Top Picks from the Villages

These are just a few of the 'village' level wines which stood out in our tastings for outstanding quality and/or value. Click on each wine to see all the reviews.


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Domaine Moreau-Naudet

We still miss the bright star that was Stéphane Moreau-Naudet, who died suddenly in September 2016, but there is no question that the domaine has proved to be in exceptionally capable hands under his widow Virginie, helped by Stéphane's team.

Stéphane, who was influenced by Vincent Dauvissat (who recommended him to us many years ago) was a consummate vigneron, working organically, hand-picking, aiming for optimum maturity while avoiding any botrytis influence. He was also a master-craftsman in the cellar, using barrel-élevage, but not in such a way that oakiness can readily be detected in the wines (all the barrels are steamed rather than charred and there is no new oak except for in the straight Chablis, and then only one barrel per 100hl in order to age it prior to using for the Premiers Crus). Virginie is proving to have what it takes to build on Stéphane's legacy, and the wines here, full of racy character, textural depth and complexity, are as fine as they have ever been.

Domaine-Moreau-Naudet
2017 CHABLIS Domaine Moreau-Naudet

2017 CHABLIS Domaine Moreau-Naudet

Fabulous to see Virginie with a smile back on her face - and no surprise when for the first time in years she has a 'proper' harvest under her belt and a normal quantity of wine to sell with thisFabulous to see Virginie with a smile back on her face - and no surprise when for the first time in years she has a 'proper' harvest under her belt and a normal quantity of wine to sell with this Village Chablis. This is lovely. Fresh yet really inviting with its breadth and succulence of fruit. Easy and slick and very good.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 CHABLIS Vieilles Vignes Les Pargues Domaine Moreau-Naudet

2017 CHABLIS Vieilles Vignes Les Pargues Domaine Moreau-Naudet

These vines are now more than 60 years old. We tasted this in the cellar with Virginie - there will be a wood-aged element here too once assembled - but we are just tasting from the steelThese vines are now more than 60 years old. We tasted this in the cellar with Virginie - there will be a wood-aged element here too once assembled - but we are just tasting from the steel tanks. Lovely brisk feel, but the fruit is beautifully ripe. Crisp but with depth. Sleek and delicious mineral undertone - a whiff of rock and salt- but the energy just makes you smile. Really good Chablis. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon, who is also the winemaker at the Comte Lafon Mâcon operation, are rising stars of the Mâconnais. Together they have a small domaine consisting of 3.5 hectares of Mâcon in a single block in Saint Albain, and several small plots in Viré Clessé, Saint Véran and Pouilly Fuissé, making up 6.8 hectares in total. All the vineyards are organically farmed (Ecocert certified).

Great care is taken at harvest to pick at the optimum monent for sugars, acidity and aromatic precursors, and they will stop the picking between parcels if they think that the ripening is not even across the whole domaine. Grapes are manually picked into 25kg cases, so as to get whole, undamaged grapes to the winery. After careful pressing, a very non-interventionist vinifcation takes place with natural yeasts in oak foudres.

The wines are kept on the lees to preserve freshness until the beginning of summer, when they are racked and lightly filtered, before bottling before the next harvest, except for some of the top wines which are aged for another six months in tank in order to develop fully. The wines are expressive and pure and well worth seeking out.

In 2017 they started picking on the 25th August, which was just as well, because acidities dropped after the 70-80mm of rain which fell on the 2nd and 3rd of September. Good ripeness (13.5% max) and good acidities. The vines did not suffer as they had in 2015 - there was more water. Frantz feels that there is more concentration and aroma than in 2011, and wines which are more accessible young than the 2016s.

2017 SAINT VÉRAN Prélude Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2017 SAINT VÉRAN Prélude Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Aged in a 50-50 mix of foudres and demi-muids. Prelude is an assemblage of four plots in the communes of Prissé and Chasselas, with vines up to fifty years old. All these are the first to be pickedAged in a 50-50 mix of foudres and demi-muids. Prelude is an assemblage of four plots in the communes of Prissé and Chasselas, with vines up to fifty years old. All these are the first to be picked in the domaine. Similar greenish colour, more reserved on the nose than the Mâcon, a finer, less exuberant style - good acidity and delicacy - not that it lacks power - a lovely classy, mineral-shaded wine.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Daniel Barraud

Daniel and Martine Barraud, now joined by their son Julien, have vineyards in Vergisson that are mostly high up under the famous rock (Vergisson lies between the two dramatic cliffs of the rocks of Solutré and Vergisson). The vineyards here are significantly higher than those of Fuissé, and are consequently later-ripening, and the wines often have a more solid structure - but all of Daniel's wines have their own character, from the Puligny-like directness of the La Roche to the fat richness of the 'en Buland', via the mineral force of the Crays.

