I proudly present the River District Burgundy Offer for 2022.
Since so many collectors have joined my Collector’s List since last year’s offer, I’m organizing the selections a bit differently: whereas most of my emails have the “Non-Stop Classic-Hits” section at the end, I will include previously offered Burgundies right in the Domaine’s blurb, designated as such by an asterisk (*) and with no write-up attached (I can send the blurb if needed). I think this will help things pitter-patter more precisely.
Quantities are tiny for most of these items, so if you’re intrigued by these wines (and if you’re not, I don’t believe you) contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me (Jordan) at our River District store: 604-416-1672
Boyer-Martenot. Young Vincent Boyer now owns and runs the Family’s 10-hectare estate in the Côte de Beaune, the fourth Boyer to do so. Although they bottle a handful of villages, Meursault is their jam, and they buck the New School trends by using weekly bȃttonage over the 1/3 new oak aging. Indigenous ferments, low sulphur and minimal filtration are practiced, but Vincent’s recent meteoric success owes to the fact that the guy just has amazing vineyards, simply put.
Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru 2019. Honeyed yellow fruit, orange blossom, apple, fennel. Generous but delicate. Crystal finish. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available $231.98 +tax
Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru 2019. Ancient Juniper berries near the parcel influence the nose. Lingering lime zest, wildflowers, white peach. Silky and plush. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available, $224.98 +tax
Boyer Martenot Meursault Narvaux 2019. Hazelnut vibes over candied lemon and jasmine. Robust. Can do more push-ups than you. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available $134.98 +tax
Chavy-Chouet. The scion of Puligny and Meursault’s oldest families, the frustratingly photogenic Romaric Chavy took over from his father Hubert in 2014 after only 6 years of formal training and a couple of vintages abroad. His dad had already steered the domaine towards organic viticulture, but Romaric shocked his contemporaries by how much better his wines were, employing New School cellar moves (no bȃttonage, indigenous yeast) to produce pure, linear white Burgundy that ranks among the best.
Chavy-Chouet Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières 2020. A rocky, chalk-filled plot, mid slope, planted in 1945, very low vigour. Honeysuckle and other yellow flowers blend with lemon zest and almonds over a rich body with a svelte, bright close. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $188.98 +tax
Pascal Clement. Pascal grew up in his family’s vineyards and cellar, and they had put him to work at such an early age that by the time he took over as winemaker, he already had 20 vintages under his belt. Zero chemicals, indigenous ferments, zero bȃttonage, Pascal fits under the “non-intervention” column, but the fruit profiles are always pristine. First vintage to arrive in BC.
Pascal Clement Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Chalumeaux 2018. From a plot bordering Meursault, on an old quarry's rocky, skeletal soils, this is a Puligny that identifies as a Chablis, although the marzipan and Golden Delicious apples on the nose beg to differ. Full footprint but zippier than a caffeinated ferret. Chardonnay. 8 bottles available, $153.98 +tax
Domaine Desvignes. With a surname like Devignes, it wasn’t likely that father Gautier or son Eric would become fighter pilots. Farming 10 hectares around the hidden-gem village of Givry, this is bright, delicious Burgundy with layers and length. Killer value. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate said: "very much a Côte Chalonnaise address to watch" and a "potential future star" which sounds mild, but in Wine Writer context it’s like jumping on Oprah’s couch.
Domaine Desvignes Givry Rouge 2020. Blueberries and bright cherries, a mineral streak, good intensity and length. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $59.98 +tax
Domaine Desvignes Givry Rouge 1er Cru Clos du Vernoy Monopole 2020. In the Desvignes family for 11 generations, the Vernoy cru is noted for matching the fresh red fruits with balsamic nuttiness and ferrous notes. Beautifully complex. Ripe raspberry and white flowers. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $66.98 +tax
Lou Dumont. Japanese Somm Koji Nakada followed his passion for Burgundy to Dijon, where he was taught French by his future wife/co-winemaker Jae Hwa Park, a Korean ex-pat living in France. Together they started a micro-négocient house called Lou Dumont to honour their kids and the mountains of their youth (and also, I’m guessing, to not freak out an agrarian French culture). Koji is most definitely not afraid of barrels, but the rich bodies and toasty noses are balanced by that streak of tartaric freshness that ties everything in a beautiful bow.
