Red Bigger Bottles


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Domaine Comte Armand

A domaine totalling nine hectares, of which the most important part is a magnificent five hectare monopole of the Pommard Premier Cru Clos des Epeneaux, which was put together by Nicolas Marey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (along with the DRC Romanée Saint Vivant 'Marey-Monge'). These vineyards were all sold, except for the Clos (now been enclosed by a wall), which came to Jean-François Armand as a dowry when he married Nicolas' daughter in 1826. The Volnay vineyards were added in 1994, followed by parcels in Auxey Duresses.

The current Comte Armand is a lawyer living in Paris, but very supportive of the régisseurs who have looked after this domaine for the thirty years or so that L&S have been buying here. The 1980 vintage, made by one of the many Rossignols of Volnay who was in charge at the time, was for us a great introduction to the possibilities of the great Clos des Epeneaux vineyard. Then came the era of Pascal Marchand, a young Quebecois who came to do a harvest with Domaine Bruno Clair and just never left. He began a period of radical restructuring and the introduction of organic and then biodynamic farming, while making very dark, dense and long-lived wines. Benjamin Leroux, hugely respected amongst growers who approach things from an organic or biodynamic point of view, then took over, and refined this approach and changed the way the parcels of vines are divided up for harvesting, paying less attention to just the age of the vines, and more to the underlying soil types. Claude Bourguignon was employed to provide a full geological survey of the Clos as the basis for this. Under Benjamin the wines of the Clos gained in finesse and precision, while still having the depth and richness expected of a great Pommard.

Both Pascal and Benjamin were keen to expand beyond the confines of the Clos, and the Domaine also has vines in Volnay, and, a particular enthusiasm of both Pascal and Benjamin, in Auxey Duresses, where they are convinced of the great potential of some of this village's undervalued and neglected terroirs. Paul Zinetti, who had worked with Ben for four years, took over in 2014.

The vineyard is cultivated organically (ECOCERT certified) and biodynamically. The grapes are entirely de-stemmed, but left intact, for a five to eight-day cold maceration before the fermentation, which lasts five to ten days, and then the wine remains in the fermenters for between three and fifteen days, depending on the vintage. In most years, the total time with skin contact will be around four weeks, which is longer than most. The wines will then be aged in barrel for between eighteen and twenty-four months, with new wood limited to 30% for the wine from the old vines of the Clos, down to none at all for the village wines.

Paul has nailed his colours to the mast by saying he wants to make a less tannic wine in the Clos, and one which is more about aromatic length. In this he is continuing the route that Ben was following, but perhaps taking it even further.

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Clos des Épeneaux Domaine Comte Armand

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Clos des Épeneaux Domaine Comte Armand

Tasting this in the cellar, the final wine is not yet complete so we tasted the 2 constituent parts and then a final blend put together by Paul. The first part (40%) comes from the younger vinesTasting this in the cellar, the final wine is not yet complete so we tasted the 2 constituent parts and then a final blend put together by Paul. The first part (40%) comes from the younger vines which are between 35 and 55 years old. There is great poise to this and lovely push. There is a firmness that pushes back at you here, a remarkable powerful wall of minerality that is like a brooding edifice. Creating a crisp backdrop to the nice weight of bright red fruit. Pretty Pinot with a lifted character. Crunchy and nervy. The majority (60%) will be made up of the old vine parcel, 65-90 year old vines. This component is on another plain. So much more richness here. a lovely sweeter feel. Great depth. Denser, really quite wonderfully indulgent. A much more luxurious and decadent feel. Darker red fruit and super texture. The resultant blend is very impressive. Somehow more perfumed on the nose. This expresses itself really nicely. generous but well measured. Comes together well and you totally see the decision on these proportions. That dense richer fruit sits well on the brighter, firmer lift of the younger vines. Good delivery now - ample weight and good level of ping. Nicely complementary components that end up well balanced but certainly generous on the fruit side. Drinking range: 2025 - 2033L&S(Nov 2018)

Methuselah, wood case of 1

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Jeroboam, wood case of 1

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Magnums, wood case of 3

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Domaine de Courcel

One of the great domaines of Pommard, with a 400 year history in the same family. The domaine produces a small amount of Bourgogne Chardonnay, a completely over-performing Bourgogne Rouge, a village Pommard (Vaumuriens, 1.44 ha), but the biggest part of the domaine consists of four great Premier Cru expressions of the terroir of Pommard, Fremiers (0.79 ha), Croix Noires (0.58 ha), Grand Clos des Epenots (4.89 ha) and Rugiens (1.07 ha). These represent a very different style to the Clos des Épeneaux of Comte Armand, for example. Yves Confuron, the régisseur, describes the difference between the two top wines by saying that the Grand Clos is 'terreux' while the Rugiens is 'aérien'.

The aim is to limit yields to around 25hl/ha, to attain optimum ripeness. The vines are ploughed, and pruned carefully to suit each one, then de-budded in spring and green-harvested in August to keep the fruit load balanced. Following Yves' usual practice the harvest is late and the vatting is long - usually around a month, with a cold maceration leading into a cool fermentation, and a long post-fermentation soak under the protection of the carbon dioxide given off by the fermentation. The wines are developed in barrel over 21 to 23 months, with a third of the barrels being replaced each year. After racking they are bottled without fining or filtration.

