Our Burgundy 2014 En Primeur Parcels

"Burgundy never sings in unison like a choir. It is a mass of soloists giving their own interpretation of the same piece of music" Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
"Chardonnay is like Mozart… too difficult for children, but too simple for adults." Bernard Hervet, Director of Domaine Faiveley (being typically wry whilst tasting his Bâtard-Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne)

After having been furiously tasting, re-tasting, poring over tasting notes, fighting for allocations, pricing, parcelling etc we are now delighted (and relieved) to present to you our Burgundy 2014 offer.  

For those who have read enough already (or don't really care) about the hail, suzuki flies, the miraculous late summer sun, and inconclusive attempts to compare the vintage - feel free to skip past the next eleven paragraphs straight to the meat of the matter... Weather After a mild winter, a dry, hot spring meant that there were few problems with rot or disease during flowering but the very end of June saw a devastating hailstorm savage Beaune, Pommard and Volnay for the third year running, although at least this was sufficiently early in the growing cycle that the vines could recover.  Summer was unusually cool with an attack of fruit flies on the Pinot grapes especially in the north of Nuits, and the growers I saw later admitted there was a degree of despondency about the vintage until the end of August when the sun finally came out and stayed shining right up until harvest began in the latter half of September.  It was still cloudless when I visted at the beginning of October and there was even some picking still going on in the higher, cooler vineyards in Auxey and the Haut Côte.

The wines For whites, unaffected by fruit flies and with the diminishing threat of premox, this is arguably the best in 30 years, richer and intenser than 2007, leaner than 2010, not as racy as 2013 but with great equilibrium, phenolic intensity and real substance.
There are some compelling crus from the Cotes de Beaune, in Pommard and the top sites in Volnay especially. Having weathered the storm and enjoyed an Indian summer, the diminished number of bunches achieved full phenolic ripeness bunches leading to some impressively rich and concentrated wines.  However Neal Martin observes "the more astute might seek out some of the excellent wines from the beleaguered Savigny-lès-Beaune".  Hence we are delighted to be showing Jane Eyre's 1er Cru (first time in the UK) alongside her other wines.
The wines from Nuits have plenty of fruit but also freshness, so the more minerally sites from Nuits, Gevrey and Vosne have really excelled, making wines which are at once engaging but intellectual.  Romain Taupenot-Merme made the comparison with 1978, initially considered a lighter weight vintage which has subsequently outlasted detractors. One conversation mentioned a resemblance to the legendary 1985 vintage  - which produced wines which were juicy and intense, great when young but which aged beautifully without closing up.  Someone added - yes, with a dollop of 2002.

The Growers Charles Ballot in Meursault is ticking all the right boxes again and if possible his 2014s are another slight step up from 14, a touch less acidity but more “matter”.  I really can’t think of a better grower for the price and one who in a vintage as good as this comes within touching distance of Roulot and Coch-Dury.  Jancis Robinson has also proven to be an avid supporter.  Philippe Colin continues to quietly impress (both us and Neal Martin), his 1er cru Chassagnes offering a very attractive balance of elegance, purity and body.  Chateau de Puligny Montrachet is new to the portfolio this year but needs little introduction, suffice to say, continuing to follow the path of biodynamism and less new oak, is ensuring the wines are more exciting than ever.

I was lucky enough to have dinner with Etienne de Montille out in Burgundy in 2014 shortly after the harvest (where he served magnums of his 2003 1er crus blind to demonstrate how “terroir can heal a vintage”) so we are pleased to be offering his reds and whites this year, as glossy, sleek and appellation-leading as always.  Jane Eyre (yes, really) is a great new discovery from my travels last year, a talented micro-negociant who has worked with some of the world’s greatest winemakers and now shares a winery with Dominique Lafon, crafting refined, refreshing, soft but steely reds from both Beaune and Nuits.  Definitely one to watch.  Pierre Duroché, one of our stand-out growers in 2013, has done it again this year, and his polished, velvety Gevreys even more captivating.  Jean Tardy was impossible to ignore in our 2014 selection, his Vosnes and NSGs showing a confidence and depth that was beguiling.  These are intensely satisfying Burgundies.