All the wines are made keeping close to the tenets of bio-dynamics - not as Daniel says for the sake of it - but because over the generations experience has taught them these principles really are the best way forward - as such they only ever bottle on a waning moon, All the wines see some barrel ageing apart from the Chaintré, which is aged in foudre (2/3) and tank.

As Allen Meadows wrote in 2014 in Burghound "I have said this before, but I will say it again: no one makes better wine in the Mâconnais than Barraud. There are a few domaines that produce wines that are sometimes just as good, ... but none of them surpasses the quality he consistently produces. If you aren’t familiar with the wines, you owe it to yourself and your pocketbook to check them out." (www.Burghound.com).

2017 SAINT VÉRAN Les Pommards Domaine Daniel Barraud

2017 SAINT VÉRAN Les Pommards Domaine Daniel Barraud

Lovely bright gold. 50-year-old vines. 'There may be some Chardonnay musqué (a clone with a hint of Muscat about it) in this', says Daniel. There's certainly extra richness as usual, hazelnut,Lovely bright gold. 50-year-old vines. 'There may be some Chardonnay musqué (a clone with a hint of Muscat about it) in this', says Daniel. There's certainly extra richness as usual, hazelnut, savoury - lovely. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Les Châtaigniers Domaine Daniel Barraud

2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Les Châtaigniers Domaine Daniel Barraud

Very pale and tight, but not harsh. Powerful, and with excellent acidity alongside the supple richness. The vineyard here is now close to a hectare after Julien inherited some vines from and uncle toVery pale and tight, but not harsh. Powerful, and with excellent acidity alongside the supple richness. The vineyard here is now close to a hectare after Julien inherited some vines from and uncle to add to the existing parcel. Limestone in sharp stones in red clay - hard to work and the limestone is very hard - it cuts up the tyres of vehicles. Nicely straight with a long taut mineral finish. Drinking range: 2021 - 2027L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes Les Crays Domaine Daniel Barraud

2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes Les Crays Domaine Daniel Barraud

Pale after the 'La Verchère', quite a shy nose, then great purity. Volume and a supple delicate fresh liquid touch - lemon and ripe yellow citrus lifts it - energy and mineral purity are thePale after the 'La Verchère', quite a shy nose, then great purity. Volume and a supple delicate fresh liquid touch - lemon and ripe yellow citrus lifts it - energy and mineral purity are the keynotes. Immensely long. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes En Buland Domaine Daniel Barraud

2017 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes En Buland Domaine Daniel Barraud

En Buland is like La Roche with a touch of la Verchère, and then more than either of them. Big and bold on the palate after a shy and retiring nose. Savoury, saline and voluminously ripe too. IntenseEn Buland is like La Roche with a touch of la Verchère, and then more than either of them. Big and bold on the palate after a shy and retiring nose. Savoury, saline and voluminously ripe too. Intense all the way through, the most complete of all, and very long. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Joseph Colin

Joseph Colin is one of the four children of Marc Colin (the others being Pierre-Yves, Damien and Caroline), who had a large domaine with vines in Saint Aubin, Santenay, Chassagne and Puligny. Pierre-Yves left the family domaine in 2005 and since then Joseph was an important member of the team there. Now he has decided to leave, making a token 1800 or so bottles in 2016, before starting in earnest with 2017, with seven hectares of vines, from which he makes an astonishing nineteen different cuvées.

Most of the vines he has in Saint Aubin are young, but by limiting bunches to six or seven per vine, he manages to control the yields. With plenty of time to learn his craft at Domaine Marc Colin, he has developed into a confident winemaker. He experimented with sulphur levels in the wines at the family domaine, so coming to his current view that the wines should be left the longest time possible without added S02, perhaps adding some at racking, but if he feels there's still enough C02 after racking, he will not even add any at that stage, so as to develop 'wine at its purest', but he is keen to say also that he has no standard recipe - he will adapt to each wine. In 2017 he used no S02 until just before bottling, but if there's some botrytis he will add it earlier.

