Reviews: FRANCE – Burgundy

Alex Gambal, Chambertin (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($235, Ruby Wine):  Alex Gambal’s new winemaker, Geraldine Godot, has brought his red wines to a new level.  She modestly told me she didn’t make this wine.  She just “raised” it.  Well, she did an excellent job.  It has superb weight and length, befitting a grand cru, with none of the hardness or angularity that plagued some 2008 reds.  Supple tannins are seamlessly integrated into the wine.  It has amplitude and persistence.  Just when you think the finish has receded on the palate, it reappears.  It’s not a massively powerful wine, but it delivers enormous flavor.  And that’s its charm and stature. 95 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Jean-Claude Belland, Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($150, VOS Selections): Although located in Santenay in the Cote de Beaune, Belland owns a small portion–less than an acre–of the grand cru vineyard, Chambertin.  His 2005 has the earthy and leathery notes atop red and black fruit flavors that make Chambertin so alluring.  It gets more impressive as it sits in the glass.  Long and elegant, it wows you with finesse, not sheer power, although there’s plenty of that as well. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Maison Louis Latour, Chambolle Musigny (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($48, Louis Latour, Inc.): Here is a great village wine, fleshy and plump, with unexpected length. Delicious now. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Bruno Clair, Chambolle-Musigny (Burgundy, France) Les Veroilles 2005 ($60, Vineyard Brands): Although not from a premier cru vineyard, this wine has all the style and class of one.  The aromatics predict a lovely wine and in this case, the nose does not lie.  Supple silky tannins surround a lush mixture of ripe black and red fruit flavors.  Again, in Burgundy one must always remember the producer, not the pedigree of the vineyard. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Girardin, Chambolle-Musigny (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2005 ($52, Vineyard Brands): Girardin makes little or no wine from premier cru vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, opting to buy grapes from growers who own plots classified simply as Chambolle-Musigny, presumably because he feels they deliver better value.   I hate to classify a $50 wine as a ‘value wine,’ but considering Burgundy, especially in the 2005 vintage, it probably is.  The fleshy silkiness, the hallmark of Chambolle-Musigny, is combined with ripe forward fruitiness and a touch of Burgundian earthiness. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Louis Jadot, Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($100, Kobrand): Also from purchased grapes, this Charmes Chambertin attests to the validity of the appellation contrôllée system. It has more of everything–complexity, length, and power–than the Petite Chapelle. 94 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Domaine Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) Rouge 2006 ($28, Louis Latour Inc.): Although the grand and premier cru vineyards of Chassagne-Montrachet produce three times as much white wine as red, its village wines are more often red than white and, like this one, are often very good values.  This charming Pinot Noir-based wine delivers pure bright cherry-like flavors intertwined with a hint of leafiness.  It has the charming, delicate quality of good red Burgundy and is perfect for drinking now. 87 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Caillerets 2006 ($75, Louis Latour Inc.): Wines from Les Caillerets, one of Chassagne-Montrachet’s most refined 1er cru, often have more finesse than most of the wines from that village, which tend to be a bit earthier.  Latour’s fits that mold, delivering elegance more associated with Puligny- than Chassagne-Montrachet.  Still, the characteristic earthiness is apparent and the combination along with bracing acidity makes this wine especially attractive.  This sophisticated wine blossoms in the glass and will benefit from several years in the cellar. 91 Michael Apstein Sep 16, 2008

Château de la Maltroye, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos du Château de la Maltroye 2010 ($75, Jeanne Marie de Champs): This vineyard surrounds the Château de la Maltroye and is owned solely by them, somewhat of a rarity in Burgundy since most vineyards have been divided and subdivided among multiple owners over the centuries. Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of red wine from Chassagne-Montrachet because they can be green and rustic. But this one is spectacular. Jean-Pierre Cournut, the owner of Château de la Maltroye, notes that his Clos du Château “needs two more years that my other reds before it settles down.” Burly and broad and this stage, it shows signs of sophistication and finesse in its incredibly long finish. Fine tannins support its wild strawberry-like fruitiness and balancing acidity imparts a wonderful freshness. This is a red Chassagne that I would put in my cellar. 95 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Domaine Piron et Lafont, Chenas (Beaujolais, France) Quartz 2006 ($18, Michael Skurnick): Chenas is one of the 10 villages in Beaujolais whose wines are distinctive and are allowed to carry the village name—instead of the more generic Beaujolais-Villages—on the label.  The name, Quartz, comes from a vein of quartz running through the vineyard and is responsible for the wine’s earthy minerality, which acts as a lovely complement to its red cherry fruit-like flavors.  There’s more substance here than with a Beaujolais-Villages, and fine tannins reinforce the message that this is serious wine. 88 Michael Apstein Feb 2, 2010

Potel-Aviron, Chénas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2009 ($19, Frederick Wildman):  I love the range of Potel-Aviron’s 2009 Beaujolais.  They are ripe and precise across the board.  This Chénas, perhaps the least well-known Beaujolais cru, has plenty of verve to balance the explosive fruit.  Plumy undertones and a hint of earthiness come together beautifully.  Showing well now, it actually should develop more complexity with another couple of years in the bottle.  It delivers far more than the price tag suggests. 92 Michael Apstein Nov 6, 2012

Domaine Coquelet, Chiroubles (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($20, Louis Dressner Selections): Damien Coquelet, only 20 years old, comes from a family–Descombes–whose name is synonymous with superb Beaujolais.  This Chiroubles could be the poster child for the wines of that village.  Very fragrant, with a delicate–almost lacey–minerality, it is not grapey at all.  You can almost taste the granite subsoil for which the region is famous. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 13, 2009

Maison Drouhin, Chorey lès Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($25, Dreyfus Ashby): Wines from Chorey les Beaune, the only village in the Côte d’Or without a premier cru vineyard, offer great value when they are crafted by a talented producer like Drouhin. With pure fresh red fruit flavors, this one is uncomplicated and charming now. An excellent buy. 86 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Drouhin, Chorey-lès-Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($26, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.): Less well-known towns just outside of Beaune in the heart of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, such as Savigny- or Chorey-lès-Beaune (lès means near), offer consumers an excellent opportunity to savor the charms of Burgundy without taking out a second mortgage.  A step-up from Drouhin’s very good and well-priced Bourgogne Rouge (reviewed previously), their Chorey-lès-Beaune has a surprising complexity for a “lesser” village wine, with alluring delicate earthy notes to complement the bright juicy red fruit-like flavors.  Mild, supple tannins lend support without blunting its charm.  Ready to drink now, another year or two in the cellar will likely bring out even more layers of enjoyment, so there’s no rush. 89 Michael Apstein Sep 8, 2009

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chorey-lès-Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($22, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.): This stylish wine, from a village just north of Beaune, delivers quintessential Burgundian character at a reasonable-for Burgundy-price. Remarkably long, with the hint of earthiness that screams ‘Burgundy,’ it reminds us that good producers, such as Drouhin, make satisfying wines even in what the French call, ‘difficult years.’ 88 Michael Apstein Oct 10, 2006

Mommessin, Clos de Tart (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($485, Jeanne-Marie de Champs, Domaines & Saveurs Collection):  Clos de Tart is one of the most under rated grand crus of the Côte de Nuits.   Located in Morey St. Denis and owned entirely by the Mommessin family, it has been producing sensational wine since Sylvain Pitiot, who is obsessed with quality, took over as cellar master in 1996.  (There is no longer any connection between the Mommessin family and the négociant firm of the same name, the latter having been sold to Jean-Claude Boisset.)  Although the vineyard’s exposure, south-south east, is uniform, Pitiot has at least six different cuvees based substantial differences in the subsoil that he blends for the final wine.  The 2009 is simply sensational.  Glossy and deep, the slightly bitter cherry notes speak clearly of Morey St. Denis.  Signs of oak barrel aging are still apparent in this young wine, but it’s gorgeous balance and plenty of stuffing means all will come together seamlessly.  It’s not overwhelming power that impresses, but rather waves of flavor without a trace of heaviness or weight.  Pitiot was so pleased with the quality of the grapes in 2009 that he made no La Forge de Tart, their second wine.  The ‘09 Clos de Tart is the epitome of great Burgundy.  Those with deep pockets should buy it.  The rest of us can just dream.
97 Michael Apstein Apr 17, 2012

Domaine Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($170, Jeanne-Marie des Champs Selection):
The producer is always important in selecting Burgundy, but especially
when buying wine labeled Clos de Vougeot.  The quality of the wines coming from this famed grand cru varies enormously because the vineyard is large and is divided among more than 60 owners.  Some, like Lamarche, make wonderfully expressive wines.  Others do not.  But all will be expensive.  Lamarche’s 2010, tightly wound at this stage, has all the hallmarks of a great Clos de Vougeot with a haunting combination of floral elements and deeply concentrated minerality.  Beautifully balanced, it needs a decade for it to unwind and its stature to show.  No doubt about it–Lamarche’s deserves the grand cru moniker. 95 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Clos Vougeot (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($160):  Although a famous Grand Cru, Clos Vougeot is the source of highly variable wines because of the vast number of growers who own vines in this famed vineyard.  Indeed, the Burgundy mantra of producer, producer, producer is doubly important here because the wines are never inexpensive.  Bouchard’s, a vigorous young wine, conveys a nearly overwhelming combination of minerals, fruit and floral notes.  An initial firmness gives way to reveal a fabulous combination of floral notes and massive minerality.  Despite its power, it has finesse and grace.  Bouchard’s 2010 Clos Vougeot is truly Grand Cru. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2012

Liger Belair, Clos Vougeot (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($140): The promise of this young wine is most apparent in its nose and the extraordinary finish.  Prominent aromas of oak are balanced by plenty of fruit and the combination is hard to resist.  Tightly wound at this early stage of its life, strawberry and other red fruit-like flavors sneak out from the tannins and oak.  Its silky texture is commensurate with its grand cru status. 94 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Corton Grancey 1999 ($70, Louis Latour, Inc): Corton Grancey is Latour’s flagship red wine made from their grapes grown in various Grand Cru vineyards on the Corton hill. The 1999 Corton Grancey is a stunning wine. Moreover, at seven years of age, it is delicious now. Lovely secondary earthy Burgundian flavors overlay the pure, ripe Corton fruit character. It’s well deserved Grand Cru status lies with its length and finesse as opposed to sheer power. 95 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2006

Maison Ambroise, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Rognet 2009 ($121, Robert Kacher Selection):  Maison Ambroise is a name you can trust in Burgundy.  Their wines, from the lowliest appellation to the prestigious Grand Cru, such as this one, reflect the vintage and place beautifully.  This gorgeous Corton Rognet is well structured with a solid core of dark minerality and luxurious, almost sweet, red and black fruit flavors.  A healthy dose of earthy and smokey notes shows its savory side.  A serious wine, it has the requisite charm expected of red Burgundy.  It’s wonderfully expressive now, but its beautiful structure and impeccable balance suggests it’s built for the long haul. 95 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2012

Maison Faiveley, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Corton Faiveley 2005 ($216, Wilson Daniels): Faiveley owns about 7.5 acres of the Grand Cru vineyard, Le Corton, near the summit of the Corton hill just below the protective shield of trees.  It’s almost always their best wine and at tastings is invariably served after the more powerful ones from the Côte de Nuits.  The 2005 is a fabulous combination of dense ripe red and black fruit flavors combined with an extraordinary silkiness and polish.  It’s a winning combination. 95 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2007

Hospices de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) “Cuvée Charlotte Dumay” 2005 ($135, Brown Forman): All wines from the Hospices de Beaune are made by the Hospices’ winemaker and then sold to a firm, such as Michel Picard in this case, which finishes the aging, known as élevage.  (The name of the firm performing the élevage appears at the bottom of the label).  With a captivating floral nose, this shows the pure–almost sweet–fruit characteristic of great reds from Corton, fine tannins, and great length all come together in this elegant and stylish wine.  It deserves its Grand Cru status–not because of sheer power–but because of finesse and complexity. 93. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 29, 2008

Vincent Girardin, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Renardes 2005 ($88, Vineyard Brands): Girardin’s style favors the forward fruity side of Burgundy rather than the earthy leafy side.  Impressive, almost flamboyant aromas, precede the packed, ripe flavors–from fruit, not oak–that are the predominant features of this silky wine.  Nicely balanced, it shows the ripeness of the vintage without going overboard. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2007

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) “Grancey” 2006 ($120, Louis Latour Inc.): Corton, the only grand cru vineyard for red wine in the Cote de Beaune, is large and produces wines of variable quality.  Latour, the largest owner of the vineyard, makes one of the best.  Corton Grancey, a proprietary–not a plot–name, is a blend of wine from Latour’s best grand cru plots within the Corton vineyard.  It has a core of ripe, almost sweet, red fruit that is immediately captivating.  Unusually forward wine for a Corton, it still has a firmness that will take years of cellaring to soften.  Even at this stage, there are nuances of leafiness and earthiness that are the hallmark of Burgundy.  Not an intense wine–this is not the Cote de Nuits–it has marvelous persistence nonetheless. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 3, 2009

Jean-Claude Belland, Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos de la Vigne Au Saint 2005 ($72, VOS Selections): Clos de la Vigne au Saint, one of the many Corton Grand Cru, is well- known as a flagship of Maison Louis Latour’s reds because they are practically the sole owner of the vineyard and consistently make a marvelous wine from it.  ‘Practically’ is the key word because Jean-Claude Belland owns just over an acre in this vineyard and also produces an exceptional red wine from its grapes.  Belland made a sensational wine in 2005.  Incredibly pure and long, it has concentrated ripe–almost sweet, but not in a sugary way–fruit notes.  Add the silky texture and you have a classic Corton.  The tannins are fine and make it surprisingly easy to drink now.  But resist the temptation.  This wine will evolve beautifully. 91 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Maison Drouhin, Côte de Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($25, Dreyfus Ashby): The Côte de Beaune appellation, less well known in the US than Côte de Beaune Villages, ranks between Beaune and the Beaune 1er Cru in stature, acording to Véronique Drouhin. Primarily made from wines from the young vines of Drouhin’s flagship property, Beaune Clos des Mouches, it has forward, pure ripe fruit flavors, little tannin, and good acid. It is a fine example of Beaune–as good as many producers’ Beaune 1er Cru–and represents an excellent value. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Domaine Michel Lafarge, Côte de Beaune Villages (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($34, Becky Wasserman Selection):  Lafarge, a world-renowned producer of Volnay, makes other wines, albeit in small quantities.  They are so good they are worth the search, especially in the case of this Côte de Beaune Villages, which is reasonably priced, at least for Burgundy and Lafarge.  A silky texture allows the pure fruit flavors and subtle earthy notes to shine.  It floats across the palate.  Not a packed and ripe Pinot Noir-based wine you’d expect from the New World, but rather the perfect expression of the delicacy and persistence that is Burgundy. Tasted over three nights, it got better and better with more complexity emerging, which suggests to me that even this wine from a “lesser” appellation, as enjoyable as it is now, will reward a few years of cellaring. 91 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2012

Potel-Aviron, Côte de Brouilly (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2009 ($18, Frederick Wildman):  The Côte de Brouilly, one of the ten crus of Beaujolais, is known for stylish wines.  And this is one of them.  Firm, but not hard, a classy minerality explodes on the palate.  This is serious stuff. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 27, 2012

Mâcon-Villages, Domaine Jean Touzot (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) 2010 ($13, The Country Vintner):   Michael Apstein Mar 7, 2012

Domaine Francois Lamarche, Echezeaux (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($110, Domaines et Saveurs Collection): Domaine Lamarche is probably best  known for being the sole owner of a small Grand Cru in Vosne-Romanée, La Grand Rue, a vineyard that lies between La Tâche and Romanée-Conti.  But the Domaine makes an extraordinary range of other wines, including the Grand Cru, Echezeaux.  The producer is always the critical element in selecting Burgundy, but especially so for Echezeaux, a large Grand Cru vineyard (almost 100 acres spread over 11 different sites) with many owners, which will always have a Grand Cru price tag, but not always have Grand Cru quality.  There is no question that Lamarche’s 2005 is a true Grand Cru.  Powerful, yet polished, it offers a plethora of flavors–ripe black fruit, earth, a hint of dried leaves–that emerge with time in the glass.  It’s length and waves of flavors (rather than sheer intensity) are the hallmarks of a great wine. 95 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2007

Maison Nicolas Potel, Échézeaux (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($157, Frederick Wildman): In Burgundy, it’s rare to have a consistently great vintage for reds, such as 2005, or a poor one, such as 1992.  In most years, there’s lots of variability. There were even duds in 2005 and some excellent 1992 reds.  The 2007 reds exemplify Burgundy’s normal variability.  Amidst this variability, Potel’s Échézeaux is a standout.  It’s a harmonious package of ripe red and black fruit flavors with an earthy minerality and gorgeous balance.  Succulent and long, it’s truly a Grand Cru. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Mongeard-Mugneret, Échézeaux (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($95, Vineyard Brands): The Mongeard-Mugneret style values finesse over power so it’s not a surprise that this grand cru grabs your attention with elegance, complexity and length rather than sheer intensity.  A hint of exotic mushroom-like nuances intermingled with fresh red fruit makes it the epitome of great Burgundy, incredible flavor without heaviness.
93 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Domaine St. Martin, Fixin (Burgundy, France) 1er Cru Les Hervelets 2004 ($40, Chemin des Vins/Patrick LeSec): Perhaps the best wine from Fixin I’ve ever had, the 2004 from Domaine St. Martin has layers of flavors and length. Not marred by the hardness sometimes found in wines from this village, its pure fruit flavors are complemented by an engaging earthiness. It’s an elegant style of wine. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 12, 2006

Château des Labourons, Fleurie (Burgundy, France) 2011 ($18, Louis Latour USA): Fleurie, one of the ten named villages or crus of Beaujolais, is allowed to put its name on the label, with or without reference to Beaujolais.  The Château des Labourons has opted to omit Beaujolais from the label because, as Bernard Retornaz, the President of Louis Latour Inc in charge of North American Market, said, “This is real wine, not some grapey swill that’s become associated with Beaujolais.”  He is so correct.  This Fleurie, fermented in old vats in the traditional way, has depth and an earthy appeal that balances its fruitiness.  The barely perceptible tannins in this mid-weight wine even allow you to chill it slightly for drinking with grilled skirt steak this summer.  This is not your father’s Beaujolais.
90 Michael Apstein Jun 25, 2013

Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) “Cuvée Tardive” 2007 ($30, Louis Dressner Selections): The Clos de la Roilette is a beautifully located 22-acre vineyard in Fleurie, one of the ten crus (named villages) of Beaujolais, adjacent to Moulin-a-Vent.  This, the Cuvée Tardive–not to be confused with a vendange tardive, which would indicate a sweet wine–is a selection from old vines and typically needs more aging time.  The 2007 is no exception.  This is no flowery or grapey Beaujolais.  Rather, it’s serious stuff, with firm tannins, but plenty of stuffing–black fruit and spice–to reward cellaring. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 10, 2009

Henry Fessy, Fleurie (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2007 ($13, Louis Latour Inc.): The venerable Burgundy négociant, Maison Louis Latour, has just purchased this well-known Beaujolais producer.  Although we can expect a bump up in quality as Latour takes control, this 2007 Fleurie, from one of the 10 named villages in Beaujolais, is already an engaging wine.  Floral and fruity, it represents quintessential, easy-to-drink Beaujolais, perfect for everyday fare.  While not terribly complex, it has more concentration and finesse than most of its ilk. 86 Michael Apstein Jan 27, 2009

Alain Burguet, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) “Mes Favorites” Vieilles Vignes 2009 ($100, Frederick Wildman):  Here’s an example of how the French appellation system breaks down.  This village wine delivers more elegance and complexity than many producers’ wines from premier cru vineyards.  For this wine, Burguet combines grapes from old vines located in various parcels that lie on the slope between the village and the road.  Both the slope location and the old vines contribute to the wine’s extraordinary complexity.  It delivers a seamless combination of ripe fruit and savory nuances without bearing heavy or overbearing. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 3, 2012

Domaine Humbert Frères, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2009 ($60, Vins Divins):  Not all village wines are created equal, which highlights another flaw in the French appellation system.  This one towers above most village wines because of the contribution of the old vines that, for whatever reason, add a dose of complexity.  The earthy, savory aspect is enhanced by the sweet succulence of the 2009 vintage.   Firm but smooth, tannins and bright acidity offset the lush fruit element.  At this risk of repeating myself, you can’t have too many ‘09 red Burgundies in your cellar.  And be sure to include this one. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 24, 2012

Domaine Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) Ostrea 2003 ($53, Chemin des Vins/Patrick LeSec): The Ostrea vineyard, not a premier cru, is located on the north-Brochon-side of Gevrey and takes its name from the oyster shells found in the soil. Ripe and supple-but not hot as was all too frequently the case with 2003 Burgundies-Trapet’s village Gevrey-Chambertin has lovely balance and is delicious to drink now. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 12, 2006

Maison Louis Latour, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($66, Louis Latour, USA):  Village wines from Gevrey-Chambertin can be among the most disappointing red Burgundies because some growers think they can get away bottling anything and selling it under that famous name.  Fortunately, this is not one of them.  Quite the contrary, the complexity and finesse suggest a premier cru.  Indeed, the superb 2009 vintage for red Burgundy gives consumers an opportunity to buy many village wines with the character of premier crus.  Supple tannins are in perfect harmony with the ripe fruit, a hallmark of the 2009 vintage.  A subtle intriguing leathery component complements its fruitiness.  It’s a great village wine.  You can’t have too many 2009 red Burgundies in your cellar. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

Dupont-Tisserandot, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($55, VOS Selections): Village wines, caught between entry level regional Bourgogne or Côtes de Nuits Villages and the sought-after premier and grand crus, are often overlooked–even scorned–by Burgundy drinkers.  Don’t overlook this one.  It leads with a subtly floral nose and then grabs you with an elegant combination of spice, leather and earth.  It highlights the finesse and length on Pinot Noir as opposed to raw power. This is a fine example of a village wine. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Domaine Maume, Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($63, Kermit Lynch): Domaine Maume, a family run property, owns about 10 acres of vines in Gevrey-Chambertin.  When young, Maume wines, like this one, emphasize power rather than finesse.  In this case, there’s enormous concentration, more than you’d expect for a village wine, but at this stage the oak flavor and tannin is a little too prominent, which means it’s a good candidate for the cellar.  Undoubtedly, it will settle down and come together over the next several years. 87 Michael Apstein Oct 28, 2008

Maison Louis Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos St. Jacques 2005 ($129, Kobrand): This is a Grand Cru wine in all respects except the label.  The story goes that when the locals were classifying the vineyards in the 1930s as either Grand or Premier Cru, the Clos St. Jacques was set to be included as a Grand Cru.  The problem was that a resident of Meursault owned the vineyard and–all politics being local–the citizens of Gevrey-Chambertin quashed its inclusion into that rarefied classification.  Jadot’s 2005 Clos St. Jacques has that magical combination of power without heaviness.  Polished and rich, the never-ending subtleties of earth, black fruit and spice bombard the palate. 95 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2007

Domaine Dominique Gallois, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Petits Cazetiers 2009 ($90, Frederick Wildman):  Les Petits Cazetiers is adjacent to Les Cazetiers, its famous neighbor that many producers believe is the village’s best premier cru vineyard.  But there’s nothing small about this wine.  It’s quintessential Burgundy delivering flavor without heaviness.  Leathery and earthy notes peek out from a rich, but not overbearing, assortment of red and black fruit flavors.  Paradoxically it’s almost delicate despite the waves of flavors.   Long and fresh, it’s a beautifully structured and balanced red Burgundy that’s irresistibly charming now. 93 Michael Apstein Mar 27, 2012

Domaine Gallois, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Combe Aux Moines 2005 ($100): The demand for the marvelous 2005 vintage in red Burgundy has pushed all the prices higher.  You may shudder at the price–after all, this is premier, not grand, cru–but you’ll smile after you taste the wine.  Gallois’ Combe Aux Moines delivers those classic Gevrey-Chambertin earthy, woodsy touches mixed with a hint of smoke and plenty of black fruit.  It conveys incredible flavor–without heaviness–and length, while retaining elegance.  Good structure (in the forms of fine tannins and vibrant acidity) suggest that this wine will enjoy a long life. 93 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2007

Dupont-Tisserandot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Les Cazetiers) 2006 ($96, VOS Selections): In addition to his excellent village Gevrey-Chambertin, Dupont-Tisserandot made a stellar group of wines from that village’s premier and grand cru sites in 2006.  The signature–elegance and finesse, not raw power–is the same, but this Les Cazetiers has more of everything, reflecting the stature of the vineyard.  Nuances of gaminess marry nicely with the spice and leather notes.  Fine tannins make it remarkably approachable now. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Denis Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Lavaux St. Jacques 2007 ($165, Martine’s Wines, Inc.):  This pretty wine shows the grace and beauty of some 2007 red Burgundies.  Floral and delicate, it’s long and balanced.  But don’t for a minute think that delicate means light.  No, this is classic Burgundy: flavor–savory leafy notes–without weight.  And very appealing now.  The only drawback–not unique to this wine, but to many Burgundies in general–is the price. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 20, 2010

Lucien Le Moine, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Cazetiers 2007 ($108, Vintus):  Le Moine, a small négociant–his total production is only 2,500 cases–started just a decade ago, but has already made a name for himself.  He works with one or two growers in each appellation focusing on Premier and Grand Crus and producing only a few barrels of each wine.  Les Cazetiers is considered one of the top premier cru vineyards (along with Clos St. Jacques) in Gevrey-Chambertin.  Le Moine’s 2007 is wonderfully supple and polished now with gorgeous flowing red fruit-like flavors.  But the almost ethereal earthiness and leathery notes bring a haunting savory quality that complements its fruitiness.  Beautifully integrated, additional flavors emerge with each sip.  It’s hard to imagine it won’t be one of the top red wines from the vintage. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Dupont-Tisserandot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Lavaux St. Jacques 2006 ($96, VOS Selections): This premier cru comes across a little coarser than his Les Cazetiers and shows Burgundy’s earthier side.  Although not as refined, it conveys a charming rusticity.  It would be a good choice for more robust fare. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Louis Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Petit Chapelle 2002 ($55, Kobrand): From purchased grapes, Jacques Lardière, Jadot’s exceptionally talented winemaker, has produced a very good, earthy, surprisingly big wine from a lesser known premier cru. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Domaine Lucien Boillot, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Cherbaudes 2006 ($85, Kermit Lynch):  Although the Les Cherbaudes vineyard has good neighbors, adjacent to the Grand Cru Chapelle-Chambertin and just down the hill from Grand Crus Chambertin-Clos de Beze and Mazis-Chambertin, it lacks the prestige of Gevrey’s best Premier Crus, Clos St. Jacques and Les Cazetiers.  And that’s a good thing because, while expensive, this wine actually offers good value considering it’s from Burgundy’s most famous commune.  Domaine Lucien Boillot’s talents are evident in this wine.  Great aromatics predict expansive flavors.  This is quintessential Burgundy– flavor without weight.  Red fruit flavors are imperceptibly interwoven with earthy notes.  It’s a plush and balanced wine that exceeds the expectation of the vintage. 94 Michael Apstein Jul 13, 2010

Domaine Joblot, Givry (Burgundy, France) Clos du Cellier Aux Moines 2007 ($58, Robert Kacher Selections):  Givry, along with Mercurey, are the two most important villages for red wine in the Côte Chalonnaise.   Wines from there may lack the prestige compared to those from the Côte d’Or, but are often equally enjoyable.  Joblot, a leading producer based in Givry, makes wines from a number of that village’s vineyards.  This one conveys a lovely, exotic, slightly barnyard-infused nose that reflects the earthy undertones that nicely complement the black-fruit notes.  Quite long, it has the appealing charm characteristic of the reds from the 2007 vintage and is a good choice for current consumption. 88 Michael Apstein Oct 6, 2009

Alex Gambal, Grand Cru Clos Vougeot (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($175, Schneiders of Capital Hill): The 2009 vintage produced excellent red Burgundies. This is one of them. Though quite ripe, reflective of the warmth of the vintage, it has not lost its focus or identity. This Clos Vougeot captures the minerality and floral aspect of that Grand Cru vineyard and has plenty of structure beneath the ripeness and to assure a long life. Its beautiful balance suggests it will evolve gracefully over a decade or two, so I suggest cellaring it. But it’s pretty charming now. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Domaine Louis Latour, Grand Cru Corton (Burgundy, France) Grancey 2009 ($95, Louis Latour USA):  Corton is the one Grand Cru for red wine in the Côte de Beaune.  A variety of vineyard names, such as Grèves or Clos du Roi, can be affixed after the name Corton.  Grancey, however, is not one of those names.  Rather, it’s the proprietary name that Domaine Louis Latour uses for their best red wine from Corton and is blended from five plots, Corton-Grèves, -Bressandes, -Chaumes, -Pougets, and -Perrières.  Latour is highly selective when considering what wine goes into this bottling.  They don’t make it every year, and even in years when they do, only the best lots are included in the blend; the remainder goes into a “second” wine.  The 2009 Corton Grancey is one of their best ever, rivaling their stellar 1985, which showed beautifully when I tasted it recently.  The 2009 had a supple core of plush dark fruit flavors interspersed with savory and subtle earthy elements.  With each sip, more flavors emerge.  Polished and refined, it is easy to taste–and enjoy–now, but will likely close down in a year or two before it re-emerges in a decade or so.  It’s hard to chose between this and Latour’s 2009 Corton Clos du Roi (also reviewed this week). 95 Michael Apstein Jul 6, 2011

Domaine Louis Latour, Grand Cru Corton Clos du Roi (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($83, Louis Latour USA):  This is a great wine.  But that’s what you’d expect from a fabulous vintage, a superb locale (you think the king gets the second best plot in Corton?) and a conscientious and talented producer.  Although Latour is one of the region’s most prominent négociants, this wine comes exclusively from estate-owned plots they purchased over 100 years ago.  Tightly wound at this stage, its succulence and richness takes time to unfold in the glass.  But succulent and rich it is.  It has a lovely firmness and structure to support its generous core of plump dark fruit.  Those who believe (mistakenly) that Latour’s reds lack substance need only to sample this wine. Expect on cellaring it for a decade or so. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 5, 2011

Maison Louis Jadot, Grand Cru Échézeaux (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($150): The wines from Échézeaux, a large, 90-acre grand cru, are highly variable (like those from neighboring Clos de Vougeot). Although the producer is always important in selecting Burgundy, it’s doubly important when choosing Échézeaux. Jadot makes a great one, and it’s always one of their best wines. It outperforms their bottling of the more prestigious and expensive Grands Échézeaux because in Échézeaux, Jadot has complete control over the viticulture since they own a small piece of the vineyard. Jadot’s 2009 Échézeaux is simply extraordinary. Almost magically, it’s both powerful and refined, delivering a combination of floral notes and earthy minerality. New flavors and nuances float across the palate with each sip. Explosive yet not heavy, it is a classic Burgundy, providing flavor without weight. 97 Michael Apstein Aug 2, 2011