The domaine produces wines with astonishing depth and density that still retain the freshness, just like Yves' own wines at Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot. They are classic vins de garde and patience is advised - and will be amply rewarded.

Domaine-de-Courcel
2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots Domaine de Courcel

2017 POMMARD 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots Domaine de Courcel

Scented and with a growing gentle, plum flesh perfume on the nose. Then you feel the very fine-lined texture, great detail. There is a darkness here, a deep brood to the fruit - some baked plum, someScented and with a growing gentle, plum flesh perfume on the nose. Then you feel the very fine-lined texture, great detail. There is a darkness here, a deep brood to the fruit - some baked plum, some morello cherry and such gorgeously fine tannins. Real flow and polish, not shiny - but sleek and so persistent the fruit ripeness is bang on. Rich and pure and powerfully driven with perfect balance of underpinning minerality and super fine, powdery tannins. Darkly sexy wine. Drinking range: 2024 - 2031L&S(Nov 2018)

Jeroboam, wood case of 1

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Magnums, case of 6

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Domaine Joseph Drouhin

For the last 130 years, Maison Joseph Drouhin has been in the hands of the Drouhin family. Today, the fourth generation is at the helm, still driven by the same passions that inspired the founder - and it remains one of the most well-respected names in Burgundy.

With this release of 2017s it is clear to see why. Not satisfied to rest on their laurels; each year small refinements continue to be made in how they operate. The presses have been changed - a reversion to basket pressing for the reds, and for whites the presses are open. The use of whole-bunch fermentation is now widespread. For the 2017s it makes up between 30-100% of the juice with all the Grand Cru wines and in varying amounts this process contributes to their other Red wines. The house style remains one that 'emphasises the natural elegance of great Burgundies' as they describe it.

Véronique Drouhin summed up the 2017 vintage as one that was warmer than normal, with over 200 hours of sunshine above the average and also a deficit in water over the year compared to normal. This seems to give a very appetising suppleness to some of the wines and an enticing immediacy too - yet they are far from rich or thick retaining some great finesse - particularly as you go up the 'ladder'.

Warm and dry as the data shows - it was not a totally straightforward vintage with pressure coming in the crucial month of April as the temperatures plummeted. However, thanks to lessons learnt in 2016 and the canny use of smoke to stop the sun burning the frozen vines - crisis was averted. The results speak for themselves. The 2017s have excellent maturity and they ended with quite a good-sized crop. Chassagne for Véronique was the most successful village - with pure lines and acidity - but there are some fantastic reds here as well.

Domaine-Joseph-Drouhin
Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 BEAUNE Rouge 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Domaine Joseph Drouhin

Tasted after the 1er Cru 'Cras' Beaune - and this is a pleasing step up. The Clos des Mouches is brighter and more minerality driven.With a dense, focused red fruit compote at the core, gilded by aTasted after the 1er Cru 'Cras' Beaune - and this is a pleasing step up. The Clos des Mouches is brighter and more minerality driven.With a dense, focused red fruit compote at the core, gilded by a darker line of blackberry and soft plum flesh - and a nicely textured scratchy weight as the tannins buid. Good drive and good feel too. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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Domaine Thierry Mortet

The domaine dates back to 1992, when Domaine Charles Mortet was split between Thierry and his brother Denis, and Thierry set up on his own with just 4 hectares of vines. Today he has 7.3 ha, of which 6 are red and 1.3 white. Only 4.36 hectares are Gevrey or Chambolle, the rest being a small parcel of Marsannay Blanc and regionals - Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc, Aligoté and Passetoutgrain.

Thierry continues to be praised in the French press without ever quite seeming to crack the influential American journalists. It may be simply because he is a bit short of fancy appellations - one little cuvée of Grand Cru would no doubt do his reputation a lot of good - but might also put his prices up, and these remain very modest.

In the vineyard, Thierry has been certified organic since 2007, but really this was just an official stamp on what had been the practices of the domaine since the beginning, and he is working towards biodynamic certification. In the cellar, the grapes are entirely de-stemmed, and given four or five days of cold maceration are followed by the fermentation, with just a touch of cooling to keep the temperature around 31-33C (below 35, at least), and two pigeages a day. The total time in vat can be as little as 17 days. The wines then go into barrel, all second use or older for the Bourgogne, with 30% new wood on the Gevrey, and 50% on the Clos Prieur, for a period of around sixteen months.

Thierry's wines are fine and precise, tangy and long, never massive, but not insubstantial all the same.

Domaine-Thierry-Mortet
2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Domaine Thierry Mortet

2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Domaine Thierry Mortet

Pretty and bright in the glass. Fresh and perky attack. Nice crisp edge to the bright red fruit. Some grip, some drive and dabs of nice peppy red berries. Some strawberry flesh and a fine suedey rubPretty and bright in the glass. Fresh and perky attack. Nice crisp edge to the bright red fruit. Some grip, some drive and dabs of nice peppy red berries. Some strawberry flesh and a fine suedey rub of grip that builds and gives a cleanish mineral edge. Peppy Gevrey, lithe and bright. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 6

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Domaine Lignier-Michelot

A domaine of 11 hectares, 25% regionals, 50% Villages, 20% Premiers crus and 5% Grands Crus. Virgile Lignier worked at the domaine with his father Maurice from 1988, beginning to bottle some of the wine from 1992 (it had previously been sold to the négoce), taking over in 2000, which was the vintage when he first bottled all the domaine's production.

