Four White Wines from Burgundy

  • Domaine J P & B Droin

Wine :Chablis – from Grand Cru to Petit Chablis                    Stockists: Goedhuis

During the Great War soldiers on long forced marches would slake their thirst by sucking pebbles.  And this is what the great wine writer Harry Yoxall was put in mind of when tasting Chablis.  Chablis is Chardonnay but true Chablis, such as that of Monsieur Droin, is unique.  It is a wine that speaks of place and that could come from nowhere else on earth.

  • Louis Latour

Wine: Huge negociant with some of its own holdings.  Huge range of wine including Grand cru, Chablis, White Burgundy, Pouilly Fuissé and Macon.  Has holdings in Montrachet.                                                                       Stockists: Majestic, Waitrose 

Burgundy is complicated; it is that simple.  So, to better understand a region of 25 villages, 116 appellations and over 4,500 growers, where do you start?  You start with a negociants, such as Louis Latour, who buys the tiny outputs of myriad growers, irons out their idiosyncracies and so introduces the world to the wines that have moved princes and pauper alike.

  • Pierre Yves Colin Morey

Wine: Cote d’Or.  Some holdings of his own, also buys grapes from others, Batard Monrachet (a grand cru) down to Bourgogne.      Stockists: A&B Vintners

Pierre-Yves represents a new breed.  Soaring land prices coupled with the Napoleonic system of inheritance mean that today’s generation will rarely have enough land to satisfy their or their customers’ demands.  So growers such as Pierre-Yves buy in grapes from equally conscientious growers to augment their own meagre production and then raise intense complex wines (nevertheless in tiny quantities) that advertise white burgundy as the greatest white wine on the planet. 

  •  Domaine de la Soufrandise

Wine:  Pouilly Fuissé and various Macon Villages     Stockists: A&B Vintners, Christopher Keiller

When is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? When the wine is made by Domaine de la Soufrandise, for one. Burgundy is seen by many as the apogee of terroir, of the expression in the glass by one grape of one place.  But what if your holdings are too many and too small? Nicolas Melin has overcome this by vinifying his 20 plots separately and then blending them to create a greater expression of place than any single plot could do on its own

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