Category Archives: Saint Aubin

A Taste Of Burgundy – April 2017


A Taste Of Burgundy


TOB-BANNER Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please notify us in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.

 

2014 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Le Champlot
Domaine Sylvain Langoureau

Saint-Aubin sits along the hillsides above and around the corner from the Côte de Beaune’s Grand Cru vineyards. Premier Cru Le Champlot enjoys full-on western exposure, situated just above the village of Gamay in the appellation’s rolling hills. Winemaker Sylvain Langoureau continues to farm his 9 hectares organically, and for his 2014’s, Langoureau praises the “remarkably clean fruit” which was harvested in mid-September. He also went on to say, “I really like the style of the ’14s because while everyone always says that a given vintage will be good young and old I really do believe that 2014 gave us wines that will in fact fulfill those promises!” We couldn’t agree more; 2014 is clearly one of the region’s exceptional vintages. In an effort to express the hallmarks of the terroir and vintage, Langoureau kept bâtonnage to a minimum and limited the amount of new barrel used to 20%. What he produced is a clean Le Champlot with focused structure, good tension, and expression. It’s good to drink now through 2029.

2013 Pommard 1er Cru Les Chanlins
Domaine Parent

Pommard has enjoyed a long history of notoriety for producing classic wines which are deep in color, profoundly aromatic, structured, and reliable. The village sits between Beaune in the north and Volnay to the south. Premier Cru Les Chanlins lies on the upslope just south of the famous Les Rugiens vineyard, south of the village. For Anne Parent to be energetic and upbeat while discussing her 2013 vintage would mean that considering the challenges (cool, wet spring, trouble during flowering, and a hailstorm in July), she was happy with the overall quality of her bottled wines. Production was less than 50% of average, and there was a bit of sorting which needed to be done. Anne quickly recognized that the fruit was in a delicate state, which caused her to vinify her wines softly and to use less than half the new barrel she would from an average vintage. She went on to say, “I absolutely love the fresh fruit as the flavors are racy and refreshing.” 100% organically farmed, this will be at its best from 2019-2030. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chardonnay, Peter Zavialoff, Pinot Noir, Pommard, Saint Aubin, Wine Clubs/Samplers

2013 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly


2013 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin
1er Cru En Remilly

Have you ever gone to the dry cleaners and picked up your items only to find them hanging on wire hangers with a paper cover that says, “We ♥ our customers?” Now, everyone’s relationship with their dry cleaner is unique, but it’s difficult to imagine engaging dry cleaning staff in passionate discussions about cleaning methods and products. And we’re guessing that the dry cleaning staff, as much as they appreciate their customers, probably don’t want to regale them with tales of new discoveries and experiences in the dry cleaning world. Retail wine merchants appreciate their customers as well, though taking into consideration the conversations and interactions that we have with our customers, we can honestly say that we do indeed love our customers! We have passionate discussions quite often with many of you who walk through our doors, and we were reminded of this just the other day when a long-time good friend of TWH sauntered in looking for a gift for his significant other.