Maison Drouhin, Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($175, Dreyfus Ashby): Sometimes wines from Grand Cru vineyards are disappointing. Not this domaine bottling. It has a magical combination of power and elegance and the extra umph that should characterize a Grand Cru. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Joseph Burrier, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) “Les Paquelets” 2005 ($20, Ex-Cellars): Burrier, proprietor of the high-quality Château de Beauregard in Pouilly-Fuissé, also acts as a small négociant for a few wines from Beaujolais. This terrific wine from Julienas, one of the best crus of Beaujolais, conveys fresh fruity, but not grapey, flavors along with an alluring wildness often characteristic of wines from this village.  Succulent and long, it should convert those who doubt that Beaujolais can be serious wine.  Although expensive compared to mass-produced Beaujolais, it’s a great value based on what it delivers. 91 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Michel Tete, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Domaine du Clos du Fief “Cuvée Prestige” 2006 ($30, Louis Dressner Selections): Michel Tete makes serious Beaujolais.  His wines dispel the notion that Beaujolais is simply grapey swill.  He makes this Cuvée Prestige along with a regular bottling from the Domaine du Clos du Fief (also reviewed this week).  The Cuvée Prestige comes from old vines, which explains the unusual complexity–layers of black and red fruit seamlessly intermingled with minerality–not often found in Beaujolais.  Thirty bucks is a lot to ask for Beaujolais, but this is not your usual Beaujolais.  It will even convert the doubters. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 13, 2009

Potel-Aviron, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2010 ($15):  As with the rest of Burgundy, Beaujolais had two great back-to-back vintages in 2009 and 2010.  And, as with the rest of Burgundy, the styles of the two vintages in Beaujolais are very different, making it extremely difficult to choose between the two.  While Stéphane Aviron calls the 2009s “sunny wines,” his twinkling smile accompanying his words of “finesse-filled” when describing the 2010s indicates he is clearly pleased with them.  After tasting this 2010 Julienas, it’s clear why.  An alluring combination of floral and spicy elements draws you in quickly and the classy finish holds your attention.  There’s not a trace of the ripe grapey flavors often associated with Beaujolais.  Finesse-filled indeed! 90 Michael Apstein Apr 3, 2012

Georges Duboeuf, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Chateau des Capitans 2010 ($19, WJ Deutsch):  Duboeuf, often dubbed the King of Beaujolais because he controls so much of the production of that region, was the first négociant to credit the individual grower by putting growers’ names, in addition to his own, on labels.  Château des Capitans is a well-sited property in Juliénas, one of the ten crus of Beaujolais owned jointly by Duboeuf and his U.S. importer.  While lots of attention has, justifiably, been showered on the 2009 vintage in Beaujolais, the 2010 vintage is also producing excellent wines.  The 2010 Château des Capitans has an attractive “wild” aspect, reminiscent of wild strawberries.  Spice and savory notes balance the bright fruit flavors.  Zippy acidity and mild tannins lend support and make this a serious wine.  Anyone for burgers on the grill? 89 Michael Apstein Aug 23, 2011

Vincent Audras, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Clos de Haute-Combe 2006 ($19, Becky Wasserman Selection):  Julienas is one of the ten crus–best villages–within the Beaujolais region.  This wine’s charmingly rustic character nicely complements and offsets the cherry-like fruitiness.  Mild tannins and bright acidity lend structure without being abrasive.  It’s a perfect “bistro” wine. 89 Michael Apstein Dec 8, 2009

Michel Tete, Julienas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Domaine du Clos du Fief 2006 ($24, Louis Dressner Selections): The wines from Julienas, one of the 10 named villages–or crus–of Beaujolais typically have an attractive spice and rusticity which makes them one of my favorites from that region.  Michel Tete captures that essential essence–spiced red fruit–in this beautifully balanced wine. It has plenty of depth and substance without hard edges.  Drink it now with hearty stews or save it until the weather allows you to throw meat on the grill. 88 Michael Apstein Jan 13, 2009

Michel Tête, Julienas (Beaujolais, France) Domaine de Clos du Fief 2007 ($18, Louis Dressner Selections): Michel Tête, one of the top Beaujolais producers, uses the name Domaine de Clos du Fief for the vineyards he owns in Juliénas, one of the 10 villages in Beaujolais allowed to carry the village name.  Wines from Juliénas typically display a charming rusticity and true to form, this one combines that engaging quality with an earthy—almost briary—character that melds nicely with the bright red fruit flavors.  It’s an ideal match for take-out rotisserie chicken or other simple fare. Michael Apstein Feb 2, 2010

Potel-Aviron, Juliénas (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2009 ($19, Frederick Wildman):  Juliénas, one of the ten named cru of Beaujolais, benefitted, like the rest of Burgundy, from the perfect 2009 growing season.  And Potel-Aviron, one of the region’s most consistent producers, produced stunning 2009s.  You can basically choose his 2009s blindfolded.  This one has beautiful concentration without losing any of the exotic spice and earthiness that characterizes the wines of Juliénas.  Unusual for Beaujolais, this one will actually be better, more suave, in another year or so as the hint of firm tannins melt away.  If you’re drinking it now, open it a few hours in advance, even decant it, and serve it with hearty fare. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($94, Henriot, Inc.):  Philippe Prost, Bouchard’s winemaker, has outdone himself with this Corton.  A beautifully structured frame supports luxuriously ripe dark fruit.  Subtle bitter cherry notes emerge from beneath polished tannins. A savory component in the finish adds to the intrigue. Unusually big and concentrated for Corton, it nonetheless retains all the elegance and finesse characteristic of a Grand Cru. Anyone who doubts that Corton deserves Grand Cru status needs to taste this wine. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2012

Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($91, Henriot, Inc.):  Bouchard has substantial holdings in Corton from which they make consistently fine examples.  This is one of them.  Showing its grand cru status, it conveys a core of ripe–almost sweet–fruit encircled by supple tannins.  Remarkably forward, the charm of the 2007 vintage is apparent.  Still, it has plenty of stuffing and power without losing any of its delicacy. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 12, 2010

Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($91, Henriot, Inc.):  Bouchard has substantial holdings in Corton from which they make consistently fine examples.  This is one of them.  Showing its grand cru status, it conveys a core of ripe–almost sweet–fruit encircled by supple tannins.  Remarkably forward, the charm of the 2007 vintage is apparent.  Still, it has plenty of stuffing and power without losing any of its delicacy. 90 Michael Apstein Nov 9, 2010

Domaine Cordier Père et Fils, Mâcon (Burgundy, France) “aux Bois d’Allier” 2007 ($20, Robert Kacher Selections):  Cordier is one of the producers in the Côte Mâconnais who waited to harvest the Chardonnay and hence, made excellent wines in 2007 because they have with sufficient ripeness to balance the crisp acidity.  Fleshy with a direct impact, this white Burgundy has a subtle stony character more restraint than many New World Chardonnays. 87 Michael Apstein Oct 13, 2009

Maison Louis Latour, Macon-Lugny (Burgundy, France) “Les Genievres” 2004 ($16, Louis Latour): Maison Louis Latour makes fabulous white wines. Their Corton Charlemagne is the benchmark for that Grand Cru vineyard. But it turns out that this “lowly” wine from Mâcon is worth noting as well because it consistently delivers enjoyment at a reasonable price. The 2004 has subtle creaminess and a citric edge that keeps it lively. 88 Michael Apstein Sep 5, 2006

Bruno Clair, Marsannay (Burgundy, France) Longerois 2005 ($38, Vineyard Brands): Bruno Clair’s wines from Marsannay, a less well-known village in the northern part of the Côtes de Nuits, are consistently fabulous and worth the price.  There are no premier cru vineyards in the village and Clair keeps petitioning to have Longerois elevated.  Judging from this wine, it deserves to be. A fabulous and classic nose is followed by earth and fruit intermingled.  Firm tannins, excellent acid and balance complete a harmonious picture.  This wine shows why, in Burgundy, you buy the producer, not the specific appellation. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Closerie des Alisiers, Marsannay (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($28, Ideal Wines):  This wine is for anyone who wants an introduction to red Burgundy–and to see how it differs from California Pinot Noir.  Marsannay (actually Marsannay-la-Côte), basically a suburb of Dijon, is the most northern village of the Côte d’Or and formerly flew under most people’s radar.  But over the last two decades savvy shoppers have discovered that it’s a good place for reasonably priced Burgundy.  Classic Burgundian earthiness complements bright forward cherry-like fruitiness in this rendition.  Mild smooth tannins allow for immediate enjoyment. 89 Michael Apstein Jan 12, 2010

Derey Frères, Marsannay (Burgundy, France) Champs Perdrix 2009 ($29, Vins Divins):  The northern most out post of the Côtes de Nuits, almost a suburb of Dijon, Marsannay is the place savvy consumers should look for authentic Burgundy.  It received its own appellation status barely 25 years ago and authorities have still not awarded at vineyards premier cru status.  In a ripe year, like 2009, the reds from Marsannay are particularly attractive since their drawback can be under ripeness in cooler years.   With its combination of sweet and savory notes, this one is an authentic introduction to Burgundy in general and to the Cotes de Nuits, in particular.  And it’s ready to enjoy now. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 17, 2012

Maison Louis Latour, Marsannay (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($17, Louis Latour, Inc.): Latour has fashioned a remarkable value with this simple Marsannay, a town not known for producing engaging red wines. Its bright fruit makes for a charming, easy to drink wine. Not to be missed. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Maison Louis Latour, Marsannay Rouge (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($17, Louis Latour USA):  The 2009 red Burgundies are sensational.  The extra warmth of the vintage helped the “lesser” appellations, such as Marsannay, even more than the most famous crus, since wines from lesser sites can be thin and acidic in cooler years.  Well, this 2009 Marsannay is a hit.  With good ripeness and a charming strawberry-like fruitiness coupled with leafy notes, you know you are drinking real Burgundy.  Despite Latour’s producing a consistently excellent wine from this village over the last decade, the price has barely budged because it’s still Marsannay, showing that the price of Burgundy is all too often based on the label, not the wine.  So take advantage of it.  It will transform a simple roast chicken. 88 Michael Apstein May 31, 2011

Maison Louis Latour, Marsannay Rouge (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($23, Louis Latour Inc.): Latour has put significant effort into developing wines from a lesser known part of the Cote d’Or, such as Marsannay.  This village, just north of Gevrey-Chambertin and practically a suburb of Dijon, received its own village appellation only in 1987 (prior to that time its red wines were sold as Bourgogne Rouge).  Latour has had great success with this wine  since at least the 2002 vintage (If you see any of the 2005 still available, grab it) and the 2006 is no exception.  Bright red fruit flavors meld with a hint of earthiness to produce a charming, mid-weight ready-to-drink Burgundy.   It would be a good choice for roast chicken or salmon. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 30, 2008

Dupont-Tisserandot, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($142, VOS Selections): The star of Dupont-Tisserandot’s line-up–as a grand cru should be but often is not–this Mazis-Chambertin sings.  It’s clearly grand cru quality and a noticeable step up in every way from his premier cru wines.  Broader and longer, the flavors spread out luxuriously over your palate.  Clearly the selection was impeccable because there’s not a hint of rot or stemminess that sometimes plagues the reds of that vintage.  Hints of mushrooms, gaminess and tar are like condiments and don’t overshadow the bright fruit flavors.  It has incredible depth of flavor without heaviness. 96 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($26, Wilson Daniels): Faiveley has substantial vineyards in Mercurey, a village in the Côte Chalonnaise, just south of the Côte d’Or and known for both reds–from Pinot Noir–and whites–from Chardonnay.  In the past, Faiveley’s red wines from Mercurey were tough when young and needed time–not something most consumers were willing to give–for them to evolve.  There’s been a dramatic change with the 2006 vintage.  Faiveley’s village Mercurey is already approachable and juicy with raspberry-tinged fruit, mild tannins and wonderful balance.  It’s bargain priced Burgundy that shouldn’t be missed. 89 Michael Apstein Oct 21, 2008

Joseph Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($26, Frederick Wildman):  Mercurey, a village and appellation in the Cote Chalonnaise, is a fine source for well-priced authentic Burgundy.  The high-quality Nuits-St. Georges-based négociant, Faiveley, has significant holdings in this part of Burgundy and is a fabulous source for the wines from Mercurey.  The warmth of the 2009 vintage imparted a purity of ripe fruit to accompany the finely etched mineral-tinged flavors.  To their credit, Faiveley has changed its style to make their wines more approachable when young.  The change is noticeable in this Mercurey, which is a joy to drink now.  This easy-to-recommend wine is a terrific introduction to real Burgundy. 89 Michael Apstein Nov 6, 2012

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($27, Wilson Daniels):  There’s been a noticeable change in style–for the better–in Faiveley’s wines since Erwan Faiveley took the reins a couple of years ago.  The firm–sometimes hard–tannins that once made the wines difficult to enjoy when young are gone.  The wines are still well structured, but now are accessible and enjoyable in their youth.  The change is most apparent in their wines from Mercurey, a village in the less prestigious–at least compared to the Cote d’Or–Cote Chalonnaise.  Subtle woodsy notes complement the fresh cherry-infused flavors that make this Pinot Noir-based wine so appealing.  Supple tannins allow you to enjoy it now with roast chicken–or turkey. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 1, 2009

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($23, Frederick Wildman):  It’s worth repeating that Faiveley, one of burgundy’s venerable négociants, has changed its style to make it’s wines glossier and more accessible when young.  The change is perhaps most apparent in there lesser pedigree red wines, such as this Mercurey, which is a charming delight to drink now.  That said, it’s not a New World fruit-focused Pinot Noir.  Rather, it still retains the delicate earthy notes that complement strawberry-tinged nuances that makes red Burgundy unique. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 19, 2011

Château de Chamirey, Mercurey 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Ruelles 2007 ($45, Wildman): You need to look hard to determine this wine is, in fact, a Mercurey 1er Cru because they have relegated that information to the back label, preferring to emphasize the Château de Chamirey, a top flight producer whose home is in that village.  They own the 6.5-acre south-facing vineyard entirely, and make a superb Mercurey from it.  The nicely exposed vineyard means the grapes achieve slightly better ripeness, and the hardness that is sometimes associated with red wines from Mercurey is not apparent.  Fruit-forward, with raspberry tinged nuances, this wine shows the class of a premier cru vineyard.  Enjoyable now, it should develop nicely over the next several years. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 14, 2009

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Myglands 2011 ($48): Showing more complexity and depth than Faiveley’s village Mercurey, this wine validates the French system of vineyard classification. It delivers more minerality and earthiness, imparting a seductive savory aspect to its charming dark fruit notes. Tannins are remarkably velvety, making it also a good choice for current consumption.
90 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Myglands 2008 ($34, Frederick Wildman):  The vineyard, Clos des Myglands, is owned entirely by Faiveley, unusual in Burgundy where vineyards usually are fragmented by multiple owners.  Also unusual is the stature of this wine, from a less prestigious village in Burgundy, not even in the Côte d’Or, but further south in the Côte Chalonnaise.  But since prices of Burgundy are determined more by the pedigree of the locale and less by what’s in the bottle, this one is a great buy.  The delicate–but persistent–red fruit flavors dance across the palate. It’s a nicely balanced package of sweet fruit, leafy qualities and firm minerality characteristic of the Cote Chalonnaise.   Mild tannins than lend needed structure are not intrusive and allow enjoyment now.  It’s got the real Burgundy character of flavor without weight. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 19, 2011

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Myglands 2006 ($43, Wilson Daniels): With more oomph than their straight village Mercurey, Faiveley’s Clos des Myglands is a terrific example of the kind of superb wines that come from this underrated area of Burgundy.  The gorgeous, floral nose is followed by ripe red fruit flavors that coat the palate and persist throughout the finish.  The stylistic changes at Faiveley have served this wine well.  The tannins are finely honed and allow you to enjoy this wine now or over the next several years.  But knowing how the Faiveley wines develop long term, there is no rush to drink it.  Most people will balk at $40-plus for Mercurey, but this is no usual wine from that village. 91 Michael Apstein Oct 21, 2008

Château de Chamirey, Mercurey Rouge (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($39, Wildman): Mercurey, the largest village in the Cote Chalonnaise and larger than even the largest village in the Côte d’Or, remains an under-appreciated site for red Burgundy because much of it is lean and hard owing to its cooler climate (despite its more southern location).  Which makes the wines from Château de Chamirey, one the village’s leading producers, all the more enjoyable.   You need to search the label to realize this is a wine from Mercurey because they have relegated the appellation to the back label, preferring to simplify the front with only the name, Chateau de Chamirey.  But it takes no searching to realize this is a fine example of red Burgundy with its exuberance of bright red cherry flavors supported by mild tannins and a complementary earthiness.  Enjoyable now, it will improve and develop over the next few years, but it will be hard to wait. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey Rouge (Burgundy, France) “La Framboisière” 2011 ($28, Frederick Wildman): Although based in the heart of the Côte d’Or in Nuits St. Georges, Domaine Faiveley has substantial holdings in Mercurey.  They are the prime source for wines from this often overlooked part of Burgundy.  This village Mercurey is overflowing with charming red fruit–dare I say raspberries–underpinned by a hint of stoniness characteristic of the Côte Chalonnaise.  Its purity and freshness make it a perfect choice for current consumption.
89 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Domaine Faiveley, Mercury Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Myglands 2007 ($40, Wilson Daniels): Faiveley, one of Burgundy’s leading producers, has always had a focus in Mercury.  They have substantial holdings there, including this premier cru vineyard, which they own in its entirety (a rarity in Burgundy where most vineyards have multiple owners).  Faiveley’s more approachable new style under Erwan Faiveley leadership and the generally forward character of the red wines in 2007 serve them well with this wine.  Bright, fragrant, cherry-like fruit is apparent, but underpinned by a lovely earthiness that adds complexity and allure.  Unlike past years, the tannins are supple and polished, making it a lovely choice for current drinking. 90 Michael Apstein Nov 24, 2009

Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Les Clous 2002 ($30, Clicquot, Inc.): Although it is surprisingly tight for a village wine at this stage, you can easily see the potential of this classy wine. Its creamy flavors peek out and most importantly, linger. It’s nicely balanced and should develop well over the next year. After tasting it again, I made a note to myself to buy more because it’s a steal at this price. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 18, 2006

Domain Michel Caillot, Meursault la Barre Dessus (Burgundy, France) Clos Marguerite 2004 ($45, Chemin des Vins/Patrick Lesec Selections): With more stuffing and power than Caillot’s Bourgogne Blanc, the elegance of this Meursault makes it more like a Premier Cru than a village wine.  Luxuriously lush, it retains grace that’s the hallmark of excellent white Burgundy.   Looking at the prices of the 2005s makes me run for the 2004 white Burgundies. 93 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2007

Pierre Morey, Monthelie (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($40, Wilson Daniels): It’s amazing how some producers can squeeze every drop of flavor from a ‘simple’ village wine.  Monthelie, a little village off the beaten path in the Cote d’Or, has a reputation for producing ordinary wines.  But Pierre Morey, who makes stellar white wines, coaxes red fruit flavors and a haunting earthiness from this Pinot Noir-based wine.  Charming and juicy, this mid-weight wine should be enjoyed now, with roast chicken or salmon. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 3, 2009

Thierry & Pascale Matrot, Monthélie (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($32, Vineyard Brands): This wine shows the flowery and fragrant style of the red Burgundy spectrum as opposed to the earthy, leafy one.  Full of bright strawberry-like flavors, it has a delicate and lacy quality that persists into its long finish. It captures the essence of the Pinot Noir grape in Burgundy — flavor without weight. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Bouchard Père & Fils, Monthélie 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Duresses 2002 ($30, Clicquot, Inc.): A domaine bottling, this wine is amazingly intense for a Monthélie. A great perfume, coupled with a long, sweet finish and supple tannins, means it’s delightful now. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Domaine Lécheneaut, Morey St. Denis (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($80, Robert Kacher Selection):  Domaine Lécheneaut is a name to remember for high quality Burgundy.  About 25 years ago the sons, Vincent and Philippe, took the reigns from their father, Fernand, who founded the Domaine in 1950, and started to bottle their wines instead of selling them to a négociant.  Tightly wound at this stage, this Morey St. Denis has all the glorious ripeness of the 2009 vintage buttressed by firm, yet polished tannins and excellent acidity.  Like a volcano, the dark bitter black cherry signature note of that village’s wines slowly bubbles as it sits in the glass.  If you’re planning to enjoy this authentic expression of Morey St. Denis now, it should be decanted an hour or so in advance.  Otherwise, put it in the cellar for a decade.  Lécheneaut’s Morey St. Denis shows that talented producers can make stunning wines from vineyards that carry only a village, and not premier cru, appellation. 92 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2012

Lucien Le Moine, Morey St. Denis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos de la Roche 2007 ($173):  Many 2007 red Burgundies are entering the “drink-me-now” stage. Le Moine’s Clos de la Roche has the earthy, slightly mushroom nose, which to me is the hallmark of mature Burgundy.  Intermingled with mature notes are vibrant and very pretty fruit elements.  What separates a grand cru, such as Le Moine’s Clos de la Roche, from lesser appellations is not its power, but its incredible complexity and finesse. A lovely firmness and slight bitter cherry notes remind you this is Morey St. Denis—and an excellent one at that.
93 Michael Apstein May 1, 2012

Jean-Paul Brun, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2009 ($22, Louis Dressner):  The 2009 vintage in Beaujolais was fabulous, as it was in the rest of Burgundy for red wines.  Brun is small, dedicated producer who extracts the unique character from each of his wines.  This one from Morgon, one of the top crus of Beaujolais, has great minerality–you can almost taste the granitic soil.  It’s firm, not hard, with plenty of flesh.  Not at all grapey, it shows that high quality, exciting wine can come from this oft-maligned area. 91 Michael Apstein Jun 14, 2011

Château des Jacques, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2009 ($22, Kobrand):  Here’s a hat trick–excellent producer, a top-notch village in Beaujolais, and a great year for red Burgundy.  Now, with a couple of years of age, this Morgon is perfect for drinking and shows its real stuff.  The tannins have mellowed and the concentrated earthy dark fruit flavors emerge clear and bright.  This is real wine, not the tutti-fruiti Beaujolais that has become so prevalent in the marketplace. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2012

Georges DuBoeuf, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) “Jean Descombes” 2009 ($14, WJ Deutsch):  Georges DuBoeuf was the first négociant to highlight the source of the wine and give credit to the grower, such as Jean Descombes, who is one of Morgon’s finest.  Always one of DuBoeuf’s best Beaujolais, the 2009 Morgon Jean Descombes is especially appealing and reflects the quality of the vintage.  Not grapey and sweet, ripe black fruit flavors are balanced by earthy notes.  Supple tannins provide support and backbone without impeding immediate enjoyment.  This is marvelous Beaujolais that should convince skeptics that the region is a source of real wine–often at friendly prices. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 4, 2011

Maison J. J. Vincent, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Charmes 2009 ($19, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  Morgon, one of the 10 cru of Beaujolais, is known for wines with structure that frequently benefit from a year or two of bottle age.  This Morgon has the ripeness reflective of the vintage and the firmness of the appellation, a perfect combination.  It’s a seriously good wine that can be enjoyed now. 90 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Maison J. J. Vincent, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Charmes 2010 ($19, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  Vincent’s 2010 Morgon is as charming as their 2009 but in an entirely different way.  Reflective of the 2010 vintage, it’s less fruity and more mineraly than their 2009.  Its brightness and purity makes it equally enjoyable.  The tannins are polished, not hard, so it’s a good choice for current consumption with a hearty dish, like lamb shanks. 90 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Château des Jacques, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2009 ($22, Kobrand):  Maison Louis Jadot, the Beaune-based Burgundy négociant, has always made an array of fine Beaujolais, from their Beaujolais-Villages up to the single-vineyard bottlings of Château des Jacques, the property they purchased in Moulin-à-Vent in the mid-1990s.  The 2009 vintage in Beaujolais, similar to the remainder of Burgundy, produced great wines.  And this is one of them.  Ripe, but not grapey, smoky nuances balance the fresh red berry fruit flavors.  It’s surprisingly supple for a young Morgon, which makes it a lovely choice this summer for grilled burgers. 89 Michael Apstein Aug 7, 2012

Domaine Marion Pral, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Les Charmes 2009 ($20, Bourgeois Selections):  Morgon, one of the best of the ten crus of Beaujolais, has many unique and distinctive areas within it.  Wines from its famed Côte de Py often have a hard edge when young whereas those from Les Charmes are, as the name implies, more charming.  Domaine Pral’s is voluptuous, but with a firmness and vivacity that lends sufficient structure.  The tannins are present, but subdued enough to allow you to chill the wine a touch on a hot summer day.  Ripe black fruit notes and spice reflect the outstanding 2009 vintage, certainly the best in Beaujolais since 2005 and one of the top vintages in two decades. 89 Michael Apstein Aug 23, 2011

Louis-Claude des Vignes, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Côte du Py 2006 ($27, Louis Dressner Selections): The Côte du Py is considered the finest slope in the commune of Morgon, one of the cru of Beaujolais.  Its exposure and schist-filled soil impart a firmness to the wines that make them unique.  Unlike most Beaujolais, wines from the Côte du Py, such as this one, need time to soften and allow their considerable charm to show.  Also unlike most Beaujolais, there are no grapey flavors here.  Rather, this serious wine delivers an earthy minerality along with black cherry notes and moderate tannins.  If you opt to drink it now, give it plenty of air and pair it with robust food. 89 Michael Apstein Mar 17, 2009

Terres Dorees, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2007 ($21, Louis Dressner Selections): More wines like this one would restore Beaujolais’ reputation as an area for fine wine.  From Morgon, one of the 10 cru of Beaujolais, this wine speaks of minerals and earth, not the grapey flavors often associated with area.  It has a lovely firmness that balances the sour cherry-like flavors.  Although wines from Morgon can age and develop–and this one will–it is delightful now. 89 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Daniel Bouland, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2008 ($23, Peter Weygandt Selection):  This is a surprisingly forward Morgan, one of the cru of Beaujolais that usually needs a few years to reveal its charms.  But here, bright black and red cherry-like fruit flavors shine.  Not a fruit bomb, a backbone of tannin and earthy notes in the finish provide impeccable balance and support. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 15, 2009

Georges Duboeuf, Morgon (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2010 ($14, WJ Deutsch):  This is a firmer rendition of Beaujolais, with more black rather than red fruit flavors and less of a savory element.  Minerality underpins its ripeness.  You can almost feel the granite soil.  It’s another Beaujolais with substance. 87 Michael Apstein Aug 23, 2011

Terres Dorees, Moulin-a-Vent (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2007 ($27, Louis Dressner Selections): Moulin-a-Vent, along with Morgon, has the potential to produce the biggest and most complex wines in Beaujolais.  This one is serious stuff, with plenty of minerality and earthiness supported by a welcome and surprising–for Beaujolais–firmness.  A fine choice for hearty winter fare now, it undoubtedly will evolve and improve over the next decade. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Château des Jacques, Moulin-À-Vent (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Clos de Rochegres 2005 ($36, Kobrand):  Jadot, with the wines from their Château des Jacques property, is redefining Beaujolais.  Although not the current vintage, the 2005 Château des Jacques Clos de Rochegres is still widely available at the retail level.  Consumers should search for it because it shows the staggering potential of wines from this region, which is overlooked as a source of fine wine because consumers associate it only with Beaujolais Nouveau.  With its 20 acres, Clos de Rochegres is the largest of the five unique vineyards that comprise Château des Jacques.  Depending on the year, Jadot bottles a wine from some (or all) of the five vineyards.  As with the rest of Burgundy, the 2005 vintage in Beaujolais was superb and this wine at four years of age has replaced much of its fruit profile with an engaging earthy minerality.  Still ripe and lush, it has supple unobtrusive tannins and a lovely briary aspect.  Neither rustic nor perfectly polished, it delivers a wonderful complexity and depth rarely seen in Beaujolais. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 8, 2009

Château des Jacques, Moulin-à-Vent (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Clos de Grand Carquelin 2009 ($30): This wine redefines Beaujolais. Anyone who ever doubted that Beaujolais could be a truly grand wine needs to try it. The Clos de Grand Carquelin is one of the five distinct and non-contiguous parcels that comprises the Chateau des Jacques estate. Maison Louis Jadot, one of Burgundy’s leading producers, purchased the Château des Jacques in 1996 and opted to use Burgundian–not traditional Beaujolais–winemaking techniques of destemming, long fermentation and wood aging. The wine opens with haunting floral aromas followed by a minerality that reflects the granite soil of the clos. Glossy tannins add structure and balance its substantial weight and spicy notes. Uncanny elegance and length makes you recheck the label because it’s hard to believe this is Beaujolais. 92 Michael Apstein Aug 2, 2011

Château de Beauregard, Moulin-à-Vent (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) “La Salomine” 2005 ($30): Joseph Burrier owns a small vineyard in the village of Moulin-à-Vent, the village in Beaujolais that produces the region’s most substantial wines.  From it, he produces this serious wine that reflects the stature of the 2005 vintage in Beaujolais.  Bright and dense, with exotic and mineral-like overtones, its tannins suggest cellaring it for a few years or enjoying it now with hearty wintertime fare. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Jayer-Gilles, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) “Hauts-Poirets” 1999 ($90, Robert Kacher Selections): Here’s a wine that shows the limitations of France’s appellation dorigine contrôlée (AOC) system. From a non-classified vineyard in Nuits St George, Jayer-Gilles has fashioned an incredibly polished wine–one of the best Nuits St. Georges I have tasted–far surpassing most producers’ premier cru. Silky and long with gamey, smoky flavors intertwined with fresh black fruit-like flavors, it’s quintessential Burgundy. Who would imagine that a bottle of a village Nuits St. Georges wine could sell for $90? But who could imagine that one could be this good. 95 Michael Apstein Jan 10, 2006

Joseph Faiveley, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($54, Frederick Wildman): Village wines from Burgundy frequently get lost between the Premier and Grand Crus that Burgundy aficionados search for and less expensive regional wines that serve as an introduction to the region. Wise consumers will not let Faiveley’s Nuits St. Georges slip through the cracks. Faiveley has managed to polish and add refinement without losing or obliterating the characteristic wildness of Nuits St. Georges. Enlivening acidity buttresses the ripeness of the vintage and imparts freshness. This wine, like many of the 2009 red Burgundies, is quite engaging now because of its opulence. Yet its balance suggests it will evolve and develop nicely with bottle age. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2012

Domaine Faiveley, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($63, Wilson Daniels):  Burgundy’s village wines, such as this one, are often overlooked because they are caught between the exalted Grand and Premier Crus and the “entry-level” regional wines.  Admittedly many village wines are forgettable, but not this one.  Its gorgeous nose is followed by black-fruited ripeness, earthiness and the ever so slight rusticity that makes wines from Nuits St. Georges so appealing.  It has more polish, grace and length than many producers’ premier crus.  Like many 2007 red Burgundies, it is seductive to drink now. 91 Michael Apstein Oct 6, 2009

Robert Chevillon, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($75, Kermit Lynch): Chevillon, one of the leading producers in Nuits-St.-Georges, has made a village wine that has more sophistication than most and suggests that he included some declassified premier cru juice.  Attractive earthiness mixed with ripe black fruit and nicely integrated fine tannins give a charm not often seen in village Nuits-St.-Georges.  Judging from Chevillon’s track record, this wine will take on even more complexity with years in the bottle, although it’s quite fine right now. 88 Michael Apstein Oct 28, 2008

Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) Les Vaucrains 2006 ($110, VOS Selections): Similar to Chauvenet’s other wines, there’s lots of evidence of new wood.  But in contrast, this one is nicely balanced–perhaps because Les Vaucrains is one of the village’s best premier cru vineyards.  The alluring wild side of Nuits St. George is evident and adds a complementary note to the ripe black fruit flavors.  The fine tannins are well integrated.  Still, this is a wine that is more about power than finesse. 87 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) Rue de Chaux 2005 ($78, VOS Selections):

Although packed with lush fruit, aromas and flavors of new oak dominate this premier cru at this stage.  The usual exotic, slightly wild edge found in wines from Nuits St. Georges remains in the background, waiting to emerge.  Either drink it now and enjoy the power and creamy vanilla-scented flavors or cellar it for a few years hoping the oak becomes integrated with time.