In the vineyard Virgile made significant changes, stopping the use of herbicides, and beginning to plough instead. Green harvesting to limits yields followed, along with greater attention to grape selection. The domaine works organically except in extremis.

The wines have a lovely combination of enough body and richness, combined with a lively clarity of expression. The old vines village cuvées are seriously good, and great value too. Going up the scale each site seems to speak very clearly of its source and there is a brightness and energy along with full, seamless fruit.

Virgile's 2017s were all showing brilliantly when we visited in November, and repeated at our Jan 7th tasting - this domaine is in our view one to follow very closely as the prices have not yet caught up with the growing quality.

2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Vieilles Vignes Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Vieilles Vignes Domaine Lignier-Michelot

100% Whole Bunch used this year. This comes from two premier cru vineyards - Chatelot and Sentiers. There is a sweet concentration of ripe cassis juice on the nose. But on the palate this is lighter100% Whole Bunch used this year. This comes from two premier cru vineyards - Chatelot and Sentiers. There is a sweet concentration of ripe cassis juice on the nose. But on the palate this is lighter on its toes. More ethereal. Delicate. A good, classic Chambolle feel. Fruit is ripe and sweet but very fine and then there is a touch of dusty mineral lift on the finish that builds well and adds a touch more power, very Chambolle, still fresh and precise, despite the ripeness of the fruit. Drinking range: 2019 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS Rue de Vergy Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS Rue de Vergy Domaine Lignier-Michelot

50-70% Whole bunch. Wow - real burst of bright red fruit here. Not tart nor too crunchy just a lovely perkiness to its profile. Joyous and easy going with great continuing drive. Clean as a whistle -50-70% Whole bunch. Wow - real burst of bright red fruit here. Not tart nor too crunchy just a lovely perkiness to its profile. Joyous and easy going with great continuing drive. Clean as a whistle - soft and easy sweep of minerality underpinning it. Good but in quite a lightweight frame - early, appetising drinking. Drinking range: 2019 - 2023L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Faconnières Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Faconnières Domaine Lignier-Michelot

50% Whole Bunch this year. This has a soft attack, but quickly gains a more serious edge in the mouth. Building structure and concentrated fruit intensity. Broad yet with nicely cut, clean lines and50% Whole Bunch this year. This has a soft attack, but quickly gains a more serious edge in the mouth. Building structure and concentrated fruit intensity. Broad yet with nicely cut, clean lines and a minerality that begins to tussle for superiority over the fruit. Lovely balance. Fruit is rich and loaded with good cherry notes, and yet the mineral core is superb also. Impressive stuff and just a little more muscle and grunt than the humdinger from Stephan Magnien. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Les Chenevery Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Les Chenevery Domaine Lignier-Michelot

80% Whole Bunch, What a magnificent opening. Great weight of liquid fruit. Intensely flavoured and getting darker in the mouth. Nicely restrained mineral heft builds here. This is heady. Aromatics80% Whole Bunch, What a magnificent opening. Great weight of liquid fruit. Intensely flavoured and getting darker in the mouth. Nicely restrained mineral heft builds here. This is heady. Aromatics soar and there is such drive and power. Lots of spice and plum flesh followed by acidity that keeps it juicy and energetic. So alive. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Charmes Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS 1er Cru Charmes Domaine Lignier-Michelot

80% Whole bunch. This has real intense power at its core. Broad fruit, deep red and some black notes - but all well ripened and full on. Pure and yet quite charmingly crowd-pleasing matter lies at80% Whole bunch. This has real intense power at its core. Broad fruit, deep red and some black notes - but all well ripened and full on. Pure and yet quite charmingly crowd-pleasing matter lies at the core of this - and it is delivered in a very polished way. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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2017 CLOS DE LA ROCHE Grand Cru Domaine Lignier-Michelot

2017 CLOS DE LA ROCHE Grand Cru Domaine Lignier-Michelot

All silk and elegance, this initially somes across as less punchily concentrated than the Faconnieres, but it is fabulously balanced and sleek, and all in supple length. Dark fruit expression, long,All silk and elegance, this initially somes across as less punchily concentrated than the Faconnieres, but it is fabulously balanced and sleek, and all in supple length. Dark fruit expression, long, long finish.L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

Vignerons since the seventeenth century, the Confuron family has always selected and propagated vines to ensure that their plant material produces the highest quality, and they even have a clone of Pinot named after them - 'Pinot Confuron'.

The domaine has several Grands Cru vineyards as well as two hectares of the great Vosne Romanée Premier Cru 'Les Suchots'. There are around 12 hectares in all. The vines have never seen chemical weedkillers, and are ploughed and managed organically.

The Confurons have always used whole-bunch fermentation, picking very late, which really is a necessity if the stems are to be properly ripe and not give green flavours to the wine. A bit like the Thévenets with their whites in the Maconnais, they pick so much later that they can seem to have different vintages to everyone else. Yves thinks that 2007 was their great vintage of the first decade of this millennium, and he'd probably be the only grower in the Cote de Nuits who would say that. Yves also makes the wines at Domaine de Courcel in Pommard, in the same way.