Franck, whose tasting spectrum is wide and diverse, was on a mission. He needed white Burgundy. He seemed particularly fixated on Meursault. Well, from one wine enthusiast to another, no one was going to blame him for wanting Meursault. We love Meursault. He then added that he would like to keep the cost below $40. That’s where it gets a little tricky. At the time, we didn’t have any Meursault below $40. I pointed here and there at some that were a little higher than that, and then some Premier Crus which were much higher, until bang, a flash of recollection had me saying, “Well, Franck, it’s not Meursault, but we’ve got a white Burgundy that is all class, and contrary to the usual cliché, it very well might make you forget about Meursault!” Having been a regular customer for years with countless positive experiences, he was all ears when I showed him a bottle of 2013 Sylvain Langoureau’s Saint-Aubin Premier Cru En Remilly. I got the map out and showed him the vineyard. A very, very small piece of the En Remilly vineyard is actually in Chassagne-Montrachet and it borders the Grand Cru Chevalier-Montrachet vineyard. In fact, the entirety of En Remilly is just around the corner from the cluster of white Burgundy’s Grands Crus vineyards. THAT is prime real estate!
So we knew then we were dealing with some prime terroir, but what about the winemaker? Sylvain Langoureau has been at the helm of the domaine since 1989 and now farms organically. We’ve been working with Langoureau’s wines since the 2008 vintage, and we’re not alone in praising them. Burghound’s Allen Meadows added this about Langoureau, “As the scores and commentaries suggest this domaine should be added to those of Lamy, Prudhon, Bachelet and Marc Colin for high quality domaines based in or near St. Aubin. If you don’t know the wines I strongly suggest you check out an example.” Though the 2013 vintage presented its challenges, and production was much lower than average, the surviving fruit was of such quality that Sylvain called it, “Completely classic with great energy and transparency.” I further commented on the transparency and precision of the wine to Franck adding that sub $40 white Burgundy doesn’t get any better than this. We walked it up to the counter, put it in a bag, wished Franck well, and asked him to report back when he could.

Usually we have to wait for weeks, sometimes months, before a customer returns to report on their previous visit’s purchases. Not this time. Franck was back the very next day! Gobsmacked! His significant other was over the moon about the wine. He went on to tell us that she told him that she had never tasted such an amazing white Burgundy before, and that’s saying something! He was full of praise for the wine, noting its class and pedigree, its precision, its expression, and chuckled to himself about the price, as if he was in on a little secret. He bought more. He came back a week later and bought more again. So if you want to be transfixed by a sub $40 white Burgundy so high in quality that you may forget about Meursault (temporarily), you may want to reserve a couple before Franck returns to buy more!

Imagine, over the course of 38+ years here at TWH, customer experiences such as Franck’s continue to occur with regularity. That just makes all of us brim with pride as that is our aim. That is our responsibility. Yes, I said responsibility because for us, it doesn’t end when a sale is made. It ends when you pop the cork, pour the wine, and enjoy it. Many merchants copy and paste tasting notes and scores to their shelves and websites, and once you pony up your cash, it’s out you go until next time. That’s not the way it works at TWH. We our customers!

Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under Chardonnay, Cote du Beaune, Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin, Saint-Aubin En Remilly

A Taste of Burgundy – April 2016


A Taste Of Burgundy

TOB-BANNER Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please notify us in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.

 

2013 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly Domaine Sylvain Langoureau

Having directed this 9 hectare domaine since 1989, Sylvain Langoureau now farms 100% organically. In an atypical vintage such as 2013, this could present some challenges, though Langoureau describes his 2013’s as, “completely classic with great energy and transparency.” He went on to say, “I like the style of the vintage quite a bit as it’s tighter and fresher if less generous than 2012.” This, of course, is great news for those of us who enjoy sleeker styled white Burgundy teeming with freshness. Saint-Aubin spreads out among the hillsides above and west of the Côte de Beaune’s cluster of Grands Crus vineyards. The Premier Cru En Remilly vineyard is adjacent to, and extends around the corner from Grand Cru Chevalier-Montrachet with direct western exposure. In Burgundy, it’s all about location, location, location, and rubbing elbows with such prestigious neighbors, Sylvain’s Saint-Aubin En Remilly is pure class in a modest package. This 2013 shows a degree of ripeness with a solid core of saline-like mineral. Drink now – 2025.

