Until the 26th and 27th of January, you’ll have a chance to get your hands on some of France’s finest wine. This time round, we’re focusing especially on the prestigious produce of Burgundy, including white wines that have a tendency to take a back seat, and exemplary Pinot Noirs.
Best of Burgundy
Burgundy isn’t letting go of its top spot, positioning itself again and again as the most sought-after region at auction. Whilst known for its deep reds, Burgundian whites also reveal beautifully varied expressions according to the terroirs they come from. In Chablis, we find divine minerality and salinity from the likes of Raveneau, Dauvissat and William Fèvre as well as the first vintages of Beauregard and Butteaux by Pattes-Loup. In Meursault, there’s finesse, fullness and a generous oakiness that translates into notes of fresh buttered brioche and dried fruits. For this kind of wine, take a look at Domaine Arnaud Ente, Domaine Comtes Lafon, Domaine Coche-Dury and Domaine Jean-Marc Roulot. In the Côte de Beaune, there are some truly great appellations to choose from, such as Ramonet’s Bâtard-Montrachet (1985, 1996, 2012 and 2013), Domaine de Chassorney’s 2015 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot, Faiveley’s 2011 Corton-Charlemagne and Etienne Sauzet’s 1993 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts. Auxey-Duresses is a rising appellation par excellence, with the climats Les Clous (2005) and Les Boutonniers (2004) from the famous Domaine d’Auvenay up for auction here.
For the noble Pinot Noirs of the region, we obviously recommend the Beaune 1er Cru Grèves Vignes de l’Enfant Jésus 2007 from Bouchard Père et Fils, and the Bonnes-Mares (from 2001 to 2016) by Georges Roumier, Armand Rousseau’s 1985 Clos-de-Bèze Chambertin, Leroy‘s 2004 « simple » burgundy (if you’ll pardon the expression 😊), Ponsot’s 1990 and 2007 Les Charmes 1er cru Chambolle-Musigny, and a 2010 Clos-de-Vougeot from Méo-Camuzet. Our litany ends here but, as you can well imagine, it is but an introduction.
If Bordeaux has been dethroned by Burgundy recently, it remains a safe bet for all lovers of great wines made with the utmost care, with the finest vintages often making the headlines. From 1990, we’ve got bottles from Châteaux Cheval Blanc, Haut Marbuzet, Léoville Poyferré for the reds and Climens for the sweet wines. The 2000 vintage illustrates itself through the beautiful signatures of Pontet-Canet and Mouton-Rothschild, 2005 with Château Olivier and Clos Puy Arnaud, 2009 with the sweet wine of Haut-Bergeron and the reds of Issan and Smith Haut-Lafitte. 2010 reveals the lovely whites of La Louvière and Couhins-Lurton, while 2016 presents wonderful left bank reds such as Lynch-Bages and Cos d’Estournel.
The peaks of the Rhône
The podium of great wines would not be complete without the Rhone Valley wines. Among the finest, we obviously advise you to bid on Jean-Louis Chave’s 1995 Hermitage, named winemaker of the year this month by La RVF, as well as Thierry Allemand’s Cornas, Emmanuel Reynaud’s Châteauneufs, Stephan’s Côtes-Rôtie, as well as Dard et Ribo’s and Raymond Trollat’s Saint-Joseph.
Natural wines at their best
If you want to add to your collection of cutting-edge cuvées, natural wines deserve your full attention. In the Beaujolais region, try the produce of Jean Foillard, Marcel Lapierre and Jean-Claude Lapalu. In Auvergne, the Vignoble de l’Arbre Blanc, Daniel Sage and Patrick Bouju are all worth bidding on. And from Loire, try for the Bourgeuil cuvées of Catherine and Pierre Breton and the Angevin wines by Richard Leroy.
A trip to the Italian Piedmont
Finally, why not enrich (or start!) your collection of great Piedmontese wines. If it were up to us, we would choose the Barolos of Battista Burlotto and Giuseppe Rinaldi, the Barbarescos of Angelo Gaja and the Langhes of Bartolo Mascarello.