86 Michael Apstein Jul 8, 2008

Domaine de Perdrix, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Aux Perdrix 2007 ($120, Wildman): Amaury Devillard, whose family owns this domaine, feels they were particularly successful with their red wines in 2007 because they waited until the last moment to harvest and made a severe selection, discarding as much as 75% of fruit from some vineyards.  Their meticulousness shows in this wine from a virtual monopole (they own 99% of the vineyard).  The ripe, charming red and black fruit notes characteristic of the 2007s reds are present, but with supporting structure than many reds from that vintage lack.  It has good intensity, balance and a polish that complements the usual wildness of wines from Nuits St. Georges.  This is definitely a 2007 red to put in the cellar even though it’s captivating now, but because its structure combined with the reputation of the domaine insures it will develop beautifully. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Henri Gouges, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Porrets 2005 ($87, Vineyard Brands): Gouges owns the entirety of this clos, the best part of the Porrets vineyard.  In 2005, he made a gorgeous wine from it.  Firm yet ripe tannins, sweet black cherry-like fruit, bright acidity, and an alluring earthiness make this a quintessential young red Burgundy.  Surprisingly lush with none of the rusticity often associated with wines from that village, it has an unexpected elegance. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Joseph Faiveley, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Porêts 2009 ($74, Frederick Wildman): Faiveley has managed to imbue a wine from Nuits St. Georges with considerable elegant without obliterating the unique “wild” or unrefined aspect of that appellation. This is a more sophisticated expression with excellent balance and verve befitting a premier cru. It’s packed, as it should be considering the vintage, but has plenty of structure and should dissuade any skeptics that the 2009 vintage for red Burgundies is exceptional. It can be enjoyed now, but should develop gracefully over the next decade or two. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Domaine Lécheneaut, Nuits St. Georges Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Damodes 2008 ($80, Robert Kacher Selection):  This wine reminds us not to overlook the red Burgundies from the 2008 vintage, a year that was largely overshadowed by the ripe and lush wines of 2009.  Talented producers, such as Lécheneaut, made red wines in 2008 with enough flesh to balance the acidic structure.  And this is one of them.  The location of the Les Damodes vineyard at the northern end of Nuits St. Georges bordering Vosne-Romanée explains the wine’s grace and elegance.  Still, the subtle underlying rusticity characteristic of the wines from Nuits St. Georges remains apparent and adds an alluring charm.   Precise and fresh, this gloriously complex wine shows the beauty of Burgundy. 94 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2012

Domaine Faiveley, Nuits-St. Georges (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($60, Wilson Daniels): Faiveley, one of the great names in Burgundy, recently changed their top-level management with an eye to tweaking the style of its wines to make them more modern and approachable when young.  The change is already apparent in the 2006 vintage and should make every serious Burgundy fan revisit Faiveley wines.   Much more approachable and less austere than previous renditions, this village wine shows that the new team knows what it’s doing. An earthy richness balanced by firmness — not the searing tannins of previous Faiveley wines that took years to mellow — makes this an excellent village wine.  There’s still plenty of extract and concentration, but just a bit more roundness and finesse at this stage. 88 Michael Apstein Oct 7, 2008

Louis Jadot, Pernand-Vergelesses (Burgundy, France) “Clos de la Croix de Pierre” 2010 ($35, Kobrand):  Jadot’s Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de la Croix de Pierre is always a fabulous value in white Burgundy because half of the wine comes from a premier cru vineyard, En Caradeux, yet the wine is labeled–and priced–as a village wine. The 2010 is creamy and lush, with a lively lemony finish.  It’s a generous wine with excellent structure and the vivacity characteristic of the vintage. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 8, 2012

Mongeard-Mugneret, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Vergelesses 2005 ($46, Vineyard Brands): The Mongeard-Mugneret estate, located in Vosne Romanée in the Côte de Nuits, recently purchased a piece of this premier cru vineyard further south in the Côte de Beaune.  They are off to a great start with this 2005, their first bottling.  Silky and ripe, it is classic Mongeard-Mugneret style, which highlights delicacy and elegance, not over-extraction and size.  Beautifully balanced with great length, it is one of the more affordable — at least for Burgundy — wines in this vintage. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Maison Louis Latour, Pommard (Burgundy, France) Epinots 2002 ($55, Louis Latour Inc.): With the impeding tidal wave of promotion for the 2005 red Burgundies and the inevitable rising prices it will bring, now is a good time to look for remaining stocks from the superb 2002 vintage.  Latour’s reds have frequently taken a back seat to their superb whites, although since 1999 that has been changing.  This wine, from one of the best vineyards, Epenots, in the village of Pommard is powerful and ripe yet balanced by a tautness of youth.  Delicious now as an example of young red Burgundy, its balance and structure suggest it will evolve beautifully over the next decade.  It reminds me of what Louis Latour once told me about wine, “Great wines always taste good regardless of their age.” 92 Michael Apstein Feb 13, 2007

Maison Drouhin, Pommard (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($43, Dreyfus Ashby): The denser, spicier, black fruit component makes this a delicious village wine and highlights the difference between it and the more delicate, red fruit-dominated wines of Beaune 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Nicolas Potel, Pommard 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Pezerolles 2002 ($55, Frederick Wildman): Explosively rich, lush and long, it’s hard not to drink this one now. But I’m sure that cellaring it will pay dividends in the future. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Maison Louis Latour, Pommard 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Epenots 2002 ($50, Louis Latour, Inc.): Latour owns a small portion of this vineyard and combines his grapes with others to make this appealing wine. Plumper than his Beaune Vignes Franches–in keeping with the character of Pommard–it’s juicy and supple. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Maison Vincent Girardin, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2006 ($55, Vineyard Brands):  With the justifiable excitement over the white Burgundies from the 2007 and 2008 vintages, it is understandable that previous vintages tend to be forgotten.  But many from older vintages are still available, and some, like this one, allow you to see how even a village wine from leading producers develops and improves with bottle age.  Since Puligny-Montrachet is Burgundy’s most prestigious white wine village, some bottlings depend more on the label than the contents for their appeal.  Not this one.  Its vibrancy seems to amplify the underlying stony smoky elements.  The wine impresses with grace, harmony and incredible length, not just power.  Its purity and refinement justifies the reputation of the village. 92 Michael Apstein Sep 14, 2010

Girardin, Rully (Burgundy, France) “Vieilles Vignes” 2005 ($26, Vineyard Brands): In the era of escalating prices for Burgundy, wines from lesser-known villages, such as Rully, are an excellent choice.  This unusually ripe (for Rully) wine will have tremendous appeal because of the combination of bright forward fruitiness and minerality.  Its rounder edges mean it’s enjoyable now and not meant for long-term aging. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Bernard Morey, Santenay (Burgundy, France) “Vieilles Vignes” 2005 ($30, Vineyard Brands): This is a classic example of red wine from Santenay, leafy and slightly rustic.  I love it because it is distinctive and is full of character, not just bright in-your-face fruitiness.  Mild tannins make it approachable and enjoyable now.  It’s a good match for a hearty chicken stew or other ‘country’ fare. 89 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Bouchard Père & Fils, Santenay (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($24, Clicquot, Inc.): Luc Bouchard told me that he finds the wines from Santenay unappealing in difficult vintages and that Bouchard won’t buy in those years. However, in a year like 2002, Bouchard purchased heavily, the equivalent just over 3,000 cases. With the appealing characteristic rusticity of Santenay, Bouchard’s 2002 is unexpectedly charming and graceful. It’s a great introduction to Burgundy. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Maison Louis Latour, Santenay (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($25, Louis Latour Inc.): Santenay is one of the least prestigious villages in the Cote d’Or and hence, its wines, like this one, are usually attractively priced.  Characteristic of wines from this village, Latour’s has a charming earthy rusticity to complement its bright mid-weight cherry-like fruit flavors.  Mild tannins indicate that this honest red Burgundy is a good choice for current drinking. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 3, 2009

Louis Latour, Santenay (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($23, Louis Latour Inc.): There’s no question in my mind that the red wines throughout Burgundy were sensational in 2005.  The hallmark of a great vintage to me is that lesser known locales, such as Santenay, produced engaging wines.  The rustic earthiness–a hallmark of wines from Santenay–is less apparent in Latour’s 2005 because of the overall quality of the vintage.  The brightness of the Pinot Noir fruit shines through making this a fine accompaniment for a take-out rotisserie chicken. 87 Michael Apstein Mar 18, 2008

Thomas Morey, Santenay 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Grand Clos Rousseau 2007 ($55, Louis Dressner Selections):

Santenay is one of the least prestigious villages of the Cote d’Or and despite the inclusion of ‘Grand’ in the name, the Clos Rousseau is not the village’s best plot.  Nonetheless, Thomas Morey has made an exceptional wine, especially notable taking into account the difficulty of the 2007 vintage for reds.  Serious stuff, this Santenay has earthy notes and attractive rusticity to complement red fruit flavors.  Great length and balance makes it especially appealing.

91 Michael Apstein Feb 10, 2009

Girardin, Santenay 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Gravières “Vieilles Vignes” 2005 ($38, Vineyard Brands): Characteristic of Girardin’s style, this Santenay has riper fruit flavors with less rusticity.  The complexity expected from a premier cru site is apparent, especially in the finish.  Slightly more New Worldish, it is seductive and easy to love now without further aging. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Maison Bouchard, Savigny-lès-Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($33, Henriot, Inc.):  This is one of Bouchard’s charming négociant (as opposed to Domaine) wine from the lesser known village of Savigny-lès-Beaune.  It delivers precise charming cherry-like notes with just a hint of earthiness that reminds you why it’s labeled Burgundy and not Pinot Noir.  This wine will enhance a simple roast chicken and is guaranteed to perk up an ordinary Thursday night. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2012

Maison Nicolas Potel, Savigny-lès-Beaune (Burgundy, France) ‘Vieilles Vignes’ 2007 ($39, Frederick Wildman): The humid and wet weather during the growing season in 2007 had the potential to produce grapes afflicted with rot and hence wines with off flavors.  Potel’s Savigny-lès-Beaune shows that careful selection to exclude diseased grapes can result in wine with pure clean flavors.  Quite fragrant, it delivers clear cherry-like fruit flavors with a whiff of earthiness.  Delicate and stylish, it’s a good choice for current consumption with grilled salmon. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Dominodes 2005 ($84, Vineyard Brands): OK, $84 for any Savigny-lès-Beaune is asking a lot.  But this is no ordinary Savigny-lès-Beaune.  The vines are 100 years old, which explains why it has a Corton-like sweetness and power.  Concentrated and silky, with beautiful balance, it has uncommon elegance and length.  Bruno Clair makes wonderful wines! 95 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2007

Olivier Leflaive, St. Aubin Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Charmois 2010 ($35, Frederick Wildman):  Leflaive’s St. Aubin Premier Cru has been a consistently “go to” white Burgundy.  Not a shy wine, this 2010 Charmois delivers immediately appealing ripe forward notes balanced by spice and bright acidity.  Like all good white Burgundy, it evolves in the glass showing that the immediate impact is not just a flash in the pan. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 23, 2012

Genot-Boulanger, Volnay (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($40, Jeanne Marie de Champs): Although not labeled “Vieilles Vignes,” this village wine comes from three vineyards whose vines average 45 to 60 years. The age of the vines probably explains why you could be fooled into thinking it was a premier cru. It delivers the lovely perfume and delicacy associated with Volnay while the bright cherry-like flavors practically dance across your palate. It’s hard to resist drinking this very pretty easy to recommend wine now, but there’s no rush. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Bouchard Père & Fils, Volnay 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot 2002 ($55, Clicquot, Inc.): As Clos des Ursules is Jadot’s flagship from Beaune, this is Bouchard’s standard bearer from Volnay. This portion of the Caillerets vineyard, Bouchard’s first acquisition in 1775, was subsequently acquired by others through inheritance. A marriage to a member of the Carnot family brought it back to Bouchard and explains its elongated name, Ancienne Cuvée Carnot. A vertical tasting of it back to the 1964 in Bouchard’s cellars in 2000 showed how beautifully this wine ages and evolves. Its fabulously floral nose screams Volnay. But its combination of power and delicacy coupled with extraordinary length make it special. Mild to moderate tannins are ripe, not intrusive, and assure a lovely evolution. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2005

Domaine Henri Boillot, Volnay 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Fremiets 2007 ($146, The Sorting Table): Henri Boillot is the largest landowner in this premier cru vineyard, which sits at the base of the slope and therefore has a touch more clay in the soil.  There’s unusual and seductive richness to this Volnay–probably due in part to the heavier soil–but not at the expense of its engaging floral elements.  Like many 2007 red Burgundies, the fruit element–in this case a mélange of black and red fruit flavors–is apparent and charming.  Forward and supple, it is extraordinarily appealing now, but has impeccable balance and will develop the hallmark Burgundian earthy complexity with time in the bottle.  Boillot must have performed a severe selection because this wine is polished, pure and fresh without a trace of rot that could detract from 2007 reds. 94 Michael Apstein Mar 31, 2009

Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Caillerets “Ancienne Cuvée Carnot” 2010 ($69):  The portion of the Caillerets vineyard Bouchard owns, purchased in 1775 and labeled Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, was the first vineyard land they purchased.  Not surprisingly, it sits in the best section of Caillerets, itself one of the top sites in Volnay.  Its special significance to Bouchard coupled with the location explains why it’s consistently a great wine.  The 2010 is no exception.   Floral and at first, seemingly delicate, but then waves of red fruit flavors, herbal notes and subtle earthy elements cascade on the palate.  Velvety and suave, with tender tannins, it is remarkably engaging at this stage.  But don’t be fooled.  Bouchard’s Volnay Caillerets develops gorgeously and rewards decades–yes, decades–of cellaring. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 31, 2012

Domaine Henri Boillot, Volnay Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Fremiets 2007 ($125, The Sorting Table): Domaine Henri Boillot (prior to the 2005 vintage it was known as Domaine Jean Boillot) makes some of Burgundy’s best wines.  He is the largest owner of this premier cru vineyard in Volnay and typically makes an exciting wine from it.  His 2007 is no exception.  Its floral nose is immediately seductive.  The rich ripe mixture of red fruits spiced with herbal notes delights the taste buds.  Unusually big and intense for a Volnay, it is, nonetheless, wonderfully balanced.  The supple silky texture makes it easy to enjoy now.  With air, additional complexity emerges.  It’s an astounding wine—at an equally astounding price. 95 Michael Apstein Jun 23, 2009

Pousse d’Or, Volnay Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) En Caillerets 2006 ($105, Ideal Wines):  I first tasted this wine at a trade tasting where it was poured after a Grand Cru, Clos Vougeot.  It’s not often that a Volnay is tasted after a Vougeot (of course, it’s not often to see Volnay priced at over $100 a bottle, either), but in this case it was the correct order–and not because the Clos Vougeot was a poor example of that appellation.  This gorgeously seductive Burgundy is ripe and plush, yet impeccably balanced.  Not-just-fruit flavors amplify the enjoyment.  Just when you think you’ve savored everything it has to offer, more flavors burst forth with the next sip.  An extraordinary wine. 95 Michael Apstein Jan 12, 2010

Domaine Henri Boillot, Volnay Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Chevrets 2007 ($100, Cynthia Hurley French Wines): Similar to Boillot’s 2007 Volnay Fremiets (previously reviewed), his Les Chevrets has gorgeous aromatics followed by a panoply of perfectly pure red and black fruit flavors.  It’s unusually concentrated for Volnay, but maintains the glossy texture for which that village is known.  Similar to many 2007 red Burgundies, it’s forward and juicy at this stage, but unlike most, still has enough structure for balance and development.  Long and polished, this is another wine that so just how talented Henri Boillot is. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 14, 2009

Maison Louis Latour, Volnay Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) En Chevret 2009 ($45, Louis Latour USA):  It’s worth repeating:  The 2009 red Burgundies are sensational.  Perfect weather at harvest was the culmination of superb weather during the entire growing season.  The wines in general, like this one, are unusually ripe and easy to drink now.  Prices are up, reflecting strong demand, so when you see a premier cru Volnay from a top producer, such as Latour, at a reasonable price–for Burgundy, at least–take notice.  The floral red fruit perfume of this wine is the first element to seduce you.  And then the quintessential “flavor without weight” character of Burgundy dazzles the palate with a mixture of raspberry-like notes mixed with leafy earthy nuances.  Long and suave, this charming mid-weight wine is hard to resist now. 91 Michael Apstein May 31, 2011

Maison Louis Latour, Volnay Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) En Chevrets 2006 ($58, Louis Latour Inc.): Latour controls almost half of this premier cru vineyard through long term contracts and it has become one of their most available and consistently good red Burgundies.  The 2006, while not the sensational wine of 2005 (which you should snap up if you still find it) delivers bright, pure red fruit and the signature charm of Volnay surrounded by fine, glossy tannins.  The premier cru status shows in its earthy notes and exceptional finish.  Quite approachable now, I would drink it over the next year before it closes up and then you’ll need to wait a decade or so. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 13, 2009

Domaine AF Gros, Vosne Romanée (Burgundy, France) “Aux Réas” 2004 ($65, Cellar Door Selections): Not to be confused with the 1er cru, Clos de Réas, Aux Reás carries simply the Vosne Romanée AOC. But what a village wine it is! Extraordinary perfume announces a stylish and elegant Burgundy that combines equal amounts of earthiness and fruit. 93 Michael Apstein Sep 26, 2006

Domaine A. F. Gros, Vosne-Romanée (Burgundy, France) “Aux Réas” 2004 ($64, Cellar Door Selections): This wine shows the critical importance of the producer when buying Burgundy. Aux Réas is a lieux-dit or place name, not a premier cru vineyard and 2004 was, as the French say, a ‘difficult year’ in Burgundy for red wines. But A. F. Gros could probably also make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. A. F. Gros’s 2004 Aux Réas has the alluring ‘not just fruit’ character-hints of dried leaves and mushrooms-that is quintessential red Burgundy. It impresses with it length, elegance and complexity, not brute force. 94 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2006

Alex Gambal, Vosne-Romanée (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($70, Schneiders of Capital Hill): It is a rare year indeed that a producer excels in both reds and whites in Burgundy. But Gambal has done so in 2010. This 2010 Vosne-Romanée is a good example of his success with that vintage. It delivers the quintessential Burgundian combination of fruit and earth, with the flavors of each playing off nicely against the other. The tannins are polished and the acidity enlivening. It delivers what Burgundy is supposed to deliver–flavor without weight. And that’s an impressive accomplishment for a village wine. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Hudelot Noellat, Vougeot Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Petit Vougeot 2006 ($75, Ideal Wine & Spirits):  The major problem with the 2006 red Burgundies is that they followed and were overshadowed by the phenomenal 2005 vintage.  While there is certainly less consistency among 2006 red Burgundies in general, many producers made equally good–or in some cases–better reds in 2006 than in 2005.  This one is a gorgeous one, better than many producers’ grand cru Clos Vougeot, combining seductive floral nuances with fruity flavors and earthy undertones. It has such great balance and length, you could drink in now with great please. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 1, 2009

Simonnet-Febvre, Cremant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Rosé NV ($18, Louis Latour Inc.): Delicate aromas of strawberries waft from the glass and then follow onto the palate.  Softer than Champagne, this Cremant de Bourgogne is easy to drink as an aperitif and goes remarkably well with food.  It’s a great choice when you’re looking for a sparkling wine that’s ‘less serious’ than Champagne. 87 Michael Apstein Mar 18, 2008

Simonnet Febrve, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Brut Rosé NV ($18, Louis Latour USA): Crémant de Bourgogne, Burgundy’s sparkling wine, is often ignored, and rightly so, because so much of it is lean and mean. But when it is good, like this one, it’s an engaging aperitif and a great alternative to pricier Champagne. Made entirely from Pinot Noir, it delivers notes of strawberries and a lovely creaminess. It’s a steal, so stock up for the holidays. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Vincent, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) NV ($22, Frederick Wildman):  Jean-Jacques Vincent and son, Antoine, owners and winemakers of Château Fuissé, one of the very top estates in Pouilly-Fuissé, have, like many small growers in Burgundy, a négociant business in addition to their main domaine wines.  This Crémant is just one of an astonishingly good and well-priced line of wines they produce under their négociant label, Vincent.  (Crémant is a term for sparkling wines produced by traditional methods, but outside of the Champagne area.)  Although any of the allowed Burgundy grapes can be used for Crémant de Bourgogne, Vincent uses Chardonnay exclusively, which explains the wine’s glorious elegance and persistence.  And since the grapes come from around his base in the warmer Mâcon region, their Crémant has an appealing roundness balanced by a lovely creamy mousse.  It’s a terrific alternative to Champagne. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 14, 2012

JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) “No. 69” Brut Rosé NV ($18, Boisset America): This seductive, salmon colored bubbly, made exclusively from Pinot Noir, will charm you.  Slightly round without being soft or perceptively sweet, it conveys delicate, strawberry-like flavors buttressed by just the right amount of acidity.  It’s a fine choice for any festive occasion, but priced so you could transform an ordinary Thursday night into something special.
88 Michael Apstein Jul 2, 2013

JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) “No. 21” Brut NV ($18, Boisset America): Crémant de Bourgogne, a sparkling wine from Burgundy, is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the same grapes used for the far more famous still wines of the region.  Boisset, one of Burgundy’s top houses, makes particularly attractive Crémants.  With delicate fruitiness, this one is clean, crisp and edgy, perfect for a summer’s aperitif but sturdy enough to go with a first course.
88 Michael Apstein Jul 2, 2013

Simonnet-Febvre, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Brut Rosé NV ($18, Louis Latour USA):  Crémant de Bourgogne is an often overlooked category of bubbly.  In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, producers are allowed to use other grapes, including Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Aligoté, Sacy, Melon de Bourgogne and even a little Gamay.  Simonnet-Febvre’s is a beautifully crafted one, dry, but round with delicate wild strawberry-tinged nuances.  A gorgeous pink color, it’s a great summertime aperitif while watching the sun go down. 88 Michael Apstein Jun 21, 2011

Simonnet-Febvre, Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Rosé NV ($18, Louis Latour Inc.): Cremants (literally, creamy) have less pressure than Champagne and typically have a creamy texture on the palate, hence the name of the category.  Combine that with strawberry tinged color and flavors and you have winning sparkling wine at a good price.  Fresh, yet friendly, it’s a crowd pleaser as a stand alone aperitif or to accompany a first course of smoked salmon. 88 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Domaine Leflaive, Bâtard-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($306, Wilson Daniels):  Slightly more powerful than Leflaive’s 2004 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, their Bâtard-Montrachet is a monumental achievement.  Extraordinary lush at this young stage, especially for a young wine from Leflaive, it is no trace of heaviness.  The panoply of flavors–fruit intermingled with minerality–boggles the mind because it is so seamless.  Each taste bombards the brain with delight. 98 Michael Apstein Aug 21, 2007

Domaine Leflaive, Bâtard-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($355, Wilson Daniels): The unusually ripe flavors at this stage–for Leflaive–reflects the overall ripeness and power of the vintage.  Still, there’s no lack of supporting acid.  Almost as tightly wound as their 2004, the 2005 Bâtard-Montrachet conveys hints of apricot and orange rind atop minerality.  It’s a marvelously complex, well-balance wine, as it should be, given the price. 96 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2007

Dominique Cornin, Beaujolais Blanc (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) 2008 ($18, Martine’s Wines):  Beaujolais Blanc, which represents a very small proportion of the output of the appellation, is always made from Chardonnay and is a good alternative to Macon Villages.   A subtle stoniness accompanies this one’s overt ripe fruit–almost melon-like flavors.  Lively acidity keeps it fresh and clean.  It’s easy to recommend. 87 Michael Apstein Jan 18, 2011

Louis Latour, Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($27, Louis Latour Inc.): White Beaune accounts for about 5% of the appellation production and, as this wine shows, can be a terrific value.  Always a little clunkier than its more famous neighbors, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, white wines from Beaune can deliver great enjoyment, especially at the price.  Latour’s 2006 white Beaune-100% Chardonnay–is more refined and focused than many, keeping in character with the style of their wines overall.  Vibrant acidity balances the hints of earthiness and supports its buttery nuances. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 18, 2008

Maison Louis Latour, Beaune (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($30, Louis Latour Inc.): Although Beaune is rightly known for its red wines, it does produce a bit–just under 10%–of white wine from Chardonnay and offers an affordable introduction to white Burgundy from the Cote d’Or.  Latour’s is always a good example.  Their 2006, with slight toastiness and creaminess to balance its earthiness, is forward and engaging.  Even though it lacks the elegance of wines from Meursault or Puligny, it is a good value. 87 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Beaune 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Mouches 2004 ($75, Dreyfus Ashby): Veronique Drouhin describes their Clos des Mouches as having ‘the power of Corton and the elegance of Puligny.’ You will get no argument from me. Their 2004, more forward than usual — which makes it delightful now — has beautiful balancing acidity that highlights its lushness. 93 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Chanson Pere & Fils, Beaune 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos des Mouches 2004 ($88, Paterno): Chanson, with just over 11 acres, is the second largest owner of this prized vineyard after Drouhin. Chanson’s rendition — long, lush and redolent of white peaches — maintains a lively freshness. The gentle oak aging enhances the overall effect. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Bernard Morey et Fils, Beaune 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Grèves 2005 ($47, Vineyard Brands): Beaune is better known for its red wines rather than its whites.  With the notable exceptions of Drouhin’s Clos des Mouches and Jadot’s Clos Blanc (also from the Grèves vineyard), the Beaune whites can be slightly clunky compared to their neighbors in Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.  That’s one of the reasons Bernard Morey’s Beaune Grèves is so notable.  It has uncommon finesse and class to accompany its minerality and ripe fruit.  With the extraordinary prices of the 2005 Burgundies, this is one wine meriting a search. 92 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2007

Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Grèves Domaine Gagey Le Clos Blanc 2010 ($57, Kobrand):  The vast majority of the wines from Beaune are red, but there are a few standout whites from this village and Jadot’s Beaune-Grèves Le Clos Blanc is one of them.  The Gagey family (Pierre-Henry Gagey is President of Louis Jadot) owns the parcel of the vineyard from which the grapes come.  This elegant 2010 is both mineraly and slightly creamy with good concentration and enlivening lemon-like acidity.  Tightly wound at this stage, I’d give it a few years to unwind. 92 Michael Apstein Aug 7, 2012

Domaine Pernot-Bélicard, Beaune Blanc 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Pertuisots 2009 ($45, Jeanne-Marie de Champs, Domaines & Saveurs Collection):  The Pernot name has great cachet for white Burgundy since Domaine Paul Pernot, based in Puligny, is one of the region’s best.  This Pernot, however, is Paul’s grandson and the vineyards come from his wife’s (Bélicard) side.  Nonetheless, judging from this wine and their first year’s efforts, it will be another Pernot name to remember.  Lovely creaminess combined with a stony element makes this a very pleasing wine.  Many white wines from Beaune, an appellation better known for its reds, lack the class of Puligny- or Chassagne-Montrachet.  This one does not. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 17, 2012

Domaine Leflaive, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($306, Wilson Daniels): Creamier and lusher at this stage than Leflaive’s 2004 Chevalier-Montrachet, their Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet is perfectly balanced by a riveting citric acidity. An underpinning of minerality and earthy notes adds to the complexity.  A faint hint of oak shows the deft hand of the winemaking team.  A powerhouse to be sure, once again it is the elegance and length–not its power–that is captivating. 98 Michael Apstein Aug 21, 2007

Vincent, Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) “JJ” Blanc 2005 ($14, Wildman): This bargain priced wine is not to be missed. Vincent ranks as one of the finest–perhaps the fines–producer in Pouilly Fuisse, the most well known area in southern Burgundy, near Macon. Vincent has used his connections in the area and relationship with his neighbors to buy high quality grapes that he then presses and vinfies for this Bourgogne Blanc. A judicious used of oak aging means that a subtle creaminess enhances the inherent mineral and citric quality of the fruit. It’s a far classier wine than either the price or the lowly appellation would indication. Breaking with French tradition, he puts ‘Chardonnay’ prominently on the front label to remind consumers that white Burgundy is made from that grape. The only reminder I need is to buy enough of it. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 8, 2006

Faiveley, Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Blanc 2004 ($17, Wilson Daniels): I have been a fan of the 2004 white Burgundies since I tasted them in barrel.  In the bottle they are, by and large, even better.  To me, one sign of an excellent vintage is how well the wines at the bottom of the prestige pyramid, such as this simple Bourgogne, show.  Faiveley, like many of producers of Bourgogne Blanc, put Chardonnay on the label to remind consumers that even these ‘simple’ white Burgundies are made exclusively from that grape.  It has a lovely subtle creaminess and minerality buttressed by bright acidity that forcefully announces its place of origin.  Fans of big, rich California Chardonnay might be disappointed by the lack of weight, but Burgundy lovers will be thrilled by the length and finesse from a wine with such a lowly pedigree. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 13, 2007

Jean-Marc Brocard, Bourgogne (France) “Kimmeridgian” 2005 ($15): Jean-Marc Brocard is one of the best producers in Chablis. From grapes grown in a 25-acre vineyard just outside of the area entitled to the Chablis appellation-but still within Burgundy-he makes this mineral-infused, almost spritzy white Burgundy. It’s a pure-unmarred by oak-and fresh expression of Chardonnay grown in the region’s famed Kimmeridgian limestone. It’s better-and less expensive-than many producers’ Chablis. 88 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2006

Olivier Leflaive, Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Blanc “Les Sétilles” 2005 ($17, Frederick Wildman): When the wines at the lower end of the appellation controllee hierarchy, such as Olivier Leflaive’s Bourgogne Blanc, are this good, it bodes well for the vintage as a whole. Leflaive always manages to find flavor and complexity at the low end of the prestige scale. His 2005 Bourgogne Blanc delivers as much enjoyment-creamy richness balanced by a refreshing citric edge-as many producers’ more revered bottlings. Although he’s adopting the New World’s marketing strategy by plastering Chardonnay on the label, the wine has Old World finesse and elegance. 88 Michael Apstein Aug 22, 2006

Joseph Burrier, Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay “Memoire du Terroir” 2006 ($20, ExCellars): Joseph Burrier, who owns the excellent Château de Beauregard in Pouilly Fuissé, also has a small eponymous négociant firm that produced this fine white wine.   It’s a good, solid example of white Burgundy–with creaminess and a hint of minerality enlivened by fresh acidity–at a very attractive price. 87 Michael Apstein Apr 29, 2008