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Youthful Stéphane Magnien represents the fourth generation at the helm of this domaine which according to Burghound’s Allen Meadows, “comprises only 4.5 ha, but has some lovely appellations.” This Magnien domaine can trace its roots to 1897, though the cellars and family’s house are from 1789! Stéphane began assisting his father, Jean-Paul in 2002, and took over in 2008. He has old-school tendencies, as he is not a big fan of new oak barrels, using them sparingly to deftly add a touch of texture to his terroir driven wines. His 1er Cru Les Sentiers is his most expensive Premier Cru, as it lies just under the hallowed Bonnes Mares Grand Cru in Chambolle-Musigny. Again, the 2013 vintage had its challenges weather-wise, and production was very low. The good news is that the fruit that made it to harvest was of top-notch quality. This 2013 is rich in aromatic profile with lovely layers of fresh, dark berry fruit and the palate is structured harmoniously. It’s a serious wine whose proximity to Bonnes Mares is apparent. Drink 2020-2030. – Peter Zavialoff

Reg. $126.98
On Sale $89.98

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chambolle-Musigny, Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin, Saint-Aubin En Remilly, Wine Clubs/Samplers

2011 Domaine Sylvain Langoureau St. Aubin 1er Cru Le Champlot

“Of all the stars at night, none can match the brilliant light that I see in your eyes”– J.J. Cale 1938-2013

I couldn’t have predicted the success we’ve had with our newly expanded value Bordeaux section. We have received numerous phone calls and emails from customers complimenting us on importing these amazing, inexpensive wines. That always gives us all a good feeling knowing that our efforts are paying off; in this case for all of you, and for our staff too. Let’s face it, I love to have high quality red Bordeaux on hand to bring to friends’ houses for dinners after work! The double-takes and outrageous guesses as to the wines’ prices are a thrill to witness.And though I’m still semi-obsessed with 2009 red Bordeaux, I am also aware that variety is the spice of life. When I first stepped into TWH, David asked me about my favorite food/wine pairings. Like a knee-jerk reaction, I told him it was lobster and White Burgundy. When he goes to Burgundy each year, David works with a negociante and tastes a whole lot of samples. Of all the wines tasted, just like our value Bordeaux experience, he says “yes” to a very small percentage of producers. One producer that passed with flying colors is Domaine Sylvain Langoureau.

2011 represents the 4th vintage of Langoureau wines imported by TWH. Sylvain’s wines are another example of David’s discovering a producer whose wines tip the scale in the quality for price department. Sylvain Langoureau has been director of the domaine since 1989, and now farms his 9 hectares biologically. St. Aubin is an appellation just west of all those fancy Chardonnay producing vineyards that have “Montrachet” in their names; including the Grands Crus! The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard sits just above the village of Gamay facing west-southwest. On the same rise of hill to the east is the appellation of Puligny-Montrachet. Langoureau describes the 2011 vintage as being “classic” for his wines, and said, “I think the wines will have that lovely combination of early accessibility but have enough in the way of potential to develop over the medium-term.” In regards to Langoureau’s 2011 St. Aubin Premier Cru Le Champlot, Allen Meadows of Burghound had this to say, “There is outstanding punch and that really lovely quality of underlying tension to the detailed and discreetly minerally middle weight flavors that possess a notably dry yet less overtly austere finish that delivers fine persistence. I very much like the complexity. – 90 points.” When we tasted it, the ooohs and aaahs around the tasting table may have led anyone who may have been listening to thinking that we were tasting something far more expensive, like a Grand Cru perhaps. It is vibrant, has layer after layer of complexity, a solid mineral core, and plenty of nerve fueling a long, complex finish. Factor in the price, and we’ve got another smashing value for you, IN A WHITE BURGUNDY!

 

Things are indeed exciting around here. We’ve had a container held up at port for far too long, but we should be seeing the wine next week. There’s another container with more wine from France arriving on the heels of that one, and the ball is rolling on getting another one filled up behind that. So yes, that will keep us busy. We’ll be tasting samples of all of the new wines, and we’ll be sure to tell you all about them soon. In the mean time, treat yourself to some 2011 St. Aubin Le Champlotfrom Sylvain Longoureau, it’s pure genius in a bottle. I would like to make it known that I prefer something else with my lobster these days, but I’ll save that for another email. Whoa, I just realized that this is my last Sunday write-up until my annual Charity Shield write up. What does that mean? It’s almost footy season! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about 2011 White Burgundy, our value Bordeaux section, The Charity Shield, or anything else: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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Filed under Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin

A TASTE OF BURGUNDY MAY/JUNE 2012


A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and (even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles. Sign up now!
 

Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.

Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.

2010 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “Le Champlot”
The 2010 vintage in Burgundy saw production reduced by some 30-50% compared to 2009; so when Sylvain Langoureau’s 1er Cru landed, we knew we had to act fast to get it into your hands before it all sold. To remind you, Saint-Aubin is a village just west of the several vineyards that all have “Montrachet” in their names, including the Grands Crus themselves. The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard sits on a hillside facing southwest just above the village of Gamay. If one were to walk along the same hillside to the east, they would eventually find themselves in Puligny-Montrachet. Langoureau’s 2010 Le Champlot very much resembles his 2008, a benchmark vintage for White Burgundy. The seductive aromas are of blossom, mineral, and spicy pears. On the palate, the wine truly shines with great weight and a full body sensation balanced by dazzling acidity. Drink now through 2020.

2005 Domaine Richard Manière Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Les Damodes”
Once upon a time, we imported the Burgundies from Manière-Noirot from Vosne-Romanée. That was back in the late 1980’s, when Richard Manière’s parents ran the Domaine. Richard has had full control of the property for several vintages now. And what do we have here? None other than a 2005 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes! The Les Damodes vineyard sits on the border of Vosne-Romanée, very near the superstar La Tache vineyard. The 2005 vintage for Red Burgundy is, and will be a highly celebrated vintage for years and years to come. The wines have depth and strength, yet reveal concentrated fruit which will greatly reward a minimum of 10 years of cellaring. Guess what? We’ve taken care of the first 7 of those 10 years for you, so the task is easier. Manière’s style is to let the terroir speak through the fruit. He got good color and flavor from his fruit, no need to over-extract, especially in a vintage like this. Expressive and structured, this wine will be at its peak from 2015 through 2025. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under 2005, A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy, Cote de Nuits, French Wine, Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin, Wine Clubs/Samplers

A TASTE OF BURGUNDY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011

 


A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and (even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles. Sign up now!

Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.

 

Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.

2009 Saint-Aubin, 1er Cru “Le Champlot” – Sylvain Langoureau
Saint-Aubin is a village just west of a swath of vineyards that all have “Montrachet” in their names. The vineyards of the appellation begin near the village itself in the west, and spiral around several hillsides, the hamlet of Gamay, and finally, down to the border of those celebrated Montrachet vineyards. The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard is perched on a hillside facing southwest just above the village of Gamay. Interesting to note that the southeastern slope of the same hill is in Puligny-Montrachet. The resulting wine has a mineral distinction and sleekness similar to that of its eastern neighbor. Langoureau’s efforts with his 8.5 hectares has placed him in the upper echelon of Saint-Aubin producers. This 2009 Le Champlot displays rich fruit and mineral aromas; a fresh, lively, well balanced mouth feel; and a crisp finish of mineral, fruit, and spice. Drink now through 2016.

2004 Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1er Cru “Clos des Argillières” – Domaine Bertrand Ambroise
Located in Premeaux-Prissey just south of the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges, you’ll find Maison Bertrand Ambroise. Bertrand’s terroir-driven wines have zest and gusto, much like the man. Within the des Argillières vineyard (in Premeaux-Prissey) is an enclosed vineyard, the sweet spot, the Clos. It is a special piece of terroir within the vineyard. This 2004 Nuits-Saint-Georges shows pretty aromas of cherry cola, underbrush, sarsaparilla, and cigar box. On the palate, the wine is medium in body with fresh, zippy red fruit akin to tangy currants framed by earth and forest floor. The tannins are fine and the finish is lively and long. Its slightly brickish color may suggest that it is mature and ready to go, though its structure indicates that it could easily be enjoyed for another 5-10 years. If you drink it now, an hour’s decanting should do the trick. Serve it with a hearty stew or Osso Buco. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Bertrand Ambroise, Burgundy, French Wine, Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin, Wine Clubs/Samplers