Joseph is a very bright new prospect for lovers of precise, pure white Burgundies with fresh acidity for crystalline definition.

2017 SAINT AUBIN Compendium Domaine Joseph Colin

2017 SAINT AUBIN Compendium Domaine Joseph Colin

Six parcels of vines blended together. A lovely balance of fruit and the light framing of oak. An edge of green pith, leading to a citrussy point; vibrant and delicious. Almost tannic feel with theSix parcels of vines blended together. A lovely balance of fruit and the light framing of oak. An edge of green pith, leading to a citrussy point; vibrant and delicious. Almost tannic feel with the phenolics on the finish, suggesting much more development to come as it rounds out. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025L&S(Jul 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET Domaine Joseph Colin

2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET Domaine Joseph Colin

Coming from 4 parcels, of which Meix Goudard is the biggest, which is on the level of the premier Crus (under les Macherelles), Blanchots - on the rock next to Criots, and Journoblots, which is underComing from 4 parcels, of which Meix Goudard is the biggest, which is on the level of the premier Crus (under les Macherelles), Blanchots - on the rock next to Criots, and Journoblots, which is under Criots. All are well-placed and make up 1.35 ha in total, so this is Joseph's biggest cuvée. He says he tries to pick it at 12.5% maximum, to retain freshness, and he succeeds - it is ripe, but the energetic freshness is retained. Pale gold with green/yellow reflections. Ripe sunny fruit nose is supported by comfortable oak and excellent acidity. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025L&S(Jul 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 6

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Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

The origins of the Pillot family in Chassagne can be traced back to the eighteenth century, when they seem to have been coopers more than vignerons. In the nineteenth century they abandoned barrel-making in favour of enlarging the property in Chassagne. Fernand and Laurent, who is the fourth generation, added to it again in 1992, and then in 2001 Laurent's wife Marie-Anne inherited half of her family's property, the Pommard domaine of Pothier-Rieusset, and Laurent and his father bought the other half. The domaine now stands at 14.5 hectares of vines across almost the whole length of the Côte de Beaune from Santenay to Beaune.

The Domaine is worked according to organic principles and are ploughed – no chemical weedkillers are used. They have also been members of the Dephy-ECO-phyto group, which works to reduce the number of treatments using copper sulphate, since 2012.

Laurent has always managed to pack in a lot alongside his running of the vineyard. He has a sophisticated microlight which he flies to all corners of France, he keeps and hunts hawks, and conducts the Chassagne brass band as well as dabbling in Mayoral duties - on top of being a father of three, Anaïs, Adrien and Eugène. They are all mad about the alps and disappear up the mountains at regular intervals.

Laurent's eldest son Adrien has been travelling the world making wine all over the place for the last few years having completed his training in Beaune. Bringing back lessons learnt in Australia, South Africa and California (and from a stint at Lea & Sandeman) - he now helps Laurent with all aspects of the wine-making and viticulture at the domaine. The wines have long been L&S favourites in both red and white - they represent excellent value, and they age very well too, despite being attractive young. The whites are precise and pure, and not lacking for body and generosity, while the reds are velvety and juicy, beautifully balanced even if drunk young on their expressive Pinot fruit. The domaine was rightfully heralded in Decanter Magazine last year as 'an address that deserves to be better-known'. Great value and real pleasure across their range.

Domaine-Fernand-Laurent-Pillot
2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET Les Chênes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET Les Chênes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

The Pillots have nearly a hectare of this 'lieu-dit' of Chassagne Village which is below the Premier Cru La Maltroie. This is just the 2nd time he has vinified it separately, as after the inauguralThe Pillots have nearly a hectare of this 'lieu-dit' of Chassagne Village which is below the Premier Cru La Maltroie. This is just the 2nd time he has vinified it separately, as after the inaugural vintage in 2015 - he was hit hard by frost and there was not enough to do anything with in 2016. Laurent has been working on this plot for several years after buying it in a poor state and planted with Pinot. It is a triumph with Chardonnay and well worth splitting out in to its own bottling. Very pure, yet richer and creamier than the Village wine. Touch of brown sugar on the top of the hard apple. It is a lovely expression. Much deeper and more complex with just enough freshness.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1er Cru Fairandes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