Confuron-Cotetidot, Bourgogne Aligoté (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($17, HP Selections):  Along with Chardonnay, the Aligoté grape is permitted in Burgundy.  It produces a high acid, bright wine that is often used as the base for Kir, the traditional local aperitif made by adding a splash of crème de cassis to a glass of it.  Confuron-Cotetidot’s version is just fine without the cassis.  Vibrant and edgy, it has enough body for balance.  A friend of mine refers to it as a “dust buster” and likes it as an aperitif (without cassis) on a hot day because of its refreshing nature.  Its cutting nature also makes it a good choice for spicy food. 88 Michael Apstein Jun 28, 2011

Goisot, Bourgogne Aligoté (Burgundy, France) Aligoté 2011 ($18, Polaner): Aligoté is the “other” white grape officially allowed in Burgundy.  It typically produces a lean, sometimes even astringent, white wine.  It’s the mainstay for making a Kir, the aperitif that combines a high acid white wine with syrup of cassis.  But when a talented producer, such as Goisot, makes a Bourgogne Aligoté, consumers should take note.  This is a fresh, vibrant white with enough body and depth to carry the acidity.  A friend of mine calls it a “dust buster.”  And it is a terrific way to start a meal on a hot summer day.
88 Michael Apstein Mar 5, 2013

Pierre Morey, Bourgogne Aligoté (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($20, Wilson Daniels): Pierre Morey, who recently stepped down as the winemaker at Domaine Leflaive to devote more time to his estate, is one of Burgundy’s most talented winemakers.  Best known for his terrific wines from Meursault–where his domaine is based–he also produces this Aligoté, the second white grape, after Chardonnay, in Burgundy.  A good friend of mind refers to this and similarly structured Aligoté as ‘dust-busters’ because of their lip-smacking mouth-cleansing acidity.  Many Aligoté are solely an acid shell, but not this one.  It has mouth filling green-apple flavors and even a touch of creaminess that fills it out nicely. 87 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Leflaive, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($50, Wilson Daniels): Despite the hefty price tag for Bourgogne Blanc, this wine sells out rapidly because of the deservedly stellar reputation of Domaine Leflaive.  Given the prices of Leflaive’s other wines, it is often the only opportunity for many consumers to taste the brilliant wines coming from this Domaine.  But I recommend it because it tastes more like Puligny-Montrachet than many wines that carry that village’s name.  Their 1999 Bourgogne Blanc, which I recently had with dinner at a restaurant, had evolved beautifully so there is no need to worry that this simple Bourgogne Blanc may not be built for the long haul. Toasty, vibrant and focused with a smoky minerality, I advise cellaring this wine for a few years to let its flavors unfold. 93 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2007

Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2006 ($30, Ruby Wines): Bourgogne Blanc, the lowest level of category for white Burgundy, requires careful selection.  They are never cheap (after all it is still Burgundy and Chardonnay), but often lack character because the grapes come from inferior sites.  Those from superior producers, such as Domaine Leflaive, can be very pricey ($50), but offer insight into these producers’ style.  While Gambal, an up-and-coming grower and négociant, is not yet Leflaive, his 2006 Bourgogne Blanc is a marvelous wine in part because all of the grapes came from the heart of Burgundy, the Côte d’Or.  It has a touch of minerality expected from Burgundy, an alluring creaminess and a hint of herbal elements that come together beautifully.  Bright acid keeps it fresh and surprisingly long for a wine from such a ‘simple’ appellation.  If it came from California it would be twice the price.  Don’t miss it. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 21, 2008

Michel Bouzereau, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2010 ($22, Jeanne Marie de Champs Selection): Bouzereau’s Bourgogne Blanc is the deal of the summer because it delivers far far more than the price suggests.  This should come as no surprise for three reasons:  Bouzereau is one of the very best producers in Meursault, 2010 was an exceptionally good year for Burgundy (both red and white), and Jeanne Marie de Champs’ name on the back label is a guarantee of quality.  Don’t be misled by the simple, down-market Bourgogne Blanc appellation of this wine.  Bouzereau’s attention to details transforms grapes grown in this appellation into something special. The fruit comes from vineyards he owns that lie just outside of Meursault.  Make no mistake; this Bourgogne Blanc has more character–a riveting minerality–than many producers’ Meursault.  It’s authentic white Burgundy that’s perfect for this summer’s grilled fish.
92 Michael Apstein Jun 25, 2013

Domain Michel Caillot, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Les Herbeux” 2004 ($25, Chemin des Vins/Patrick Lesec Selections): Caillot’s simple Bourgogne Blanc reinforces my opinion that 2004 white Burgundies are the wines to buy now.  This outstanding wine has a Meursault-like intensity balanced by vibrant acidity that amplifies the finish.  I would buy this by the case and drink it with great pleasure over the next couple of years. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2007

Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($24, The Sorting Table):  Although I’ve said it before, it’s worth repeating: 2008 is a fabulous vintage for white Burgundy.  Even at the lowliest level, Bourgogne Blanc, the wines show richness and minerality buttressed by enlivening acidity.  This one has a whiff of oak that amplifies its richness and great length that belies its pedigree.  For those who want to see what the Burgundians do with Chardonnay, this is a good place to start. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 8, 2011

Joseph Drouhin, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Laforet” 2008 ($11, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  This is a sensational wine for the price.  (Sherry-Lehmann in New York lists it for $7.95 on their website.)  Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s best producers, has managed to combine pleasing ripeness, subtle minerality and lively lemon-tinged acidity in this harmonious wine.  A blend of Chardonnay from four regions of Burgundy–Mâconnais, Chalonnaise, Chablis and Côte d’Or–it captures the elegance and allure of white Burgundy.  Buy it by the case! 90 Michael Apstein Dec 15, 2009

Paul Pernot, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2008 ($20, Louis Dressner Selection):  The “lesser” white Burgundies from the 2008 vintage are just starting to appear on retailers’ shelves.   This one by Pernot, a leading grower based in Puligny-Montrachet, helps confirm my impression that it will be a great vintage for white wines.  Pernot makes stellar whites from his vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet.  After tasting this Bourgogne Blanc I felt that there must be some wine from that village included in this bottling because it has far more sophistication and elegance than most producers’ Bourgogne Blanc, but Jeanne-Marie de Champs assures me that no wine from Puligny is in the blend.  So it does appear that some people can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.  It delivers good ripeness buttressed by minerality and riveting acidity that amplifies the citrus flavors.  Pernot puts Chardonnay on the label to remind us that even the lesser white Burgundies are made from that grape.  This is a great value that’s not to be missed. A Jeanne-Marie de Champs selection. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Pierre Boisson, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($21, Polaner):  With more citrus notes than the Bourgogne Blanc of Bernard Moreau (also reviewed this week), Pierre Boisson’s version shows the plethora of styles of white Burgundy.  Precise and flinty rather than opulent, its sleekness makes it easy to recommend.  It would go nicely with simply grilled filled with a butter and caper sauce. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 8, 2011

Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2004 ($27, Ruby Wines, Wine Warehouse and others): Gambal, a young American, has expanded his négociant business by purchasing a vineyard, so expect to see even higher quality wines coming from this dedicated producer.  But there’s no reason to miss this creamy, crisp white Burgundy.  Although pricier than many wines simply labeled Bourgogne Blanc, it delivers far more than its lowly appellation suggests and is considerably more refined and sophisticated than comparably priced California Chardonnays. 89 Michael Apstein Nov 7, 2006

Domaine Michel Caillot, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Les Herbeaux 2002 ($25, Patrick LeSec /Chemin des Vins): With the vast proportion of this wine coming from declassified Meursault, it is not surprising that Domaine Caillot has produced a very classy Bourgogne Blanc. It is an excellent rendition of the crisp, clean, not overdone style of Chardonnay. 89 Michael Apstein Sep 12, 2006

Domaine Bernard Moreau, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2007 ($25, The Sorting Table): Bernard Moreau, based in Chassagne-Montrachet, made an excellent range of white wines in 2007.  This Bourgogne Blanc–which he reminds consumers is made from Chardonnay by putting the grape name on the label–is focused, lean and racy, especially compared to California Chardonnay, but not austere.  It’s more stylish than you’d expect from a Bourgogne Blanc. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Sylvie and Thomas Morey, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($27, Louis Dressner Selections): Bernard Morey, owner of the eponymous Domaine based in Chassagne-Montrachet, has split it into two, giving half of the vines to each of his two sons, Thomas and Vincent, who now market them separately.  Based on their 2007 whites, Thomas and his wife Sylvie have a bright future.  This 100% Chardonnay Bourgogne Blanc delivers good ripeness and engaging fleshiness to balance the acidity common to the white wines of the vintage.   Smokey nuances supplement clean fruit flavors. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Maison Faiveley, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($16, Frederick Wildman):  I can’t speak too highly of the 2008 vintage in Burgundy for white wines.  Even at the most basic level, Bourgogne Blanc, like this one, they show character and class.  In less good years, this category of wine suffers from under ripeness and astringency.  But 2008 gave the wines destined for Bourgogne Blanc added ripeness without sacrificing bracing acidity.  Couple that with a fine producer, such as Faiveley, and you have a well-priced introduction to white Burgundy.  Not an opulent California Chardonnay, Faiveley’s Bourgogne Blanc has verve and an engaging restrained creaminess.  It’s perfect for current consumption with roast chicken. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 29, 2011

Maison J. J. Vincent, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($16, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  This “simple” Bourgogne Blanc shows the talent of the wine making team at Vincent.   It has a subtle creaminess atop the natural stoniness characteristic of Chardonnay from the Côte Mâconnais.   It’s another easy choice for grilled or sautéed fish.  And a bargain to boot. 88 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Olivier Leflaive, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Les Sétilles” 2010 ($19, Frederick Wildman):  This bargain-priced Chardonnay-based Burgundy is a superb introduction to the white wines of the region.  The grapes come from just outside the confines of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, between the villages and the road, and hence are entitled only to Bourgogne Blanc appellation.  But don’t let its lowly pedigree fool you.  This is real Burgundy with apple-like flavors, a little creaminess and spice. Buy it by the case because, despite its down market origins, Leflaive’s Les Sétilles ages beautifully–I had a 2006 last year that was marvelous–and prices for Burgundy are on their way up. 88 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Verget, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Terres de Pierres” 2007 ($19, Ideal Wines):  Buying Bourgogne Blanc–the lowliest appellation for white Burgundy–is always a gamble.  But you can safely buy this one, from the négociant arm of Jean-Marie Guffens, by the case.  Verget clearly selected from growers who opted to wait to harvest their Chardonnay because the ripe flavors nicely balance the vibrant acidity characteristic of the whites in 2007.  There’s real substance to this wine that has far more complexity than expected from such a modest appellation. 88 Michael Apstein Nov 24, 2009

Domaine Henri Clerc et Fils, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Les Riaux” 2005 ($23, VOS Selections): The problem with regional Burgundy, such as Bourgogne Blanc, is it’s reputation–frequently well-deserved–for being thin and under ripe.  But recently talented producers have made this category–especially in a year like 2005–a place to find excellent values.  Henri Clerc’s Bourgogne Blanc comes from a vineyard near Puligny-Montrachet, and has some of that village’s declassified wine in the blend.  Less ripe than many 2005 whites, it has laser-like acidity and a hint of Puligny-like minerality. It’s a good buy, but don’t expect California ripeness in this Chardonnay-based wine. 87 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Girardin, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Cuvée St. Vincent” 2005 ($22, Vineyard Brands): Ripe and concentrated, this ‘simple’ Bourgogne Blanc delivers more than expected, reflecting the excellence of the vintage.  With less bracing acid than the 2004s, this wine is enjoyable now and likely to convert many a confirmed California Chardonnay fan. 87 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Remoissenet Père et Fils, Bourgogne Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($30, The Sorting Table): The 2007 white Burgundies are just hitting retailers’ shelves and warrant consumers’ undivided attention.  Those whites, such as this one, that have ripe flavors to balance the substantial acidity that is the hallmark of the vintage for the whites, are the ones to buy regardless of appellation.  Fatter and riper than many of the 2007 whites, Remoissenet’s Bourgogne Blanc has a subtle stone fruit–almost tropical–quality to it that harmonizes with its citric kick.  It’s an easy wine to recommend. 87 Michael Apstein Mar 24, 2009

Maison Ambroise, Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire (Burgundy, France) “Lettre d’Eloïse” 2010 ($20, Robert Kacher Selection):  Don’t be put off by the appellation; there is nothing ordinary about this wine.  Bertrand Amboise explains that the Chardonnay for this comes from “white soil,” just outside of Nuits St. Georges, which he says is perfect for the varietal.  But the vines are located just outside of the limits for Bourgogne Blanc, hence the more global appellation of Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire. (Starting with the 2012 vintage, the appellation of Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire will be eliminated and the wine will be bottled under the newly created appellation, Coteaux Bourguignons).  The location of the vines notwithstanding, it tastes like Bourgogne Blanc–and a very good one at that–to me.  Ambroise attributes its character and quality to their “picking at the right time, not too late” and using only older and larger oak casks for aging.  Vibrant acidity amplifies the suave creaminess and subtle minerality of this “ordinary” wine.  It delivers far more enjoyment than the price suggests.  Don’t miss it. 88 Michael Apstein Aug 7, 2012

Bertrand Ambroise, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($33, Robert Kacher Selections): The Hautes Côtes de Nuits–the hinterland above and behind the famous Côte de Nuits–is, like its famous neighbor, known mostly for red wine made exclusively from Pinot Noir.  However, there is a little Chardonnay planted as well in the Hautes Côtes. The white wines, like this one, have a power and immediate impact–frequently at the expense of elegance–compared to the more famous ones from the Côte de Beaune.  Ambroise’s, even with its attractive earthy intensity, is more restrained that the typical California Chardonnay.  Its engaging rusticity and brightness makes it an excellent choice for an herb-roasted chicken with mushrooms. 88 Michael Apstein Sep 22, 2009

Jayer-Gilles, Bourgogne-Aligoté (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($26, Kermit Lynch): Aligoté, a minor white grape in Burgundy, usually makes a thin, acidic, slightly vegetal wine which is precisely why it is used for the popular and refreshing aperitif, Kir (made by mixing a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis with a glass of Aligoté).  Jayer-Gilles’s 2005 Aligoté stands by itself because of uncommon body and richness, partly due to the 2005 vintage, but mostly due, I suspect, to the producer’s commitment to quality at every level.  It still conveys the brightness of Aligoté–a ‘dust buster’ as a friend calls it–but with flesh.  Do not use this Aligoté for making Kir. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 2, 2008

Simonnet-Febvre, Burgundy (France) Cremant de Bourgogne NV ($15, Louis Latour): Buy this one by the case. This positively delicious, creamy sparkler made entirely from chardonnay is not to be missed. Simonnet-Febvre, the Chablis producer, has always been known for its Crémant and now that Maison Latour has purchased the firm, we should see more widespread distribution. It’s the best $15 sparkling wine I’ve had this year. 92 Michael Apstein May 16, 2006

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chablis (France) Domaine de Vaudon 2004 ($24, Dreyfus Ashby): Made entirely from grapes grown by Drouhin, the Domaine de Vaudon receives a brief period of aging in oak barrels. The result is a great wine. On first taste, it is similar to their other village Chablis (above), but with air (and even the next day), its breeding and quality shows and Its flavors expand. The touch of oak enhances without intruding. Who knew village Chablis could be so captivating! 93 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2005

Drouhin Vaudon, Chablis (Burgundy, France) “Réserve de Vaudon” 2011 ($28, Dreyfus-Ashby): Despite their location in Beaune, Maison Joseph Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s top négociants, is well established in Chablis where they own many choice vineyards.  Indeed, half of all of the vineyards Drouhin owns are located in Chablis.   Beginning with the 2008 vintage, all of their Chablis, from village wines to Grand Cru, will carry the name of their Chablis estate, Vaudon, on the label as a way of emphasizing their commitment to the appellation.  The grapes for this village Chablis come entirely from their vineyards.  It’s as good a village wine as you’ll see, and more focused and reflective of the region than many a producer’s Premier Crus.  A riveting minerality, edgy acidity and a haunting finish make it worth the premium over their regular (négociant) village Chablis (also reviewed this week).  Wines like this explain why Chablis remains popular.
91 Michael Apstein Jul 9, 2013

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis (Burgundy) “Sainte Claire” 2010 ($19): The 2010 vintage for white Burgundy in general, and for Chablis in particular, is fabulous. Combine the quality of the vintage with a top-notch producer, such as Jean-Marc Brocard, and you have an unbeatable combination. Mineraly, piercing and precise, this stellar village wine has the stature of a premier cru from many producers. It’s an ideal choice for anything from the sea. Don’t miss it. It’s rare to find this quality at this price.
91 Michael Apstein Feb 12, 2013

Joseph Drouhin, Chablis (Burgundy, France) “Reserve de Vaudon” 2008 ($25, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Although I reviewed and recommended this wine in July of 2010 (see archives), I’ve tasted it twice since then.  It’s worth reminding readers this is a stunningly good value that should not be missed.  Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s best négociants, has an impressive presence in Chablis, where they own 95 acres of well-situated vineyards.  The Reserve de Vaudon indicates the wine comes from their grapes.  Combine that with the astounding 2008 vintage and you have a spectacular Chablis for the price.  It has the minerality you’d expect from top-flight Chablis, but also an extraordinary length and complexity rarely seen in a village wine.  Reducing a wine to a score never tells the full story–so let me amplify my enthusiasm for the wine–I’ve put two cases of it in my cellar. 91 Michael Apstein Mar 15, 2011

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($28, Wildman): Judging from Moreau’s spectacular array of Chablis, that part of Burgundy was extremely successful in 2007. This classically proportioned Chablis has an attractive lean quality, but plenty of minerality and a laser-like focus. Fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel, those consumers looking for ‘unoaked Chardonnay’ should clamor for this wine because it accurately reflects the marriage of the grape with the site.  It’s a lovely foil for simply grilled or sautéed fish or shellfish. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($25):  The 2010 vintage was great for white Burgundies in general and for Chablis in particular.  And there’s no question that Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils is one of the leading producers in Chablis.  Year after year, this domaine produces classically structured, distinctive wines that reflect their origins beautifully.  Moreau captures the uniqueness of the appellation with this “simple” village wine.  Unencumbered by oak, its stony and vibrant character reflects the uniqueness of Chardonnay grown in this appellation.  It’s great for simple seafood or shellfish. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 14, 2012

Domaine Vocoret et Fils, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($22): The 2010 vintage produced classically structured, hard-to-resist white Burgundies.  The Chablis region was particularly successful that year, with village wines from top producers, like this one, giving as much enjoyment as premier cru from lesser years.  The minerality in Vocoret’s village Chablis is striking.  Its firm edginess persists long after the wine’s left your mouth.  Though it was an ideal match for sautéed soft shell crab, it should be equally attractive with steamed clams or other shellfish and grilled fish.
90 Michael Apstein Aug 6, 2013

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis (Burgundy, France) Domaine Sainte Claire “Vieilles Vignes” 2004 ($16, Various importers): Wines made from vieilles vignes — old vines — have an extra dimension because the roots go deep, extracting additional elements from the earth. This well-priced wine has intensity without losing the classic minerality you expect from Chablis. It’s one of the exceptional values from the 2004 vintage. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chablis (France) 2004 ($22, Dreyfus Ashby): Consumers tend to forget that some Burgundy houses based in Beaune, such as Drouhin, also make outstanding Chablis. In Drouhin’s case, it is because Robert, the current head of the firm, has been committed to the region for four decades. They own almost 100 acres, about a quarter of which are in premier and grand cru vineyards, and have a winery in Chablis as well. This wine, their village Chablis, comes partly from their own vineyards and partly from purchased grapes. Vinified and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, it is a quintessentially flinty, mineral-infused Chablis. Unlike many of the 2003s, it has refreshing citric acidity. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2005

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chablis (Burgundy, France) Reserve “Vaudon” 2008 ($28, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Maison Joseph Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s great négociants, has extensive holdings in Chablis.  Their 2008 Chablis releases are fabulous across the board.  This one, made from their grapes, is a terrific example of how good a “simple” village Chablis can be.  It conveys the expected minerality of Chablis, but has an unusual persistence and class more associated with premier cru than village wines. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 20, 2010

Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2012 ($22, Louis Latour USA): The category of “unoaked” Chardonnay is becoming increasingly popular.  Often, though, the wines lack substance.  So, for those looking for a truly distinctive “unoaked” Chardonnay and see what a unique category it can be, this is it.  It’s mineraly, crisp and clean, with an edgy and hugely satisfying persistence.  This great village Chablis shows the character of the appellation and why it remains so popular.  It would be a terrific choice for this summer’s shellfish or simply grilled seafood.
90 Michael Apstein Jun 25, 2013

Domaine Boudin, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($25, Skurnik):  Chablis remains Burgundy’s best kept secret for affordable Chardonnay-based wines.  The region’s wines shine in 2007 and 2008.  Fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel vats, this excellent village Chablis has the characteristic crisp and flinty signature you’d expect.  With unusually good depth and finish for a village wine, it’s easy to recommend for current drinking with simple seafood. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Joseph Drouhin – Domaine de Vaudon, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($20, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  I’ve said before, but it’s worth repeating–there’s no better Chablis producer than Drouhin.  Starting with the 2008 vintage, they have labeled all of their Chablis under the Domaine de Vaudon label because it is their headquarters in Chablis.  They produce two village Chablis, this one from a combination of their grapes and purchased ones and one labeled Reserve, which comes exclusively from their vineyards.  This one is consistently an exceptional value and the 2009 is no exception.  Its wonderfully penetrating minerality combined with ripe apple-like fruitiness makes it a great introduction to Chablis. 89 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2011

Maison Louis Jadot, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($24, Kobrand): Jadot, rightly known for their excellent wines from the Côte d’Or–the heart of Burgundy–also makes stylish Chablis, the northernmost outpost of Burgundy.  Usually sold only in Europe, we are starting to see more of Jadot’s Chablis on these shores.  And it’s a good thing.  Although pricey compared to many Chablis, Jadot’s 2004 delivers real minerality supported by cutting acidity often found only in more expensive ones from Premier Cru vineyards. 89 Michael Apstein Feb 13, 2007

William Fèvre, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($22, Henriot Inc.): Village Chablis can often be vapid. Not so with Fèvre, whose lower-end wines always deliver. The mineral profile characteristic of Chablis blasts through even in this village Chablis and its length makes it all the more remarkable. This provides more evidence that the 2005 vintage in Burgundy is likely to live up to its reputation. 89 Michael Apstein Sep 24, 2006

Domaine Long Depaquit, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2011 ($25, Horizon Beverage Company): Maison Albert Bichot, one of Burgundy’s fine producers, is both a négociant, making wine from other growers’ grapes, and a grower, making wine from its own estates.  Domaine Long Depaquit, the property they own in the Chablis region, is a reliable name for high quality Chablis.  The wines from Long Depaquit rarely disappoint.  This Chablis, delivering more than the price suggests, certainly does not.   It a wonderful village Chablis, full of a clean crisp fruit and persistent minerality.  Its energy makes it an ideal choice for steamed clams or grilled fish.
88 Michael Apstein Sep 24, 2013

Domaine William Fèvre, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($30, Henriot): Reflecting the ripeness of the vintage, this wine is surprisingly rich for a village Chablis.  But it still retains the cutting minerality characteristic of the region.  Uplifting acidity and freshness throughout make it a fine choice for simple seafood preparations or raw shellfish. 88 Michael Apstein Nov 25, 2008

Olivier Leflaive, Chablis (Burgundy, France) “Les Deux Rives” 2005 ($24, Wildman): This Chablis tout court (village wine) focuses more on the fruitiness of Chardonnay than the flinty minerality associated with Chablis, and reflects the ripeness of the 2005 vintage. People will enjoy it because it is satisfying white Burgundy at a good price, but it is a less typical Chablis than most. 88 Michael Apstein Jun 3, 2008

Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($25, Louis Latour Inc.): The 2006 vintage in Burgundy is providing us with some beautifully structured white wines, such as this ‘simple’ Chablis.  Crisp and mineral, it is everything you’d expect from Chablis–and at a very attractive price. 88 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2008

Drouhin Vaudon, Chablis (Burgundy, France) 2012 ($21, Dreyfus-Ashby): Although I’ve said it before, it’s worth repeating:  Drouhin is one of the top producers in Chablis.  And this wine, their village Chablis made from other growers’ grapes, shows their talents.  It’s a clean crisp slightly mineraly expression of Chardonnay unencumbered by oak.  Try it with steamed clams or simply grilled fish.
87 Michael Apstein Jul 9, 2013

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillon 2007 ($44, Wildman): As expected for a premier cru, this Vaillon is a step up from Moreau’s excellent straight village Chablis (also reviewed this week).  The nose alone predicts good things and the palate is not disappointed.   Fifty year-old Chardonnay vines undoubtedly contribute to this wine’s extraordinary minerality that is not masked–but enhanced–by Moreau’s judicious use of oak (only one third of the wine is fermented and aged in oak barrels, only 10% of which are new).  Its wonderful complexity is amplified by lime-like essence in the finish. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Hamelin, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Beauroy 2008 ($30, AP Wine Imports):  This is just one more example of how wonderful the 2008 vintage is for Chablis.  Beauroy is one of the less well-known premier cru vineyards and Hamelin’s reputation has yet to spread widely in the US.  Still, it is hard to go wrong with Chablis from the 2008 vintage.  It’s particularly attractive because of the precise flinty minerality and its extraordinary length.  Its premier cru status is apparent with the waves of flavors that wash across the palate.  It would be a great choice for simply prepared seafood. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 10, 2012

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Montmains 2008 ($36, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Drouhin has used no new oak for fermenting or aging any of their Chablis since the 2004 vintage, wishing to preserve the minerality of the wines. Flinty and delicate, this premier cru conveys flavor without heaviness.  Lively freshness reinforces the underlying minerality.  Lovely to drink now with simple grilled fish, it, like Drouhin’s Les Clos (also reviewed this week) will reward cellaring. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 20, 2010

Domaine Barat, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Monts de Milieu 2007 ($22, Fruit of the Vine):  Monts de Milieu, one of the best Premier Cru vineyards, lies on the right bank of the Serein River, almost adjacent to the cluster of Grand Cru vineyards.  Slightly classier than Barat’s Chablis Les Fourneaux (also reviewed this week), it is just a bit richer without sacrificing the quintessential flinty minerality.  A touch of smokiness adds to its allure.  Riveting acidity lends lovely balance and focus.  This is another terrific buy. 91 Michael Apstein May 11, 2010

Drouhin, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Sécher 2008 ($36, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Even though Drouhin is based in Beaune and not Chablis, they are one of the appellation’s leading producers.  They own almost 100 acres there, which represents slightly more than half of their total estate.  I can’t say enough good things about Drouhin’s 2008 Chablis.  This one, from the less well-known Premier Cru vineyard, Sécher, is very flowery and fragrant with slight notes of honey to complement its underlying flinty minerality.  Unencumbered by oak, Drouhin’s delicate style allows the flavors of Chablis to shine. 91 Michael Apstein Feb 22, 2011

Drouhin, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Montmains 2009 ($41, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Drouhin’s lacy and elegant style makes them one of Burgundy’s best producers.  Though based in Beaune, about half of their vineyard holdings are actually in the Chablis region, which probably explains why this house’s Chablis bottlings are so good year in and year out. In fact, no one makes better Chablis than Drouhin.  The 2009 vintage was excellent in Chablis and infused the Chardonnay with a bit more ripeness than in 2008 or 2007, two other excellent vintages for white Burgundy in general.  Still, the minerality comes through in this one and acts as a foil for the riper green apple-like notes.  It’s a superb choice for swordfish with a caper butter sauce. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 15, 2011

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Fourchaume 2005 ($30): After tasting this wine, it’s clear why Chablis has such name recognition. It’s impossible not to be thrilled by wines like this one. It’s a unique combination of richness and minerality reinforced by vibrant acidity. 91 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2006

William Fèvre, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Fourchaume Valourant 2004 ($60, Henriot Inc.): In the rush to embrace the 2005 Burgundies, we shouldn’t forgot the 2004s, especially the whites. The Valourant vineyard, which can be sold under the more famous Fourchaume name, lies adjacent to the grand cru vineyards and has the potential to produce some of Chablis’s best Premier Cru wines. Fèvre realized that potential with the 2004 and has fashioned a rich and classy wine without losing the region’s inherent minerality or vibrant edginess. 91 Michael Apstein Sep 26, 2006

Domaine Barat, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Fourneaux 2007 ($20, Fruit of the Vine):  Chablis remains the bargain of Burgundy.  This region was particularly successful in 2007.  The Barat family has 40-acres of Premier Cru vineyards from which they make top notch wines.  Their wine from the Les Fourneaux vineyards has the typical flinty character you’d expect from Chablis with a hint of white pepper-like spice.  It delivers more body and oomph befitting a Premier Cru.  Great length and precision makes it a fine choice for current consumption with simply prepared seafood.  It’s a wonderful value. 90 Michael Apstein May 11, 2010

La Chablisienne, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Côte de Lèchet 2002 ($28, Monsieur Henri Wine Company): La Chablisienne is one of the world’s best wine cooperatives. Their 2002 Côte de Lèchet, from a less well-known 1er cru vineyard, reflects the greatness of that vintage for Burgundy in general and Chablis in particular. Still commercially available, it’s a great combination of flintiness and richness and shows the length and finesse of Chablis from the 2002 vintage. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 17, 2006

Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillons 2006 ($34, Louis Latour Inc.): Befitting a premier cru, this Chablis delivers more complexity than Simonnet-Febvre’s village Chablis.  A lovely flinty overtone is captivating and reminds you that Chardonnay grown in these vineyards is unique. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2008

William Fèvre, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Fourchaume “Vignoble de Vaulorent” 2006 ($65, Henriot): The 2006 vintage produced ripe white wines in Burgundy.  Nonetheless, Fèvre, one of Chablis’ top producers, showed their talent and managed to walk the fine line between ripeness and the inherent minerality characteristic of Chablis.  A beautifully proportioned Chablis, flinty smokiness and laser-like acidity balance the ripe–for Chablis–apple-like flavors.  Hard to resist now, it should develop even more complexity over the next several years. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 17, 2009

Domaine Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Vaucopins 2005 ($30, Arborway Imports): In addition to their négociant line of wines, Bichot owns several domaines throughout Burgundy, including the excellent Chablis property, Long-Depaquit.  This premier cru Chablis shows the ripeness of the 2005 vintage while maintaining the minerality characteristic of the region.  Nuances of smoky flint complement the creamy green apple flavors. 88 Michael Apstein May 6, 2008

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2008 ($75, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Les Clos is Chablis’s largest Grand Cru Vineyard and many would say its best.  Drouhin owns just over 3 acres there and has made a stunning wine in 2008.  Stony and flinty, it is tightly wound at this stage and would benefit from at least 5 years in the cellar.  But its subtle power–almost a contradiction in terms–is haunting and persistent. The unique minerality of Chablis shines even at this youthful stage.  Incredible length and acidity that amplifies its palate of flavors show its Grand Cru status. 96 Michael Apstein Jul 20, 2010