Yves, opinionated and laconical as ever, dismisses those who make pale wines by 'infusion' and says that failing to get the whole bunches properly ripe - and using all the bunch - is failing to get everything the terroir can offer. The wines he makes are dark, richly concentrated, and often hard to taste in their development, but experience shows that they age brilliantly. At the dinner after our 7th January tasting this year, we had a bottle of the 1996 'village' Chambolle, still hanging on and gloriously scented, While a 2006 and 2007 Grand Clos des Épenots from de Courcel showed two brilliantly realised wines in the style of their respective vintages that are just hitting their stride.

2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

This is direct, cleanly mineral and there is good gentle grip. After tasting the Chambolle you are struck by a firmer line and and more taut feel, as you would expect here from Yves. This frameThis is direct, cleanly mineral and there is good gentle grip. After tasting the Chambolle you are struck by a firmer line and and more taut feel, as you would expect here from Yves. This frame carries lovely fruit - dark and joyous. Long running and intense. More damsons and blackberries giving acidity. Long and delicious and pure feel with drive. Enticing now but this will no doubt fill out with more time and become even more joyful. Drinking range: 2023 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 6

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2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Les Vignes Rondes Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Les Vignes Rondes Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

This vineyard is on the Vosne side of Nuits - and you sense that influence on the style here - even if the Confuron feel is still strong. There are violets on the nose, lovely floral dried petalsThis vineyard is on the Vosne side of Nuits - and you sense that influence on the style here - even if the Confuron feel is still strong. There are violets on the nose, lovely floral dried petals and interesting deeply rich fruit. More serious middle. Firm core, some leather and stones. Tough earthy minerality. Powerful flavour, but delivered with a nice fine feel. Drinking range: 2023 - 2031L&S(Nov 2018)

Jeroboam, case of 1

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Magnums, case of 6

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2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE 1er Cru Suchots Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE 1er Cru Suchots Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

This is heady stuff. The seductive dark fruit builds and builds. There is tremendous concentration and richness on the palate. The tannins are enveloping at this point but it's the perfect frame forThis is heady stuff. The seductive dark fruit builds and builds. There is tremendous concentration and richness on the palate. The tannins are enveloping at this point but it's the perfect frame for all that ripeness. This will doubtless need quite a bit of time in bottle but it shows tremendous promise. A magnificent wine in the making. Drinking range: 2028 - 2040L&S(Jan 2019)

Jeroboam, case of 1

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Magnums, case of 6

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2017 ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

2017 ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot

There is a buzz here. Lovely pert, deeply dark fruit. But this is upfront and ripe flavoured middle. Lots of spice, lots of whole bunch chewiness. I like the power very much, there is leather andThere is a buzz here. Lovely pert, deeply dark fruit. But this is upfront and ripe flavoured middle. Lots of spice, lots of whole bunch chewiness. I like the power very much, there is leather and damson and morello cherry that builds to a darkness that descends to shroud the palate. Serious dark fruit and brooding depth. Great feel though such suave texture of tannins. This is one of the few 2017s that you can see really will need time. Impressive stuff with one heck of a journey ahead. Tuck away for at least 10 years and it will be a joy well in to its second decade. Drinking range: 2025 - 2033L&S(Nov 2018)

Jeroboam, case of 1

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Magnums, case of 3

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Domaine Faiveley

The Faiveley family are the largest vineyard owners in Burgundy, owning around 120ha, spread across the Côtes de Nuits, Beaune and Chalonnaise and encompassing everything from generic Bourgogne up to the grandest of Grand Crus. Their holdings supply the grapes for 5 out of every 6 bottles made by Faiveley, the balance being bought in from carefully selected contract growers. At the top end these wines are right up there with the best and in 2017 these are luxurious, showy and give unadulterated pleasure. As with so many producers this year each wine really has a sense of place and knows its spot on the pecking order. Some real delights here for drinkers.
Domaine-Faiveley
Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 LATRICIÈRES CHAMBERTIN Grand Cru Domaine Faiveley

An impressive start here with really good push and drive. A leaner cleaner core. The scrubbed, textured core of fruit is pushed firmly on by the lovely mineral energy here. Exciting ride and bounce.An impressive start here with really good push and drive. A leaner cleaner core. The scrubbed, textured core of fruit is pushed firmly on by the lovely mineral energy here. Exciting ride and bounce. This is impressive. Very pure fruit is dark and yet glossy - but well wrapped up for now. More compact and more serious than the Charmes or Echezeaux at this stage. Impressive. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 MAZIS CHAMBERTIN Grand Cru Domaine Faiveley

On the nose there is a really attractive note of cassis essence here, which follows to the palate with a regal feeling. Richly ripe and a supple breadth - but with a fine-grained texture and gentleOn the nose there is a really attractive note of cassis essence here, which follows to the palate with a regal feeling. Richly ripe and a supple breadth - but with a fine-grained texture and gentle grip that just holds this ample and rich weight of deep, red fruit. Impressive tension keeps it alive and with great ping. Yes. The power and velvety push is very enchanting. Drinking range: 2019 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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2017 CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BÈZE Grand Cru Domaine Faiveley