2017 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1er Cru Fairandes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

Brighter and more perk, more poise than the Morgeot tasted just before. It is because it is so different that Laurent has started making it as a separate wine when he can. It is from right up at theBrighter and more perk, more poise than the Morgeot tasted just before. It is because it is so different that Laurent has started making it as a separate wine when he can. It is from right up at the top of Morgeot bang next door to the Grandes Ruchottes vineyard. It is so expressive Laurent likes to keep it apart - and it is great that he does. A gorgeously juicy middle. Super lemon and soft citrus juice. Very succulent and inviting. The bright start mellows but the flow and energy remain. impressive depth revealed at finish. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Henri Germain

Jean-François Germain has been joined over the course of 2018 by his daughter Lucie - who is now helping to run this small (6.5ha) domaine.

The Chassagne vineyards came through his mother, a Pillot, and Jean-François is married to François Jobard's daughter, so they are quite intertwined with some of our other producers. In terms of winemaking the Germains are always happy to let nature take its course, and in the vineyards they follow as natural a system of viticulture as possible.

These are concentrated, tightly wound wines from one of Burgundy's coldest cellars. Slow to develop, they show wonderful crystalline purity. New wood is used sparingly.

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2017 MEURSAULT Domaine Henri Germain

2017 MEURSAULT Domaine Henri Germain

This comes from 7 different parcels throughout the village. The nose suggests this might be a leaner style of Meursault. On entry there are notes of ripe green apple and pear along with more exoticThis comes from 7 different parcels throughout the village. The nose suggests this might be a leaner style of Meursault. On entry there are notes of ripe green apple and pear along with more exotic fruit. The wine is brimming with tension and energy - the buttery smoothness is not evident at this stage. Good concentration to the juice. More muscle than fat but a wonderful 'glide'.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Rémi Jobard

Rémi has been been making small qualitative changes ever since he took over here. The entire vineyard is cordon-pruned, so yields are naturally limited. There has been no use of fertiliser since 1994, and the vineyard is grassed-over to encourage the vine roots to go deep. The domaine has been certified organic from 2008. He says that the two most important things are the absence of weedkiller (and thus the necessity to plough, which cuts any surface roots and makes the vine go deeper) and not adding any fertiliser which again makes the roots go deeper to find nutrients.

Rémi has two vast presses, to enable him to press very slowly over six hours, and this has resulted in a big jump in finesse. The élevage now lasts nearly fifteen months, so as to allow the wines to develop slowly and to avoid fining. As a result these are wines which take a moment to show, but which reward the patient with complexity and great depth of flavour.

Rémi made a move from traditional barrels to foudres made of a mix of French, Austrian and Slavonian oak, constructed by Austrian cooper Stockinger, and having added a new one (or two) each year, there's barely a normal barrel left. He likes the way the wines develop in these large volumes, in which the 'oaking' effect is minimised.

2017 BOURGOGNE CÔTE D'OR BLANC Vieilles Vignes Domaine Rémi Jobard

2017 BOURGOGNE CÔTE D'OR BLANC Vieilles Vignes Domaine Rémi Jobard

This got frosted a little in 2017, but this is a bounce back up in volume of total yield after the near catastrophe of 2016. Delicate now for now, but in the mouth, it is positive, suave, fat andThis got frosted a little in 2017, but this is a bounce back up in volume of total yield after the near catastrophe of 2016. Delicate now for now, but in the mouth, it is positive, suave, fat and supple, and steadily grows in interest and complexity with green fruit, then pears and them yellow fruit sweetness and accent following. Lots of fat. Stays bright and fine, concentrated and very long. From several parcels in Chassagne, Puligny and Meursault, all of which abut vineyards classified at village level. Drinking range: 2019 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2017 MEURSAULT Narvaux Domaine Rémi Jobard

2017 MEURSAULT Narvaux Domaine Rémi Jobard

This has pep. after the Luraule this has tingle and tighter zest to the fruit on the attack - all lime skin and lemon juice - tight middle. It feels young but in the mouth it spreads softly acrossThis has pep. after the Luraule this has tingle and tighter zest to the fruit on the attack - all lime skin and lemon juice - tight middle. It feels young but in the mouth it spreads softly across the palate. There is a gentle, creamier feel - a whiff of peach an yellow plum. Not fat as that lovely juicy acidity keeps it in check, but there is a fun generosity to the fruit which will do well with time. about 55 years old. Drinking range: 2020 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Dureuil-Janthial