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Le Clos 2007 ($68, Wildman): Chablis was particularly successful in 2007, producing focused, classically proportioned wines.  Christian Moreau’s are particularly notable and are not to be missed.  Sixty-eight bucks is a lot to spend for a bottle of wine, especially these days, but it’s a bargain compared to Grand Cru Burgundy from the Cote d’Or.  This wine from Le Clos, considered by many to be the best vineyard in Chablis, lives up to its reputation and Grand Cru status.  Tightly wound at this stage, its minerality and flinty–almost smoky–notes still emerge.  It has a riveting, laser-like focus and precision.  It shows less opulence now than some of Moreau’s other Grand Crus, but its elegance and perfect harmony suggest it will ultimately be a better wine.  Although conventional wisdom says that Chablis should be consumed young, this one–like other Grand Crus–would benefit from years in the cellar. 95 Michael Apstein May 19, 2009

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaudésir 2007 ($80, Wildman): Moreau’s Vaudésir deserves the Grand Cru designation of that vineyard, especially in 2007.  Slightly richer and riper than Moreau’s Vaillon (also reviewed this week), the minerality of Moreau’s Vaudésir still screams Chablis because it, like all of Moreau’s wines, is unencumbered by oak. (The Vaudésir is fermented entirely in stainless steel vats and spends a brief four months in oak barrels, only 10% of which are new).  Smokey and flinty nuances complement a citric fruitiness in this racy vibrant wine.   The finish is almost endless, and each sip brings new flavors and uplifting acidity keeps you coming back for more. 95 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Valmur 2007 ($80, Frederick Wildman): I can’t be too enthusiastic about Moreau’s 2007 Chablis.  They are simply stunning across the board from his village Chablis (reviewed previously) to this Grand Cru. In addition to the expected flinty minerality, there is a hint of pear-like spiciness that adds unexpected intrigue.  Long and classy, it has a laser-like focus and precision through its exceptional finish. 95 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Domaine Robert Drouhin, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2009 ($80, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Although located in Beaune, Drouhin is one of Chablis’s finest producers.  After their spectacular array of 2008 Chablis–buy whatever you can still find–I was prepared to be disappointed by their 2009s.  But I was not.  Across the board they are slightly riper than their 2008s, but the richness of the vintage has by no means obliterated the terroir signature in the wines.  The 2009 Les Clos is still clearly flinty and mineraly with a tang of lemony notes.  Long and elegant, it’s on my “to buy” list.
95 Michael Apstein Mar 6, 2012

Domaine Robert Drouhin, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaudésir 2009 ($68, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  It’s always hard to decide between Drouhin’s Les Clos and Vaudésir.  In 2009, it’s a draw at this stage.  Both come from Drouhin’s own vineyards.  The 2009 Vaudésir is more mineraly than flinty with slightly more power than Les Clos at this stage.  And the citrus notes are reminiscent of grapefruit rather than lemons.  The Drouhin signature of class and elegance is undeniable in this, another riveting, 2009 Chablis.  It’s clearly Grand Cru quality.  Again, the riper character of the 2009s has not hidden the wine’s origin.  What’s continues to surprise me is how the Chablis Grand Cru remain under priced compared to their Côte d’Or counterparts.  Not that I’m complaining.
95 Michael Apstein Mar 6, 2012

Joseph Drouhin – Domaine de Vaudon, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2009 ($70, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  To me, Les Clos is always the most tightly wound Chablis.  From top producers, like Drouhin, Les Clos can open into a magnificent wine.  Drouhin’s 2009 Les Clos should do just that.  Reticent now, there is an underlying energy and verve that will erupt over the next decade.   It’s a really good young wine with an extraordinarily long finish.  Its vibrancy and minerality make it hard to resist.  I’d give it plenty of time in the cellar–5 to 10 years.  But similar to their Vaudésir, if you opt to drink it now, open it a couple of hours in advance.
95 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2011

Simonnet-Fèbvre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2008 ($55, Louis Latour, USA):  The 2008 vintage in Chablis was the best since 2002 and one of the best ever that region has seen.  Simonnet-Fèbvre’s Les Clos is still widely available and not to be missed.  I’ve tasted it several times since its release and watched it show better each time.  Fiercely mineraly with smoky notes, it is tightly wound at this stage with a fantastically long and precise finish.  Its presence is felt long after it has left your mouth.  Simonnet-Fèbvre uses no new oak for his wines so the stoniness of the site erupts on the palate.  This is classic and great Chablis.  If you opt to drink it now, uncork it hours in advance.  It wouldn’t even hurt to decant it and pour back into the bottle.  Otherwise, plan of putting it in the cellar for at least five years. 95 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

Domaine William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, FRance) Les Clos 2004 ($85, Henriot): Many producers consider Les Clos the best of the grand cru vineyards in Chablis. Judging by this wine, it would be hard to argue the point. This tightly wound powerhouse exudes a smoky richness without sacrificing elegance. 94 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Joseph Drouhin – Domaine de Vaudon, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaudésir 2009 ($64, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Chablis is on a roll.  2009 was the third in a trio of truly excellent consecutive vintages in the region.  Slightly richer than the very mineraly 2008s, the 2009s overall deliver just a touch more ripeness without losing the quintessential stoniness.  Drouhin’s Vaudésir always has a bit more concentration and power without sacrificing the precision and edginess of Chablis.  The 2009 Vaudésir fits that mould.  Still closed at this stage, if you pull the cork now, give it an hour or two to unfold.  Although many believe Chablis is best consumed young, I have had many bottles of Drouhin’s Vaudésir, which at 10 or more years of age have been extraordinary, so don’t rush to drink this one.  It will be even more glorious in another decade. 94 Michael Apstein Dec 6, 2011

Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Preuses 2006 ($79, Louis Latour Inc.):

Power, complexity and elegance should be the hallmarks of Grand Cru Burgundy–and they are in this one.  The flinty aspect here is almost smoky.  Richer and longer than their very good Vaillons, their Les Preuses–usually my favorite of Simonnet-Febvre’s Chablis–lives up to its Grand Cru billing.

93 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2008

Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2008 ($64, Louis Latour USA):  The 2008 vintage for Chablis, and white Burgundy in general, was superb.  Simonnet-Febvre’s is an archetypical Grand Cru with minerality, concentration and definition, along with vibrant acidity. Tightly wound at this stage, it opens beautifully with time in the glass.  It’s an excellent candidate for the cellar–some is going in mine. 93 Michael Apstein Jun 21, 2011

William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Bougros “Côte de Bouguerots” 2005 ($80, Henriot): Chablis was a particularly successful part of Burgundy in 2005 because the warmth during the growing season gave the wines an extra dose of ripeness.  Fevre, one of the best producers in Chablis, always does marvelously well with his Côte de Bouguerots because it is a perfectly situated–steep slope facing due south–5 acre parcel within the 30-acre Grand Cru vineyard of Bougros.  In 2005, it has more richness than usual but not at the expense of its hallmark flinty minerality, which is still unmistakable. Laser-like acidity amplifies the finish and keeps the wine fresh. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 22, 2008

William Fèvre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Bougros 2004 ($85, Henriot Inc.): A big step up from this house’s entry-level bottlings in complexity and intensity (as expected from a Grand Cru Chablis), Fèvre’s 04 Bougros has an alluring smoky component on top of the stony elements and bright focused finish. 93 Michael Apstein Sep 26, 2006

Domain Tremblay, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaudésir 2000 ($42, Classic Wine Imports): Slightly more intense than Tremblay’s premier cru, his 2000 Vaudésir also has a slightly smoky quality atop the hallmark minerality of Chablis.  Its grand cru status is apparent in its remarkably long finish.  Although the piercing acidity of young Chablis has moderated with age, this is still a bright and vibrant wine.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discover for yourself how beautifully Chablis can develop. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 23, 2007

Domaine Robert Drouhin, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Bougros 2009 ($68):  Drouhin’s Bougros shows the diversity among the seven Grand Cru sites of Chablis.  It’s slightly earthier than either Les Clos or Vaudésir while still retaining the quintessential steely minerality that you’d expect from Grand Cru Chablis.  It has real richness and depth buttressed by cutting, but not aggressive, acidity.  Drouhin made a range of exceptional Chablis in 2009. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 6, 2012

Domaine William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Bougros “Cote de Bourguerots” 2004 ($75, Henriot): Ever since Henriot purchased Domaine Fèvre in 1998 the quality of the wines has skyrocketed. Fèvre still uses barrel fermentation, but under Henriot has abandoned new oak barrels for aging. The result is rich wine that speaks of the soil. The Côte de Bouguerots is a perfectly exposed portion of the grand cru vineyard, Bougros. The wine, always bigger and broader than Fèvre’s Bougros, maintains its unique flinty minerality. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2004 ($50, Various importers): Jean-Marc Brocard eschews oak aging to make focused Chablis that reflect the location of the vineyard. He says he ‘doesn’t want to lose the typicity of Chablis.’ His Les Clos is a nicely textured wine with appealing smokiness and terrific length. It’s a true grand cru and will be even better with a year or two of additional age. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillon “Cuvée Guy Moreau” 2010 ($49, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  The grapes for the Cuvée Guy Moreau come from a small, 2.5 acre parcel, that was planted just after the World War II.  Comparing this wine with Christian Moreau’s excellent “regular” Vaillon shows the importance of what old vines contribute.  The flavors here are more complex and concentrated–still not heavy–and linger longer.  Each sip brings additional nuances thought the same bright minerality and acidity remains.  It’s a perfect choice for swordfish with a caper butter sauce. 93 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Domaine Christian Moreau, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillon 2010 ($39, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  Christian Moreau’s vines are located solely in the historic center of this famed premier cru vineyard–hence his use of the singular Vaillon instead of the more commonly seen Vaillons.  With a piercing minerality, the wine reflects the prime location of his vines and the stature of the 2010 vintage in Chablis.  Paradoxically, it’s both lacy and penetrating.   The lingering citrus notes in the finish just enhance its appeal.  A great choice for grilled or sautéed fish. 92 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillons 2010 ($48, Frederick Wildman):  Moreau’s single vineyard 2010 Chablis are a study in that elusive concept of terroir.  Each is distinctive and unique, reflecting the exposure and soil of the site.  Their only Premier Cru, their 2010 Vaillons is a step-up in concentration and body from Moreau’s village Chablis (also reviewed this week).  Riveting acidity magnifies its alluring richness.  What’s particularly gratifying is that the unique flinty minerality of Chablis is maintained despite the extra dose of ripeness. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 14, 2012

Domaine Long Depaquit, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Vaillons 2010 ($45, Horizon Beverage Company): Domaine Long Depaquit, a leading name in Chablis, is owned by the Burgundy producer, Maison Albert Bichot.  This premier cru from a top vintage is a clear step up from their easy-to-recommend and very satisfying village Chablis.  It shows that this well-located vineyard, Vaillons, produces better grapes and is worthy of its premier cru status.  It has more of everything — green apple-like fruit and a marvelous minerality — without losing any of its energy or verve.  It’s a unique style of Chardonnay you shouldn’t miss.
92 Michael Apstein Sep 24, 2013

Louis Michel, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillons 2010 ($40, Vineyard Brands):  The 2010 vintage in Chablis is fabulous.  The wines are similar to the well-structured 2008s, and more edgy and classic than the slightly riper 2009s.  Louis Michel, the self described “Ayatollah of the tank,” has fashioned a stunning array of 2010s.  Crisp and pure, a flowery nose is followed by firm minerality.  A lemon-tinged finish reinforces the wine’s overall vibrancy. Great now with steamed clams. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 3, 2012

Drouhin, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Sécher 2008 ($36):  Even though Drouhin is based in Beaune and not Chablis, they are one of the appellation’s leading producers.  They own almost 100 acres there, which represents slightly more than half of their total estate.  I can’t say enough good things about Drouhin’s 2008 Chablis.  This one, from the less well-known Premier Cru vineyard, Sécher, is very flowery and fragrant with slight notes of honey to complement its underlying flinty minerality.  Unencumbered by oak, Drouhin’s delicate style allows the flavors of Chablis to shine. 91 Michael Apstein Aug 17, 2010

Simonnet-Fèbvre, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillons 2009 ($25, Louis Latour, USA):  Simonnet-Fèbvre makes a focused, attractively leaner style of Chablis, in part because they use no new oak.  Their style is particularly well suited to the more opulent 2009 vintage.  Unlike their 2008 Premier and Grand Crus, which would benefit for further bottle age, this 2009 Vaillons will reward you now.  Despite the riper 2009 vintage in Chablis, no one would mistake this for a California Chardonnay.  A firm minerality underpins green apple-like fruit flavors that expand in your mouth.  The laser-like focused finish makes it a joy to drink.  It screams for shellfish or fish simply grilled or broiled. 91 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

William Fèvre, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Montmains 2006 ($45, Henriot): William Fèvre is one of the major–and best–names in Chablis.  They own vineyards from which they produce wines labeled ‘Domaine William Fèvre’ and also purchase grapes from others for wine they label as ‘William Fèvre.’   Fèvre made an array of lovely wines–both Domaine and non-Domaine–in 2006.  This classic Chablis has an alluring, subtle creaminess atop minerality.  It’s a lean styled Chardonnay based wine–as opposed to a butterball–but still has plenty of substance and stuffing.  Its premier cru moniker shows, not by power, but by finesse and length. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 25, 2008

Domain Tremblay, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Montmain 2000 ($23, Classic Wine Imports): That this wine is less expensive than Tremblay’s current releases–the dollar was much stronger 5 years ago–shows the tremendous effect of exchange rates on the price of imported wine.  Wonderfully developed with minty and herbal overtones, it still retains the classic flinty minerality of Chablis.  Bottle age has just added a touch of softness and roundness to the classic angularity and edginess of Chablis. It’s a treat to find aged Chablis still available in the retail market and a bargain to boot. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 23, 2007

Simonnet Fèbvre, Chablis Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Vaillons 2009 ($29, Louis Latour USA):  Many of the 2009 Chablis have an added ripeness which many find attractive, but others think it overshadows the unique minerality that these wines offer.  Simonnet-Febvre has managed to capture the added lushness of the vintage without losing the quintessential flintiness.  It’s tightly wound and actually tastes more like a 2008, a great year in which the Chablis are very minerality, than a “typical” 2009.  It’s easy to recommend to accompany simply grilled fish this summer, especially at the price. 90 Michael Apstein Jun 28, 2011

Domaine Marc Morey & Fils, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) En Virondot 2004 ($86, Robert Kacher Selections): A smoky richness, minerality, and engaging earthiness characteristic of the wines from Chassagne make this a wonderful white Burgundy. 93 Michael Apstein Sep 26, 2006

Louis Jadot, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Abbaye de Morgeot 2007 ($60, Kobrand):  The 2007 white Burgundies have been lost in the shuffle.  The vintage as a whole has been overshadowed, rightfully so, by the 2008, 2009 and now 2010 vintages.  And many of the ‘07 reds, charming at the outset, are now started to show signs of wear.  That said, the 2007 white Burgundies that have sufficient ripeness to balance the acidity of the vintage, like this one, are lovely now.  Jadot’s Abbaye de Morgeot has the richness and  minerality of Chassagne couple with the vivacity of the vintage.  Lively acidity amplifies the flavors and makes the finish seem endless. 93 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2012

Domaine Bernard Morey et Fils, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot 2005 ($60, Vineyard Brands): This is just one of the many successful wines Domaine Bernard Morey turned out in 2005.  The alluring earthiness of Chassagne comes through even at this stage in this tightly wound young wine.  The richness in the finish indicates you’ll be rewarded even more if you give it a few years to open. 92 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2007

Vincent & Sophie Morey, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Embrazées 2010 ($72, Vineyard Brands):  In 2007, the venerable Bernard Morey, a fixture in Chassagne Montrachet, retired and divided his Domaine between his sons, Vincent and Thomas, both of whom had worked with their father for decades.  So now there are two more Moreys in Chassagne.  No wonder Burgundy is confusing.  Vincent and his wife, Sophie, make excellent wines from their 50 acres.  This one delivers the smokey and chalky notes I associate with Chassagne along with a precision and focus befitting a premier cru.  A firm, almost edgy, vibrancy awakens the palate.
91 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2012

Maison Louis Jadot, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($45, Kobrand): Jacques Lardière, Jadot’s brilliant winemaker, told me that half the wine for this bottling came from premier cru vineyards. It certainly tastes like it. More intense and refined than most village wines, it has an engaging minerality, unexpected complexity and great length. 93 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Chateau de la Maltroye, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($35, Domaines et Saveurs Collection): Unusually rich and long for a village wine, this Chassagne-Montrachet has the characteristic attractive earthiness for which that town is known. It’s a lot of wine for the price. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Olivier Leflaive, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($52, Frederick Wildman):  Here’s village wine that reminds us that you don’t need to chase premier or grand cru Burgundies to find enjoyment.  Alluring flinty and smoky elements harmonize with a green apple-like freshness. Creamy nuances are nicely offset by an uplifting vibrancy.  It will undoubtedly improve with cellaring because of its harmony, but with aeration in the glass, it’s a fine choice for grilled swordfish tonight. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet (Cote de Beaune, France) 2004 ($38, Louis Latour): Latour’s Chassagne shows the typical earthy character of wines from that village. This wine shows the clear difference and the importance of location in Burgundy. It’s distinctive and reflects the uniqueness of the village. Anyone who wants to understand why the French label their wines by where the grapes grow instead of the name of the grape should taste a Chassagne next to a Puligny and witness how these Chardonnay-based wines differ because of location. 90 Michael Apstein May 16, 2006

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($53, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Drouhin’s 2008 village white wines from the three major appellations in the Côte de Beaune–this one, their Puligny-Montrachet and their Meursault–make an excellent case for the French tradition of naming wines by where the grapes are grown, rather than the variety.  All are made from Chardonnay, but each reflects the unique character of its origins.  The trio, tasted side-by-side, would be an excellent introduction into the subtleties of Burgundy.  This Chassagne has the earthy chalky character characteristic of the wines from that village.  It’s length and refinement reminds you it’s from one of Burgundy’s premier white wine villages. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 3, 2010

Maison Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($50, Louis Latour USA):  Regular readers know I am a fan of Latour’s Burgundies.  Combine my enthusiasm for the house with the quality of the 2007 vintage for white Burgundies and you get a ringing endorsement for their whites across the board.  This one marries the subtle earthiness characteristic of the wines from that village with am engaging creaminess.  It’s enlivened by a citrus-infused, penetrating acidity.  If you ever want to see–and taste–the difference between Chardonnay grown in the three major white wine villages of Burgundy, invite a few friends over, grab a bottle of Latour’s 2007 Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, and open them along with this one.  It’s an education. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 9, 2010

Domaine Michel Picard, Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) “En Pimont” 2005 ($56, Brown Forman): The much-praised 2005 vintage in Burgundy produced white wines, such as this one, with excellent ripeness.  Some of them, lack acidity, though that is not true of this bottling, which is beautifully balanced.  The effect of oak aging is noticeable, but not overdone.  A hint of white flowers followed by lush fruit are the predominant notes.  It shows that village wines–as opposed to premier cru–can be quite stylish. 89 Michael Apstein Jul 29, 2008

Joseph Drouhin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot “Marquis de Laguiche” 2007 ($95, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  The Drouhin firm has exclusive rights to the grapes from the famous Marquis de Laguiche domaine, which includes about 5 acres of the Grand Cru, Le Montrachet vineyard, and about an equal amount in the Premier Cru vineyard, Morgeot.  Formerly just labeled Chassagne Montrachet, starting with the 2007 vintage Drouhin has made its Premier Cru status clear by putting “Morgeot” on the label.  Although Drouhin does not manage the vineyard, their team makes the wine.  And what a wine it is, especially in 2007.  It has the rare combination of intensity and elegance with extraordinary length and focus.  Enlivening citrus acidity supports the delicate peachy and apricot-like nuances and subtle earthy minerality.  Captivating now, my experience with this wine tells me it will evolve beautifully over the next decade.  If you can afford to splurge, this is the wine for you. 97 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Lucien Le Moine, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) La Romanée 2007 ($120, Vintus):  Okay, $120 is a lot to spend for a bottle of wine, especially a Premier Cru.  But tasted blind, you’d swear it’s Grand Cru Burgundy.  Le Moine, a small négociant—his total production is only 2,500 cases—started just a decade ago, but has already made a name for himself.  He works with one or two growers in each appellation focusing on Premier and Grand Crus and producing only a few barrels of each wine.  Judging from his sensational line up of 2007 reds and whites, he knows what he’s doing.  This one is simply stunning.  Tightly wound, with a laser-like focus, riveting minerality unfolds in the glass.  Invigorating citrus elements balance and amplify the core of fruity earthiness. The complexity is astounding as nuances continue to emerge with air.  This one should go into the cellar for five to ten years. 96 Michael Apstein Mar 30, 2010

Fontaine-Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) La Romanée 2011 ($112, Polaner): The 2011 white Burgundies reflect the inconsistency of the region.  The white wines from some producers are flabby while other producers managed to capture acidity and make stunning wines.  Fontaine-Gagnard falls into the latter category.  Located in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet and focusing on wines from that appellation, they made a superb array of 20111s, from their village wine to this one from one of the village’s best premier cru vineyards.  Their La Romanée is precise with an engaging chalky minerality and riveting acidity, which imparts vibrancy and amplifies the flavors.  Long and focused, this is great white Burgundy that, while captivating now, will evolve beautifully over the next decade because its balance is impeccable.
95 Michael Apstein Mar 12, 2013

Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Vergers 2004 ($55, Various importers): Colin has managed the high-wire act of balancing intensity and elegance with this delicious combination of earthy minerality coupled with a cleansing citric edge. The finish seemingly never ends. 95 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Marc Morey & Fils, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) En Virondot 2004 ($85, Robert Kacher Selections): For all its power and touches of earthiness, this wine is remarkably elegant. It delivers incredible satisfaction with its long, lush finish. 94 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Chenevottes 2004 ($66, Diageo): Philippe Colin, who makes stunning white Burgundies generally, was particularly successful in 2004.  His wine from the Chenevottes vineyard is a wonderful expression of Chassagne-Montrachet, capturing the unique combination of earthiness and minerality for which that village is famous.  It’s long and — despite its size — elegant, befitting a premier cru. 94 Michael Apstein Nov 7, 2006

Génot-Boulanger, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Vergers 2009 ($75, Frederick Wildman):  Génot-Boulanger made a sensational array of white wines in 2009, capturing bright acidity that eluded many because of the warmth of the growing season.  His Les Vergers harnesses the chalky earthy intensity of a 2009 premier cru Chassagne and couples it with a laser-like focus.  The wine’s purity and freshness is captivating. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 10, 2012

Maison Louis Jadot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle Domaine du Duc de Magenta 2005 ($74, Kobrand): Duc de Magenta owns Clos de la Chapelle, a small well-located parcel within the Morgeot vineyard.  Location is always important, but especially in Morgeot because, at over 125 acres, it is one of the largest 1er cru vineyards in Burgundy and as a result, produces wines of variable quality.  The location of Duc de Magenta’s vines explains, in part, why the wine is consistently excellent.  Jadot just renewed their contract with Duc de Magenta to buy their grapes, make and sell the wines.  Creamy and classy, this is one of the more refined wines from Chassagne-Montrachet, a village that often produces earthier, heavier white Burgundies. Terrific length and bracing acidity suggest this wine will develop beautifully over the years. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2007

Château de la Maltroye, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Chenevottes 2009 ($55, Jeanne-Marie de Champs, Domaines & Saveurs Collection):  Since Jean-Pierre Cournut took over from his father in 1995, this domaine has been making terrific wines.  This one shows the lush ripeness of the 2009 vintage, but retains the earthy expressiveness of Chassagne-Montrachet and unusually–for the vintage–bold acidity.  Its brightness awakens the palate. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 17, 2012

Domaine Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot 2007 ($80, The Sorting Table): Moreau’s 2007 Morgeot has a minerality and elegance often associated with wines from Puligny-Montrachet.  That said, the engaging earthiness that makes wines from Chassagne so popular is still apparent.  Like the rest of Moreau’s fine 2007 white Burgundies, this one is tightly focused, classy and very long. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Maison Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Caillerets 2010 ($60, Louis Latour, USA):  The 2010 vintage produced excellent white Burgundies–and this is one of them.  Les Caillerets is one of the top 1er Cru vineyards in Chassagne and Latour is one of Burgundy’s top producers, so it should come as no surprise that this is a riveting wine.  Tightly wound at this stage, it’s a finesse-filled wine that delivers a lovely chalky minerality buttressed by vibrant acidity.  It was even better the second night after being open for 24 hours, suggesting it has a long life ahead of it.  So either make room in your cellar or if drinking it now, decant it–yes, I know it’s a white wine–before serving. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2012

Thomas Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot 2007 ($82, Louis Dressner Selections): Bernard Morey, head of the famed Domaine Bernard Morey et Fils, divided his vineyards between his two sons, Thomas and Vincent, who are now bottling their own wines. Thomas’s white wines are just terrific, long and balanced.  This Morgeot has excellent ripeness and earthy richness that balances the bracing acidity characteristic of the 2007 whites.  Great aromatics and a lengthy finish suggest it will reward a few years in the cellar although it’s hard to resist now. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 10, 2009

Domaine Henri Clerc et Fils, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Morgeot 2006 ($78, VOS Selections): One of the wonderful things about this Domaine’s wines is that they reflect where the grapes grow.  This bottling is true to the earthier, less steely character of Chassagne compared to Puligny.  Accessible now, it delivers slightly riper fruit notes, still buttressed by bracing acidity. 91 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Caillerets 2007 ($98, Skurnik):  Les Caillerets is one of the best premier cru vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet.  The wines, such as this one, have an elegance and refinement as well as the usual earthy notes typical of the wines from the village.  Colin-Morey performs no bâtonage and very little racking, preferring a less opulent style of wine.  Tightly wound at this stage, the acidity of the 2007 is apparent.  Nonetheless, there’s plenty of underlying stoniness and minerality that will emerge over the next several years, so plan on cellaring it rather than having it with dinner tonight.  You’ll be pleased you did. 91 Michael Apstein Aug 31, 2010

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Embrazées 2007 ($90, Skurnik):  Similar to Colin-Morey’s Les Caillerets (also reviewed this week), this premier cru is tightly wound.  Colin-Morey’s focus on producing structured, less ripe wines is amplified by the compactness of the 2007 vintage.  That said, with time in the glass, it opens and intriguing spiciness emerges to complement the chalky earthiness.  Bright and focused, this exciting wine needs a few years of bottle age to reveal its complexity. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 31, 2010

Olivier Leflaive, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos Saint Marc 2007 ($89, Wildman): The Clos Saint Marc is a small walled enclave (clos) within the 1er cru Les Vergers vineyard.  As with Leflaive’s other 2007 white Burgundies, this one also reflects the site where the grapes grew.  Typical of Chassagne, it has a slightly chunky quality that complements its creamy minerality and citric edginess.  The ripe fruit flavors balance the acidity nicely so it’s lovely to drink now.  Befitting a 1er cru, is has better complexity and more finesse, not more power. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Domaine Sylvie and Thomas Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) La Vide Bourse 2007 ($97, Louis Dressner Selections):

La Vide Bourse (literally, empty purse), one of the smallest premier cru vineyards in Chassagne, lies just below the Grand Cru vineyard, Batard-Montrachet.  Although the price may empty your purse, the wine will fill you with pleasure.  Fleshier and riper than Sylvie and Thomas’s other excellent 2007 whites, it retains great minerality and balance.  Long, lush and layered with terrific vibrancy, it will evolve and improve over the next decade, so there’s no rush.