The consistency of Clos Frantin has been remarked on by numerous critics and 2014 is no exception:  Opulent and sweet-fruited, there is a resonance and completeness to the wines and their top crus can hold their heads up with the very best. Georges Lignier has had another very good year, and the engaging character of 2014 suits Morey Saint Denis and Benoit’s style of winemaking in particular.  Herbal, spicily-perfumed and earthy, these are more-ish, mid-weight Burgundies with a little more stuffing than the 2013s of which Jancis was a big fan.  Romain Taupenot-Merme, whose wines I found rather austere in 2013, bowled us over this year.  The structure and minerality is still all there but also real charm and an uncharacteristic, almost impish, grace and joie de vivre.  These are some of the best wines ever from the domaine and a brilliant advertisement for the vintage.

Style and selection In terms of recent vintages think broadly - riper and rounder than 2013, prettier than 2012, more fruit than 2011, less monolithic than 2010, more classic than 2009.  Complicating things, to add to Romain's comparison to 1978, Thierry Brouin said his 2014 Clos del Lambrays most resembled 2001, whilst Pierre Duroché suggested his wines were reminiscent of 2007 but with more stuffing.  It seems therefore that whilst generalisations are always difficult in Burgundy, 2014 is uniform in being defined by the grower, as much as the grape or the cru.  Etienne de Montille's Pommards resemble other's domaine's Volnays for his customary svelte, plush elegance, Jean Tardy's Chambolle Musigny "Athets" is more immediately Tardy than Chambolle etc.  In the parcels we have tried to aim for a good balance of appellations but I’m making no apologies for having gone a little long on Gevrey Chambertin.

There are some very attractive wines at all levels, village and up, but as so often, the better terroirs have really excelled.  Some of our chosen growers made wines which are more structured and compact whilst those from others appear dangerously drinkable now but (like 1985) should go the distance.  We have steered clear of those growers whose wines showed a surprising degree of evolution and have concentrated on the crus from our preferred producers we feel have best expressed the charming, natural balance of the vintage.  Thierry Brouhin gave the best answer to underpin the approach of caretaking rather than construction, with which we wholeheartedly concur - “It’s because I’m lazy, I prefer to let the vines do the work.” Final thoughts Fastidious care of the vines and minimal chemical interventions, natural yeasts and whole bunch fermentation are ever on the rise, leading to ever more authentic expressions of each vintage from conscientious growers.
Independent micro-negociant operations, spearheaded by the likes of like Ben Leroux, Mark Haisma and Jane Eyre-Renard) are really pushing the boundaries of quality.  As Burgundy stalwart Terry Price opined over dinner at Le Remoissenet last year, the modern trend for lionising growers misses the fact that Burgundy may well not not have survived through the 50s-70s had it not been for the negotiant houses.  We are clearly seeing the resurgence of a new breed of negociant…
A note regarding scores, parcels and the benefit of responding quickly We base our selections on personal evaluations and not critics’ scores (although it’s always nice to have one’s opinions bolstered by others) and in most cases very few critics have got round to scoring the wines yet as our still writing up their notes from this week’s tastings.  We have included a few scores and comments from Neal Martin (NM), Tim Atkin MW (TA), Jancis Robinson (JR) and Dr Jamie Goode from prior tastings of these wines but have been more keen to get these offers out to you before the inevitably high scores make guaranteeing an allocation far more difficult.  To that end – please get in touch asap to discuss your interest.  As usual the parcels are designed to give you freedom from the tyranny of choice (we have done the hard work so why should you!) but we are happy to use them as a starting point should you wish to put together your own selections (within reason).
Prices are all I/B per 6 bots (unless otherwise indicated).