Lou Dumont Meursault 2018. Imagine hazelnuts, apples and shortbread in a toaster-oven, but instead of screaming they’re blowing you kisses. The positive Ted Lasso vibe runs front-to-back in this opulent, fully charged village Meursault. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $97.98 +tax
Elodie-Roy. You know winemaking is hard when instead of wanting you to take over the domaine, your parents want you to be a banker, lawyer, dear God, anything but this. Elodie Roy tried those other professions but her heart was always in the vineyard, so she apprenticed under the legendary Anne Gros for twelve years before finally taking the helm from her father a couple years ago. Farming in Burgundy’s hinterlands, Elodie has, in a very short time, become one of young stars of Burgundy, producing bright, dynamic wines like this:
Elodie-Roy Maranges “La Rue des Pierres” 2020. At the southern tip of the Côte de Beaune, Maranges should really start to show on your radar. This cuvée of valley floor vineyards (bordering Santenay) takes a left turn into Spicytown, showing nutmeg and pepper around brilliant red fruits on the nose and tangy black fruits on the finish. Well structured, amazing value. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $77.98 +tax
Jane Eyre. Jane has had a year. Not only has she released her extra-curricular forays into Jura and Tasmania, but this former Australian hairdresser (well, she’s still Australian but no longer cuts hair) was named Winemaker of the Year by the French magazine La Revue du Vin de France. The first woman and Australian to ever win. Her delicate, hands-off approach to negociant viticulture is finally getting the attention that was long overdue. Witness:
Jane Eyre Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru Les Bondues 2019. One of Jane’s admitted favourites, and since she’s the only vigneron who gets red grapes from Bondues, it’s kind of an unofficial Monopole. Dark and thick with ripe red and blue fruits, savoury herbs and chalk. 40% whole bunch press. Pinot Noir. 5 bottles available, $162.98 +tax
Jane Eyre Volnay 2020. An expertly structured, clean Pinot, showing good purity of fruit without the Volnay Stank (not that that’s bad). Blackberry, orange peel, spice. Light bodied. Pinot Noir. 3 bottles available, $113.98 +tax
*Jane Eyre Volnay (Pinot Noir) 2018, 2 bottles available, $113.98 +tax
Jane Eyre Beaune 1er Cru Cents Vignes 2019. From a 50-yr-old organic plot, 30% whole bunch press. Sweeter fruit on the nose, with high toned red fruits leading. Slight pepper hints, front and back. Muscular palate, defined tannins. Pinot Noir. 3 bottles available, $117.98 +tax
Robert Groffier Père & Fils. The largest landowner in the cult-inspiring Amoureuses 1er Cru comes into it honestly and generationally: current vigneron Nicolas Groffier is the 4th Groffier to wrest power and beauty from Pinot in the Côte de Nuits. The house style can best be described as terroir-informed pragmatism, Nicolas doesn’t dogmatically hue to one way of winemaking (i.e. whole cluster vs. destemming), he lets the vineyard tell him what to do, an easy decision when you have dirt like this:
Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers 2020. The northernmost Cru of the village. 100% whole cluster pressing from 80-year-old vines. Slight saline notes of violet and pepper lift the racy cherry and potpourri aromas. Silky deployment with black current lingering on the long finish. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $408.98 +tax
*Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses (Pinot Noir) 2017, 3 bottles available, $904.98 +tax
*Groffier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru (Pinot Noir) 2017,4 bottles available, $904.98 +tax
Faiveley. In 1934, with the world economy in ruins, Hitler ascending to power, and nobody buying Burgundy wines at all, Georges Faively founded the legendary Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (which meets to this day in the basement of Clos Vougeot), under the simple concept that if no one was buying them, at least the winemakers could get together and drink them. Founded in 1825, Faiveley has incrementally collected some of Burgundy’s best climats over two centuries (they own more Monopoles than any other estate), especially on Corton, and now 7th generation vignerons Erwan and Eve Faiveley have steered the house style towards elegance and fidelity to terroir.
Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2019. Drop dead gorgeous, such a perfect balance between concentration and energy. Corton has always been a Faiveley strength, especially this vineyard planted my Cistercian monks in the time of Charlemagne. Peach, lemon cordial, apricot, chalk, a large footprint, a lighter step. Chardonnay. 5 bottles available, $421.98 +tax
*Faiveley Ladoix Blanc (Chardonnay) 2017, 8 bottles available, $62.98 +tax
Domaine Philippe Gavignet. Elegant wines from a village often responsible for wolverines: many Nuits-St-Georges can be Tannin-o-sauruses with ferrous frames and only slight glimpses of the terrified fruit imprisoned therein, but Philippe Gavignet leads with soft beauty, partially due to the old vines he inherited from the 3 Gavignets before him. With his son Benoit, he farms around NSG and Haute-Côtes de Nuits, practicing moderate extraction in the winery towards finessed, silky wines like these:
Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers 2020. Planted in 1974 at the bottom of the Pruliers Cru where the soils are limestoniest, this accordingly well-structured NSG is tempered by dusty chocolate, cinnamon and blackberry, as well as Philippe’s softer touch. More concentration in the 2020 than previous vintages. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $138.98 +tax
Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieille Vignes 2020. Directly adjacent to 1er Cru plots, the Belles Croix and Allots vineyards, planted in 1920 and 1954 respectively, are calcium rich limestone plots west of the village. Cherries, forest floor, cinnamon, structured delicately and fresh. Hidden power. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $117.98 +tax
Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges Blanc Les Argillats 2020. “A White NSG??” you may fairly ask, “whoa, I guess I shouldn’t have licked that toad!”. No, you shouldn’t have, but this White Nuits-Saint-Georges is in fact real, although about as common as a white rhino. There’s a vein of sand that runs through the Argillats plot on which Gavignet planted Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, comprising both halves of this electric citrus beam, sporting gravel, basil and lemon zest over a graceful, Loire-ish build. Also the walls are melting, and ribbit. 6 bottles available, $117.98 +ribbit
Pierre Girardin. One of the New School’s biggest rockstars, Pierre Girardin is the 11th Girardin to make wine, initially farming a fraction of his father Vincent’s former estate (he sold the rest off when he retired). When he released his first wines at the age of 21, the community was ready to pat him on the back and give him a mulligan, but those wines absolutely slayed – so much so that his neighbours who were preparing to patronize him now line up to get him to make wine from their vineyards.
Pierre Girardin “Éclat de Calcaire” Bourgogne Blanc 2020. An outright crackerjack first floor Chardonnay that showcases Pierre’s style at a somewhat lower amplitude. Using 80% Meursault fruit with 20% white Volnay. A blast of apples, pears and chalk over spicy citrus, and a medium-full body. Killer value. 18 bottles available, $65.98 +tax
Pierre Girardin Meursault Les Tillets 2020. This famous, overachieving lieu-dit boasts the highest altitude of Meursault, sitting well above the 1er Crus. Pierre’s take lets the limestone speak through to the nose, with jasmine, green apple and tangerine. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $131.98 +tax
Pierre Girardin Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux-Saint-Jacques” 2020. A beast in a prom dress from a 1er Cru that seems to be following Amoureuses towards unofficial Grand Cru status. Directly adjacent to Clos St. Jacques on the north side of Gevrey, 35+ year old vines, 40% whole cluster. Iron-laced cherry, smoky plum, incense and orange rind. Quite full and powerful, impressive concentration. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $326.98 +tax
Patrick Javillier. No one has ever accused Patrick Javillier of under-thinking anything. Once his Chardonnays were in oak, he became a Wine Hen, nurturing his barrels like eggs in a nest and adjusting each cask according to its needs. When the former electrical engineer took over his dad’s domaine, he applied that pathological precision to the cellar, favouring long lees aging in wood (mostly used), but now that his daughter and son-in-law have taken over… well, they’re exactly the same.