2017 CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BÈZE Grand Cru Domaine Faiveley

After tasting the Mazis the immediate feel here is softer, but there is some leather and more restraint to the fruit. This is bright and has good powdered energy. a chalky drive keeps it so fresh -After tasting the Mazis the immediate feel here is softer, but there is some leather and more restraint to the fruit. This is bright and has good powdered energy. a chalky drive keeps it so fresh - but there is a racy sleekness to the red and purple fruit. Good and intense. Smart stuff indeed. Drinking range: 2020 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN 1er Cru Cazetiers Domaine Faiveley

2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN 1er Cru Cazetiers Domaine Faiveley

Good attack, More drive than the Lavaux St Jacques and this is nicely loaded with plum and cherry fruit. The core has a good ripeness - but there is an edge of more crisp pep, which adds a usefulGood attack, More drive than the Lavaux St Jacques and this is nicely loaded with plum and cherry fruit. The core has a good ripeness - but there is an edge of more crisp pep, which adds a useful lift. It has a nice juicy flow and purity of fruit, but there is an immediate pleasure here. The fruit is already so inviting it seems this is ready to go, a real pleasure to taste. It will be interesting to see how this evolves but it would seem this should be delicious drinking over the next 3-5 years while we wait for the 2015's and 2016s to mature. Drinking range: 2019 - 2024L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, case of 3

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Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 CLOS DE VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Faiveley

Good impact. Again like the Clos St Denis - there is a big step up in feel and power. The intensity is great. There is a 'just ripe' note to the fruit and then a mineral drive. Super fine tannins addGood impact. Again like the Clos St Denis - there is a big step up in feel and power. The intensity is great. There is a 'just ripe' note to the fruit and then a mineral drive. Super fine tannins add frame and hold - but this is an attractive flowing wine and is so clearly Grand Cru material. Impressively lithe and pushing. Another really good Clos Vougeot. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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Domaine Joseph Drouhin

For the last 130 years, Maison Joseph Drouhin has been in the hands of the Drouhin family. Today, the fourth generation is at the helm, still driven by the same passions that inspired the founder - and it remains one of the most well-respected names in Burgundy.

With this release of 2017s it is clear to see why. Not satisfied to rest on their laurels; each year small refinements continue to be made in how they operate. The presses have been changed - a reversion to basket pressing for the reds, and for whites the presses are open. The use of whole-bunch fermentation is now widespread. For the 2017s it makes up between 30-100% of the juice with all the Grand Cru wines and in varying amounts this process contributes to their other Red wines. The house style remains one that 'emphasises the natural elegance of great Burgundies' as they describe it.

Véronique Drouhin summed up the 2017 vintage as one that was warmer than normal, with over 200 hours of sunshine above the average and also a deficit in water over the year compared to normal. This seems to give a very appetising suppleness to some of the wines and an enticing immediacy too - yet they are far from rich or thick retaining some great finesse - particularly as you go up the 'ladder'.

Warm and dry as the data shows - it was not a totally straightforward vintage with pressure coming in the crucial month of April as the temperatures plummeted. However, thanks to lessons learnt in 2016 and the canny use of smoke to stop the sun burning the frozen vines - crisis was averted. The results speak for themselves. The 2017s have excellent maturity and they ended with quite a good-sized crop. Chassagne for Véronique was the most successful village - with pure lines and acidity - but there are some fantastic reds here as well.

Domaine-Joseph-Drouhin
Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 GRIOTTE CHAMBERTIN Grand Cru Domaine Joseph Drouhin

Very much a case of small is beautiful, Griotte may be the least expansive of Gevrey's grands crus, but the quality of the wines it produces is often outstanding. This is fresh, balanced andVery much a case of small is beautiful, Griotte may be the least expansive of Gevrey's grands crus, but the quality of the wines it produces is often outstanding. This is fresh, balanced and enticingly perfumed, with 40% whole bunches and 40% new wood. Graceful and pure, it skates rather than stumbles across the palate, all supple berry fruit and precision. Drinking range: 2024 - 2029 Rating: 95-95 Tim Atkin MW - Decanter(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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2017 GRANDS ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Joseph Drouhin

2017 GRANDS ÉCHEZEAUX Grand Cru Joseph Drouhin

35% Whole Clusters, 30% New Oak. This is another of their own vineyards. Right at the top left side of the Grands Echezeaux - beyond Clos Vougeot as you look to the côte from the road. This has35% Whole Clusters, 30% New Oak. This is another of their own vineyards. Right at the top left side of the Grands Echezeaux - beyond Clos Vougeot as you look to the côte from the road. This has more pep and grip and intensity. Beautifully aromatic and gentle on the nose but this certainly tastes like it has a future. The fruit is nicely ripe and has a certain sweet note, the feel is luxurious. Ripe but well held by the acidity and darker lined edge of some wood and meatier black fruit working in harmony with the build of spicy tannins. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

Magnums, wood case of 3

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2017 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Joseph Drouhin

2017 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Joseph Drouhin

30% Whole-Bunch and 30% New Oak. Picked between 8-11 September. Firmish feel with good grip and concentration. Quite ripe middle to the juice. and good intent. Charming for sure and with good gentle30% Whole-Bunch and 30% New Oak. Picked between 8-11 September. Firmish feel with good grip and concentration. Quite ripe middle to the juice. and good intent. Charming for sure and with good gentle push. This is unmistakably Grand Cru. Oozing class and determined drive with with a very 2017 soft appeal. Their fruit comes from the middle of the Clos - near the abandoned house (La Follie) - which they co-own with Etienne de Montille. Very good. Drinking range: 2019 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE 1er Cru Petits Monts Domaine Joseph Drouhin