94 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Olivier Leflaive, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Abbaye de Morgeot “Recolte du Domaine” 2010 ($76, Frederick Wildman):  Olivier Leflaive is known mostly as a talented négociant.  They primarily buy grapes from others throughout Burgundy and transform those grapes into wine.   They also own some vineyards.  Wines made from the vineyards they own are labeled Recolte du Domaine.  And they are even better than their very good négociant wines.  Tightly wound now, it has all the markings that it will evolve beautifully.  It has a bit of everything–chalky minerality, spice and citrus verve–without too much of anything.  You feel the oak without tasting it.  Refined, precise and very long, it dances across the palate.  Like all top-notch white Burgundies, it needs time, so plan on putting this one in the cellar for a few years rather than on tonight’s dining room table. 94 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Domaine Sylvie and Thomas Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Embrazees 2007 ($82, Louis Dressner Selections): Although Les Embrazees may not be the most well-known premier cru vineyard in Chassagne, there’s no mistaking the premier cru quality in the bottle.  This is a big step up–both in complexity and price–from their village St. Aubin (also reviewed this week) and reinforces the rationale of the classification system.  It delivers a classy combination of ripe fruit and earth-like flavors buttressed by a lively–but not overwhelming–citric zing. Befitting a great wine, layers of flavor–smoke, a hint of tropical fruits–reveal themselves as the wine sits in the glass. Sylvie and Thomas Morey confirm my initial impressions of the 2007 whites–when they have sufficient ripeness to balance the natural acidity–as this one does–they are excellent wines. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Thomas Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Embrazées 2007 ($80, Louis Dressner Selections): Bernard Morey dissolved his estate by leaving half of the vines to each of his sons, Thomas and Vincent, each of whom are making and bottling their own wines.  Thomas Morey made a stunning array of whites in 2007.  His Les Embrazées has plenty of ripeness to balance the considerable acidity of that vintage without losing the characteristic and appealing earthy nature of Chassagne-Montrachet.  Judging from this and his other beautifully balanced 2007 whites (previously reviewed), he is a producer to watch. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 17, 2009

Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($406, Wilson Daniels): The stylistic–not quality–difference (since there is none) between Leflaive’s Bâtard and Bienvenues-Bâtard and this wine speaks to the essence of the French concept of terroir.  Grown within a stone’s throw of one another, the Chevalier highlights the minerality side–rather than the fruit flavors–of the appellation.  The balanced complexity and layers of flavor–spice, citric notes and subtle creaminess that adds a gorgeous texture–make this an unforgettable wine. Tight at this stage of its development, aeration brings out addition character and suggests cellaring for a decade or so will bring great rewards. 98 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2007

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($90, Louis Latour Inc.):  The 2008 vintage was a great one for white Burgundy.  In general, the wines are a touch riper than the 2007s, but still have plenty of balancing and enlivening acidity.  Latour’s 2008 Corton-Charlemagne, like their 2007 (also reviewed this week) is destined to be another one of their memorable ones because of the captivating interplay of the earthy ripeness, minerality and focus it shows now.  At this stage, it conveys slightly more power without losing its precision when compared to the 2007.  And similar to their 2007, it gained considerable complexity with air.  Fans of white Burgundy would be wise not to miss it.  This will benefit from a decade in the cellar. 97 Michael Apstein Dec 21, 2010

Maison Louis Jadot, Corton Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($138, Kobrand): Always one of my favorites of Jadot’s whites, I purchased this wine as a ‘future’ while it was still in barrel.  My reaction after tasting this Grand Cru in bottle was, ‘Buy more.’  Despite being tightly wound at this stage, aromas of white flowers intertwined with spice come through.  Concentrated and ripe, the bright acidity carries its creamy minerality into an incredibly long finish.  Beautifully balanced, it’s the epitome of power and elegance. 97 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2007

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Corton Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($217, Henriot): Bouchard’s 8 acres of Chardonnay lie high on the hill of Corton facing due east in the vineyard, Le Corton.  The site is rather cold and the grapes are kept disease free and dry by the prevailing north-south wind.  Hence, Bouchard can leave them on the vine longer, assuring full and homogenous ripening.  The location explains why Bouchard’s Corton Charlemagne is always riper and richer than many others, especially early in its life.  A blockbuster of a wine, Bouchard’s 2006 Corton Charlemagne is opulent, delivering plenty of power.  It’s Grand Cru status shows in its balance and length.  Remarkably engaging now, I suspect it will develop considerably more complexity with another five or so years in bottle. 94 Michael Apstein Mar 18, 2008

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($90, Louis Latour Inc.):  Latour, the largest owner in the Corton-Charlemagne vineyard, also consistently makes one of the appellation’s best wines.  Their nearly 25-acre plot has an almost full south exposure, which means they always achieve good ripeness.  Nonetheless, the wines are never overdone.  Quite the contrary, they are tightly wound with bracing acidity, especially when young.  Their 2007 is a glorious expression of the vintage and the site.  With plenty of ripeness to support the acidity characteristic of the vintage, it has an incredibly long laser-like finish and an intriguing flinty smoky aspect.  Befitting a young Grand Cru, it opens beautifully with air and it was even more expressive after being opened, but refrigerated, for a day.  Best if held for another decade 94 Michael Apstein Dec 21, 2010

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne (Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France) 2004 ($100, Louis Latour): Latour’s Corton-Charlemagne is one of the benchmark wines from this Grand Cru vineyard. Never as intense or butterscotchy as Le Montrachet, its allure comes from a powerful combination of rich smoky creaminess balanced by great acidity. The 2004 fits that mold perfectly. Tightly wound now, its richness is still apparent. This wine will open beautifully over the next decade. 97 Michael Apstein May 16, 2006

Morey-Blanc, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($168, Wilson Daniels): Pierre Morey, one of Burgundy’s leading winemakers, recently stepped down from winemaker at Domaine Leflaive to focus on Morey-Blanc, a small négociant firm he runs with his daughter. (He continues to produce sumptuous wines from his own domaine, based in Meursault.) This Corton Charlemagne is a blend from the three different villages, each with a different exposure, on the hill of Corton that comprise the Corton appellation: east facing Ladoix-Serrigny, south facing Aloxe-Corton and west facing Pernand-Vergelesses. Hence, it delivers all of the nuances this very large grand cru offers. Having tasted the various components of the blend, it is striking the way the finished product is far better than the sum of its parts. The vibrancy imparted by acidity of the vintage amplifies the wine’s creaminess and minerality. Paradoxically, it’s both focused and expansive with a seemingly endless finish. Expensive, yes, but lovers of Corton Charlemagne should seek it out because it’s one the best from this grand cru. 96 Michael Apstein Aug 2, 2011

Bouchard Pere et Fils, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($120, Henriot): The 10-acre Bouchard parcel for Corton-Charlemagne is located near the top of the Corton hill and faces east-southeast. The vines are planted horizontally to take advantage of a drying north wind that acts as a natural pesticide. As a result, Bouchard can wait to harvest until the grapes reach perfect maturity. The location explains the brilliant balance in Bouchard’s 2004 Corton-Charlemagne. Riveting acidity — the product of the vintage — complements the wine’s richness and fullness, a result of fully mature grapes. It’s long and layered, deserving of its grand cru status. 95 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($121, Louis Latour, USA):  Some wineries are said to be on a streak when they put out 3 or 4 superb vintages consecutively.  Latour, in contrast, never misses with their Corton-Charlemagne.  As the largest vineyard owner in that Grand Cru, theirs’ is widely available (at least for Burgundies) and very well priced (again, at least for Burgundies).  Burgundy lovers will argue which they prefer, the leaner 2007, the tight mineraly 2008 or this more forward, but still well structured 2009.  The 2009 has more opulence than the two prior vintages because of the overall warmer growing season.  Latour still captures a lovely citrus acidity that balances the smoky minerality.  Subtle peppery undertones add intrigue.  While certainly more approachable than either the 2007 or 2008 at this stage, there’s no rush to drink the 2009 (although it’s pretty tasty now) as these wines have an extraordinary tract records of development with bottle age. 95 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

Domaine Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($187, Louis Latour Inc.): Latour’s Corton-Charlemagne is the wine by which all others from that Grand Cru vineyard are judged.  Usually, his Corton-Charlemagne take years to unfold and show beautifully at a decade of age.  But the 2006 shows the precociousness of the vintage and is delightful now.  It’s one of Latour’s most forward young Corton-Charlemagne, reminiscent of the 1992.  I suspect it will close up in a year or two to reemerge in a decade, so enjoy it now or be prepared to wait.   Ripe and powerful, it has a touch of earthiness to complement its lushness.  Its class shows in the ever changing finish. 94 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($160): The largest owner of Corton-Charlemagne, Louis Latour always makes a stellar wine from this great vineyard.  Theirs is the benchmark by which others are judged.  The 2006 is the third in a string of superb vintages for them.  It has everything–a little smokiness, herbal notes, even a hint of mint, enticing earthiness, and of, course, ripe fruit–all buttressed by Latour’s quintessential vibrant acidity.  Beautifully balanced with great vivacity, this wine is tightly wound and needs another five years in the cellar to blossom.  It will be fascinating to see how these three superb wines, 2004, 2005 and 2006, develop over time. 94 Michael Apstein Sep 16, 2008

Maison Henri Boillot, Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($235, The Sorting Table): In addition to Domaine Henri Boillot estate, Boillot has a small négociant business in which he buys grapes from other growers.  The labels of his Domaine and négociant wines are practically the same. The difference is in small print that indicates location.  The Domaine is located in Volnay; the négociant house in Meursault.   While there is frequently a prejudice towards Domaine wines in general, this Corton-Charlemagne is a real beauty.  A muscular, ripe wine, it retains Corton-Charlemagne earthiness intrigue and citric invigorating acidity.  Balanced and long, it lives up the Grand Cru status of the vineyard. 93 Michael Apstein May 26, 2009

Alex Gambal, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($120, Schneiders of Capitol Hill): Gambal’s 2010 Corton Charlemagne demonstrates that you needn’t own the vineyard to make a sensational wine.  Gambal gets the grapes from a grower whose plot of Corton Charlemagne lies within the village of Pernand Vergelesses.  It’s a part of the hill of Corton than Dennis Fetzmann, Domaine Louis Latour’s super talented winemaker and an expert on Corton, calls “warm shade” since this part of the hill gets the late afternoon sun.  Wines from this part of the hill are frequently slightly less generous and opulent, but no less grand, than ones that come from south facing (Fetzmann’s “warm sun”) parcels.  Gambal’s is tightly wound at this stage but its Grand Cru stature still shows with its precision and marriage of fruit with mineral flavors.  His 2004 Corton Charlemagne, which I recently had, has developed marvelously.  I suspect his 2010, from a similarly grand vintage, will do the same.
94 Michael Apstein Mar 19, 2013

Domaine Anne Gros, Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Cuvée Marine” 2005 ($30, Stacole Company): With prices of white Burgundy going through the roof, especially for the sought-after 2005 vintage, it is always refreshing to find a more affordable one.  The Hautes Côtes de Nuits is planted mostly to Pinot Noir, but Anne Gros has a small amount of land devoted to Chardonnay.  And since Gros is such a talented producer, it’s no surprise that her Cuvée Marine is a winner.  Not as complex as the wines from more well-known villages of the Côte d’Or, it nonetheless delivers a firm stoniness and crisp lemony acidity at a attractive price. 87 Michael Apstein Apr 15, 2008

Bertrand Ambroise, Ladoix Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Grechons 2007 ($40, Robert Kacher Selections): The class of premier cru white Burgundy, even from a lesser known village in the Côte de Beaune, shines in this wine.  A preview of the enjoyment it delivers is immediately apparent in the nose.  A fleshy wine, with great minerality and depth, it retains finesse on the palate.  Fresh citric notes keep it fresh and add balance.  Befitting a premier cru from a talented producer, each sip reveals new flavors. 93 Michael Apstein Sep 22, 2009

Domaine Chêne, Mâcon La Roche Vineuse (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($18, Michael Skurnik Wines):  Mâcon La Roche Vineuse, a less well-known (obscure) appellation in the Côte Mâconnais, is one of those that could get folded into a broader appellation if France ever gets around to simplifying its appellation regulations.  If all its wines are as distinctive as this one, it deserves to keep its own appellation.  Like most white wines from the Cote Mâconnais, it’s Chardonnay-based.  But it more refined–less clunky–than most with an underpinning minerality to complement the ripe melon-like flavors.  It’s easy to recommend this excellent buy. 89 Michael Apstein Dec 28, 2010

Olivier Merlin, Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2009 ($22, Becky Wasserman, Le Serbet):  Those looking for lip smacking crowd pleasing affordable white Burgundy can stop searching.  Here it is.  Lemony and creamy, it’s serious stuff delivering far more complexity than most wines labeled Macon.  Summertime house wine, anyone? 89 Michael Apstein Apr 24, 2012

Jean-Claude Thevenet, Mâcon Pierreclos (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($18, Rosenthal Wine Merchant): Pierreclos is one of the 40-plus communes within the Mâcon-Villages umbrella.  Since all of the wine for this bottling comes from that commune, its name can appear on the label.   With about 60 acres of vines, mostly Chardonnay, Thevenet is one of a breed of small and dedicated producers in the region.  His 2005 Mâcon Pierreclos is uncommonly distinctive, with a stoniness combined with finesse. 90 Michael Apstein Nov 7, 2006

Domaine Auvigue, Mâcon Solutré (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) 2010 ($20, Cynthia Hurley Imports):  I’m a great fan of Domaine Auvigue, whose wines from the Mâconnais region of Burgundy always deliver more than their price suggests.  Wines made from grapes grown throughout the region are labeled Mâcon-Villages, whereas ones (like this one) with the potential for more class (because they come from one of 43 specific villages) are allowed to carry the village name.  Although there’s no formal hierarchy to these 43 villages, Solutré is near the top of everyone’s list since half of it lies within the more prestigious appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé.   Combine a great producer, a great site and an excellent vintage like 2010, and presto–you have a must-buy wine.  Despite more muscle and concentration than most wines from Mâcon, it does not sacrifice the elegance and purity of Chardonnay grown in this village.   The bracing acidity of the vintage balances its lushness.  Don’t miss it. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 17, 2012

Bret Brothers, Mâcon Villages (Burgundy, France) “Cuvée Terroir de Maçonnais” 2006 ($27, Polaner Selections): The young Bret brothers are one of the leading names in the Maconnais.  Their name on the label is as good a guarantee as you get for wines from this region.  Unusually concentrated from a wine with the ‘simple’ Macon-Villages appellation, theirs conveys a minerality more commonly found in pricey wines from the Côte d’Or.  Although vinified and aged for almost a year in small oak barrels, the primary impression is still one of fruit, not wood. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2008

Cave de Lugny, Mâcon Villages (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($12, Pasternak Wine Imports):  Cave de Lugny is one of France’s oldest and best cooperatives.  With their roughly 250 growers and their 3,700 acres, they control the vast majority of wines from Macon. You might think that their size would preclude quality–after all they are a coop and are required to buy all the members’ harvest.  But they sell at least half their wine in bulk, in large measure to prominent Burgundy négociants, and bottle the remainder themselves.  And what they bottle is very good at the price.  This “simple” Macon-Villages has unusual depth and roundness balanced by vibrant acidity.  Although it’s pleasant enough by itself as an aperitif, it harmonizes particularly nicely with spicy shrimp or roast chicken.  A great buy. 88 Michael Apstein Feb 16, 2010

Domaine Guillot-Broux, Mâcon-Chardonnay (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) “Les Combettes” 2010 ($25, Jenny & Francois Selections):  Yes, there is a village named Chardonnay within the Mâcon appellation.  However, I was unfamiliar with this producer (whose website says Peter and Jeannine Guillot created the first organic vineyard in Burgundy in 1954) until Martin Granne, a knowledgeable salesman at Garnet Wine and Spirits in Manhattan insisted I try a bottle.  I’m glad he did.  More in keeping with a Côte d’Or Burgundy than one from Mâcon, Guillot-Broux’s Les Combettes is quite rich and complex with alluring toasty nuances.  Ample acidity keeps it refreshing and lively.  It’s a good choice with hearty seafood. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 7, 2012

Jean Manciat, Mâcon-Charnay (Burgundy, France) Franclieu 2005 ($18, Louis Dressner Selections): We are not used to seeing wines from Mâcon region at $18 a bottle-more often they are in the $10-12 range-but most don’t convey the balanced package of minerals, cream and bright citric acidity that this one does. 88 Michael Apstein Nov 14, 2006

Domaine Guffens Heynen, Mâcon-Pierreclos (Burgundy, France) “en Crazy” 2007 ($36, Ideal Wine & Spirits):  Thirty-six bucks for a wine from Mâcon is a lot to ask–perhaps that’s the meaning of  “en Crazy”–but this is a lot of wine.  The umbrella appellation of Mâcon-Villages encompasses 40-odd villages.  If a wine, such as this one, is made from grapes grown exclusively in one of the villages, the label can carry the name of the village after “Mâcon” instead of the less specific, Mâcon-Villages.  Are ones from a single village always better than a generic Mâcon-Villages?  No.  But this one, from one of the region’s best producers, is stunning.  The racy edginess of the 2007 vintage amplifies an engaging creamy stoniness.  It’s exquisite balance and length is testimony to its class. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 1, 2009

Verget, Mâcon-Vergisson (Burgundy, France) La Roche 2005 ($23, Ideal Wines and Stacole): Jean-Marie Guffens and his wife, Maine, founded Verget, their high-quality négociant firm, in 1990, and rapidly established themselves as among the best producers of wines from the Mâconnais.  Unlike most négociants who buy newly fermented wine, Verget buys only grapes.  Since pressing the grapes and vinifying the wine are key steps in winemaking, his control over them helps explain why he makes such consistently excellent wines from less prestigious appellations such as Mâcon.  He also specializes in finding growers whose vineyards are ideally located, such as the La Roche vineyard in the village of Vergisson, which abuts the vineyard of the same name in Pouilly-Fuissé.  The creamy minerality of this wine means it has more in common with wines from the Cote d’Or than most Mâcon wines on the market.  A lovely texture, racy acidity, and a haunting finish make it a pleasure to drink now. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2007

Domaines Leflaive, Mâcon-Verzé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) 2007 ($39, Wilson-Daniels):  Domaine Leflaive, one of Burgundy’s top white wine producers, expanded into the Mâcon region several years ago (note the minute difference in name, Domaines, as opposed to Domaine).  In keeping with the character of the 2009 white Burgundies, this one is more forward and ripe than in the past.  Still, there’s sufficient acidity to keep it lively and balanced.  And forward and ripe in Macon is far different from California, so by New World standards, this one shows welcome restraint. It shows that Mâcon is a place for stellar wines given the right location and winemaking team. 90 Michael Apstein May 31, 2011

Philippe Morey Auvigue, Macon-Villages (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($19, Cynthia Hurley French Wine): If there’s a better $20 Chardonnay-based wine on the market, I’d like to know about it.  Auvigue is one of the very top producers in the Côte Mâconnais, home to Macon-Villages, where the wines are—to be diplomatic—of highly variable quality.  Hence, it’s especially important to reach for a top producer, such as Auvigue, when buying Macon-Villages.  The 2008 vintage in Burgundy produced stellar white wines, like this one, with bright acidity to balance ripe fruit underpinned by a stony creamy quality.  Great balance and intensity, it outclasses many producers’ Pouilly-Fuissé.  In short, don’t miss it. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 2, 2010

Maison Verget, Macon-Villages (Burgundy) “Terres de Pierres” 2010 ($17, Ideal Wines): The problem with the wines from the Macon-Villages appellation is that their quality varies enormously. The good news is that the good ones, like this one, offer tremendous value. Made entirely Chardonnay, Verget’s 2010 has a bracing stony quality along with a hint of creaminess. It’s beautifully balanced with an exceptionally long finish that is more associated with wines from a grander appellation. Here’s a chance to sample real white Burgundy without breaking the bank. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 12, 2013

Georges DuBoeuf, Macon-Villages (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($11, WJ Deutsch): After the 2003 whites, which were often heavy and lacked acidity because of the scorching heat of that year, Duboeuf’s Macon-Villages is a welcome relief. This straightforward Chardonnay-based offering has a touch of creaminess balanced by vibrant acidity. Those consumers looking for a big, buttery California Chardonnay will be disappointed. Everyone else will love it, especially at the price. 86 Michael Apstein Jan 3, 2006

Domaine Talmard, Mâcon-Villages (Burgundy, France) Chardonnay 2005 ($15, ExCellars): With unusual minerality, creaminess and depth for a wine from this region, the 2005 Talmard Mâcon-Villages is the best I’ve had from this reliable Domaine. Don’t miss it, and don’t fail to buy it in quantity. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 12, 2006

Vins Auvigue, Mâcon-Villages (Burgundy, France) “Vendanges Manuelles” 2009 ($16, Cynthia Hurley):  The less prestigious appellations for white Burgundy, such as Macon-Villages, did especially well in 2009 because the warmth of that year resulted in riper and richer Chardonnays.  Auvigue, one the region’s stars, is a small grower who makes stunningly good wines from their estate and from the grapes of family members.  Their Macon-Villages out performs many producers’s Pouilly Fuissé.  So, combine the weather with Auvigue’s talents and the result is a fleshy and lush wine with creamy nuances and an underlying stony firmness.  It’s an ideal choice for Chardonnay-lovers this summer. 89 Michael Apstein Jul 19, 2011

Domaine Charles Audoin, Marsannay (Burgundy, France) Au Champ Salomon 2007 ($48, Martine’s Wines, Inc.):  Chardonnay from Marsannay has plenty of bright citrus-mineral fruit.  This 2007 from Audoin was aged in oak for 12 months, 20% of the barrels being new, giving the wine tempered oak seasoning while allowing the fruit to shine.  Medium gold in color, the aromatics are complex with subtle toasted oak and low intensity stone fruit.  It’s crisp and textured, with nicely layered flavors, citrusy acidity and good length. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 23, 2010

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) Clos Rochette 2007 ($30, Wilson Daniels): Mercurey, a village in the Côte Chalonnaise, a less prestigious part of Burgundy compared to the Côte d’Or, is known chiefly for its red wines.  But it does produce notable whites.  Faiveley has extensive vineyards there, both for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and makes attractive wines from them.  Couple their reputation with an excellent vintage for white Burgundy and you have an easy-to-recommend wine that conveys an alluring stony element combined with a hint of creaminess supported by vibrant acidity.  Lovely now, its balance and structure ensure it will evolve gracefully over the next several years, so there’s no rush. 90 Michael Apstein Aug 11, 2009

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) Clos Rochette 2008 ($25, Frederick Wildman):  In addition to their extensive holdings in the Côte d’Or, Faiveley is one of the best producers of wines from the Côte Chalonnaise, the home to more affordable Burgundies.  Although Mercurey, the most important village of the region, is known for its reds, it also produces a small amount of white wine from Chardonnay.  Faiveley’s Clos Rochette, from an 11-acre stony vineyard owned exclusively by them, could very well be the best white wine from Mercurey.  The 2008 has a touch of extra ripeness and subtle oak nuances that compliment the wine’s attractive steely-like firmness.  Its length belies its classification as a village wine.  Try it with steamed clams or other shellfish. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 29, 2011

Faiveley, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) Clos Rochette 2004 ($29, Wilson Daniels): Mercury, a village in the portion of Burgundy known as the Côte Chalonnaise, is better known for its red wines–made from Pinot Noir–than its whites, such as this one, made from Chardonnay.  Faiveley, a high-quality Burgundy firm located further north in the heart of Burgundy, owns considerable land in Mercurey and is certainly one of, if not the best, producer of wines from that town.  From their 10-acre vineyard, Clos Rochette, Faiveley has fashioned a lovely white Burgundy, filled with creamy minerality, finesse, and a lingering finish.  Tighter and less opulent than California Chardonnay, it is a classy wine that delivers pleasure throughout the meal, not just after the first sip. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 26, 2006

Génot-Boulanger, Mercurey Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Les Pacs” 2009 ($30, Frederick Wildman):  Though Mercurey is far better known for its reds than its whites, Chardonnay does do well in many sites there.  And the added warmth of the 2009 vintage imparted a touch more ripeness to balance what can often be an underlying hardness.  Génot-Boulanger’s 2009 Mercurey combines engaging fleshiness with a firm, not hard, minerality.  This is authentic white Burgundy that’s perfect for current consumption. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 3, 2012

Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey Blanc (Burgundy, France) Clos Rochettes 2011 ($32, Frederick Wildman): Although primarily known for its red wines, Mercurey also produces some fine Chardonnay-based whites, especially when Faiveley is involved. What’s especially noteworthy about all of Faiveley’s wines is how they reflect where the grapes’s origins. Not overworked, this Clos Rochettes, from their holdings, is classic Côte Chalonnaise white, stony and pure.
89 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Michel Picard, Mercurey Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos Paradis 2006 ($34, Brown Forman): The négociant firm of Michel Picard owns the Domaine Voarick, which is why both the Picard and Domaine Voarick names are on the label of this wine.  This green-tinged Chardonnay-based wine reflects its Côte Chalonnaise origins with a chunky earthiness.  The lush, melon-like nuances add an extra dimension to this white wine from Mercurey. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 29, 2008

Domaine Pierre Morey, Meursault (Burgundy, France) “Les Tessons” 2008 ($75, Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet):  Pierre Morey’s wines are an example of how the French appellation hierarchy breaks down.  Although priced like a premier cru, Les Tessons is not one.  It’s “just” a village wine. Nonetheless, in Morey’s hands it delivers more finesse and complexity than many producers’ premier crus.  Part of the reason no doubt is old vines and part no doubt is Morey’s near fanatical obsession with quality.  The first whiff and sip of this wine screams greatness.  Long, smoky and rich, its layers of flavors caress the palate.  You never tire of it because it’s classy and has uplifting acidity. 95 Michael Apstein Apr 24, 2012

Domaine Pierre Morey, Meursault (Burgundy, France) “Les Tessons” 2007 ($114, Wilson Daniels):  Although Domaine Pierre Morey was founded in only 1971, the family has owned vines in Meursault since the late 18th century.  Still based in that village, Domaine Pierre Morey remains one of the finest sources for Meursault. Though Les Tessons is not a premier cru vineyard, in Pierre Morey’s hands, the wine clearly deserves that moniker.  It has a near magical combination of richness and subtle toastiness that enhances without overwhelming.  For all its concentration, it dances on the palate and lingers seemingly forever.  Simply stunning. 94 Michael Apstein Jun 28, 2011

Domaine Jacques Prieur, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Clos de Mazeray Blanc 2007 ($90, Wildman): Although classified as a village wine–not a premier cru–Prieur’s Clos de Mazeray, which they own exclusively, consistently tastes like most producers’ premier crus.  The 2007 is no exception.  Hints of orange blossom in the nose enhance its tightly wound earthy minerality.  There’s enough richness lurking beneath its compressed shell to balance the vibrant acidity.  It’s a wonderful white Burgundy with clean, laser-focused flavors extending into the exceptional finish. Give it a few years to unwind. You will not be disappointed. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 21, 2009

Génot-Boulanger, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Clos du Cromin 2009 ($55, Frederick Wildman):  The 2009 vintage for white Burgundy was tricky because the warm growing season resulted in wines with lower acidity and less vibrancy.  That said Génot-Boulanger’s 2009 whites were excellent with plenty of verve.  This one, a village wine from the lieu-dit (place name) Clos du Cromin, has a subtle creamy richness of Meursault buttressed by mouth-watering acidity.  Long and focused, it’s lovely to drink now. 93 Michael Apstein Mar 27, 2012

Alex Gambal, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Clos du Cromin 2004 ($50, Various importers): Staggeringly good for a village wine — albeit from a well-regarded lieux-dit — Gambal puts many producers’ premier crus to shame with this Meursault. Ripe and lush — befitting a Meursault — Gambal’s is distinctive because of its finesse. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

J. M. Boillot, Meursault (Burgundy, France) “Charrons” 2005 ($50, Vineyard Brands): Boillot makes stylish white Burgundies and this one fits that mold nicely.  This village wine delivers as much as many producers’ wines from premier cru vineyards.  The alluring nose immediately grabs your attention and predicts a fine wine.  Tightly wound and focused, richness emerges especially in the long finish.  A leaner style of Meursault now, it should open nicely over the next few years. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 10, 2007

Jacques Prieur, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Clos de Mazeray 2004 ($85, Wildman): Domaine Jacques Prieur, under the current director, Martin Prieur, and winemaker, Nadine Gublin, has been making fabulous Burgundies.   Clos de Mazeray is a monopole, that is, owned entirely by Prieur, a rarity in Burgundy where most vineyards are split among multiple owners.  This tightly wound village wine has riveting minerality coated with a creamy texture.  It has more complexity than many producers’ premier cru wines.  Very young now, I would give it several years in the cellar to allow its flavors to evolve.  But a warning, Prieur also makes a red Meursault Clos de Mazeray, so check the bottle carefully lest you wind up drinking red wine with fish as I did several years ago. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 1, 2008

Pierre Morey, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($86, Wilson Daniels): When village wines retail for over $80, you have to wonder.  But Pierre Morey’s village wines are better than many Premier Crus from other producers.  Lush and forward, it is hard to resist at this stage.  Vibrant acidity balances its ripeness. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2007

Domaine Francois et Antoine Jobard, Meursault (Burgundy, France) “En la Barre” 2005 ($94, Kermit Lynch): This Domaine, one of the leaders in Meursault, typically produces tightly wound wines that take several years to reveal their complexity.  Not this wine.  Its opulence is immediately apparent and the creamy ripe flavors are reminiscent of the premier cru, Meursault-Charmes.  Jobard’s talent is his ability to make his village wines, such as this one, taste and have the character of premier cru.  Alas, you must pay for that talent. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 11, 2008

Domaine Pierre Morey, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($75, Wilson Daniels):  One whiff tells you that this wine from Morey’s domaine (as opposed to his négociant business) is stunning, especially for a village wine.  With impeccable balance and grace, this Meursault has hints of honey that merge seamlessly with its citrus finish.  An expensive village wine, to be sure, it is better than many producers’ premier crus. 91 Michael Apstein Jun 28, 2011

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($33, Louis Latour, USA):  Latour consistently makes great white Burgundies and, to their credit, prices them reasonably.  Village wines, as opposed to Premier or Grand Cru wines, are often overlooked.  Don’t make that mistake with Latour’s 2008 Meursault.  From its clearly identifiable Meursault character and depth, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some declassified premier cru in this bottling.  It conveys richness and a subtle smokiness balanced by vibrancy and energy.  It’s a delight to drink now.  I’ve not seen a Meursault this good at this price in a long time. 91 Michael Apstein Jan 31, 2012

Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Les Clous 2004 ($40, Henriot): The 2004 vintage in Burgundy for the whites is excellent and certainly a welcome relief from the flabby 2003s. Bouchard’s Meursault Les Clous, while not a premier cru, has a great combination of stony minerality and earthiness supported by an edgy acidity. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 19, 2006

Boyer-Martenot, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Les Narvaux 2008 ($47, Skurnik):  The village of Meursault has a great number of non-premier cru named plots (lieux-dits), such as this one, Les Narvaux.  In the hands of talented producers, such as Boyer-Martenot, wines from these sites offer good value because they are often more distinctive than a wine simply labeled Meursault, despite the identical official appellation.   In this stylish Meursault, vibrant citrus notes offset the ripe, almost honeyed-like nuances.  The restrained use of oak allows its bright fresh fruit character to shine. 90 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Domaine Matrot, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($38, Vineyard Brands): With this wine, Matrot has succeeded where many other producers have failed. Far too many wines with a simple village Meursault appellation are disappointing because they are thin and fail to transmit the combination of earthiness and fruitiness for which that village is known.  Matrot’s is not.  Its intensity is balanced by vibrant acidity.  And you don’t even need a corkscrew.  A few top Burgundy domaines are now bottling some of their wines, such as this one, under screw caps. 90 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2007

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($30, Louis Latour Inc.):  This village wine is dramatic evidence that you don’t need to drink a premier–or grand–cru to savor the wonder of white Burgundy.   Vibrant acidity balances the wine’s ripeness.  An engaging creaminess and ever so subtle herbal notes complete the picture.  It has surprising length for a village wine.  And given the price of white Burgundy or good California Chardonnay, this Meursault is an excellent value. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 26, 2010

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault (Cote de Beaune, France) 2004 ($30, Louis Latour): A welcome change from the atypical white Burgundies of 2003, white Burgundies from 2004 are stacking up to be excellent. Part of my enthusiasm for them could be my dislike of the mostly flabby 2003 whites, but it’s not just that. Latour’s 2004 whites across the board are stylish and focused and would stand out even following a better year, like 2002. This very good village wine delivers a creamy combination of peach- and pear-like flavors. As usual, it’s more overt than Latour’s Puligny-Montrachet. 90 Michael Apstein May 16, 2006

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($37, Louis Latour USA):  Yes, Burgundy has a rigid hierarchical appellation system of rating wines from, in ascending order, village to premier to grand cru that should make selection easy.  But frankly, it’s best to select Burgundy by producer.  And Maison Louis Latour is one of the best, as shown by this “simple” village Meursault.  It’s lacy and slightly nutty, but not ponderous.  You know you are drinking Meursault.  Bright citrus notes keep it lively.  As with all of Latour’s wines, it will improve with time, so you could cellar it, but it’s on point now. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($62, Henriot): Bouchard made a particularly distinctive line of wines in 2006 from their extensive holdings throughout Meursault.  This village wine has an engaging creamy forwardness and hint of earthiness buttressed by excellent acidity and good length. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 1, 2008

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Les Clous 2006 ($62, Henriot): This village wine hails from the Les Clous vineyard, not a premier cru, but one that is capable of delivering distinctive wine nonetheless.  Slightly more refined than Bouchard’s village Meursault, the Les Clous has lovely nuances of a peachy creaminess.  Lively acidity in the finish keeps it fresh. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 1, 2008

Domaine Jobard-Morey, Meursault (Burgundy, France) Charmes 2006 ($90, VOS Selections): The Charmes vineyard in Meursault typically produces ripe wines.  Reflective of its origins, this wine has charming, upfront, lush fruit harmonized with earthy and lemony notes.  Bristling clean acidity in the finish supports the overt lushness to make a balanced wine.  Sadly, the demand for white Burgundy and the weakness of the dollar make it very expensive. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Pierre Morey, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Perrières 2005 ($140, Wilson Daniels): This big–somewhat forward–wine shows the power and class of a great 1er Cru vineyard.  Unusually engaging at this stage (wines from Meursault Perrières often take years to unwind) it conveys a luxurious creaminess along with its quintessential stoniness. 94 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2007

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Genevrieres 2006 ($129, Henriot): Philippe Prost, Bouchard’s winemaker, believes that the Genevrieres vineyard is the quintessential expression of Meursault.  Bouchard certainly makes a fine wine from that vineyard year in and year out.  The 2006 is no exception.  It has a lush creaminess–like ice cream–seasoned with just the barest hint of peppery spice.  Its luxurious texture persists into the finish. This sophisticated wine was hard to spit at a tasting. 93 Michael Apstein Apr 1, 2008