Patrick Javillier Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons 2020. A limestone-y lieu-dit at the bottom of the Puligny slopes, north of the village. Pear, hazelnut and apple, lifts pleasantly into zingland on finish. Unapologetically big and brave. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $135.98 +tax
*Patrick Javillier Meursault Tête de Murger (Chardonnay) 2018, 5 bottles available, $188.98 +tax
Latour-Giraud. When the Latour and Giraud families merged in 1958, they brought together a combined 4 centuries of viticulture. Specializing almost entirely in the village of Meursault, Jean-Pierre Latour has pioneered low-intervention winemaking in the village, using ambient yeasts, lees again and minimal racking, and the style can best be called Retro-Modern, as the wines are generous but still tightly wound. I have:
*Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières (Chardonnay) 2019. 5 bottles available, $156.98 +tax
*Latour-Giraud Meursault Les Narvaux (Chardonnay) 2014. 4 bottles available, $113.98 +tax
Maison Leroy. Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy ran Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) for nearly 20 years and is still the majority shareholder, but now runs her late father’s negoçe Maison Leroy as well as Domaine Leroy (much younger than Maison, established in the late ‘80s). Behind DRC, Leroy is arguably the second most sought Burgundy in the world. In truth I passed on this year’s offer as the prices had risen literally four-fold from last year, making my remaining stock excellent comparative value:
*Maison Leroy Saint-Aubin (Pinot Noir) 1993. 4 bottles available, $2199.98 +tax
*Maison Leroy Volnay (Pinot Noir) 2003. 4 bottles available, $2132.98 +tax
*Maison Leroy Nuits-Saint-Georges (Pinot Noir) 2013. 4 bottles available, $1983.98 +tax
Michel Mallard. The wines that Burgundy winemakers drink. Michel’s day job is making wine at Domaine d’Eugenie in Vosne-Romanée but he also tends his own 27 acres, producing fresh, elegant Burgundies from quieter villages like Ladoix and Aloxe-Corton. I managed to get my hands on some back vintages:
Michel Mallard Ladoix Rouge Le Clos Royer 2005. Clos Royer is a lieu dit at the corner of Ladoix, at the foot of the slopes of the hill of Corton and adjacent to Aloxe-Corton. 40-year-old vines in rocky clay soil. Dried cherries, moss and dried herbs command the nose now, flows like velvet. Aged perfectly, ex-Chateau. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $132.98 +tax
Michel Mallard Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozieres 2005. Sitting at the base of Corton, adjacent to the Bressandes and C,los du Roi climats. Ripe strawberries shine through the sandalwood and forest floor, the structure is still present but balance has been achieved. This is pure luxury. Ex-Chateau. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $215.98 +tax
Marc Morey. Marc’s great-granddaughter Sabine now runs his namesake domaine, specializing in delightfully old-school renderings of the legendary Crus surrounding the village of Chassagne-Montrachet. Ambient yeast ferments, gentle battonage (lees stirring) and unrestricted malolactic are the family tools, and Sabine uses them to craft aromatic, generously textured Chardonnays of layer and length, like:
Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes 2020. A sunnier climat, named after “chanvre” the Old French word for hemp, which covered these slopes well before the Cistercian monks replanted them to vines. Like receiving a hug from the Lemon God. Ripe peaches and truffle support the lemon preserve aromas, a full, creamy body fills all cracks with love until the citrus-rind astringent finish adds a welcome tension at the end. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $166.98 +tax
*Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes (Chardonnay) 2019, 4 bottles available, $166.98
Morey-Coffinet. It’s not printed in the brochures, but Burgundy is one of the remaining parts of the world where people still marry for land, a fact that might explain why there are so many Moreys making wine around Montrachet. Descendant from Marc Morey, young Thibault Morey has been called “the rising star of Chassagne-Montrachet”, farming his parents wedding-gift-parcels on southeast-facing slopes. Using oxygen exposure early in the cellar to prevent premature oxidization in bottle, Thibault’s long presses and careful aging spin silk out of Chassagne and Meursault – the wines are strong but not loud.
