Burghound - Top Value
Burghound's 'Top Value' list is often the best place to look for Burgundy bargains in either colour. This year Allen Meadows has picked quite a few L&S favourites, including some excellent village wines from Laurent Tribut, Perrot-Minot, Domaine des Lambrays, Confuron Cotetidot, Lignier-Michelot and Thibault Liger-Belair. Click on each wine to see all the reviews.
Domaine Solange TributSolange Tribut is the daughter of Laurent Tribut, whose excellent Chablis we have sold successfully for years, and the niece of the highly regarded Vincent Dauvissat. The family tradition for expressive yet pure Chablis is safe in her hands. Her wines are very classically shaped. Light on their toes - pithy with lovely citrus highs and great clean lines. Super value wines with great heritage.
2017 CHABLIS Domaine Solange Tribut
This had just been bottled and yet is still hugely expressive. Compared to the Laurent Tribut Chablis there is more breadth and sleekness here. The fruit is riper, more apple and pear which leadsThis had just been bottled and yet is still hugely expressive. Compared to the Laurent Tribut Chablis there is more breadth and sleekness here. The fruit is riper, more apple and pear which leads seamlessly to a good saline finish with oyster shell and nice pithy lemon. The fruit all comes from a specific parcel that she bought near Beauroy, very steep but just round the corner from the 1er Cru site.L&S(Oct 2018)
Domaine Laurent Tribut
Laurent Tribut is married to Vincent Dauvissat's sister, Marie Clotilde. When he started he made his wines in the Dauvissat cellar in Chablis, but now this small family-run domaine is based in Poinchy. You could not hope to meet a more charming and mild-mannered man as Laurent. He is a quiet genius, making some of the purest and most classical wines in the appellation.
This year it was great to get to know three (Solange, Adeline and Gabriel) of Laurent's four children who all now work with him. With his guidance the future here looks very bright. With just 6 hectares the quantities are small - but the quality of all his cuvées is extraordinary. Pure, powerfully driven, classically shaped there is more than a passing similarity to the wines of his brother-in-law the head-line grabbing Vincent Dauvissat. Buyers will enjoy these super wines with some time in bottle too - they have a great ability to age and patience will pay off, we recently tasted the 1er Cru Côte de Léchet 2004 with Laurent in his cellar and it was bright, young and full of vigour - nearly 15 years on. This is brilliant, classic Chablis made by a quiet maestro.
2017 CHABLIS Domaine Laurent Tribut
Tasted from the barrel this is beautifully bright, fresh and clean. There is an intensely savoury whiff of iodine and lovely crunched-up shells. A saline undercurrent runs through and is softened byTasted from the barrel this is beautifully bright, fresh and clean. There is an intensely savoury whiff of iodine and lovely crunched-up shells. A saline undercurrent runs through and is softened by some lovely fruit notes of crisp pear, some pithy lemon and a spray of white flowers. Great classic pure Chablis, so impressive for a 'Village' wine. Complex and intense, yet restrained for now - has everything you could hope for in 'proper' Chablis.L&S(Oct 2018)
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 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Cuvée Bertin Domaine Lignier-Michelot
Good gutsy attack after the two Moreys tasted so far. Suddenly there is that blackberry hit and you know you've moved to Gevrey. A more savoury, earthy side too. Lovely lifted energetic push of justGood gutsy attack after the two Moreys tasted so far. Suddenly there is that blackberry hit and you know you've moved to Gevrey. A more savoury, earthy side too. Lovely lifted energetic push of just ripe black fruit. Clean and charming mineral edge too keeps this lithe and fresh. Drinking range: 2019 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)
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 NUITS SAINT GEORGES Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot
Intense again. Toffee and chewy dates and hard plums. This is brooding and dark and loaded with fruit. Fine tannins, long and intense. Smooth yet quite dense for now but it flows so well in a VosneIntense again. Toffee and chewy dates and hard plums. This is brooding and dark and loaded with fruit. Fine tannins, long and intense. Smooth yet quite dense for now but it flows so well in a Vosne sort of way. This is firm still and tightly wound yet, sexy and sleek - the future looks great but we must be patient! Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)
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)
2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Domaine J. Confuron Cotetidot
Plump red fruit and a heady rose water nose. This is just so open and inviting. Plenty of richness on the palate too and a satisfying bit of grip on the finish. A very impressive village Chambolle. Plump red fruit and a heady rose water nose. This is just so open and inviting. Plenty of richness on the palate too and a satisfying bit of grip on the finish. A very impressive village Chambolle. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028L&S(Jan 2019)
Domaine Thibault Liger-BelairThe 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.