THE BIG BOYS (AND GIRLS)

6 bots each unless otherwise indicated (102 bots total)
The best in show across a range of appellations and crus.  Unlike many Burg offers which force you to take a pyramid of wines to access the top crus, this parcel has cherry picked our top picks from each of our favourite producers, concentrating on rare, highly sought after and exclusive wines.
Whites

  • Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes     £195 “He’s quietly gone and made some of the best wines that I tasted from Chassagne-Montrachet in 2014.” Neal Martin

  • Maison Deux Montille Sœur Frère, Chablis - Preuzes Grand Cru     £217.20

  • Ballot-Millot, Meursault 1er Cru Perrières     £301.80* “Meursault has its established stars but I was especially impressed by the combination of precision and lusciousness offered by the likes of Domaine Ballot-Millot.” Jancis Robinson

  • Ch. De Puligny-Montrachet, PM 1er Cru Les Folatières (91-93 NM)     £309

  • de Montille, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Cailleret     £403.20*

  • de Montille, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru     £414.60*
Beaune Reds

  • Jane Eyre, Volnay     £148.80 “These are lovely wines with a distinctive, nicely poised, lean house style.”  Jamie Goode

  • de Montille, Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds (91-93 NM)     £330.60*

  • de Montille, Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens-Bas (92-94 NM)     £409.20
Nuits Reds

  • Jane Eyre, Gevrey Chambertin     £168.60

  • Jean Tardy, Vosne-Romanée Vigneux     £220.20 “Guillaume is one of those young, single-minded winemakers crafting red Côte de Nuits that are pure and rich, silky smooth in texture, Pinot that glides across the palate.” Neil Martin

  • Duroché, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaut-St-Jacques (93 TA, 91-93 NM)     £280.20* “What I like about Pierre Duroché's wines is their terroir expression and transparency… razor-sharp, fresh, vivid wines that have elegance and finesse” Neil Martin

  • Jean Tardy, Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Aux Argillats     £293.40

  • Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Malconsorts (92-94 NM)     £380.40**

  • Taupenot-Merme, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (96 TA, 93-95 NM)     £513*

  • Clos Frantin, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru     £520.80** “One of Bichot's best Grand Crus this year” 92-94 NM

  • Duroché, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru (96 TA, 94-96 NM)     £533.40*

PARCEL PRICE     £5,639.40

*limited magnums available **limited magnums and jeroboams available 


ICING ON THE CAKE

We have very limited quantities of the below wines – to which purchase of the parcel above (or a significant chunk of it!) grants access.
Whites

  • Mark Haisma, Mark Haisma Santenay (12 bots)     £213.60

  • Mark Haisma, Mark Haisma Saint Romain Combe Bazin (12 bots)     £230.40

  • Ch. De Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots     £217.20

  • de Montille, Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières     £342

  • Ch. De Puligny-Montrachet, Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru (95-97 NM)     £1,152
Beaune Reds

  • de Montille, Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru     £414.60
Nuits Reds

  • Mark Haisma, Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots     £264

  • Georges Lignier, Morey-St-Denis Grand Cru Clos de la Roche     £515.40

  • Taupenot-Merme, Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru (96 TA, 93-95 NM)     £522*

  • Duroché, Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru (97 TA, 94-96 NM)     £640.20*

  • Georges Lignier, Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru     £642.60

  • Clos Frantin, Echézeaux Grand Cru     £527.40**

  • Clos Frantin, Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru (93-95 NM)     £684**

  • Clos des Lambrays, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru (93-95 NM, 18 JR)     £708.60*

  • de Montille, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts (92-94 NM)     £767.40*

  • Taupenot-Merme,Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru (97 TA, 18.5 JR)     £1,006.80*

  • Clos Frantin, Richebourg Grand Cru     £2,019.60*
*limited magnums available **limited magnums and jeroboams available 


VISION OF 2014

6 bots each (unless otherwise indicated). 96 bots total
Some of our favourite wines from the vintage, all showing great typicity and excellent value.  Wines for Burgundy lovers, with an emphasis on over-performing growers, lieu dits and 1er cru sites.
Whites

  • Maison Deux Montille Sœur Frère, Chablis 1er Cru 'Montée de Tonnerre'     £142.80

  • Ballot-Millot, Meursault 'Criots’     £175.80 “Meursault has its established stars but I was especially impressed by the combination of precision and lusciousness offered by the likes of Domaine Ballot-Millot.” Jancis Robinson

  • Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées     £188.40 “He’s quietly gone and made some of the best wines that I tasted from Chassagne-Montrachet in 2014.” Neal Martin

