Disappointed that you can’t buy Christophe Roumier’s 2015 Musigny? You’re not alone. He made 360 bottles of it—for the whole world to fight over. Looking for Mugneret-Gibourg, Dujac, Jacques-Frederic Mugnier and Domaine de la Romanee Conti without success?
Well don’t give up hope. There’s a whole new world of amazing Burgundy out there waiting for you to discover it.
Burgundies I can’t buy and Burgundies I can
There is a category of Burgundy that I now classify as “Wines I used to buy.” There are two reasons why: price and scarcity. I don’t think I have to tell you their names.
People ask me all the time if I have any wine from this or that famous domaine, and the answer is no. If the answer is yes, then the price is too high and they won’t buy it (but first they have to tell me how much less it used to cost).
For years I have advised people to buy the most modest wines from the world’s best winegrowers. This strategy works the world over, though less and less frequently in Burgundy.
There is hope! Established but underperforming domaines are being revitalized by a new generation taking over, a generation with the passion and know-how to elevate them. Many of these growers are recent graduates of Beaune’s wine school, the Lycee Viticole, and are practicing the best techniques of farming, harvesting and cellar work, often by bringing back the old traditions combined with modern knowledge. They are growing better grapes, carefully pruning, limiting yields, sorting so that only the best bunches are used, vinifying intelligently and practicing the best elevage possible.
The wines are top notch, and not yet chased by every collector the world over.
Exciting brand new domaines are being created like Heitz-Lochardet in Chassagne Montrachet, Domaine des Croix in Beaune, Domaine Nicolas Faure in Nuits Saint Georges and Domaine de la Cras in the Coteaux de Dijon. There are new negociants like Benjamin Leroux, Marchand-Tawse and Chantereves, and almost of the established negociants are making much better wines than in the bad old days.
All of this is aided by the explosion of absolutely top-notch U.S. importers who find, support and distribute this new generation. Becky Wasserman is, famously, one of the most important Americans to work in Burgundy. She discovered legends including Lafarge, Bachelet and the aforementioned J-F Mugnier. She and her family have also found and supported some of our favorite young producers, including Nicolas Faure, Chantereves and, of course, Benjamin Leroux.
The Wassermans are not alone. Many of our favorite importers are working with new producers — Grand Cru, Douglas Polaner, T. Edwards, Neal Rosenthal, Kermit Lynch, Michael Stephens, Jeanne-Marie des Champs and more.
Who are tomorrow’s untouchable stars?
Christophe Roumier had a very talented intern named Dominique Le Guen who took over his father-in-law’s domain – Hudelot-Baillet in Chambolle Musigny. Buy his wine.
Young Maxime Cheurlin became a vigneron in 2010 at Domaine Georges Noellat. His grandmother had sold the family’s grapes to negociants for 20+ years. He graduated from the Lycee Viticole in Beaune and staged at Emmanuel Rouget and Gros Frere et Soeur. Look for his wine too.
Some of the best new domaines produce off the-the-beaten path appellations. Look for Berthaut-Gerbet in Fixin, Sylvain Pataille and Bruno Clair in Marsannay, Hubert Lamy in Saint Aubin, Domaine Lafouge in Auxey Duresses.
In Rully, Dureuil Janthial, Stephane Aladame in Montagny makes pure and beautiful white wines. Domaine Chanzy and Aubert de Villaine making great wines in Bouzeron. Dominique Gruhier is in Epeneuil, near Chablis, which you probably haven’t heard of but really should get to know.
These are all high-quality Burgundy wines that are great values. We encourage you to check out the wonderful, still unheralded appellations they call home.
Even if you’re interested in the most sought-after villages there are tremendous producers for you, too. In Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Digioia-Royer and Domaine Anne & Herve Sigaut make beautiful, traditional wines from great sites. The Sigauts, in particular, have some very old vines. 2015s from both producers are still available—and they’re just a fraction of the price of today’s stars.
In Gevrey Chambertin, Domaine Duroche and Domaine Marc Roy make incredible wines, including from village plots perfectly situated right next to Premier and even Grand Cru vineyards. The most famous Burgundy village of all Vosne Romanee, there are wonderful producers who haven’t yet found international super-stardom. Georges Noellat, Jerome Chezeaux, Regis Forey, Vincent Legou and Richard Maniere all bottle classic Vosne Romanees that I am very happy to be laying down in my cellar.
You can still find good deals in Burgundy and outstanding quality if you keep an open mind and are willing to try wines from new producers and appellations.
How to get access
If you would like first crack at these great new wines, and at special discount, please sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to select the Burgundy sub-list on the second page (and any others that appeal, of course). It’s probably worth noting that when we do get the hardest to find wines, our most active subscribers hear about their wines first, too.
New domaines (first generation)
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet — Chassagne Montrachet
Domaine Georges Noellat — Vosne Romanee
Domaine Cecile Tremblay — Morey Saint Denis
Domaine des Croix — Beaune
Domaine Nicolas Faure — Nuits Saint Georges
Domaine de la Cras — Coteaux de Dijon
Domaine Sylvain Pataille — Marsannay
Dominique Gruhier – Epeneuil
Great new negociants
Domaine Bernard Moreau – Chassagne Montrachet
Domaine Georges Noellat
Domaine Hudelot Baillet – Chambolle Musigny
Domaine Hubert Lamy -Saint Aubin
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet – Fixin
Beaune (especially Beaune 1er Cru)
Chassagne – red