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Monthly Newsletter - Featuring Burgundy - 02/26/2018 - Monthly Newsletter

For many, Burgundy is a mystifying region. This is quite understandable given the sheer number of appellations and producers, but we would argue, the inherent complexity of this region shouldn’t be a deterrent to exploration, if only for the simple reason that the wines are downright delicious. All one really needs in order to fully enjoy the wines of Burgundy is the right guide and a knowledge of one’s own personal taste. This month’s newsletter serves as just such a resource, cutting through the complexity surrounding Burgundy and focusing on those producers and bottlings that we’ve found deliver the best of this region. Included are limited production, collectible bottles as well as affordably priced everyday drinkers, and everything in between. Fans of Burgundy have been especially lucky of late, as the back to back vintages of 2015 and 2016 were nothing short of superb. Each has their own distinctive profile, with wine critic Allen Meadows noting: “one is a vintage of heat and concentration and the other is a vintage of transparency and elegance.” So depending on what you are looking for there’s plenty of wines here to suit your palate. Our Burgundy buyers Trey and Alex have done an excellent job curating a wide selection of Burgundies that wonderfully capture that stunning range and diversity of this hallowed region.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2015 Danjean-Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge "Chaume Ronde" $16.99 View
2014 Vignerons des Terres Secretes St-Véran "Les Cras" $18.99
Wine Club Price: $14.99.
2015 Albert Bichot "Secret de Famille" Bourgogne Rouge $19.99 View
2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "Serpentières" $34.99 View
2015 Domaine Huguenot "Charmes aux Pretes" Marsannay $39.99 View
2015 Domaine Thomas Morey Beaune "Greves" 1er Cru $39.99 View
2015 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Chambolle Musigny $59.99 View
2015 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) 94 $124.99 View
2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 95 $189.99 View
2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 96 $329.99 View

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2015 Danjean-Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge "Chaume Ronde" ($16.99)

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2018

Another little gem in our lineup of bargains this month. It starts with a deep, dark nose of rich fruit and tobacco. On the palate, medium to full weight, with dark cherry fruit and a clean finish that has a good amount of chalky acidity. Excellent!

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 26, 2018

Where have you been all my life? Super aromatic with spice, cranberry, and a gorgeous purity of fruit. Big acid. Wild, fresh, and fruity. I'm always a bit skeptical of recommending wines at the price range for cellaring, but I'm confident that the structural elements on this wine will actually improve if you want to case-down and forget it for a few years. But with that said, it's totally delicious now.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 27, 2018

Well, folks, we've found it! A phenomenal value for 2015 Bourgogne Rouge, well under 20! This wine has all the lovely round fruit and palate weight that we are finding in many wines from this vintage, but it doesn't sacrifice structure. Don't be deceived by the price point here. This little wine could easily age gracefully for 5 to 10 years. That's the beauty of Burgundy in a great vintage like this. You can find phenomenal wine with structure and depth from a lesser known area that is built to age.

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2014 Vignerons des Terres Secretes St-Véran "Les Cras" ($18.99) Wine Club Price: $14.99.

A winemaking cooperative in the Mâconnais, comprising members who seek out the most "secret" plots of earth to make their distinctive wines. This bottling comes from a vineyard in St-Véran, bordering Pouilly-Fuissé, with chalky white and very stony limestone soils. The wine's fresh personality exudes marzipan, citrus, and fresh flowers on the nose, while providing a buoyant minerality and salinity through to the finish.

Staff ImageJacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 05, 2018

Here we have a serious Burgundy with some age to it, for a price far below of what one would expect of a wine of this pedigree. Very well integrated notes of oak, give it a touch of nuttiness reminiscent of a Meursault. I can see this pairing fantastically with say... grilled oysters.

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2015 Albert Bichot "Secret de Famille" Bourgogne Rouge ($19.99)

Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A relatively fresh and bright nose is composed by notes of red berries and earth with a back ground hint of wood. There is fine detail and vibrancy to the attractively textured middle weight flavors that possess fine concentration for the appellation, all wrapped in a lingering finale. This could be drunk young or aged for a few years first. Recommended. *Outstanding Top Value*" (01/2017)

Decanter: "A Bourgogne produced mostly from purchased Côte de Nuits fruit. Juicy and very ripe red fruit nose. It is quite rich and juicy, with ample body and light tannins. The fruit is concentrated, with spicy notes too. A very good Bourgogne, with moderate length. (SB)" (12/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "Ten months in oak, 20% new. Light to mid cherry red. Gently and sweetly spiced red fruit. Fragrant. Juicy, mouth-watering and succulent. Gentle and generous but not flabby thanks to the lively fresh finish. Tannins just present on the finish to keep it in shape. Excellent balance and I imagine it will be Good Value. (JH)" (12/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Bourgogne "Secret de Famille" comes from fruit sourced from around the Côtes de Nuits as usual. I have to say, I appreciate the joie-de-vivre on the simple nose that bounds along with black cherry and cranberry aromas. The palate is sweet and ripe on the entry, but there is also good acidity here and a dash of black pepper enlivening the finish. Enjoy this over the next couple of years. (NM)" (12/2016)

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2018

A deep, earthy nose on this one! Add bright, spicy fruit and just a little pepper and you have a very memorable wine. On the palate, medium weight with more red than black fruit, and a long, lingering finish that has some clean clay notes. Another great one at a wonderful price!

