This article originally appeared in Noble Rot (13). Jean-Marie Guffens may have mellowed with age, but he remains a bull in the china shop of his fellow vignerons’ sensibilities. This ruddy faced Belgian-turned-Burgundian is certainly not afraid to shock. ‘When Parker told me I was one of the three best white winemakers in the world, … More Rebel Aesthetic: the wines of Jean-Marie Guffens
Tasting from bottle is essentially a matter of recording one’s impressions. Bottled wines are stable and evolve comparatively slowly; though they may be more or less open, easier or more difficult to read, tasting them is, at least in principle, a simple enough task. Tasting from barrel is appreciably more difficult: seldom does one encounter … More Reflections on tasting from barrel: revisiting Vincent Dancer
Visiting Domaine Ramonet was always going to be something of a personal pilgrimage. Ramonet’s wines were among of the first white Burgundies to grab my attention, initiating a fascination which has only deepened over the years that followed. The domaine’s wines exhibit a rare amalgam of amplitude, depth and precision which always makes an arresting … More A visit to Domaine Ramonet
Domaine Dugat-Py in the village of Gevrey-Chambertin produces some of the most controversial wines in Burgundy. On the one hand, critical plaudits abound: one of a handful of Domaines awarded three stars in the Revue du Vin de France’s famous classement, the Dugat-Pys’ wines have long been lauded by Allen Meadows and a succession of … More The wines of Domaine Dugat-Py
Perhaps Meursault’s reputation as a rich wine, evocative of peaches and hazlenuts, was never more than a cliché; but for an inaccurate caricature its persistence is impressive. Tasting in the village this summer, vignerons assured me time and again that, though Meursault is often a ripe, ample wine, their intention was to produce something more … More What is Meursault?
Over lunch with two seasoned sommeliers last week, conversation turned to the subject of Champagne Salon’s recent releases: the 2002 and 2004. “Has the Salon style changed?”, I asked, observing that to my palate the vintages of the new millennium lacked the energy of those produced during the last. The discussion was interesting. While my … More It’s not you, it’s me: thoughts on Champagne Salon
Domaine Coche-Dury’s wines are almost universally celebrated as the pinnacle of white Burgundy. As John Gilman writes, in many ways, Jean-François Coche ‘wears a mantle in the pantheon of white Burgundy winemakers that Henri Jayer wears amongst the red winemakers’, and since Raphaël Coche officially took over the reins from his father in 2010 this … More Reflections on quality, taste, and Coche-Dury’s white Burgundies