Côte de Beaune Wine
We are now selling our third vintage from the superb Bruno Colin which has been bottling world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from a broad selection of sought-after vineyards since 2004. The winery is based in Chassagne-Montrachet and is undoubtedly most famous for its great whites from the village itself and surrounding Premier Crus while there is also value and quality made from further afield. Starting off his range is a new addition from the 2020 vintage - a delicious mineral-driven Chardonnay from the underrated and (for the moment at least) undervalued Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. The Chassagne-Montrachet 'Villages' is an exquisite example of the house style, bright yellow fruit with mineral aromas followed by a finely chiselled palate with great density and freshness. A superlative fine-boned, mineral Premier Cru 'les Chaumées' from vines on the Saint-Aubin boundary completes our selection of Bruno's Chardonnays.
Bruno also produces a selection of outstanding reds - the Santenay 'Vielles Vignes' comes from vines planted in 1959 and shows expressive forest fruit aromatics, a broad but elegant palate with fine tannins and a long finish. Completing the range is a red Chassagne-Montrachet 'Vieilles Vignes'. Often overshadowed by the illustrious Chardonnays of the village, this is a fine example of the quality of Pinot Noir that can also be produced. It has intense cassis and red cherry aromatics with generous plump fruit judiciously balanced by firm but fine tannins.
François Gay et Fils is a family-run independent estate based in Chorey-lès-Beaune which presides over (almost) eight hectares of vines scattered over the appellations of Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton and Beaune. Whilst, current patron and winemaker Pascal Gay is a dogged traditionalist, his main aim is to produce detailed wines which deliver fruit-forward pleasure. His white Pernand-Vergelesses has been enthusiastically appreciated for its understated gun-flint bouquet, mid-weight orchard fruit palate, supple texture and long, elegant finish. Pascal also boasts a parcel of Premier Cru vines on the central 'les Teurons' escarpment in Beaune. The resultant red wine is a fine example of the Pinot Noir grape with forest floor scents and supple red-fruit palate with uplifting peppery undertones. His Aloxe-Corton has bright red cherry fruit and mineral complexity on the nose supported by fine-grained tannins – delicious now, it should improve in bottle over the next five years.
Two wines from winemakers featured in these pages from other parts of Burgundy complete our lineup from the Côte de Beaune. First, a great-value Pommard by Stéphane Brocard from the 'la Rue au Port' lieu-dit shows rich, black fruit flavours and robust tannins well suited to game and full-on winter fare. Domaine Bertagna's Grand Cru Corton 'les Grandes Lolières' is a great example of the complexity which can be found on the hill of Corton. Approachable with after decanting for at least an hour, it is intense and spicy with chocolate notes, a savoury gamey edge and forest fruits coming to the fore - it will reward cellaring in the medium term.
Burgundy expert Clive Coates MW is a man not prone to overstatement. When he calls Puligny-Montrachet 'the greatest white wine commune on earth', one tends to take him at his word. Despite being dwarfed in size terms by neighbours Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet, it has a high proportion of white Grand Crus with Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet the epitome of Chardonnay. Its limestone-clay soils on slopes set back from the main Dijon-Beaune autoroute and are stony with pockets of marl and gravel that are rich in minerals and help provide good drainage. Almost entirely Chardonnay, it has a structure which tends to make the wines long-lasting in white Burgundy terms.