GIMONNET Champagne “Gastronome” 2014

Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Gastronome

“Crunchy” Chardonnay grown in the chalky Cotes des Blancs, 3 years on its 2nd fermentation lees (“sur latte”) and low dosage. The result is damn good. Nothing terribly surprising, frankly, as Gimonnet makes solid if not spectacular Champagne every time. This vintage of “Gastronome” is very generous in its green heirloom apple, white flower, ripe […]

A MARGAINE Champagne “Cuvee Le Brut”

A Margaine Champagne

Dynamite fresh, juicy green apples, white peaches, mangoes and melon. Love the fruitiness and the fresh white flowers and rocky earthiness that complement that fruit. Fresh, tingly texture from the Chardonnay, low ML and short time on its lees (sur lattes). Roundness and depth from the terroir of Montagne de Reims. Has it all, and […]

GUY ROBIN Chablis “Montee de Tonnerre” 2016

Guy Robin Chablis

I love the savory, earth-driven overtones that roll alongside the preserved lemon, apple butter and lemon custard smells and flavors. Satin texture, depth of fruit and  delicious, distinctive flavors of button mushrooms and gravel here. Not super-crisp, rather a Chablis with a strong core of acidity, earth and fruit. I think it’s just about perfect. […]

JEAN DIOT Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Jean Diot Champagne Blancs

Vallee de la Marne producer gets Chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs for their Blanc de Blancs Champagne. I like Chardonnay’s crisp lemon/apple character and “zip” character, followed by a round, voluptuous mouth feel and lightly toasty flavor that comes from the lees aging in bottle. This has something for fans of all styles of […]

DOSNON Champagne Recolte Blanche

Dosnon Champagne Blanche

All Chardonnay from the Cote des Bar, southern end of Champagne. Unsweetened apple sauce, lemon zest and quince paste, classic for Blanc de Blancs Champagne, is here in spades. Less chalky than Blanc de Blancs from the Cotes des Blancs. The Henri Dosnon Champagne Blanche is rich, textured mouthfeel and a 25 second long soft, […]

H GOUTORBE Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Dan Dawson's Wine Advisor

A total winner, especially for the price. All Chardonnay, all 2012 (a fantastic Champagne vintage). Went through full Malo, aged over 4 years on its lees before disgorgement. Super tasty, full of ripe lemon, green apple and crisp peach flavors. Great balance and delicious flavors start to finish. I want some Goutorbe Blanc de Blancs! […]

VARNIER-FANNIERE Champagne Brut

Varnier Fanniere Champagne

Delicious Grand Cru, Cotes des Blancs Champagne. However, it’s delicious in a different way than you may expect. Instead of crisp, chalky and “racy,” this is more lush, round and what I call friendly. Could be the lower pressure of the wine, equating to less bubbly. Could be the vintages, 2014 and 2015, in this […]

PIERRE CALLOT Champagne Brut, Grand Cru

Pierre Callot Champagne

95% of the Chardonnay comes from Callot’s Avize vineyards. 2014 base wine with 30% from a Solera-like reserve stash Callot started in 1985. This is more fruity, fleshy and easy-going than most Cotes des Blancs Champagnes I know. Orchard & stone fruits are more prevalent than lemony citrus (that said, the lemon is there).  The […]

Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Extra Brut

Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Extra Brut

The Gimonnet Champagne Extra Brut is, like most of their wines, 100% Chardonnay from the chalky vineyards of the Cotes des Blancs. First time they’ve released an Extra Brut/lower dosage. Really good balance, particularly impressive to me for an Extra Brut. Ripe fruit, high acid and faint sweetness work as a team with no one […]

FRANTZ CHAGNOLEAU Pouilly-Fuisse “Madrigal” 2016

Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly Fuisse

Single vineyard, rocky, higher altitude vineyard in the Vergisson commune of Pouilly-Fuisse. Very much on the racy and “fit” side of Chardonnay with its rocky/mineral-y and crisp citrus rind & blossom character. That said, I’m very critical of the “thin is in” style, finding most to be too much bones and not enough flesh. The […]

R.H. COUTIER Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Coutier Champagne Blancs

A bit of an oddity as it is made from 100% Chardonnay in Ambonnay, a village in the Champagne region Montagne de Reims: definitive Pinot Noir country. (It’s Pinot country because the soils lend themselves to making great Pinot-based Champagne.) Get pear/apple, ripe citrus, stone fruits (apricot, peach), fresh tarragon and lemon balm. Burst of […]

BUISSON CHARLES Meursault 2015

Buisson Charles Meursault

Impressive how so much aroma and flavor is packed into the 750 ML bottle. Starts smoky and bright with roasted whole lemons, citrus blossoms, sliced white peaches and fresh from the oven biscuits. Taste lemon sorbet, caramel, buttered wheat toast, roast hazelnuts (naturally!) and apple butter. This is super-intense. If the same wine was a […]

SARRAZIN Rully “Sans Nom” 2015

Sarrazin Rully Sans Nom

Sarrazin’s “Sans Nom” comes from two estate vineyards that give different qualities to the wine. First impression is ripe and fleshy, too much for some tastes. Melons, citrus custard and pineapple with medium acidity. On the back palate and finish the wine “freshens up” with more fresh, tangy citrus, green applesauce and a mineral kick. […]

VINCENT DAMPT Chablis 2015

Vincent Dampt Chablis 2015

Pretty, aromatic nose of lemon blossoms, Meyer lemon, mango and lime precedes flavors of the same plus butter pastry, lemon tea and white chalky earth. Has lively acidity, fresh fruit all over the place and just enough “taste of the land” to make it interesting. Undeniably tasty and versatile: good drinking by itself and particularly […]

VINCENT DAMPT Chablis “Cote de Lechet” 2015

Vincent Dampt Chablis Lechet

I’ve quickly become a big fan of Vincent Dampt’s Chablis wines. His Cote de Lechet, from 55 year old vines growing in limestone and marl (Kimmeridgian soil) is classy, bright, perfectly ripe and earthy (especially on the finish). Get preserved lemons, apple butter, fresh sweat, chalk, lemon thyme and green tea. Round and tingly on […]

Chateau Puligny Montrachet Clos du Chateau 2015

clos du chateau 15

This Clos (enclosed vineyard) is in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, yet is “just” classified Bourgogne. For a true Burgundy “experience,” this is hard to beat for under $40/bottle. Tropical and stone fruits, crushed rocks, citrus blossoms and lemon custard smells and flavors, all elevated by a jolt of acidity just before you swallow. 2015 was […]

PIERRE GIMONNET Champagne “Cuvée Cuis”

Gimonnet Champagne Cuis

Family-owned, run, made and grown, Gimonnet is one of the best, and best-known “Grower Champagne” producers sold in the U.S. Their Blanc de Blancs (= 100% Chardonnay) “Cuvée Cuis” (= Blend from the village of Cuis, a 1er Cru Champagne village) shows tell-tale smells & flavors of the Côtes des Blancs: ripe green apple, lemon […]

GARNIER Chablis 2015

Garnier Chablis

Can’t speak highly enough about this wine. The property and winery is run by two brothers of the Garnier family. Farmed organic, neutral barrel aged. The brothers fit the model of “caretakers” over “winemakers.” Their AC Chablis is full of lemon zest (and a little pulp), crisp green apples, citrus blossoms and that rocky Chablis […]

CHAVY-CHOUET Meursault “Corvees de Citeau” 14

Chavy Chouet Meursalt

I’m a big fan of Chavy-Chouet’s White Burgundies. Expressive fruit, crystal-clear view of the terroir (“minerality”), fine rich textures. This Meursault is one for the cellar. Vineyard is in the heart of the village. A jolt of acidity on entry with smells and flavors of lemon zest, green banana, peach & apricot, lemon bitters, key […]

BERNARD-BONIN Meursault Tillets 15

Bernard Bonin Meursault

Husband-wife owned & run, tiny, artisan Meursault house. “Les Tillets,” a village vineyard above the town, is worthy of Premier Cru status (as are many Meursault vineyards). Drink this and understand the power and persistence White Burgundy can offer. Get lemon zest, dried pineapple, apple butter, hard caramel candies and that mysterious, old world rocky/earthy […]