As ever the 'Petits Monts' is one of the stars of the show here. The parcel is high up the slope - above DRCs Richebourg and next to Cros Parentoux - an impressive spot which does notAs ever the 'Petits Monts' is one of the stars of the show here. The parcel is high up the slope - above DRCs Richebourg and next to Cros Parentoux - an impressive spot which does not disappoint. One of the last that they pick as its height means it ripens quite late. The first vintage was 1985 and they really seem to understand the vineyard. The have nailed it once again in 2017. Lovely light middle but good energy is lively with cherry skin and cranberry crunch. There is sap too and riper juice lurking - driven on brilliantly by a fine-line of minerality that weaves its way throughout the well-kempt core. For some of the juice they ferment by 'Vendange Integral'. With whole bunches going in to a 500l puncheon for fermentation. Veronique explains this adds elegance and explains the lightness in colour. This is an superbly elegant wine. Pretty and with a suavely energetic drive. Lithe and bright. Very good. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

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Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

The steady progression of this domaine has been fascinating to watch as Thibault gradually refines his approach to each parcel of vines, and there can be no question with the commissioning of his new state of the art cellar this year that the 2016s are among the best he has ever made. Viticulture is biodynamic (since 2005), yields low but not ludicrously low, everything is pragmatic, so that he should be doing just what is necessary and no more. He uses 40-50% new wood maximum, with wood chosen and aged by him, and barrels made with almost no toasting. The wines are bright, pure, focused, aromatic and elegant without lacking anything in the way of stuffing.
Domaine-Thibault-Liger-Belair
2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Les Saint Georges Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Les Saint Georges Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

Thibault has 2 hectares here - and he is much more upbeat this year as it gave him 27 barrels in 2017 after the tiny haul of just 8 in 2016! Much of the wines charm can be linked to the interestingThibault has 2 hectares here - and he is much more upbeat this year as it gave him 27 barrels in 2017 after the tiny haul of just 8 in 2016! Much of the wines charm can be linked to the interesting soil here which has some clay but a very high density of small white pebbles which changes everything. He had to do 2 distinct harvests here. First to pick off the best bunches for whole bunch fermenting and the second is all destemmed fruit. This is broadly structured with good shoulders. More upright and more intense than the Vosne and there is a dry line which underscores this classy core of more weighty, sleek fruit. Some blueberry and plumskin measure the ripe feel - joined by warm raspberries and a more leafy edge. Good juicy acidity too balances the weight nicely. THis is a very smart, accessible Nuits from Thibault. Recommended.. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHARMES CHAMBERTIN Aux Charmes Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 CHARMES CHAMBERTIN Aux Charmes Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

Thibault Liger-Belair's Charmes-Chambertin comes from the Aux Charmes climat, close to Chambertin. Made with 70% whole bunches (with the central stem removed) and 100% new wood, this is fresh, sappyThibault Liger-Belair's Charmes-Chambertin comes from the Aux Charmes climat, close to Chambertin. Made with 70% whole bunches (with the central stem removed) and 100% new wood, this is fresh, sappy and very aromatic, with subtle wood, some clove and white pepper spice and good underlying minerality and tension, as the French like to say. Drinking range: 2025 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 CLOS VOUGEOT Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

Two thirds of this fruit comes from his plot of older vines planted at the end of the 2nd World War - which he does a lot of 'stemwork' on - these whole bunches account for 40%. The final thirdTwo thirds of this fruit comes from his plot of older vines planted at the end of the 2nd World War - which he does a lot of 'stemwork' on - these whole bunches account for 40%. The final third comes from much younger plot on the Echezeaux side, these vines were planted in 2012 and are all destemmed. Tasted after the Corton you are struck immediatley by the more structured frame. Intense and powerful. There is an earthy grunt, a compacted mineral drive through the middle. Crunchy fruit - a wilder side. Unmistakably serious, grand cru lines which are joyfully gilded with nicely brambling fruit and lots spice. A 'lifting' energy builds. Very good, sophisticated. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 RICHEBOURG Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 RICHEBOURG Grand Cru Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

The vineyard dates from 1931 although inevitably some of the vines had to be replanted after the war. Thibault explains he feels Richebourg can walk a tricky line between power and elegance. He saysThe vineyard dates from 1931 although inevitably some of the vines had to be replanted after the war. Thibault explains he feels Richebourg can walk a tricky line between power and elegance. He says he finds it can even be a bit blocky when young - but for Thibault the whole bunch element really helps join up the conflicting elements you can get in Richebourg, and this year he's included 30% Whole bunch - his highest level ever. Tasted after the Les St Georges - this impresses with more power, more grip, more intensity. Ripe fruit in the middle heavy with dark and sweet berries. Good, juicy acidity and the fine tannins soften on the finish. Nicely sculpted fruit with some ping and push. Its all here and this is an impressive, sophisticated Grand Cru. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032L&S(Nov 2018)

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Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

