Charlie Bennett owner and wine buyer visits Burgundy on a regular basis and we ship about 90% of our wines direct. There is obviously a price advantage when buying direct but, more importantly, it is only by visiting the growers that we can build up a good business relationship with them and receive generous allocations. The following are just some of the fine growers from whom we import.
Claude Chevallier’s immaculate Domaine is based in the village of Montallery. The village wine is fermented in stainless steel and is crisp and fresh with an underlying richness that makes the wine most attractive from a young age. The Cuvée Prestige grows in stature with each vintage. The 1er Crus see a small amount of oak, mostly older barrels, so that the wood never dominates. Quantities available of the latter are tiny.
DOMAINES DES MALANDES
This family Domaine, some 27ha of vineyards, is run by Lyne Marchive. The day to day running is between Lyne and her young wine maker Guénolé Breteaudeau, who established his credentials at the neighbouring Domaine of Long Depaquit. The style is non-interventionist, sowing the vineyards to grass, the use of minimum chemical treatments, hand harvesting. The wines, steely at first, show particularly well after a couple of years as they start to develop. We are delighted that the Petit Chablis, Chablis and some 1er crus are available with Stelvin closure. We wish more growers would follow their lead.
Côtes De Beaune
Patrick, based in Meursault, makes impeccable wines at all levels. The Meursaults are of outstanding quality and the Bourgogne Blancs are in a different class to most wines labelled as such and are, in fact, better than many 'named' Burgundies. We receive a tiny allocation of Patrick’s outstanding Corton Charlemagne.
Maison Joseph Drouhin have vineyards both in the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits as well as 39 hectares of Grand and Premier Cru Chablis. They believe in restraint over the use of oak, allowing it to complement but never dominate the wine. One of their flagship vineyards is the Clos des Mouches, producing both red and white Burgundy. Since 1947 they have been responsible for farming and making the wines from the Marquis de Laguiche’s holdings in the Montrachet and 1er Cru Chassagne Montrachet. With Veronique Drouhin in charge of the winemaking quality here has never been higher.
This Domaine is a source of great value Bourgogne rouge and blanc, and fabulous white Santenay.
Côtes de Nuit
These wines are now some of the most sought after in Burgundy. Nearly all the 2009s and 2010s sold out en primeur. We do have some older wines from the great 2005 vintage that have been impeccably stored since purchase en primeur.
Gérard Raphet took over from his father, Jean, in 2002 and is making seriously fine wines. They may be a little lighter in colour than some other Burgundies but have the structure and capacity to age superbly. Cheap they are not, but the quality is undeniable.
We have shipped from Bart for over 15 years and have never understood why the wines have not received many accolades from the press. That changed with the 2009 vintage and, consequently, his extremely fair pricing policy may not continue. Enjoy these great wines now whilst prices remain so attractive.
DOMAINE MARCEL COUTURIER
Marcel Couturier is not new to the area but used to sell all his production to the local co-operative. He now has the vines back under his own control. We were the first merchant to import these great wines into the UK and we cannot recommend them too highly to you. They are the finest wines we have tasted from this region and his 2010s spectacular.