Morey-Coffinet Meursault 1er Cru Perrières 2018. Comblanchian limestone lurks beneath the soils at the southern tip of Perrières, adjacent to Puligny-Montrachet. Those minerals breathe through the nose, with damp flint and green apple surrounded by white flowers. Full, graceful. Chardonnay. 12 bottles available, $211.98 +tax
Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée 2018. Sitting at some elevation in Chassagne’s southern half, Romanée’s calcareous soils contribute some gun smoke to the almond/apricot vibes. Butter and lime round out the nose. Medium bodied, great tension held be greater restraint. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $181.98 +tax
Morey-Coffinet Chassagne Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2020. Becoming rarer as time passes, red Chassagne is one of the last remaining values in Burgundy, and Thibault’s old vine Pinot is to die for. Round tannins, deep fruit amongst tilled soil and cinnamon. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $96.98 +tax
Chateau de Pommard. I’m always suspicious when the village is in a winery’s name – like when the box of rice just says “rice” – but this biodynamic house, established in 1726, blew everyone away at Top Drop this year, so I had to bring it in. Although steeped with a dramatic, often gory history (one of the early founders was guillotined and that dude got off easy), today’s Chateau Pommard is an idyllic, biodynamic estate run by oenologist Emmanuel Sala.
Chateau de Pommard Pommard Clos de Marey-Monge Monopole 2015.The estate’s original ancient walled vineyard, recently discovered to have some of the highest clay levels in Burgundy, similar to Musigny and Richebourg. From vines planted in 1906. Ripe red fruits, typical Pommard fallen leaves, gorgeously round and refined with great length, this is a steal. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $207.98 +tax
Chateau de Pommard Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru Morgeot 2018. Roses, blueberries and baking spices leap out of this small limestone parcel in Chassagne’s biggest Cru. Well-defined structure, we feel the oak but don’t smell or taste it. Spices linger on the finish. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $120.98 +tax
Henri Rebourseau. A General in WW1, Henri Rebourseau tended his ancestral vineyards (planted in 1782) and founded the Chambertin Syndicat – the family name is synonymous with the village of Gevrey (nobody seems to have been guillotined but I probably just haven’t read back far enough). Organic and biodynamic, the house focuses 95% in the vineyard and just 5% in the cellar, following the adage that if your fruit is good enough, you don’t need to intervene. It is, and they don’t.
Henri Rebourseau Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Corvées 2019. The Corvées lieu-dit stretches south of the village on relatively flat land, making ripeness and drinkability a non-issue. Always savoury and herbaceous, this 2019 lets plums and blackberry poke out on the nose, great concentration on palate. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $147.98 +tax
Joseph Roty. Although young Pierre-Jean Roty is at the domaine’s helm now, he has no intention of tipping over the apple cart, because Rotys don’t change. Roty focuses on Age, before and after bottling. They have some of the oldest vines in Burgundy, the largest concentration of old vines in their vineyards, and they buck the New School by using 50% new oak, picking late and completely destemming. These are dense, ageable wines, unapologetically made for the cellar.
Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin 2018. A cuvee of several estate lieu-dits: Platière, Puits de la Baraque, Crais, Charreux, and Champerriers. Dense cherry liqueur, blackberry, boysenberry. A saline texture and finish, firm tannins. Open in 2026 or later Pinot Noir. 9 bottles available, $124.98 +tax
*Joseph Roty Marsanne (Pinot Noir) 2018, 4 bottles available, $75.98 +tax
And that’s a wrap! Next week we look at outstanding US wines.
Until then, Happy Drinking!!