Domaine Dureuil-Janthial is simply the leading domaine of the Côte Chalonnaise. What is more, the astonishing Vincent Dureuil is equally adept at making both white and red wines. Vincent inherited from the Janthial side of his family, who have been in Rully since the eighteenth century. Vincent and his wife Céline took over in 1994. As they say 'because wine is first grown in the vineyard, we have chosen to respect the land and let live the soils and vineyards to produce committed and accurate wines, of great purity and a frank personality.'

The domaine now extends to 20 hectares, 17 in the Côte Chalonnaise (primarily Rully and Mercurey) with 3 hectares in the Côte d'Or, including vines inherited by Céline in Nuits Saint Georges, and some inherited by Vincent in Puligny. The domaine was certified organic in 2009, but after short harvests in 2012 and 2013, Vincent was forced by a late attack of mildew in 2016 to spray with fungicide. The result was that he saved 5 hectares out of the 20, but lost his certification. Stubbornly he immediately set about the three years of 'conversion' he must do before he can be certified again. For this perfectionist, being 'nearly organic' does not quite cut it.

2017 RULLY ROUGE Domaine Dureuil-Janthial

2017 RULLY ROUGE Domaine Dureuil-Janthial

Very like the 2016 from this vineyard, on the fruit, slightly saline, supple and easy but still taut and with a mineral lift.Very like the 2016 from this vineyard, on the fruit, slightly saline, supple and easy but still taut and with a mineral lift. Drinking range: 2019 - L&S(Dec 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Joël Rémy

A family domaine that extends back five generations to 1853, but which Joël has modernised considerably over the past twenty years, installing new fermentation and ageing equipment. Over the years his vinifications have changed, and the wines have a lot more immediacy and precision. The quality of fruit is not in doubt, as lovers of his Bourgogne Rouge from year to year will attest, and a lot of work in the vineyard contributes to this, including leaf-thinning towards the end of the growing season. In the winery he has installed a vibrating sorting table, and the only filtering is by a lens filter at very low pressure to avoid de-naturing the wines. All offer quite striking value.

In 2016 Joël was joined full-time by both his children, Maxime and Manon. There is a renewed air of excitement and ambition here, and the 2017s continue to show the confidence that Joël has brought to the winemaking.

Domaine-Joël-Rémy
Lea & Sandeman Wine Merchants

2017 SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE Fourneaux Domaine Joël Rémy

This comes from a plot just next to the ‘Cross of Pernand’ on the road to Pernand-Vergelesses Darker and again a step up in intensity. Some grip too - fine grained tannins build. Dark berries andThis comes from a plot just next to the ‘Cross of Pernand’ on the road to Pernand-Vergelesses Darker and again a step up in intensity. Some grip too - fine grained tannins build. Dark berries and crunch but there is a ripeness too and a good helping of generous, ripe matter. This has direction and elegance. Good and pleasing Savigny. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

The origins of the Pillot family in Chassagne can be traced back to the eighteenth century, when they seem to have been coopers more than vignerons. In the nineteenth century they abandoned barrel-making in favour of enlarging the property in Chassagne. Fernand and Laurent, who is the fourth generation, added to it again in 1992, and then in 2001 Laurent's wife Marie-Anne inherited half of her family's property, the Pommard domaine of Pothier-Rieusset, and Laurent and his father bought the other half. The domaine now stands at 14.5 hectares of vines across almost the whole length of the Côte de Beaune from Santenay to Beaune.

The Domaine is worked according to organic principles and are ploughed – no chemical weedkillers are used. They have also been members of the Dephy-ECO-phyto group, which works to reduce the number of treatments using copper sulphate, since 2012.

Laurent has always managed to pack in a lot alongside his running of the vineyard. He has a sophisticated microlight which he flies to all corners of France, he keeps and hunts hawks, and conducts the Chassagne brass band as well as dabbling in Mayoral duties - on top of being a father of three, Anaïs, Adrien and Eugène. They are all mad about the alps and disappear up the mountains at regular intervals.