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2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru "Serpentières" ($34.99)

Jean-Michel Giboulot took over the family business in 1982 and has put together one of the best bang-for-your-buck portfolios in all of Burgundy over the last three-plus decades. His wines are known as great values out of Burgundy's Savigny-lès-Beaune appellation and both the reds and whites are equally strong. Giboulet's wines straddle the line between traditional and modern with reds that have crunchier fruit and fine tannins, but plenty of ripeness and pureness of fruit. The whites are done in a feminine style with rounder fruit and a certain elegance that lingers long on the palate. His domaine holdings outside of Savigny are some of the best in the region with eastern exposures that allow for full ripeness and plumpness of flavor. About the domaine from Allen Meadows: "Jean-Michel is the third Giboulot to head the family estate in Savigny-lès-Beaune, presiding over the 12 ha in Beaune, Pommard and Savigny since 1982. The domaine recently converted to organic farming and a program of more destemming." (10/2017)

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2015 Domaine Huguenot "Charmes aux Pretes" Marsannay ($39.99)

Neal Martin writes: "The Huguenot family can trace their viticultural roots back through ten generations, to the year 1789 in the village of Marsannay. It is presently managed by Philippe Huguenot, who runs their 22 hectares of vine in Marsannay, Fixin and Gevrey (including one grand cru in the shape of Charmes-Chambertin), and under his tenure, the vines have been converted to organic viticulture that was completed in 2010. Here is another Marsannay producer whose wines are helping buff up the reputation of this overlooked appellation, especially with their superb Marsannay Montagne."

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2015 Domaine Thomas Morey Beaune "Greves" 1er Cru ($39.99)

As part of the 10th generation of his Chassagne family, Thomas Morey carries on the winemaking traditions his parents and grandparents raised him with. After working at his parents winery for twelve years, he launched his own domaine in 2006 with his wife Sylvie. Their first vintage release was 2007, and the wines have been exciting and beautiful examples of top-tier Burgundy terroir since. The Beaune Grèves cru is known for its unique sandy soils and for holding the special "Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus" parcel. Morey's holdings have been under his family's care since the 60s and span the length of the cru. The quality of the 2015 vintage makes this a wine for the cellar, with 20% new oak it adds just the right touch of strength and nuane to match the deep red fruit, spice tones and structure of the wine.

2015 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Chambolle Musigny - 1 available ($59.99)

2015 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes (Pre-Arrival) ($124.99)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Graphite and spice notes seep into the edges of this cherry- and kirsch-flavored red. Piercing and persistent, with fine balance and a silky texture. Ends with a long, saturated aftertaste. (BS)" (01/2018)

89-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Here the more reserved nose is compositionally similar to the Aux Echézeaux but it's spicier. The succulent and fleshy medium-bodied flavors possess good mid-palate richness which contrasts markedly with the firm, serious and robust finale that displays a touch of rusticity. This recommended effort is also very good and very Gevrey. *Outstanding*" (01/2017)

89-92 points Vinous: "Bright medium red. Red fruits, animal fur and game lifted by a floral element on the nose. Plush and seamless; a step up in thickness and suavity from the Aux Echézeaux, with its deep raspberry fruit complicated by a mineral component. Mouthfilling but not heavy, finishing quite long, with tannins totally supported by fruit. (ST)" (01/2017)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes comes from several parcels around the appellation. I admire the bouquet here, very pretty with perfumed red cherries, crushed strawberry and subtle rose petal scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. This is supple in the mouth with good acidity, upfront fleshy red cherry and strawberry fruit with a pinch of white pepper completing the finish. Recommended. (NM)" (12/2016)

K&L Notes: Domaine Fourrier is a Burgundy wine estate based in Gevrey-Chambertin on the Côte d'Or. Its wines, mostly made from Pinot Noir, are highly sought-after and known for their silky finesse. Jean-Marie Fourrier took over his family estate in 1994 aged just 23. He worked with the legendary Henri Jayer in Vosne-Romanée in the late 1980s. The latter's influence is reflected in the domaine's fastidious approach in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery. Following in the manner of Henri Jayer, grapes are destemmed very carefully and are not crushed before fermentation, limiting extraction of color and tannins from the skin. Natural yeasts are used and punch-downs are done by hand. Fourrier's wines are aged for around 16-20 months, usually with just a small portion of new oak, and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru ($189.99)

95 points James Suckling: "This is a very structured Corton-Charlemagne with phenolic strength and vivid fruit character of lightly cooked apples and hints of straw. So polished yet layered. Like a red wine in mouthfeel. Try in 2022." (04/2016)

94 points Vinous: "Highly complex, soil-driven aromas of lime blossom, menthol, white pepper, mint and musky flowers. Utterly seamless and suave but very youthfully unevolved, with fresh citrus and mineral flavors complicated by sexy brown spices. A wonderfully subtle, lemony, penetrating wine with great flavor intensity and near-perfect acid balance. Most impressive today on the very subtle, slowly mounting, ultimately palate-staining finish. Conveys an impression of nobility without huge weight or power. Bouchard has bottled a splendid set of grand crus in 2014. (ST)" (09/2016)

94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "(from a huge 3.65 ha plot in Le Corton) Mild notes of wood and reduction mask the underlying fruit though I can say that it appears to be ripe. Otherwise there is outstanding volume and concentration to the big-bodied and openly muscular flavors that exhibit evident power and punch on the hugely long finale. This is presently very compact and like the Perrières very clearly built to age. I should note that while this is certainly going to need time it is not especially austere and I suspect that it will begin to drink well after only 5-ish years or so if that's your preference. Drink: 2024+. *Don't miss!*" (07/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Well-marked by new oak, along with lemon, white peach and mineral flavors, this gets more integrated as the lively acidity drives the long aftertaste. Give this six months to a year to really sing. (BS)" (07/2016)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2018

This is a really difficult review to write. There are plenty of notes from professional listed above, who have far more experience tasting wines of this caliber than I have, or possibly ever will have. But for someone who loves wine, and especially someone who loves white Burgundy, I can tell you that being able to taste wine of this caliber is such a pleasure, and totally thrilling. The oak touch on this wine is very apparent, but the quality of the fruit holds it remarkably well.Unbelievably concentrated with racy acid. Citrus notes really peak on the palate, with a background of deeper flavors that move and cycle through the palate: hints of lemon, lime zest, minerality. The finish is deep, resonating, and long. The quality is so apparent, it seems certain that even now it is not at its best and will continue to improve over time. This is why I love white burgundy.

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2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru ($329.99)

96 points John Gilman: "The 2015 Clos des Lambrays includes ninety-five percent whole clusters this year and isa stunning wine in the making. The bouquet is deep, pure and very expressive out of the blocks, soaring from the glass in a blaze of black plums, sweet cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, gamebird, raw cocoa, a great base of dark soil tones and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with laser-like focus, great balance and grip and a very long, fine-grained and vibrant finish. This will take at least a decade to blossom, but it will be a great wine in the fullness of time. 2025-2075+." (01/2017)

96 points Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, offering hints of lavender, menthol and orange peel, but on the palate this becomes an immutable block, with a kernel of cherry, black currant, licorice and mineral flavors locked within. The tannins have the upper hand now, but this should develop well. (BS)" (02/2018)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Clos de Lambrays Grand Cru contains 95% whole cluster fruit, part of the crop with thicker skins deprived of their stems according to winemaker Thierry Brouin. It is being aged in 50% new oak. It has dusky black fruit on the nose, earthier than I was expecting given the growing season, the stem addition lending a subtle undergrowth and moss-like scent. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and offers succinctly judged acidity. It is certainly harmonious in the mouth with a generous dash of black pepper on the finish, a pleasant prickle in the mouth after the wine has departed. Whilst not the purring engine that is Clos de Tart since it is more rough-hewn perhaps, this Clos des Lambrays has a charm of its own. (NM)" (12/2016)

93-95 points Vinous: "(made with 95% whole clusters; Brouin destemmed 5% of the fruit owing to the thick skins of '15): Healthy dark red. Subdued but complex, sexy scents of raspberry, mocha, brown spices and earth: a real essence of this distinctive grand cru. Sappy and wild, conveying terrific intensity and precision to its red berry and spice flavors. Tactile, savory, dense and very long, finishing with lovely energy and peppery lift and a lingering element of salty minerality. Beautifully integrated ripe tannins suggest that this will be an outstanding and long-lived vintage for Clos des Lambrays. The pH here is 3.6, which Brouin described as normal. Brouin added that potential alcohol levels following the sorting were around 12.5% in 2015, and that the finished wines will be between 13% and 13.2%. (ST)" (01/2107)

94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "(produced from two large parcels of differing vine age - one that is approximately two-thirds of the blend and is now 50+ years of age and a second, smaller group of vines that is approximately 25+ years of age; made with 100% whole cluster). Here too the nose is quite ripe yet very fresh with its layered array of spicy and markedly floral-inflected black cherry and plum scents that are trimmed in both discreet wood and menthol nuances. There is impressive size, weight and power to the more mineral-driven and refined medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by a distinctly firm tannic spine on the wonderfully persistent and mildly austere finale. This is first-rate and one serious wine in 2015 and thus be prepared to allow it at least 10 to 12 years first. 2027+" (01/2018)

K&L Notes: Tracing their history back to 1365, Domaine des Lambrays holds nearly all of the famous Clos des Lambrays vineyard. Ownership of the domaine has changed hands many times since the French Revolution. Although the vineyard was given premier cru classification in 1936, the wines have long been hailed as legendary by critics, and the vineyard was promoted to grand cru in 1981. Winery notes: "The Clos des Lambrays is full-bodied, rough and supple, 'a hand of iron in a glove of velvet.' With flavors of black fruits (blackberries and blueberries), it is powerful and elegant with round and noble tannins."