The sisters Marie-Christine and Marie Andrée have been firmly in control of this exceptional domaine for some years now. With one a pharmacist and the other an oenologist, the domaine was always going to be in safe hands as far as the wine-making was concerned and in 2017, Lucie, Marie-Christine's daughter has joined the team officially. These are top-flight burgundies with that elusive balance of enough concentration allied with delicacy of expression and the capability of ageing well. The exciting news here is that Fabrice Vigot is giving up his métayage, so another four hectares of vines, in Bourgogne, Nuits 'village', Vosne and Échezeaux will come back into the management of the domaine and the amount of wine available should increase a little from 2017 vintage. These wines are as good (and as sought-after) as ever.
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Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 VOSNE ROMANÉE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

This awesome wine is a blend of all their village parcels. 80% from the plot just behind the domaine which is 3 different parcels and then 5% from Chalandins and then 15% from the 'Combe Blanche' aThis awesome wine is a blend of all their village parcels. 80% from the plot just behind the domaine which is 3 different parcels and then 5% from Chalandins and then 15% from the 'Combe Blanche' a gorgeous richness on the nose. heady and joyful. Palate has more shape and edge to it. There’s a clean lined cut to the core of pert fruit. Blueberry and ripe raspberry - but some dried red petals too. aromatic and lifted. So pretty but not lightweight. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Chaignots Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES 1er Cru Chaignots Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

Tasting this after the Vosne Romanée there is a distinctly more primary feeling to the fruit. Ripe, black flesh and some sweet plums too, then a bite of cherry skin which kicks into a fizzing energyTasting this after the Vosne Romanée there is a distinctly more primary feeling to the fruit. Ripe, black flesh and some sweet plums too, then a bite of cherry skin which kicks into a fizzing energy here too. Lovely density, yet with lovely flow. Graceful, but with intent. This is delicious. That red fruit edge on the finish gives a lift and a further bounce of energy. Ripe fruit so well managed and just enough dark edge too to add complexity Drinking range: 2020 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 RUCHOTTES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

2017 RUCHOTTES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

No change here really in terms of quantity as conditions throughtout the season were kind. They say that the whole of Gevery Chambertin was not touched by frost in 2016 nor 2017. After the EchezeauxNo change here really in terms of quantity as conditions throughtout the season were kind. They say that the whole of Gevery Chambertin was not touched by frost in 2016 nor 2017. After the Echezeaux this is immediately more intense, with a good, dark feel. More gloss and weight to the fruit core though. This is heady and has a great luxurious sweep to it some how. There's a mineral undertow too, gently persistent which adds freshness and length. Impressive stuff, gloriously fine and with succulent drive, and a gentle notch more robust than the Chambolle. 70% New Wood. They have 0.60 of a hectare in this plot which they share with two others - Rousseau and Roumier. Their parcel is in 'Ruchottes du Bas' with the forest right behind them, an erstwhile protector of the vines there from extreme conditions. Drinking range: 2021 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY 1er Cru Feusselottes Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg

This year they managed 10 barrels of Chambolle - a great improvement on last year when they filled just 1 after the devastating 2016 frost. The vines were very productive bouncing back from the quietThis year they managed 10 barrels of Chambolle - a great improvement on last year when they filled just 1 after the devastating 2016 frost. The vines were very productive bouncing back from the quiet season last year, having been frosted. To ensure quality and intensity a heavy green harvest was needed. Nose has more meatiness more brawn it would seem. Still beautifully aromatic - but somehow less delicate than you might expect from Chambolle. In a good way though, this has tempo and build. The palate is gorgeous. Rich and polished with mega flow and intent. Lots of great red flesh. Ripe plum and just a splash of darker more intriguing grippy savour too. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028L&S(Nov 2018)

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Domaine des Lambrays

The 'Clos' consists of 8.66 hectares of land enclosed by a wall in which there is the original milestone marking its founding in 1365, confirmed in the records of the Abbaye de Citeaux (those monks knew where to place a vineyard). The Clos owes much of its current fame to the nineteenth and twentieth century proprietors who reconstituted it after the fragmentation of ownership which followed the French revolution. Despite always having been considered a Grand Cru site, the Clos was in fact classified Premier Cru in the original 1936 appellations contrôlées. The Rodier family which owned it from the 1930s fought to regain its Grand cru status, with eventual success only in 1981, when it became the last of the thirty-three Grands Crus of Burgundy, although by then it had passed to the Saier family. Recently under the benign ownership of the Günther Freund and his family, who gave a very free hand to régisseur Thierry Brouin, who had been employed by their predecessor Rolland Pelletier de Chambure, the quality of the wines here has pushed up again. In 2014 it was bought by the LVMH group.

Boris Champy has now taken over from Thierry Brouin as régisseur, and the team continues to do a magnificent job at this monopole Grand Cru vineyard which is very well-placed next to Clos de Tart at the top of the village of Morey-Saint-Denis. The wines are opulent and rich yet still well-defined and freshly fragrant, and there's a tiny volume of top-notch Puligny too. 2017 is a 'New Classic Vintage' says Boris - and there certainly is a sophisticated charm to all the wines - classically shaped but with that extra bite of sheer pleasure.

