A new Domaine is found
Last February, we set ourselves the task of finding a new domaine in Burgundy.
For some years now we have seen prices rise with many short harvests falling one after the other. Burgundy has never been cheap but with currency pressures and increasing prices, many of the wines are now beyond the pocket of many consumers.
So off we went to Beaune to see what was available and to find wines that would fit our budget, we knew that we would need to find a young estate that hadn’t yet had chance to develop a regular following of clients and where prices would remain relatively soft.
After some digging, it seemed that Domaine Eric Boigelot could be just what we were looking for, so an appointment was arranged for us to go and try his wines. On arriving at the estate which is close to the centre of Meursault, the first thing we noticed was how orderly everything seemed and how clean and tidy it was.
After the usual greetings from Eric and his charming wife, we were taken into the winery to see what exactly he’d been up to. The cellar itself was equally as impressive, well organized and clean albeit relatively small. We spoke with Eric at length to get an idea of his wine-making techniques and philosophy for wine in general. In a nutshell, he’s not a great lover of wines that have spent too much time in barrel and where the overall effect is too woody.
Oak barrels are there to help round out the tannins and to add some background structure without marking the wines with foreign flavours. Our thoughts entirely, so onwards and upwards to the tasting room to see what he made in 2017. To open up, he showed us his straight Bourgogne Blanc, pure Chardonnay from just outside of Meursault. Simple, fresh and well fruited. Quite lively with open fruit notes on both the palate and the nose. An excellent glass of wine.
Next came Monthelie Blanc 2017, a wine from just round the corner from Meursault in this lesser-known and therefore better-priced appellation. This was a lively and very fresh white wine, chewy on the palate and underpinned by a stony minerality and with a zesty, lemon characteristic. This is a brilliant white wine and ideal for either now or over the next 4 years if not longer.
Then it was time for some Meursault - two in fact! The first being the Lieux Dit Le Clou, followed by the 1er Cru Caillerets. The two vineyards couldn’t be more dissimilar with the Lieux-dit Le Clou being situated at the top of the slope to the south-west of the village with the position gives the wine great freshness. The 1er Cru of Caillerets come from north of the village and borders onto Volnay.
Le Clou had a nose typical of Meursault with soft buttery notes and hints of almonds. It had good freshness on the palate and an elegant and fresh finish. The Caillerets had a fine, elegant nose with a fresh fruit element and some hints of hazelnuts. On the palate, it was stylish, fine and sweetly fruited with great elegance in the finish. A superb glass of wine.
Time for some tannin. To open, Eric showed us two different wines from Monthelie, a generic village wine and then a 1er Cru Le Clou des Chenes. The straight Monthelie was wonderful with a bright savoury nose with spicy fruit, great balance and a big chewy finish. The 1er Cru Clous des Chenes had a big spicy raspberry nose, big and immediate fruit on the plate that’s soft yet spicy and long and full in the finish.
The penultimate wine was a Pommard en Boeuf, a big and spicy rascal that spent 15 days in fermentation in concrete tanks then 12 months in barrel to mature. Well fruited and round it is quite fresh with some soft, rounded tannins.
Last but most certainly not least was the Volnay 1er Cru Santenots that was quite sublime. It had a first-class nose of violets and roses with some bright red fruit. On the palate, it was mouth-filling with big chunky fruit and both mineral and savoury notes balanced by fine-grained tannins. Long in the finish, this is a wine that will be drinking fairly soon but will certainly hold up for some years.
All in all, we had found what we were looking for and went away very happy. If you’re looking for well-priced Burgundy you need look no further. Even if you haven’t heard of Monthelie, don’t be put off and do give it a try. It will be quite an eye-opener and won’t break the bank.