Laurent's eldest son Adrien has been travelling the world making wine all over the place for the last few years having completed his training in Beaune. Bringing back lessons learnt in Australia, South Africa and California (and from a stint at Lea & Sandeman) - he now helps Laurent with all aspects of the wine-making and viticulture at the domaine. The wines have long been L&S favourites in both red and white - they represent excellent value, and they age very well too, despite being attractive young. The whites are precise and pure, and not lacking for body and generosity, while the reds are velvety and juicy, beautifully balanced even if drunk young on their expressive Pinot fruit. The domaine was rightfully heralded in Decanter Magazine last year as 'an address that deserves to be better-known'. Great value and real pleasure across their range.

Domaine-Fernand-Laurent-Pillot
2017 POMMARD Tavannes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

2017 POMMARD Tavannes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

Plenty of dark fruit on the nose. Sweet dark fruit on the palate. Welcoming prickle of tannin. A good slick, plump feel. The acidity dances alongside the glossy fruit. No big oak. This is one of thePlenty of dark fruit on the nose. Sweet dark fruit on the palate. Welcoming prickle of tannin. A good slick, plump feel. The acidity dances alongside the glossy fruit. No big oak. This is one of the best Tavannes I have tried from Laurent. L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

After hail and frost had savagely cut the production here in four out of the previous five vintages, it was smiles and relief all round this year. In 2016 Nico had just five barrels of 'Village' Volnay, but the 'perfect' 2017 vintage has yielded 39 barrels form the same ground. How Nico has managed to keep smiling through the last few years is anyone's guess, but that's Nico. It can only be hoped that with the only slightly smaller 2018 harvest now in barrel, these troubles have come to an end. Now in its second year, he could not be happier with his new winery. A fantastic bespoke build, admittedly in a ZI (Zone industrielle) on the outskirts of Beaune, which he recognises is not ideal for the folklore aspect, but it is a perfect tool for the job, and does have a good view of all 'his' bits of the Côte - from the roof.

As we wrote last year, the wines in this cellar reflect his bounding optimism - they are generous and bouncing with energy. He describes the 2017 vintage as 'Gourmand, Friand, Fruité', which is marvellous, but at least partly untranslatable - come on chaps, we need a word for gourmand that is better than 'greedy', and another for friand which does not involve a long explanation - but 'easy to love' might do. But you get the idea. It's delish. 'Not the density of 2015, but just as well-balanced', as Nico went on to say, and 'a vintage which respects the identity of each terroir. The kind of vintage you can drink from the word go, and at any time for ten years, but which will surprise if you then find a bottle you've forgotten in the cellar, when you see it has aged brilliantly - like the 2002s'. From a Bourgogne you can drink now, through to an incredibly serious Grand-Cru-level Pommard Rugiens, this is a great set of wines.
2017 VOLNAY Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

2017 VOLNAY Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

The village Volnay is taken from plots on clay and limestone, vinified separately then blended together. Lovely charming ample black fruit and then the charge of the mineral limestone element givingThe village Volnay is taken from plots on clay and limestone, vinified separately then blended together. Lovely charming ample black fruit and then the charge of the mineral limestone element giving energy and length - lovely balance and enormously likeable.L&S(Oct 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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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 VOLNAY Domaine Comte Armand

2017 VOLNAY Domaine Comte Armand

Pale crimson. Juicy, fruity sort of nose. Less structure than the Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru. Big and almost blowsy. Some heat on the endPale crimson. Juicy, fruity sort of nose. Less structure than the Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru. Big and almost blowsy. Some heat on the end Drinking range: 2022 - 2029 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond

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 Vigne Belle Domaine Thierry Mortet

2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Vigne Belle Domaine Thierry Mortet

A step up from the village wine with more weight and gloss here. On the palate there is a nice clean wave of fruit. Riper and darker. More blackberry, more restrained for now. Nice focus though -A step up from the village wine with more weight and gloss here. On the palate there is a nice clean wave of fruit. Riper and darker. More blackberry, more restrained for now. Nice focus though - then a tad more closed on the finish at this stage. Smart and quite taut. Not huge breadth but good intensity and flow. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond

Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Stéphane's is a small domaine, a mere 4.5 hectares, with one full hectare of that in regional wine - Passetoutgrains and Bourgogne - but it is blessed with two Grands Crus and also a long history of not messing with nature. No pesticides have ever been used on this land, and the plants are nearly all the old 'Pinot tordu' - twisted Pinot with its gnarly stems which are less vigorous than the modern clones and said by many to make wines with more finesse.