2017 CLOS DES LAMBRAYS Grand Cru Domaine des Lambrays

2017 CLOS DES LAMBRAYS Grand Cru Domaine des Lambrays

Lovely quite aristocratic nose, petals and dark leafy aromas backed by sophisticated fruit. This is good, really good. A lovely gentle intensity, but with grace and yet energy too. Super drive. SuchLovely quite aristocratic nose, petals and dark leafy aromas backed by sophisticated fruit. This is good, really good. A lovely gentle intensity, but with grace and yet energy too. Super drive. Such fine dusting of tannin they are barely there. A seamless, polished wine but still laden with detail and character. Boris was fascinating about the details of his wine-making here. The wine finished its Malo early, by December 1st 2017. He thinks that whole bunch fermentation releases potassium and other nutrients that are good for the bacteria - and this accelerates the process. He thinks you should go with this flow - not try and cool the cellar and slow down the natural process. Whatever he's up to it is certainly working. This may be a 'big ticket' wine - but it is well worth your consideration as it will offer fabulous mid to long term drinking. Smart. Drinking range: 2023 - 2031L&S(Nov 2018)

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Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

Christophe is now the fourth generation of his family producing wine on the estate after his great grandfather Amédée Merme devoted himself to the management and production of wine over 130 years ago. The estate has gone from strength to strength – always keeping the highest standards. Integrated viticulture has been practiced for many years now which has been adapted especially for the terroir. No herbicide or chemical fertilizer is used, instead, Christophe prefers to “stand back and listen to this terroir, only intervening when necessary or when the weather requires it, never systematically.” We still await the offer on allocations from Christophe, so please form an orderly queue - i.e. send requests and we will deal with them once we know what we have. This is one of the star domaines of the whole of Burgundy.
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2017 MAZOYÈRES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

There is a dinstinct more muscular, more mineral sense immediately. Far less flashy and flirty than the Chapelle or the Charmes. The energy is exciting, the power impressive. A real heft in theThere is a dinstinct more muscular, more mineral sense immediately. Far less flashy and flirty than the Chapelle or the Charmes. The energy is exciting, the power impressive. A real heft in the middle of crisp, chalky minerality - well dressed in nice pert red fruit. not overdone. Brilliantly imposing and serious. Finishes with a good sensation of scratch and structure. Yes, top stuff, but will need time. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BÈZE Grand Cru Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

Both upper and lower register aromas include the essence of plum, red cherry and lavender that contrasts with plenty of spice, earth and sauvage elements. The rich, powerful and gorgeously texturedBoth upper and lower register aromas include the essence of plum, red cherry and lavender that contrasts with plenty of spice, earth and sauvage elements. The rich, powerful and gorgeously textured flavors possess excellent size and weight along with very solid concentration where the abundant amount of dry extract buffers the very firm tannic spine shaping the youthfully austere and impressively long finish where a touch of bitter cherry pit character arises. Once again, patience definitely advised. Drinking range: 2035 - Rating: 92-95 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Jan 2019)

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2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES Vignes Centenaires 1er Cru La Richemone Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

‘Vignes Centenaires’ this was known as the Cuvée Ultra until 2011. (But to avoid any confusion Christophe keeps the word Ultra on the back label). Wow. Straight out of the blocks this is like a‘Vignes Centenaires’ this was known as the Cuvée Ultra until 2011. (But to avoid any confusion Christophe keeps the word Ultra on the back label). Wow. Straight out of the blocks this is like a masterclass. Perfectly chiselled fruit. Black crisp berries and softer red fruit notes race across the palate. Lovely breadth. Effortlessly broad and sweeping but so light on its toes. The feel is aerial somehow, yet intense. Full of tension, the balance between ripeness and freshness. Between weight and lift. Really pretty juice, but finishes with more intent. More serious bite from the soft tannins and the lovely acidity. Really very wonderful. Drinking range: 2022 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHARMES CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

Hello! This is immediately so inviting, such charm reels you in to the beautifully set fruit at the core here. It is broad and expansive. Lovely ripeness, but still some pep to the red berries. It isHello! This is immediately so inviting, such charm reels you in to the beautifully set fruit at the core here. It is broad and expansive. Lovely ripeness, but still some pep to the red berries. It is just so inviting. Really no hard edges and yet no excess. Sleek and polished but not flashy in anyway. at the finish more minerality peeks out, the super fine grip builds. Highest parcel of Charmes right next to Chambertin and this is where that more mineral, more grippy edge comes from. Brilliant. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHAPELLE CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

After the Charmes there is more ripeness in this Chapelle, more svelte slick gloss to the feel. This is hyper polished. Richer, riper and then a dark note builds in the fruit. Moving to the blackerAfter the Charmes there is more ripeness in this Chapelle, more svelte slick gloss to the feel. This is hyper polished. Richer, riper and then a dark note builds in the fruit. Moving to the blacker spectrum with damson and blackberries here - but sexily ripe. Just a touch of firmness on the finish, some structure - but this is an intensely-laden, sleek wine of great joy. Drinking range: 2019 - 2028L&S(Nov 2018)

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2017 CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

Nose has a darker edge than the other Grand Crus here. There is a jolt of energy on the palate. Yes the fruit is ripe, but with such vigour and energy that it races along. Really lovely brightness toNose has a darker edge than the other Grand Crus here. There is a jolt of energy on the palate. Yes the fruit is ripe, but with such vigour and energy that it races along. Really lovely brightness to the plum and strawberry highlights, clean lines and such drive. This is poised and so well measured. Weight builds but is always without excess. Not glossy, not heavy - just spot on. Walking the tight-rope of impact and excess this nails it. Not wavering at any moment, this delivers with huge fanfare. The balance with minerality is tip top - nothing is out of kilter. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

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