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Charmes 2006 ($116, Henriot): Despite it proximity to the Genevrieres vineyard–it is adjacent–wines from Meursault Charmes always have a different character.  Typically, these wines are earthier, richer and slightly riper, but perhaps less elegant.  Bouchard’s 2006 fits that profile nicely and will appeal to those who prefer a more intense initial attack at the expense of refinement. 92 Michael Apstein Mar 18, 2008

Domaine Latour-Giraud, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Genevrières 2006 ($75, Chemin des Vins): This is a perfect example of the glorious and hard-to-resist forward ripe white Burgundies from the 2006 vintage. This one is especially attractive because the classic spiced ginger character of Genevrières comes through as a wonderful counterpoint. It’s lovely now. You can hope the recession will bring the price down, but don’t count on it because even though Latour-Giraud is the largest owner of Genevrières, the production is small and demand large. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 2, 2010

Louis Latour, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Charmes 2006 ($75, Louis Latour Inc.): Typical of wine from one of Meursault’s best 1er cru vineyards, Latour’s Meursault Charmes has a creaminess atop ripeness and a hint of earthiness.  This muscular wine retains balance because of the vibrant acidity characteristic of Latour’s style.  Smoky nuances add to its appeal.  This terrific white Burgundy is more open at this stage than many of Latour’s whites, and ideal for current consumption.  But, as with all their wines, it will age and evolve beautifully. 92 Michael Apstein Sep 16, 2008

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Château de Blagny 2009 ($54, Louis Latour, USA):  This lovely wine reinforces the French system of stratification of vineyard sites.  A step-up from Latour’s very fine straight 2009 village Meursault, this premier cru delivers more finesse with an engaging waxy, slightly honeyed component.  It conveys the richness of the 2009 vintage for whites without sacrificing the verve that’s characteristic of Latour’s white wines. 92 Michael Apstein Dec 27, 2011

Louis Latour, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Blagny 2006 ($55, Louis Latour, Inc.): White Burgundies from 2006 have been overlooked by variable quality of the reds–and most people judge a vintage by the red wines–from that vintage and the stature of the 2005 vintage.  But 2006 produced excellent white wines in that region.   Latour, who makes fabulous white Burgundies, has produced a stunning array in 2006, including this premier cru from Meursault.  Creaminess and subtle minerality mixes nicely with smoky elements in this wonderfully balanced Chardonnay-based wine.  Tightly wound at this stage, it expands in the glass and in the finish. 91 Michael Apstein Sep 2, 2008

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Poruzots 2007 ($90, Skurnik):  As if Burgundy were not confusing enough, with Pierre-Yves we have the fusion of two prolific Burgundian family names, Colin and Morey.  It’s hard to keep them straight.  What’s not hard is seeing the quality of this wine.  Very long and with laser-like focus, it shows the class of a premier cru.  Spicy notes augment an ample fleshiness and underneath it all is a firm mineral core.  Citrus-infused acidity pulls it all together.  Quite tight now, it should evolve and open gracefully over the next several years. 91 Michael Apstein May 11, 2010

Olivier Leflaive, Meursault 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Charmes 2007 ($98, Wildman): Olivier Leflaive, cousin of Anne-Claude who runs Domaine Leflaive, made an excellent array of whites in 2007, each reflecting its origins.  This Meursault Charmes has the ripe–almost honeyed–richness expected from this locale buttressed by the substantial acidity that is the hallmark of the 2007 whites.  The lemony zing carries the richness through the finish and makes you come back for another sip. It’s a 2007 white that you can savor now. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Louis Latour, Meursault Blagny 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Chateau de Blagny 2005 ($55, Louis Latour USA): The real class of this premier cru comes from a rich creaminess laced with intriguing minerality.  Firm acidity carries the flavors into the substantial finish.  More open and forward at this stage than a typical wine from Latour, this Meursault Blagny would be a fine foil for lobster or other rich seafood now. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 19, 2008

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Château de Blagny 2010 ($65, Louis Latour USA): The 2010 vintage produced superb white Burgundies. This is one of them. Creamy minerality comes together with riveting acidity in this super Meursault. It has the richness of Meursault and the edginess of Puligny. Hard to resist now, it will become even more complex and refined with bottle age. 94 Michael Apstein Dec 18, 2012

Alex Gambal, Meursault Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Genevrières 2010 ($80, Schneiders of Capital Hill): Gambal, a small grower/négociant based in Beaune, is finally getting the accolades his wines deserve. His 2010s, both whites and reds, are particularly attractive and definitely worth the search. And there will need to be a search because his average annual total production is small, only about 50,000 bottles. This Meursault Genevrières (870 bottles produced), tightly wound at this stage, is a super wine that will benefit from a few years to unwind. It conveys hints of spice, characteristic of Genevrières, buttressed by minerality and bracing acidity. Beautifully balanced, it should open very nicely over the next couple of years and then continue to develop for up to a decade. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 4, 2012

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Gouttes d’Or 2007 ($50, Louis Latour Inc.):  Latour, one of Burgundy’s strongest houses, made excellent white wines–especially from Meursault–in 2007.  This Gouttes d’Or is quite ripe, creamy and very long, with a slight engaging spiciness to it.  The exceptional finish shows why it deserves its premier cru status.  Impeccably balanced, it will evolve and improve over a decade. 92 Michael Apstein Jan 26, 2010

Louis Latour, Meursault-Blagny (Burgundy, France) 2002 ($45, Louis Latour Inc): Although I love the white Burgundies from 2004, they are often more expensive than comparable wines from the outstanding 2002 vintage because of the dollar’s progressive weakness. So it’s worth looking for wines still available from 2002. Latour’s white Burgundies, which are consistently stunning, always open nicely and reveal greater richness after a few years in the bottle. This premier cru has taken on extra flesh and creaminess to balance its earthy minerality and bracing acidity. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 9, 2007

Maison Louis Latour, Meursault-Blagny Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Chateau de Blagny 2006 ($63, Louis Latour Inc.): Compared side-by-side with Latour’s white Beaune (also reviewed this week) you can easily appreciate the rationale of the AOC classification of Burgundy vineyards.  There’s a big step up in elegance and complexity–and price–with this premier cru.  It has a rich fatness characteristic of Meursault, good acidity, and plenty of length.  Quite forward, this is one I’d drink now. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Domain Latour Guiraud, Meursault-Genevrières (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($75, Chemin des Vins/Patrick Lesec Selections): Nuances of peach and spice peek out of this tightly wound premier cru. At this stage, it is not more powerful than a village wine, but the class of its premier cru classification shows in the extraordinary finish that grabs and holds your attention.  This wine needs several years to unfold, but will be glorious, if you have the patience. 93 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2007

Domaine Faiveley, Montagny (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($29, Frederick Wildman):  Maison Joseph Faiveley, one of Burgundy’s venerable négociants, has practically reinvented itself over the past few years and it shows in the wines.  This Montagny comes exclusively from their vineyards–hence the Domaine rather than the Maison Faiveley labeling–and proves that Chardonnay does well in Montagny, an off the beaten track village in the Côte Chalonnaise south of the famous Côte d’Or. The stoniness of the Côte Chalonnaise comes through but Faiveley has managed to combine it with a subtle herbal–almost minty–element and a laser-like precision.  It has an uncommon elegance for wines from this appellation. 91 Michael Apstein Mar 8, 2011

Domaine Faiveley, Montagny (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($22, Frederick Wildman): The 2009 vintage in Burgundy was warm and produced ripe wines.  The extra warmth especially helped lesser appellations, such as Montagny in the Côte Chalonnaise, where the wines typically have an attractive lean stoniness.  Faiveley’s 2009 Montagny marries that stoniness with just a little extra ripeness.  Still, don’t expect a plump California Chardonnay, but rather a refreshing citrus-tinged expression of that grape.  It’s a superb foil for grilled fish.
89 Michael Apstein Mar 12, 2013

Faiveley, Montagny (Burgundy, France) Domaine de la Croix Jacquelet 2005 ($25, Wilson Daniels): Montagny, like other villages in the Côte Chalonnaise, made particularly attractive white wines in 2005.  Since the area has less prestige than its neighbors to the north in the Côte d’Or, the wines are far less expensive.  A smoky, flinty note is a lovely complement to the underlying taunt minerality of this wine.  This bright, brisk and balanced bottling is an alternative for those who find California Chardonnay too fruity and ripe. 88 Michael Apstein Apr 29, 2008

Domaine Faiveley, Montagny (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($25, Wilson Daniels): As prices for white Burgundy continue to rise–despite the economic crisis–wise consumers will look outside of the famed Cote d’Or to lesser known villages, such as Montagny, located in the Cote Chalonnaise just south of Beaune.  As with the rest of Burgundy, Chardonnay reigns supreme for white wine.  Faiveley, one of Burgundy’s venerable négociants, has substantial holdings in these parts and from them makes this crisp, lemon-tinged wine.  Subtle minerality and hints of creaminess make it a good introduction to white Burgundy. 87 Michael Apstein Dec 30, 2008

Louis Latour, Montagny 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($18, Louis Latour Inc.): The fabulous 2005 vintage in Burgundy allowed lesser known appellations, such as Montagny, to produce some wonderful wines that are affordable since they are from less prestigious locales.  This Montagny has exceptional forward ripeness coupled with Latour’s hallmark bracing acidity, which means it’s a delectable buy. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 19, 2008

Maison Louis Latour, Montagny 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) La Grande Roche 2009 ($20):  The 2009 vintage was especially kind to Chardonnay in Burgundy, giving it extra ripeness and intensity.  Villages, like Montagny in the Côte Chalonnaise, were great beneficiaries of the weather because wines from these sites often have a leanness to them.  Not so in 2009.  Rich creamy notes complement a bracing tautness for a beautifully balanced white wine.  Great length and the Latour hallmark of precision make this a distinctive white Burgundy.  Snap it up–it won’t be around long at this price. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 10, 2012

Domaine Laurent Cognard, Montagny 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Bassets 2009 ($29, Vins Divins):  Burgundy lovers are always looking for “affordable” white Burgundy for summer time drinking.  Here’s one of them.  It has the lushness for which the 2009 vintage is known balanced by the firmness of Montagny.  Cognard has captured enough acidity to keep it bright and fresh.  This easy to recommend white is an ideal choice for this summer.  Stock up. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 24, 2012

Maison Louis Latour, Montagny Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) La Grande Roche 2007 ($20, Louis Latour Inc.):  The village of Montagny in the Cote Chalonnaise has always been the source of well-priced white Burgundy.  Despite never reaching the heights it does in the Cote d’Or, Chardonnay does well here, especially in the well-sited vineyards classified as Premier Cru.  Latour, one of Burgundy’s leading négociants, has always had longstanding relationships with growers that have enabled them to produce consistently high quality wine that is generally available.  Their 2007 conveys a subtle stony element along with plenty of ripe fruit notes–though no one would confuse it with a New World Chardonnay–to offset its lively acidity.  Its focus and piercing finish makes it a fine counterpoint to olive oil drizzled on grilled fish. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 21, 2010

Michael Gay et Fils, Nuits St. Georges (Burgundy, France) “Les Terres Blanches” 2007 ($85, Martine’s Wines, Inc.):  White wine from Nuits St. Georges or anywhere in the Côtes de Nuits is rare.  Though still made from Chardonnay, these whites have a very different character from the “typical” white Burgundies hailing from the Côtes de Beaune.  Gay’s Les Terres Blanches is chewy, weighty–but not in a ripe New World style–and more earthy than minerality.  With your eyes closed, you could almost imagine it was a red wine.  His 2007 has impeccable balance and acidity, which makes it a delight to drink now. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 20, 2010

Maison Ambroise, Nuits St. Georges Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Terres Blanches 2008 ($102, Robert Kacher Selection):  A white wine from Nuits St. Georges or elsewhere in the Côte de Nuits is rare indeed.  But the quality of this wine, not its rarity, is the reason to search for it (Ambroise makes only 150 cases from his half acre of vines).  As the name suggests, the soil of this vineyard high on the hillside is white, which Bertrand Amboise says is ideal for Chardonnay.  Muscular and broad-shouldered with an intriguing earthy component, a lemony vibrancy holds the flavors all together.  Despite its power, it’s an elegant wine whose complexity grows while in the glass. 92 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2012

Domaine Rapet, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Sous Frétille 2008 ($52, Vignoble & Millesimes):  Here’s a hat trick–it is still hockey season–for Burgundy fans: a great producer, an excellent vineyard site and a super year for white Burgundy.   Pernand-Vergelesses, a tiny village nestled across the valley from the hill of Corton, produces white wines that can rival those from the more famous white wine villages of Burgundy, Puligny- and Chassagne-Montrachet.  This one is beautifully structured, with a bright and fresh signature that balances a prominent and lush mineral component. What a match for grilled swordfish. 91 Michael Apstein Apr 24, 2012

Domaine Rapet Père et Fils, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) En Caradeaux 2004 ($37, Domaines et Saveurs Collection): Despite being home to a portion of Grand Cru Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses remains one of the under recognized–and underpriced–villages in the Côte d’Or.  The French authorities just classified the premier cur vineyards starting with the 2000 vintage.  Rapet consistently makes superb white wines from Pernand, such as this one, from the En Caradeaux vineyard, just across the road from Corton Charlemagne.  In general, I love the 2004 white Burgundies because of their riveting acidity.  Here, the acid is beautifully balance by a hint of toasty oak in the nose and a creamy minerality on the palate that carries through into the finish. 91 Michael Apstein Aug 28, 2007

J. A. Ferret, Pouilly Fuissé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) Les Perrières “Tête de Cru” 2009 ($45, Kobrand):  Pouilly Fuissé popularity in the US has, sadly, diluted its reputation for fine wine.  Fortunately there are producers, such as Ferret, who ranks with the very top names in Pouilly Fuissé, that have consistently maintained high quality.  Since Maison Louis Jadot, one of Burgundy’s best houses, purchased Ferret in 2008, the wines are even better.  Ferret has two bottlings of Pouilly Fuissé made from grapes grown in different locales within the appellation.  The one labeled Sous Vergisson is more tightly wound and mineraly–more Chablis-like–whereas this one, Les Perrières, is richer and riper.  The 2009 Les Perrières has remarkably good acidity for that warm vintage, which amplifies the wines melon-like nuances.  This one reminds us why Pouilly Fuissé got its reputation in the first place. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 10, 2012

Domaine J. A. Ferret, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Les Scélés 2004 ($33, Rosenthal Wine Merchant):
Les Scélés is one of seven vineyards that comprise the roughly 40 acres of Chardonnay that the Ferret family owns in the village of Fuissé.  The wine marries creaminess with an elegant and persistent minerality.  Wines like this justify Pouilly Fuissé’s reputation and price. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 7, 2006

Henry Fessy, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Sous La Roche” 2012 ($20, Louis Latour USA): One whiff is all it takes for me to predict that you’ll like this wine.  Stony, like good Pouilly Fuissé should be, Fessy’s 2012 Sous La Roche has a complementary dollop of creaminess.  Uplifting acidity in the finish keeps it fresh and you coming back for more.  Easy to enjoy by itself, it’s substantial enough for a roast chicken. 90 Michael Apstein Jun 25, 2013

J. A. Ferret, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($35, Kobrand):  Ferret is one of the great names in Pouilly Fuissé.  Couple them with the superb 2008 vintage and you have an excellent example of white Burgundy.  With much Pouilly-Fuissé being dilute and sold on its name alone, it’s a delight to taste the real thing and see why the name still holds cachet.  Stony, yet ripe, it’s a “friendly” Chardonnay-based that conveys the minerality of the region. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2012

J. J. Vincent, Pouilly Fuissé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) “Marie Antoinette” 2009 ($25, Frederick Wildman):  Although the excellent 2010 white Burgundies are already appearing on retailers’ shelves, consumers should still jump at some of the 2009s, like this one, which tend to be riper and more forward.  Vincent is another name on everyone’s short list of top Pouilly-Fuissé producers because of their stellar wines from their domaine, Château Fuissé.  Their Cuvée Marie Antoinette, from the négociant side of the business, is easy to recommend because it consistently delivers more than you’d expect from the price.  With a lovely generosity of melon-like flavors buttressed by bright acidity, it’s a great choice for dinner tonight with broiled swordfish. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 8, 2012

J.J. Vincent, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Propriété Marie Antoinette Vincent 2005 ($23, Wildman): Vincent, whose estate, Château de Fuissé, is one of the leading properties in Pouilly-Fuissé, also makes and bottles wine from vineyards he does not own.  These négociant wines, bottled under the Vincent name, but with a different label, Propriété Marie Antoinette Vincent, are excellent values, especially in a year like 2005.  The beauty of the 2005 vintage, which was especially successful in Pouilly Fuissé, perhaps even more so for whites than in the Côte d’Or, is apparent in this wine.  Not overdone or heavy, it has a brightness and vivacity that complements its subtle creaminess.  It reminds us why Pouilly Fuissé is popular. 89 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2007

Labouré-Roi, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Vallon d’Or” 2004 ($18, Palm Bay): A lighter style of white Burgundy, this Pouilly Fuissé delivers creaminess, elegance and remarkable length at a bargain price. 87 Michael Apstein Sep 19, 2006

Louis Jadot, Pouilly Fuissé (Burgundy, France) 2006 ($24, Kobrand):

Jadot, one of Burgundy’s best and most consistent producers, is serious about Pouilly Fuissé, the most important wine area in the Cote Mâconnais.  Already a big player–they control about a quarter of the entire region’s production–they have just purchased one of the area’s best estates, J. A. Ferret.  In Jadot’s case, size and quality go hand in hand.  Their 2006 Pouilly Fuissé has the ripeness and richness characteristic of the 2006 white Burgundies, with an alluring edge of minerality and citric edginess.  Those looking for a stylish–not overblown–Chardonnay-based wine need look no further.

87 Michael Apstein Mar 25, 2008

Chateau Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse (Burgundy, France) Les Clos 2010 ($67, Frederick Wildman):  Le Clos comes from a walled parcel of the Le Clos vineyard that sits directly behind the château and adjacent to Les Brulés.  Despite the proximity of the two parcels, the wines couldn’t be more different.  Le Clos, still rich, is more tightly wound and more mineral-infused than the more opulent Les Brulés.  The price, high for Pouilly-Fuissé, reflects its comparable level of quality to the white Burgundies from the Côte de Beaune, its more famous neighbor to the north.  93 Michael Apstein Feb 21, 2012

Chateau Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse (Burgundy, France) Les Combettes 2010 ($67, Frederick Wildman):  Les Combettes, a third single-vineyard bottling from Château Fuissé, takes its name from the vineyard’s stony pebble-strewn soil.  Clearly distinctive, Les Combettes, reflecting the soil, is the most mineraly and taut of Château Fuissé’s three single-vineyard bottles.  It’s vibrant and clean with a subtle richness that balances the wine’s glorious vivacity. 93 Michael Apstein Feb 21, 2012

Chateau Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse (Burgundy, France) Les Brules 2010 ($67, Frederick Wildman):  The vineyard, Les Brulés, which means burned or roasted, takes its name from its southern exposure directly behind Château Fuissé.  The wine’s richness and power reflects its site and elevates what can be achieved in Pouilly-Fuissé to a higher level.  Despite its size, it is not an overwhelming wine because of its bright and energizing acidity.  It maintains the quintessential firmness and minerality of the appellation. 92 Michael Apstein Feb 21, 2012

Chateau Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse (Burgundy, France) “Tete de Cru” 2004 ($32, Frederick Wildman & Sons): J.J. Vincent, owner of Château Fuissé, is one of the most talented and dedicated producers in Pouilly-Fuissé. Wines bottled under the Château Fuissé label are from his vineyards (he also acts as a négociant). The Tete de Cru, a blend from many sites with vines more than 25 years old, has the perfect balance of creaminess and minerality. Wines like this explain why Pouilly-Fuissé has such name recognition. If only all wines from Pouilly-Fuissé could taste like this one! 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Chateau Fuisse, Pouilly-Fuisse (Burgundy, France) ‘Tete de Cru’ 2010 ($36, Frederick Wildman):  Owned by the Vincent family and run by Jean-Jacques and his son Antoine, Château Fuissé is, without doubt, one of the very best producers in the appellation.  They consistently produce a stunning line-up of three single-vineyard wines that reflect the diversity of vineyard sites within Pouilly-Fuissé.  This one, labeled Tête de Cru and composed of wine from more than 20 parcels they own throughout the appellation, is a great example of a classic Pouilly-Fuissé.  Layers of fruit flavors and spice play off against an engaging firmness and vibrant acidity.  One taste explains why Pouilly-Fuissé remains so popular. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 21, 2012

Domaine Robert-Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Les Cras “Cuvée Claude Denogent” Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($55, Kermit Lynch):  If the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation had Burgundy’s usual vineyard ranking of Grand or Premier Cru, the Les Cras vineyard would certainly be near or at the top of the pyramid.  For this wine, the vines are old (vieilles vignes), over 70 years, which should add complexity.  The name of this special cuvée, the Domaine’s best, honors its founder.   All should indicate it is an exceptional wine.  And it is.  It combines intensity–a chalky minerality–with the elegance of Chardonnay, all balanced by enlivening freshness.   For all its power, its lingering impression is its great finesses. 95 Michael Apstein Jan 11, 2011

Château de Beauregard, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Grand Beauregard” 2005 ($69, Ex-Cellars): The Grand Beauregard is a selection of the best barrels of Château de Beauregard’s wines regardless of locale.  Proprietor Joseph Burrier returns the blend to oak barrels for another year or so.  Despite the seemingly intense oak aging, oak flavors do not dominate.  You feel the oak’s effects–a creamy texture–without tasting it.  Long and layered, this is a top-notch wine with great complexity and vibrant acidity.  The price is as breathtaking as the wine. 93 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Château Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Les Combettes 2011 ($72, Frederick Wildman): Longtime New York Times wine critic Howard Goldberg summed up Château Fuissé’s five 2011 Pouilly-Fuissé when he compared them to a great poker hand.  I’d say a straight flush.  Tasting the wines of Château Fuissé, one of the top producers in the region, is a lesson in the French concept of terroir.  The wines, all from the same appellation and vinified similarly, are all different and distinctive.  Les Combettes, from a slope with little clay interspersed in the limestone, is lacey and stony with a lovely firmness.  Brilliant acidity amplifies the finish.
93 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Château Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Le Clos 2011 ($72, Frederick Wildman): Although there’s no official ranking of vineyards in Pouilly-Fuissé, most growers agree that Le Clos is one of the most prized sites.  Despite its proximity to Les Brûlés, the Le Clos vineyard produces a very different, but equally stunning, wine from its neighbor because of its soil and exposure.  An underlying smoky minerality acts as a perfect foil for its ripeness.  A long and precise finish reminds you that Pouilly-Fuissé can be a very stylish wine.
93 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Domaine Robert Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes “La Croix” 2007 ($40, Kermit Lynch):  Forty bucks is a lot to pay for Pouilly Fuissé, but this is a lot of wine.  The Domaine takes its name from the current owner, Nicolas Robert, and his grandfather, whose surname was Denogent.  Fine and focused, this wine is less overt and has far more elegance than most wines from this popular appellation.  With time in the glass, it unwinds to reveals a creamy minerality and great length.  This is classy Pouilly Fuissé and shows that this appellation can deliver excellent wines. With prices of Côte d’Or white Burgundies going through the roof, consumers bent on drinking white Burgundy would be wise to search out the top producers, such as this one, in Pouilly-Fuissé. 93 Michael Apstein Jun 29, 2010

Gilles Morat, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “La Roche” 2006 ($36, VOS Selections): Although verbiage, such as ‘La Roche,’ on the Pouilly-Fuissé label is confusing–is it the name of a proprietary blend or a vineyard site–the superb quality of this wine is not.  La Roche is one of the prime vineyards in the commune of Vergisson, one of the four communes that comprised the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.  Gilles Morat and his wife, Joelle, have fashioned a stunning wine from 40 year-old vines in this limestone rich soil.  It has striking minerality and elegance–found more commonly in wines from the Côte d’Or than in Pouilly-Fuissé–balanced by bright lemony acidity that keeps it all together. A long and classy wine. 93 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Château de Beauregard, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Aux Charmes” 2005 ($50, Ex-Cellars): Château de Beauregard, under the masterful guidance of Joseph Burrier, bottles a range of wines from different locales within Pouilly-Fuissé.  All show high quality and are quite distinctive, but this one seemed to me to be the pick of the litter in 2005, an exceptional year for the region. Lush creaminess is apparent, but even more striking is a bright minerality more often associated with wines from the Côte d’Or.  Its extraordinary length and harmony increase its appeal.  The same wine from the 1996 vintage tasted at the same time demonstrated how beautifully Burrier’s wines can develop. But the 2005 is so striking now that few will resist the temptation and cellar it.  The price reflects the demand for this great vintage in Burgundy and the sinking dollar. 92 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Château de Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Les Combettes 2007 ($55, Frederick Wildman): Unlike the Cote d’Or to the north, Pouilly Fuissé has no official classification of its vineyards.  That said, many locals agree that Les Combettes is a vineyard with potential for making higher quality wine.  And in Château de Fuissé’s hands, that potential is fulfilled.  They believe it is their site with the most minerality, so they age the wine only in older oak barrels to let that characteristic shine.  And it does.  It’s a vigorous wine with tightly focused flavors and plenty of ripeness to balance its persistent acidity.  The quality of the vineyard shows in this wine’s incredible length. 92 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Château Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) Les Brûlés 2011 ($72, Frederick Wildman): Les Brûlés, a vineyard located on a south-facing slope that contains a moderate amount of clay atop limestone, is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared with Les Combettes.  It’s always a riper expression of Pouilly-Fuissé.  But, despite its power, it’s never overdone.  The 2011 fits that mold perfectly.  Bright acidity keeps it fresh and balances its creamy richness.
92 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Bret Brothers, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) En Carementrant 2006 ($56, Polaner Selections): The Bret brothers realize that part of the confusion surrounding the wines from Pouilly-Fuissé is knowing whether the name on the label — En Carementrant in this case — is that of a distinguished vineyard or simply a proprietary name masquerading as a site specific wine.  Hence, they put on the label prominently that En Carementrant is a climat, or vineyard site.  This south-facing vineyard located in the middle of Vergisson, one of the four towns included in the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation, is held in high regard by the locals.  And this wine shows why.  Powerful without being overdone or over ripe, the earthy minerality buttresses the creamy Chardonnay fruit flavors, while a bright citric finish keeps it fresh. 91 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2008

Château de Beauregard, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Classique” 2005 ($30, Ex Cellars Wine Agency): A side by side comparison of Château de Beauregard’s Saint-Véran with this wine offers a dramatic example of why the French label wines by locale.  Despite being made from the same grape-Chardonnay–and the same winemaker, the Pouilly-Fuissé is broader and longer with more minerality and ripeness.  It has a similar underlying lemon-cream profile, but its depth and length make it a better wine, which, of course, you pay for. 91 Michael Apstein Apr 29, 2008

Château de Beauregard, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “La Marechaude” 2005 ($50, Ex-Cellars): A very close runner-up to Château de Beauregard’s Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Charmes bottling from 2005, Joseph Burrier’s La Marechaude is toasty and bright.  It’s marginally riper and more concentrated than the Aux Charmes, with a supporting grapefruit rind edginess that balances its richness. 91 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Château Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Vieilles Vignes” 2011 ($72): Château Fuissé’s Vieilles Vignes bottling comes from their parcels throughout the appellation, Le Clos and others, that have an average age of about 50 years.  This full-bodied gem has considerable power buttressed by vibrant acidity.  The old vines signature comes through in its incredible complexity and length.
91 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Daniel et Martine Barraud, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) La Verchere Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($40, Skurnik):  Wines like this one remind me why Pouilly-Fuissé remains so popular on these shores despite a premium price tag.  It delivers the creamy minerality common to many wines from the Côte Mâconnais, but with considerably more class and finesse.  Very long and focused, its vibrant acidity amplifies and elongates the flavors. 91 Michael Apstein Apr 27, 2010

Albert Bichot, Pouilly-Fuissé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) Le Clos 2009 ($23, Arborway Imports):  Pouilly-Fuissé, the best appellation in the Mâconnais, lacks a classification system for its vineyards.  But if there were one, Le Clos certainly would be in the top tier.  The 2009 vintage produced rich white Burgundies and was especially successful in the Mâcon region.  So buying this wine is a no-brainer since Bichot is an excellent négociant.  Ripe, without being overdone, a stony firmness complements its fruitiness while citrus notes in the finish add vibrancy. 90 Michael Apstein Jan 17, 2012

Château Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Tête de Cru” 2011 ($42, Frederick Wildman): A blend from about 20 different parcels scattered throughout the appellation, all owned by Château Fuissé, the Tête de Cru represents a broad expression of Pouilly Fuissé.  Its depth and elegance reminds us why Pouilly-Fuissé became and remains so popular.  As with Château Fuissé’s other 2011s, bright acidity reinforces its pleasures.
90 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

Georges DuBoeuf, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) 2005 ($19, W. J. Deutsch and Sons): The white Burgundies from the much-heralded 2005 vintage are starting to appear on retailers’ shelves.  My barrel tastings indicate that they are extremely appealing, especially from the Côte Mâconnais, even though they are less exciting than the 2005 reds.  Pouilly-Fuissé, the most recognized village in the Côte Mâconnais, produced some luscious wines in 2005, such as this one from DuBoeuf, a producer known more for his Beaujolais than anything else.  Made entirely from Chardonnay (by law), DuBoeuf’s 2005 Pouilly-Fuissé has lush and enticing creaminess atop an almost earthy, stony quality. Quite forward, it’s a wine for drinking now. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 27, 2007

Rijckaert, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Les Chailloux” Vieilles Vignes 2006 ($32, Ideal Wine & Spirits):  Jean Rijckaert, a talented winemaker and founder with Jean-Marie Guffens of the excellent Burgundian firm, Verget, set off on his own several years ago.  Along with his own vineyards, he acts as a négociant, buying grapes of other growers, whose name he puts on the label–Nathalie Bressand–in this case.    This is a very serious Pouilly-Fuissé and underscores why that appellation has such a good reputation.  It delivers an upfront impact and finishes with a lush creaminess.  This is a very appealing wine for current consumption. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 1, 2009

Vincent, Pouilly-Fuissé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) “Marie Antoinette” 2010 ($25, Frederick Wildman):  This wine is another example of the trend in Burgundy for high-quality estates, JJ Vincent of Château Fuissé in this case, to make a small amount of wine from purchased grapes and sell it under a lightly different négociant label (Vincent).  The Chardonnay comes from Vincent family members’ holdings in Vergisson and Fuissé, two of the prized communes in the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation, as well as from the younger vines at Château Fuissé.  Refreshing citrus notes amplify racy green apple-like flavors.  The judicious use of oak adds a subtle and engaging creaminess.  It has good weight and invigorating mineraly finish.  It may lack the complexity of the wines from Château Fuissé, but it still delivers more than the price implies and is easy to recommend. The wine reminds us of why Pouilly-Fuissé became–and remains–so popular. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 14, 2012