Stéphane chaptalizes only to extend fermentations - these are wines which his father Jean-Paul used to describe as 'sage en alcool' - from 12 to 13% - the old vines do not make much alcohol. Wood use is also discreet, never exceeding 20% new wood on the Grands Crus, 15% on the Premiers Crus and on the village appellations, 10% new wood for one year only, then all into older barrels.

Stéphane says that he aims to make wines with more richness than his father's, 'but not black angular wines which have less relief. Wines which leave your mouth clean and clear, refreshed and revived and, above all, wanting another glass'. He destems 100%, gives the grapes a six-day maceration, then a classical fermentation with just two pigeages, and a little remontage (pumping over) at the end.

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS Vieilles Vignes Domaine Stéphane Magnien

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS Vieilles Vignes Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Also new this year, as he has split out the Vieilles Vignes aspect that he used to include in another wine. He is making it separately this year to highlight the more powerful and intense,Also new this year, as he has split out the Vieilles Vignes aspect that he used to include in another wine. He is making it separately this year to highlight the more powerful and intense, blacker-fruited juice these glorious old vines give. It certainly is darker in feel. More blackberry and sloe berry notes. Nice and rich though rather than being 'dark and bitter' - there is fine tannin that adds some tension here and balances that good enticing riper weight of fruit. Intense for sure, but so clearly still has the house style of a delicate touch. Really interesting new cuvée. Drinking range: 2021 - 2027L&S(Jan 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

Domaine Anne Gros

Anne Gros joined her father François at the family domaine in Vosne Romanée in 1988, having given up her arts studies in favour of viticulture and oenology at Beaune and Dijon, she took charge of the domaine in 1995 and has been joined now by 2 of her children Julie since 2015 and Paul since 2017. The Domaine now has 7 hectares of Pinot and Chardonnay. Anne describes herself as being 'wary of certainties and keen to preserve her freedom'.

In the vineyards Anne practises viticulture influenced by organic and biodynamic principles, and the vineyards are ploughed and fertilised with compost, but although she believes that the long-term health of the vineyards are best preserved by such methods, she likes to maintain the freedom to use conventional treatments when necessary.

In the cellar, the wines are classically made, in cement tanks for the reds, and stainless steel for the whites. They are then aged in barrel for up to fifteen months, with 80% new wood for the grand crus, 50% for the village wines and 30% for the regional wines. Anne is quietly meticulous and almost obsessive about cleanliness in her cellar, which perhaps is reflected in the delicacy and restrained tension in her wines, which have aromatic clarity, limpid precision, sheer joie de vivre, lively balance and persistence.

There is a bit more wine here than in some recent vintages - a chance to get on the list of one of most sought-after Domaines of Burgundy.

2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Combe d'Orveau Domaine Anne Gros

2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Combe d'Orveau Domaine Anne Gros

My oh my this is a very enticing, almost flirty wine. Delicate and pretty, sweet berry fruit. Nicely measured with a tightish core, but the feel is pretty and elegant. Great high-toned aromatics butMy oh my this is a very enticing, almost flirty wine. Delicate and pretty, sweet berry fruit. Nicely measured with a tightish core, but the feel is pretty and elegant. Great high-toned aromatics but that ripe red fruit is constant and so delicious. Sleek and liquid drive of fine silk - no flab but great glide and pleasure. Drinking range: 2022 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

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 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)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond

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.

Domaine-J.-Confuron-Cotetidot
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)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond

Thibault Liger-Belair

The lack of the word 'domaine' in the name signals that this is a négociant wine from Thibault Liger-Belair. Thibault buys the grapes he picks having tended the vines with his own team, so that the wines are domaine wines in all but name.
Thibault-Liger-Belair
2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Vieilles Vignes Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Vieilles Vignes Thibault Liger-Belair

Sadly the 2017 is the last vintage of this, as the owner is taking it back. What a shame, as it is really impressive! Inviting feel on the attack, with nicely ripe fruit. Good weight to it and niceSadly the 2017 is the last vintage of this, as the owner is taking it back. What a shame, as it is really impressive! Inviting feel on the attack, with nicely ripe fruit. Good weight to it and nice flowing shape. Just a scrape of texture from some appetising mineral dusting. The up-front fruit is lovely soft strawberry and raspberry - but there is a darker line too, running through it, a shadow of more serious power. Fine-grained texture. Drinking range: 2019 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond

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 HAUTES CÔTES DE NUITS Corvée de Villy Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

2017 HAUTES CÔTES DE NUITS Corvée de Villy Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair

This vineyard has lots of very white limestone - from where they originally got material to make white tiles. He says therefore that he does not feel the need to use whole bunch Such sweet fruitThis vineyard has lots of very white limestone - from where they originally got material to make white tiles. He says therefore that he does not feel the need to use whole bunch Such sweet fruit here - really pretty. Smart projection. delicate and then some grip grows too. This is really good and fresh. Jolly wine with attractive fruit and pleasingly fresh, great restraint of mineralité in the background. 1/3 new wood. Drinking range: 2020 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

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.

Domaine-des-Lambrays
2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS Domaine des Lambrays

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)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

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.
Domaine-Christophe-Perrot-Minot
2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS La Rue de Vergy Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

2017 MOREY SAINT DENIS La Rue de Vergy Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

After the Bourgogne, there is a sweeter hit up front and lighter feel. More sleek. More uplifting. Fruit is delicate and has good pep to the red berry middle. Some weight builds some breadth, butAfter the Bourgogne, there is a sweeter hit up front and lighter feel. More sleek. More uplifting. Fruit is delicate and has good pep to the red berry middle. Some weight builds some breadth, but this is elegant and precise - with a well ripened middle. Balanced well-concentrated - but good lines. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Justice des Seuvrées Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot

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)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

Domaine Bernard Dugat-Py

Domaine Dugat-Py's wines are far from shy and retiring, but they do require patience to show their best. Old vines, tiny yields, viticulture with minute and constant attention, all lead to a magnificent concentration and purity in the raw material. Without extracting harsh tannins, Loïc (who despite his youthful good-looks, has overseen the wine-making since 2012) gets an astonishing density into the wines, and they take on the high percentage of new oak quite casually. (The village wines get 55-65% new wood, while the Premiers Crus and Grands Crus are all aged in 100% new barrels.)

The wines are every bit as good as you'd expect from this domaine in 2017 and for once may not be as devilishly long-lived as usual. As Loïc said the wines have an openness and a more aerial feel this year - and are deeply charming for it. The season he says was unusual and with the vines recovering from the loss of so much fruit in 2016 to frost (almost 30%) they went in to overdrive producing lots of grapes in 2017. Taking counsel from his father and grandfather he resisted the urge for a bountiful harvest and spent August thinning out the crop with a thorough green harvest. 'No holiday for me' he said cheerfully - and kept smiling as he explained they dropped enough fruit to fill another 20 barrels - ouch! There were, said Loïc, some problems with 'blocage de maturité' where young vines really suffered in the 36/37-degree heat. The harvest was early - starting on the 2nd of September, they were among the first. Neither in 2017, nor in 2018, was there really anything to do on the sorting table. The understanding and skill from the three generations of Dugats was crucial in such fine results. When you taste these mesmerising wines, you realise that all the right decisions were made. A real highlight on our tour of the region. Dense and intense but with a lovely softness in 2017, truly extraordinary.

These wines are in high demand, but it is still well-worth making requests, especially if buying other wines. Likely to be released in March.

Domaine-Bernard-Dugat-Py
2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Domaine Bernard Dugat-Py

2017 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Vieilles Vignes Domaine Bernard Dugat-Py

Loïc opened up the tasting with this fabulous wine, as ever the tasting in this cellar takes you to another realm. The Vieilles Vignes comes from 30 to 50 year old vines. Wow. Immediately the palateLoïc opened up the tasting with this fabulous wine, as ever the tasting in this cellar takes you to another realm. The Vieilles Vignes comes from 30 to 50 year old vines. Wow. Immediately the palate is rocked by great power. A purity to the fruit is lovely. with lots of carefully ripened, cherry-edged red fruit. Nicely concentrated but there is an openness here that is specific to the vintage. A joyous bounce of red-fruited energy drives through the middle. It is more supple than some, but so joyful. A wondrous opener here. Drinking range: 2022 - 2029L&S(Nov 2018)

75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond