December 11, 2018
Guy Robin Chablis

GUY ROBIN Chablis “Montee de Tonnerre” 2016

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. And near perfection is hard to get for $43! More Information This is one of the hundreds of quality, well-priced wines (French & Italian) imported by North Berkeley Imports. “Our imports boast classic old-world character while always remembering the importance of fruit,” states Eddie Gilbert, Director […]
October 19, 2018
Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly Fuisse

FRANTZ CHAGNOLEAU Pouilly-Fuisse “Madrigal” 2016

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 Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly Fuisse Madrigal 2016 gets my recommendation because there’s lots of goodness going on in this structured White Burgundy. Reductive start (smoke, roast nut skins, meat stock, dried sweat) quickly disappears, moving to preserved lemons, caramel, crunchy pears and crushed river rocks. It’s […]
July 25, 2018
Buisson Charles Meursault

BUISSON CHARLES Meursault 2015

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 Premier or Grand Cru, and labeled as such, you would not doubt its provenance and think it a glorious bargain. Instead, it’s “just” a village Meursault.
May 10, 2018
Maison L'Envoye Bourgogne Blanc

Maison L’Envoye Bourgogne Blanc 2014

There’s an ocean of Chardonnay out there. What to choose of the, oh I don’t know, 50 different Chardonnay labels standing in front of you? Afraid there’s no secret sauce to share with you. I can give tips, however, which leads me to this specific recommendation. Check out a few Bourgogne Blancs when you’re in your local wine shop or grocer with a strong wine selection. There should be a few available as there is a lot of it imported into the U.S. Bourgogne Blanc (labeled simply as “Bourgogne,” and you can see it’s a white wine) is pretty much […]
April 22, 2018
Sarrazin Rully Sans Nom

SARRAZIN Rully “Sans Nom” 2015

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. A smooch of new oak smooths any sharp edges that may have been there. I can only think it comes from different vineyard aspects and soils. In the end, this is a delicious White Burgundy to drink anytime.   I so love Rully (from good […]
March 14, 2018
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 tasty with meaty white fishes (like halibut) and straight-forward white meat preparations. Dampt grows this Chardonnay in a vineyard between two Premier Cru vineyards across town from Chablis’ Grand Cru sites. 40 year old vines on average. Steel tank fermented and aged. More Information Vincent […]
March 14, 2018
Vincent Dampt Chablis Lechet

VINCENT DAMPT Chablis “Cote de Lechet” 2015

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 the palate. 25 second finish of citrus fruits and chalky soil. Steel tank ferment and aged on its lees. Vincent Dampt grew up in a winegrower family in Chablis. He went to winegrower school at the ripe old age of 14. Before returning home, he […]
February 20, 2018
clos du chateau 15

Chateau Puligny Montrachet Clos du Chateau 2015

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 a particularly warm year in Burgundy, resulting in a fruitier wine than usual. Drinking really well for a young White Burgundy, especially one from the Côte d’Or. The Domaine du Chateau de Puligny Montrachet was purchased by the de Montille family in 2012. Etienne de […]
December 9, 2017
Garnier Chablis

GARNIER Chablis 2015

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 “crunch.” Very good balance of fruit, bright acid and earth. If I had room to buy a case of this, I would. For now I happy settle for 2-3 bottles at a time.
September 25, 2017
Bernard Bonin Meursault

BERNARD-BONIN Meursault Tillets 15

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 flavor. Long and strong finish. Surprisingly good now for such a young White Burgundy. Will evolve and drink at its very best starting in 2022 I’m guessing.