2017 NUITS SAINT GEORGES Charmotte Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
On the Vosne side - and quite a limestone soil. He also incorporates 40% whole bunch which certainly does add a thrilling tension and some angles - but nothing too punchy - or distracting from theOn the Vosne side - and quite a limestone soil. He also incorporates 40% whole bunch which certainly does add a thrilling tension and some angles - but nothing too punchy - or distracting from the nice cleanly cleaved fruit. After tasting the Gevrey, this is more like it! Slow gentle attack builds nicely. Fruit core is pretty, with good energy and nice bright lines. Fun to drink. More lifted and with more tension and nicely perky lines of acidity keeping the flow constant. Not overdone just well measured. Good and pretty. Drinking range: 2023 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)
Domaine Georges Mugneret-GibourgThe 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.
2017 BOURGOGNE ROUGE Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg
Crisp and fresh red cherry on the attack Perfumed and seriously inviting. From vines at the Nuits Saint Georges end of the village. Good weight to the fruit. Nicely ripe. Just a touch of grip toCrisp and fresh red cherry on the attack Perfumed and seriously inviting. From vines at the Nuits Saint Georges end of the village. Good weight to the fruit. Nicely ripe. Just a touch of grip to this beautifully full and heady weight of deep red and purple fruit. Drinking range: 2019 - 2024L&S(Nov 2018)
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 MOREY SAINT DENIS Domaine des Lambrays
Lambrays's 'Village Morey' vines are on on Comblanchien - which is a hard limestone - and adds that slight restraint and focus to the wine. The attack here is pure, firm and lithe. This is sharplyLambrays's 'Village Morey' vines are on on Comblanchien - which is a hard limestone - and adds that slight restraint and focus to the wine. The attack here is pure, firm and lithe. This is sharply done. Good pep and intensity. The fruit suppleness and breadth grows in the mouth. Darker lines than some and a lick of cranberry keep this vivacious but so satisfying. A bottle of this will not last long once opened. Deliciously inviting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)
Domaine Christophe Perrot-MinotChristophe 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.
2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Justice des Seuvrées Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot
This is bright with a good ping on the palate, but again the volume builds. A firmness again, but the fruit is so attractive. Ripe yet zippy. Clever balance. Nice tension. The minerality grows andThis is bright with a good ping on the palate, but again the volume builds. A firmness again, but the fruit is so attractive. Ripe yet zippy. Clever balance. Nice tension. The minerality grows and the breadth of this becomes more clear. Good and solid Gevrey Chambertin, but with real class and a lovely ripeness countered by just enough bite. Giving good impact and real pleasure. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)
2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Orveaux des Bussières Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot
Christophe tells us that 40% 1er Cru Combe D’Orveau is included this year and this does have an impressive presence and intensity. Delicate nose with just a shadow of a plummy bouquet. This is pureChristophe tells us that 40% 1er Cru Combe D’Orveau is included this year and this does have an impressive presence and intensity. Delicate nose with just a shadow of a plummy bouquet. This is pure - on the palate your taken straight into the clean intense fruit. Blackberry and ripe raspberries meld together into a clean, polished core. With some tightness here. More to unfurl for sure. But this is pretty and has great push. the fruit is ripe and so nicely poised. Drinking range: 2021 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)