  • Ch. De Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet     £180
Beaune Reds

  • Jane Eyre, Volnay     £148.80 “These are lovely wines with a distinctive, nicely poised, lean house style.”  Jamie Goode

  • de Montille, Pommard 'Les Cras' (12 bots)     £296.40

  • de Montille, Volnay 1er Cru 'En Champans'     £313.80*
Nuits Reds

  • Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée     £193.80*

  • Jean Tardy,Chambolle-Musigny ‘Les Athets’     £207 “Guillaume is one of those young, single-minded winemakers crafting red Côte de Nuits that are pure and rich, silky smooth in texture, Pinot that glides across the palate.”
    Neil Martin

  • Jean Tardy,Vosne-Romanée ‘Vigneux’     £220.20

  • Duroché, Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Jeune Rois’ (93 TA) (12 bots)     £314.40 “What I like about Pierre Duroché's wines is their terroir expression and transparency… razor-sharp, fresh, vivid wines that have elegance and finesse” Neil Martin

  • Taupenot-Merme, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Bel Air (94 TA)     £301.80

  • de Montille, Nuits Saint Georges 'Aux Saints-Juliens' (12 bots)     £302.40

PARCEL PRICE     £2,985.60

*limited magnums available **limited magnums and jeroboams available


A SUPER SNAPSHOT

6 bots each (unless otherwise indicated). 60 bots total
This selection offers a great and very affordable way of experiencing the vintage for a very affordable amount.  You’ll notice that even within this selection two thirds are lieu dits vineyards or even 1er cru.
Whites

  • Ballot-Millot, Meursault 'Criots’     £175.80 “Meursault has its established stars but I was especially impressed by the combination of precision and lusciousness offered by the likes of Domaine Ballot-Millot.” Jancis Robinson

  • Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet (12 bots)     £292.80 “He’s quietly gone and made some of the best wines that I tasted from Chassagne-Montrachet in 2014.” Neal Martin

  • Ch. De Puligny-Montrachet, St Aubin 1er Cru 'Les Remilly' (91-93 NM)     £131.40
Beaune Reds

  • Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Vergelesses     £162 “These are lovely wines with a distinctive, nicely poised, lean house style.”  Jamie Goode
Nuits Reds

  • Jane Eyre, Côtes de Nuits Villages     £100.80

  • Taupenot-Merme, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Rouge     £126

  • Georges Lignier, Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru 'Clos des Ormes'     £174

  • Jean Tardy, Nuits-St-Georges ‘Bas de Comme’     £193.80 “Guillaume is one of those young, single-minded winemakers crafting red Côte de Nuits that are pure and rich, silky smooth in texture, Pinot that glides across the palate.”
    Neil Martin

  • Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée     £193.80*

PARCEL PRICE     £1,550.40

*limited magnums available **limited magnums and jeroboams available 


DINNER PARTY BURGS

78 bots total
Taste across the regions, from Chablis in the north to Rully in the south, without breaking the bank. 2014 is a vintage where even the village level wines and generic Bourgogne ACs offer exceptional quality for a good price. The reds at this level will start to drink almost immediately and the whites within a couple of years, so you can stock up on all your dinner party wines and gifts and save 25% by buying before the wines are released.
Whites

  • Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché, 12 bots:     £93.60

  • Domaine des Hâtes Chablis, 12 bots:     £106.80

  • Ballot-Millot, Bourgogne Blanc, 12 bots:     £134.40

  • Ch. De Puligny-MontrachetSt Aubin 1er Cru 'Les Remilly', 6 bots:     £131.40
Reds

  • Domaine Duroché, Pinot Noir AC, 12 bots:     £147.60

  • Jaeger-Defaix, Rully Rouge, 12 bots:     £114

  • Jane Eyre Côtes de Nuits Villages, 6 bots:     £100.80

  • Taupenot-Merme, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Rouge, 6 bots:     £126

PARCEL PRICE £954.60




 
If you would like to discuss any of these wines or the parcels please contact Tom on 020 3603 1646 or email him on tom@honestgrapes.co.uk.
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