Château de Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) ‘Tête de Cru’ 2007 ($37, Frederick Wildman): Château de Fuissé, one of the best producers in the area, made a superb array of wines in 2007.  This one, a blend of 14 different plots, is the most representative of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. It has nice ripe melon-like notes atop an attractive stoniness characteristic of the wines from the region.
89 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Dominique Cornin, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($27):  The 2007 vintage produced superb white Burgundies.  The wines from the Côte Chalonnaise did particularly well because their ripeness balanced the acidity of the vintage.  This one is plenty ripe and forward without being heavy or overdone.  Crisp acidity amplifies the almost stone fruit flavors.  It has uncommon elegance. 89 Michael Apstein Jan 25, 2011

J.J. Vincent, Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy, France) “Marie-Antoinette” 2011 ($25): The Vincent family, in addition to owning and making estate wines under the famed Château Fuissé label, runs a négociant business under the JJ Vincent name. Their Marie-Antoinette Pouilly-Fuissé, from parcels owned by other members of the family as well as the young vines of Château Fuissé, is a consistent winner for its price value ratio. The 2011 continues the reputation. While not being as concentrated or luxurious as the ones from Château Fuissé, its hint of creaminess and green apple-like fruitiness provides great enjoyment either as a stand alone aperitif or as a good match for a roast chicken.
88 Michael Apstein Feb 26, 2013

La Soufrandiere, Pouilly-Vinzelles (Burgundy, France) Les Quarts 2006 ($56, Polaner Selections): The Bret brothers have made a sensational wine from the Les Quarts vineyard in Pouilly-Vinzelles.  The wine comes from 40 to 70 year old Chardonnay vines planted in a vineyard with a southeast orientation, the exposure of most of Burgundy’s best vineyards. They have combined lush melon-like fruit with an exceptional minerality and a citric edginess.  It has the finesse and balance that is the hallmark of the Bret Brothers’ wines. 92 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2008

La Soufrandiere, Pouilly-Vinzelles (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) 2006 ($37): In addition to their négociant role, the Bret brothers own vineyards in the Mâconnais and sell the wines made from their grapes under the La Soufrandiere designation.  These–  their estate wines–  are worth searching for because they represent the pinnacle of wines from the Mâconnais.  While lacking the name recognition of its more famous and larger (1,900-acre) neighbor, Pouilly-Fuissé, the wines from the tiny (125 acre) appellation of Pouilly-Vinzelles when made by talented producers offer excellent value.  The ripe, engaging stone fruit-like flavors and wonderful balance compensate for the more muted minerality found in their Pouilly-Fuisse.  A fine expression of Chardonnay. 89 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2008

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2004 ($94, Wilson Daniels): Many village wines from Puligny-Montrachet are disappointing because the prestige of the appellation guarantees an increased cost, but not necessarily a corresponding increase in quality.  Leflaive’s shows why that village has the reputation that it does.  The smoky minerality often found in Leflaive’s wines is here, but the added complexity that arises from the site separates it from the masses. 94 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2007

Alex Gambal, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($64, Ruby Wine):  Many of the 2009 white Burgundies are lush and forward with lowish acidity that makes them delightful for drinking right now.  But according to Alex Gambal, some of them of “tightening up” and showing more verve than in the past.  His 2009 village Puligny-Montrachet is one of them.  With vigorous acidity and a bracing character that balances the ripe apple-like fruit, it tastes more like a 2008 white.  This is a great village wine and shows why wines from there are so popular. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 16, 2012

Olivier Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2010 ($53, Frederick Wildman & Sons):  This wine is an excellent representation of Puligny-Montrachet because it comes from 21 plots scattered around the village.  At this stage, it’s tightly wound, more flinty and steely than opulent.  The oak is beautifully integrated and adds a very subtle creaminess.  Its finish is far longer than you’d expect from a village wine and is amplified by edgy acidity.  I’d give it another year or so to unwind before uncorking. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 27, 2012

Domaine Henri Clerc et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) Les Levrons 2005 ($55, VOS Selections): Domaine Henri Clerc, located in Puligny-Montrachet, makes especially attractive wine from that village.  The single vineyard Les Levrons–not a premier cru–has the magical combination of minerality and bright acidity for which the village is justifiably renown.  It’s a cut above most village wines and has more complexity and style than many producers’ premier cru wines. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($50):  Perhaps because Puligny-Montrachet is so well known–home to all or part of four of the Côte de Beaune’s six Grand Cru vineyards for white wine–that its village wines are frequently overpriced for what they deliver.  Not this one.  Drouhin has long-term contracts with a number of growers and consistently produces a high quality wine from this village.  Their 2008, focused and pure with hints of honey and toast, has riveting acidity that holds your attention throughout a meal. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 20, 2010

Maison Louis Latour, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($39, Louis Latour USA): The village of Puligny-Montrachet has the reputation for the best white wines in Burgundy.  Hence, they’re always more expensive than other village white Burgundies and frequently overpriced considering the quality.  Not this one.  Latour owns no vineyards in Puligny, yet makes terrific wines—don’t miss their Folatières—consistently. So much for the idea you need to be a grower to make distinctive wines.  Latour’s 2007 is crisp, minerality—actually a little steel—with good ripeness to balance the bracing acidity characteristic of the vintage.  It shows the class of the village. 90 Michael Apstein Feb 2, 2010

Girardin, Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy, France) Vieilles Vignes 2005 ($55, Vineyard Brands): While there is no legal definition for Vieilles Vignes (old vines), these vines must be plenty old judging by this wine’s incredible depth.  The wine’s intensity is matched by overt oak overtones and vibrant acidity.  At this stage, the overall impression is one of power over finesse.  Take note: here’s another top-notch Burgundy producer bottling wines under screw cap. 89 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2007

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Pucelles 2008 ($250, Wilson-Daniels):  I realize that precious few people will be spending $250 for a bottle of wine.  But if you are one of them, this is the one to buy.  The Les Pucelles vineyard is considered by many to be the top premier cru in Puligny, and some Burgundy authorities believe it should be classified as Grand Cru.  And certainly in Domaine Leflaive’s hands, this is a Grand Cru wine in all respects.  It has power without being heavy.  It has extraordinary depth and richness without being overdone.  It has verve and minerality that complements its richness.  Surprisingly open and drinkable now, Leflaive’s wines developed beautifully over one to two decades so don’t be misled that its precociousness precludes cellaring.  I suspect it will close up over the next year, so splurge and drink it now or cellar it for a decade. 98 Michael Apstein May 31, 2011

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Pucelles 2004 ($220, Wilson Daniels): Although labeled 1er cru, Leflaive’s 2004 Pucelles has grand cru length and power–not to mention price.  Incredible flinty minerality and a lush creamy texture create an extra dimension in this wine.  Tightly wound and focused, it has the balance and finesse that are the hallmark of this Domaine.  This phenomenal wine needs many years to reveal its full potential grandeur. 97 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2007

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Pucelles 2008 ($175, Dreyfus Ashby):  Pucelles, or Les Pucelles as it is also known, along with Le Cailleret are the best premier cru vineyards in Puligny.  Pucelles lies adjacent to the grand cru, Bâtard Montrachet.  Drouhin’s 2008 Pucelles is exceptional.  It has a little bit of everything—honey, white flowers, minerality—and not too much of anything.  Exquisitely balanced, it astounds with its finesse and persistence more so than sheer power.  Like a tightly coiled spring, it does have plenty of power waiting to be released, but, to repeat, that’s not why it’s a dazzling wine.  Each sip makes you stop and take notice because the palate is flooded with flavor, restrained at first and then explosive.  It’s an extraordinary young wine—grand cru in everything but name—that I would cellar for at least a decade, which will allow the spring to expand. 97 Michael Apstein Feb 21, 2012

Domaine Henri Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos de la Mouchère 2007 ($156, The Sorting Table): Clos de la Mouchère, an enclave with the 1er Cru vineyard, Perrières, is a monopole (owned exclusively by) of Henri Boillot, one of Burgundy’s best producers.  Paradoxically, this wine is both explosive and tightly wound and demonstrates the grandeur that was possible with 2007 white Burgundies.  Although it has a definite stony quality, it’s not a hard wine.  A captivating creaminess complements its minerality and bracing acidity.  It’s a sumptuous wine whose focused flavors carry into a seemingly never-ending finish. Yes, it’s whopping price for a premier cru–even from Puligny–but it’s an extraordinarily classy wine. 96 Michael Apstein Mar 31, 2009

Domaine Henri Clerc et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Combettes 2005 ($110, VOS Selections):

Although Les Combettes is classified as a premier cru vineyard, this wine is of grand cru quality.  It’s denser, longer and deeper than Henri Clerc’s superb Champ Gain, but maintains the riveting focus and bracing acidity to achieve exquisite balance.  Nuances of buttered toast harmonize with fleeting glimpses of ripe fruit and minerality.  You feel–rather than taste–the effect of oak fermentation and aging.  A wine for the cellar, it will be glorious in another five or so years.

96 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Maison Louis Jadot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos de la Garenne Duc de Magenta 2004 ($60, Kobrand): The Duc de Magenta owns Clos de la Garenne, an enclave within the Folatières vineyard. Jadot makes and commercializes the wine. Sophisticated and refined, the 2004 has an alluring combination of creaminess surrounding a mineral core. You feel, but do not taste, the effect of oak aging. In short, it is a sensational wine. 96 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Domaine Henri Clerc et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Champ Gain 2005 ($87, VOS Selections): This Domaine’s premier cru wines, such as Champ Gain, truly fulfill the potential of those great sites.  Tightly wound with intriguing smoky elements, this wine needs a few years to reveal all its charms.  The fabulous nose, the long, focused finish, and beautiful balance indicate it will reward cellaring.  At this stage, the ripe fruit character found in many 2005 white Burgundies takes a back seat to classic wet stone character of wines from Puligny.  Although Vincent Girardin is in charge of the vineyards and winemaking at Domaine Henri Clerc, the style of the wines is dramatically different–more restrained and less oaky–compared to the wines he releases under his own label. 95 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clavoillon 2004 ($132, Wilson Daniels): A notch up from their Puligny-Montrachet, Leflaive’s Clavoillon has a steely taut feel to it and a wondrous combination of smokiness, minerality and laser-like lemony acidity.  It’s an extraordinarily well-balanced wine, with a finish that seemingly lasts forever. 95 Michael Apstein Aug 14, 2007

Maison Louis Latour, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Cote de Beaune, France) Les Folatieres 2004 ($76, Louis Latour): I am always impressed at what a wonderful wine Latour makes year in and year out from purchased fruit from this vineyard. People who are skeptical of wines from négociants should taste this one. Mineral-infused and balanced, it is rich and long with great finesse. Les Folatières is always one of Latour’s best wines and the 2004 is no exception. 95 Michael Apstein May 16, 2006

Domaine Jacques Prieur, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru () Les Combettes 2007 ($140, Frederick Wildman): Prieur made sensational white wines in 2007.  Nadine Gublin, Prieur’s talented winemaker, said their secret was to wait for the Chardonnay to get ripe.  They waited another two weeks after the reds had been harvested before bringing in the whites, and even with that they found the acidity was even higher than in the 1996 whites.  She certainly got it right with this one, a tightly focused wine emblematic of Puligny-Montrachet.  There’s plenty of lushness lurking beneath the surface to balance the riveting citric acidity, which carries the smoky minerality into the lengthy finish. 94 Michael Apstein Apr 28, 2009

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Clavoillon 2008 ($143, Wilson Daniels):  Antoine Lepetit, a representative of Domaine Leflaive, one of Burgundy’s top white wine producers, notes that their 2008 white Burgundies were “quite troubling” when tasted in barrel because of “ferocious acidity.”  The malolactic fermentation, which changes hard malic acid into a softer lactic acid, seemingly took forever, but after it finished, the wines had been transformed and tamed.  This gorgeous wine has ample concentration and ripeness with striking minerality.  The acidity is not excessive, adding an enlivening counterpoint and amplifying the flavors.   As with all great wines, it opens as it sits in the glass delivering even more pleasure.  Currently captivating, it will likely close down in a year or two, so those who can afford it should either pull the cork now or be prepared to cellar it for five to ten years. 94 Michael Apstein Jun 14, 2011

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru () Clavoillon 2005 ($135, Wilson Daniels): Lusher and slightly more forward at this stage than Leflaive’s 2004 Clavoillon, the 2005 still has firm acidity to balance its great power, minerality and an alluring hint of bacon fat. 93 Michael Apstein Dec 11, 2007

Louis Latour, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Folatières 2006 ($100, Louis Latour Inc.): Anyone who says that the Latour house style trumps the individuality of the vineyard just needs to taste this Folatières next to Latour’s Meursault Charmes (also reviewed this week).  Wines from Puligny-Montrachet are typically more refined and exhibit more minerality than those from Meursault.  This wine, from one of the village’s top 1er cru vineyards, is no exception.  With great finesse and precision, it combines richness with an underpinning minerality and exceptional length.  A little reticent at this stage, it will benefit from several years of bottle age.  But if you can’t wait, let it breathe for a couple of hours. 93 Michael Apstein Sep 16, 2008

Maison Louis Jadot, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Champs-Gain Domaine Andre Gagey 2004 ($55, Kobrand): From a parcel owned by the late André Gagey, Jadot’s previous Managing Director and father of the current President, Pierre-Henri, Jacques Lardière has fashioned a tightly packed and refined wine. It’s full of creaminess and minerality, and has great length, everything you’d expect from top rank Puligny-Montrachet. 92 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2006

Génout-Boulanger, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Champs Gain 2004 ($50, Wildman): A small, quality-oriented domaine located in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet, Génout-Boulanger turned out excellent white wines in 2004.  This one has the minerality expected in wines from Puligny-Montrachet and the depth and length of a premier cru.  Well-priced for what it is, it’s a positive bargain–$40-at Zachy’s Wines and Spirits in Sacrsdale, outside of New York City. 91 Michael Apstein Nov 14, 2006

Maison Louis Latour, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Truffières 2009 ($55, Louis Latour USA):  The 2009 white Burgundies are fleshy and forward wines ready for earlier consumption than the more structured 2007s or 2008s.  Latour, traditionally an excellent source for white Burgundy, does not disappoint in 2009.  Les Truffières manifests alluring smoky and flinty notes that complement its fruity fleshiness and mark it as a wine from Puligny.  Less tightly wound than usual, it’s engaging now.  It’s easy to recommend. 91 Michael Apstein Jun 21, 2011

Olivier Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Champs Gain 2007 ($92, Wildman): One sip and you know this wine came from Puligny-Montrachet.  Its tightly wound core of minerality is surrounded by a citric fruitiness and just a whiff of oak.  It’s a wonderfully balanced wine, which, similar to Leflaive’s other 2007s whites, has sufficient ripeness to offset the acidity characteristic of the vintage and is a delight to drink now. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2009

Maison Louis Latour, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) La Truffiere 2006 ($106, Louis Latour Inc.): One of the many admirable qualities of Latour’s white wines is that they remain true to their village and vineyard appellation.  Sure, there’s a house signature to the wines–tightly wound, good acid and pure when young–but the uniqueness of the place always shows through, as with this bottling.  The minerality common to wines from Puligny-Montrachet is apparent.  But atop that is a glorious richness and exotic herbal flavors–even a touch of licorice or mint–that add complexity and explain why premier cru vineyards are worthy of that accolade.  Reflective of the vintage, it’s forward, especially for one of Latour’s whites. 93 Michael Apstein Jan 6, 2009

Michel Picard, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Chalumaux 2006 ($69, Brown Forman): This Puligny from Picard emphasizes the ripeness of Chardonnay more than the inherent minerality ascribed to the appellation.  The almost tropical fruit character is nicely balanced by alluring spice and citric nuances.  At this stage, it’s an overt wine, so drink it now. 89 Michael Apstein Jul 29, 2008

Domaine Chanzy, Rully (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($20):  Rully, a lesser known village in the Côte Chalonnaise, is hit or miss for white wines.  They can be overly crisp bordering on austere and mineraly with balanced energizing acidity.  This one from Domaine Chanzy is definitely a hit and falls well into the latter category.  Unusually rich for Rully, its bright citrus notes extend the finish and refresh the palate.  Those looking for opulent New World styled Chardonnay will be disappointed.  Those looking for authentic white Burgundy will smile. 90 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2012

Maison Drouhin, Rully (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($20, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Drouhin’s Rully makes a wonderful comparison with their 2009 St. Véran (also reviewed this week) and provide vivid demonstration why the French eschew grape names on their label.  These two wines are both made entirely from Chardonnay by the same team.  Rully, a tiny village in the Côte Chalonnaise is no more than 50 miles from St. Véran, slightly further south.  But the wines couldn’t be more different. The Rully is sleek, linear and lemony as opposed to the creamier and riper St. Véran. 89 Michael Apstein Mar 15, 2011

Jacques Dury, Rully (Burgundy, France) “La Chaume” 2006 ($27, VOS Selections): With prices of white Burgundy skyrocketing, it’s time to leave the Côte d’Or and explore the lesser known villages, such as Rully in the Côte Chalonnaise, where Chardonnay thrives.  Although not from a premier cru vineyard, Dury’s La Chaume has charming creamy elements buttressed by sufficient acidity to keep it vibrant throughout a meal. A soft and round white Burgundy, it will best consumed over the next year, which makes it perfect for this summer’s seafood. 88 Michael Apstein Jul 1, 2008

Jean-Marc Boillot, Rully 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Meix Cadot 2004 ($24, Vineyard Brands): Although no longer available at the wholesale level, this terrific wine is still on retailers’ shelves and worth the search.  Jean-Marc Boillot, like many excellent Burgundy producers, makes wines from grapes grown in his vineyards and from those he purchases from growers.  He made this one from a grower’s grapes in Rully, one of Burgundy’s less well-known towns in the Côte Chalônnaise.  It is an outstanding value and is another example of how great 2004 was for white Burgundy.  A vibrant citric edge, characteristic of 2004 white Burgundies, supports and complements the stony elements and buttery nuances in this full-bodied, nicely textured wine.  Its price reflects its Côte Chalônnaise origin, but its taste suggests Côte d’Or. 93 Michael Apstein Mar 20, 2007

Vincent Girardin, Rully 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Les Cloux 2005 ($25, Vineyard Brands): The combination of a weak dollar and the great reputation of the 2005 vintage in Burgundy means that consumers must look to lesser-known villages in that region for wines that won’t break the bank.  Rully, slightly to the south of the Côte d’Or in the Côte Chalonnaise, is a good place to start.  Girardin has fashioned a beautifully balanced wine whose lush fruit is complemented by a touch of oak and nuances of minerality.  It has the sophistication of Côte d’Or Burgundy at a Côte Chalonnaise price. 91 Michael Apstein Aug 12, 2008

Domaine Dureuil-Janthial, Rully Blanc (Burgundy, France) “Maizières” 2007 ($30):  Rully, a small town off the beaten path in the Côte Chalonnaise, is a good locale for honest well-priced white Burgundy.  This Chardonnay-based wine has quintessential Rully character with its lime-tinged crispness and sleekness.  By no means an opulent style of wine–not at all in the New World chardonnay tradition–it does have sufficient ripeness to carry the acidity inherent to the 2007 vintage. This vivacious wine is easy to recommend to accompany grilled fish, sushi or shellfish. 88 Michael Apstein May 11, 2010

Domaine Goisot, Saint Bris (Burgundy, France) Sauvignon Blanc “Corps de Garde” 2011 ($20, International Fine Wines): Saint Bris is tiny appellation caught in the middle between Burgundy and the Loire, both geographically and stylistically.  Located in far northern Burgundy, a stone’s throw west of Chablis, the grape is the very non Burgundian Sauvignon Blanc of Sancerre.  Goisot, undoubtedly the finest producer in the appellation, makes a stunning array of wines, combining the best aspects of the two regions. This one, labeled Corps de Garde, has the captivating and unique minerality of Chablis coupled with the racy verve of Sauvignon.  Long and precise, it’s a masterful wine and a great value.
92 Michael Apstein Apr 23, 2013

Simonnet-Fèbvre, Saint Bris (Burgundy, France) Sauvignon 2009 ($11, Louis Latour USA):  Saint Bris is an unusual appellation located just west of Chablis.  Still geographically in Burgundy, it uses the Sauvignon Blanc grape like Sancerre, its kindred appellation further to the west.  This rendition, a zippy wine, has a pleasant combination of grassiness (from the grape) and minerality (from the area).  Not as complex or long as a Sancerre, it still delivers more than just herbaceous pungency.  Its vivacity and raciness makes it a good choice this summer. Its price makes buying it by the case a good idea. 87 Michael Apstein Jul 5, 2011

Château de Beauregard, Saint Veran (Burgundy, France) “En Faux” 2005 ($28, Ex-Cellars): Saint Veran, an area bordering Pouilly-Fuissé, is a good source of Chardonnay-based wines.  This very appealing one provides green-apple flavors with a dollop of creaminess.  Direct and overt, it also shows excellent acidity that gives it a pleasant lift. 89 Michael Apstein Jan 22, 2008

Château de Beauregard, Saint Véran (Burgundy, France) “Classique” 2005 ($22, Ex Cellars Wine Agency): Similar to the adjacent Cote Chalonnaise, the Cote Mâconnais made especially noteworthy white wines in 2005.  Although the prices for Pouilly-Fuissé, the most famous appellation in the Mâconnais, have risen considerably with this vintage, good buys in neighboring appellations, such as Château de Beauregard’s Saint-Véran, remain.  This wine delivers richness, a touch of minerality and a lemon-cream like impression, all balanced by lively acidity.  IThis is more complex and considerably longer than many examples of St. Véran. 89 Michael Apstein Apr 29, 2008

Morey-Blanc, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($45, Wilson Daniels):  Pierre Morey is one of the finest winemakers in Burgundy.  He retired from the position of winemaker at Domain Leflaive in 2008 after 20 years there to concentrate on his domaine and Morey-Blanc, a small négociant firm he runs with his daughter.  Saint-Aubin is a bit off the beaten track in the Côte d’Or, but is a good place to find less expensive, but fine, white wines, like this one.  Not from a specific vineyard, it’s a blend of wines from several Premier Cru vineyards within the village.  It has sufficient body to balance the acidity of the vintage, which itself amplifies the minerality in the finish.  A subtle creaminess adds allure. 89 Michael Apstein Jun 28, 2011

Daniel et Martine Barraud, Saint-Véran (Burgundy, France) “Les Pommards” 2007 ($30, Skurnik):  The Saint-Véran appellation surrounds Pouilly-Fuissé and lies between it and the Mâcon-Village appellation in prestige.  Many Pouilly-Fuissé producers, such as Daniel et Martin Barraud, own vineyards in Saint-Véran.  Les Pommards–not to be confused with the Côte d’Or town–is a vineyard within Saint-Véran.  Similar to their Pouilly-Fuissé (reviewed previously), Barraud’s Saint-Veran exhibits considerable class.  A generous creamy component complements the mineral-tinged flavors.  Sufficient ripeness balances the tangy acidity common to the vintage. 90 Michael Apstein May 11, 2010

Domaine Manciat-Poncet, Saint-Véran (Burgundy, France) Vieille Vignes 2004 ($20, Robert Kacher Selections): Creamy and lively, this Saint-Véran has good richness-and more complexity than most from this AOC-cut by a cleansing finish. 88 Michael Apstein Sep 26, 2006

Maison Joseph Drouhin, Saint-Véran (Burgundy, France) 2008 ($15, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  Drouhin’s 2008 white Burgundies are stunning, which makes their less prestigious wines, like this one, a great buy.  Made entirely from Chardonnay, wines from Saint-Véran, a neighboring appellation to Pouilly-Fuissé, are an excellent alternative to the wines from that more famous appellation.  Drouhin’s 2008 Saint-Véran conveys an engaging chalky stoniness buttressed by lively acidity.  It finishes with lemon cream notes.  It’s an easy wine to recommend. 88 Michael Apstein Aug 3, 2010

Domaine Potel, Santenay Blanc (Burgundy, France) Les Charmes Dessus 2007 ($26, Frederick Wildman): Nicolas Potel is a new breed of young, small négociants who have recently expanded his domaine, which previously was limited to a small parcel of vines for Bourgogne Rouge, to complement the négociant side of the business.  Santenay, a less prestigious and less well-known village in the Cote de Beaune, produces mostly red wines.  The white wines from this village, while enjoyable and well priced, are frequently a little rustic and clunky.  Not Potel’s.  Maybe because he grows only organic grapes in his domaine’s vineyards or perhaps he’s just a careful and talented winemaker, but this white Santenay has unusual class–especially for a village wine–to complement its ripe earthiness and vibrant acidity. 88 Michael Apstein Mar 31, 2009

Goisot, Sauvignon de Saint-Bris (Burgundy, France) “Exogyra Virgula” 2011 ($20, Polaner): Sauvignon de Saint-Bris, a small appellation between Chablis and Sancerre, is worth knowing because the wines are like a cross between those two more famous areas.  The grape is Sauvignon Blanc as in Sancerre, but the soil is Kimmeridgian limestone as in Chablis.  Add perhaps the best producer in the appellation and you get a distinctive and refreshing wine.  This one has the attractive bite of Sauvignon, the minerality of the region and vibrant acidity that keeps it fresh.  It would be an ideal choice for shellfish.  Indeed, the name of the wine, Exogyra Virgula, reflects the tiny fossilized shells found in the limestone soil.
89 Michael Apstein Mar 5, 2013

Simonnet-Fèbvre, Sauvignon de Saint-Bris (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($12, Louis Latour USA):  Saint-Bris is a tiny appellation near Chablis that bridges Burgundy and the Loire.  The soil is Kimmeridgian limestone, like Chablis, but the proscribed grape is Sauvignon Blanc, the one used in the eastern Loire Valley appellations of Sancerre, Pouilly Fuissé and Quincy.  This one is a zippy, every day kind of wine, but with more character than you’d expect.  Piercing with riveting acidity, it’s quite versatile, a good choice for swordfish with a caper butter sauce and take-out Thai food.   And it’s very well priced because few have heard of the appellation. 88 Michael Apstein Dec 13, 2011

Domaine Potel, Savigny-lès Beaune Blanc (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($30, Wildman): Nicolas Potel established his négociant firm in 1997 after the death of his father, Gerard, who ran the famous Volnay firm, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or.  His négociant wines have been consistently excellent.  Over the last few years, Potel has purchased vineyards and has started a small domaine, making wines from his own vineyards.  This white Burgundy, made exclusively from Chardonnay grown in his vineyards, is quite classy, with a core of minerality supported by zesty acidity.  Its great length and complexity is surprising for a village wine and highlights Potel’s considerable talents. 90 Michael Apstein May 26, 2009

Domaine Hubert-Lamy, St. Aubin (Burgundy, France) “La Princée” 2006 ($40, Polaner Selections): This Domaine, based in St. Aubin, an often under appreciated Côte d’Or village nestled between Chassagne and Puligny-Montrachet, made excellent white wines in 2006.  Olivier, Hubert’s son, joined the Domaine in the 1990s and changed the vines for La Princée, a village wine — not a Premier Cru — from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay because he felt the soil was better suited for the white variety.  Judging by the 2006, which has both richness and delicacy, it was a smart decision.  The restrained use of oak for fermentation and aging allows the beautiful floral and mineral aspect show unimpeded. 90 Michael Apstein Jul 22, 2008

Domaine Sylvie and Thomas Morey, St. Aubin (Burgundy, France) 2007 ($43, Louis Dressner Selections): It may be hard to convince consumers to spend more than $40 for a village St. Aubin, but the quality is definitely in the bottle in this case.  It has excellent ripeness–sometimes lacking in the 2007 whites, which balances the uplifting acidity.  Extraordinary length sets it apart from most village wines and allows it to masquerade as a premier cru. 90 Michael Apstein Dec 23, 2008

Alex Gambal, St. Aubin 1er Cru (Burgundy, France) Murgers des Dents de Chien 2010 ($50, Schneiders of Capitol Hill): The name of this premier cru vineyard, literally, “the wall of dog’s teeth”, is enough to grab your attention.  But it’s what’s in the bottle that keeps it.  The 2010 vintage was a great one for both red and white Burgundies.  And Gambal’s new winemaker, Geraldine Godot, has made a stunning array of them. This one, from an off the beaten track village behind Chassagne-Montrachet, is a real charmer.   It marries a citrus vibrancy with focused slightly creamy minerality and great length.  Try it with grilled swordfish or sautéed chicken breasts.
90 Michael Apstein Mar 19, 2013

Domaine Hubert Lamy, St. Aubin Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) Clos de Meix 2008 ($50, Cynthia Hurley Imports):  St. Aubin, a tiny village just west of Chassagne-Montrachet and well off the beaten track in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, is home to stylish and terribly under rated white wines.   Domaine Lamy is certainly one of the village’s star producers.  This Premier Cru has excellent ripeness balanced by nuances of grapefruit rind and a delicate captivating hint of ginger-like spice.  The verve and vivacity of the 2008 vintage, a truly exceptional one, especially for whites, amplifies the wine’s grace.  It’s a top notch white Burgundy. 92 Michael Apstein Jan 17, 2012

Drouhin, St. Véran (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($20):  St. Véran, an appellation in the Côte Mâconnais that abuts Pouilly-Fuissé, its more famous neighbor, is the place to go for value-packed Chardonnay based wines.  Though not as expansive–nor as expensive–as Côte d’Or whites, St. Véran is real white Burgundy at a reasonable price.  The 2009 vintage was generous to this part of Burgundy.  Indeed, the Chardonnay-based wines have a lovely immediately likeable plumpness to them.  Drouhin’s style, characterized by elegance and balance, as opposed to overblown wines, suits the vintage very nicely.  This St. Véran has a magical combination of stoniness, perky acidity and fruitiness.  It’s an ideal choice for the Thanksgiving table. 89 Michael Apstein Nov 15, 2011

Maison Drouhin, St. Véran (Burgundy, France) 2009 ($17, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.):  The 2009 vintage is being heralded, rightly so, as a great one in Burgundy, especially for the red wines.  The white wines, very good as well because of additional ripeness, afford a golden opportunity to enjoy them sooner than a more structured vintage such as 2008 or 2007.  Drouhin’s whites in 2009 were particularly successful because the winemaking team there captured vibrancy.  This St. Véran, a neighboring appellation to Pouilly-Fuissé, is consistently a good buy.  It delivers a direct creamy ripeness and minerality supported by sufficient acidity to keep it alive throughout a meal.  It’s a tremendous bargain. 89 Michael Apstein Mar 15, 2011

Christophe Cordier, Viré-Clessé (Mâcon, Burgundy, France) 2007 ($32, Robert Kacher Selections): Viré-Clessé is a practically unknown appellation in the Mâconnais region.  The wines were sold under the Mâcon-Villages appellation until 1998 when it was granted its own appellation because it had become apparent that the area’s vineyards had the potential for distinctive character.  Like the rest of Burgundy in 2007, this appellation was excellent for producers who waited for the Chardonnay to ripen fully.  Judging by this wine, Christophe Cordier did exactly that, as it has plenty of flesh to balance the bracing acidity.  The complexity and length lent by vieilles vignes (old vines) fruit is abundantly clear.  A touch of creamy oak adds allure without swamping the stony nature of the fruit. 91 Michael Apstein Sep 22, 2009

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