyards are farmed biodynamically, lending to the house signature of crafting elegant, refined and complex wines.
At the southern end of the Beaune appellation, next to Pommard, the famous Clos des Mouches vineyard has its largest owner in Joseph Drouhin, one half planted with Chardonnay, the other with Pinot Noir. The soil is predominantly clay, limestone and marl – this light composition is responsible for the great finesse of this wine.
de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Greves 2012
Domaine de Montille is a first class Cote de Beaune estate that is producing some of the purest expressions of Pinot Noir to be found in Burgundy today. The domaine was developed by Hubert de Montille, a prominent Dijon lawyer, who inherited 2.5 hectares of vineyards in Volnay in 1951 when most of his production was sold to negociants. Over the years he acquired further premier cru parcels in Volnay and Pommard. Today the domaine is run by his children Etienne and Alix. The winemaking is traditional and produces wonderfully elegant, harmonious wines that require at least ten years of bottle aging to show their very best.
The name Les Greves references the gravelly terroir of this vineyard. This rather large site is found in the heart of the slope and considered to be one of the best Beaune premier crus. The finest portion of the parcel, at the center of the vineyard, is the famous Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus of Maison Bouchard – immediately following-on from this section toward the south is the Domaine de Montille portion. The vines, planted on a lightweight, clay and limestone soil, enjoy optimal exposition.