I love burgundy, you love burgundy, we all love burgundy. And for those who didn’t fill their boots a fortnight ago with treats from the Jaffelin stable, we’ve an absolute ripsnorter of an offer this week, featuring six stunners from the mighty Domaine Chanson.
Founded in Beaune in 1750, DC has been owned by the Bollinger family since 1999 and their wines are hugely sought after and yet notoriously tricky to find. Happily, thanks to the efforts of Laura Taylor of Private Cellar, we’ve snaffled a small parcel just for readers of The Spectator and I’m thrilled.
Owing to a couple of poor recent vintages, fine burgundy is soon going to be in short supply and wines such as these, usually destined for restaurants and hotels, are as rare as can be and I expect them to be snapped up pronto, be it for current/future consumption or canny investment.
The 2018 Viré-Clessé (1) is easily the finest example of this appellation I’ve tasted in yonks. Hang on, I didn’t just taste it, I blooming well necked it, so gloriously refined is it. From the Maconnais in Burgundy’s deep south, it’s rich, buttery and lemony with a gorgeously creamy — almost lemon-curd-like — texture. Viré-Clessé can often be lean, austere and a touch one-dimensional. This is anything but, being just so darn drinkable. £17.95.
The 2017 Pouilly-Fuissé (2), also from the Maconnais, is from a stellar vintage, one blessed with a warm spring, a hot summer and just enough rain. The result is superb. Again, there’s an enticingly honeyed citrus lift on the nose followed by concentrated ripe fruit in the mouth before it ends with a slightly salty, refreshing mineral finish. £29.
The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet ‘Les Chenevottes’ 1er Cru (3) is bang on song, although Laura Taylor thinks it’s still nowt but a pup, with years ahead of it. Made exclusively from Chanson’s own vines in the premier cru vineyard of Les Chenevottes, next door to Le Montrachet itself, it has Amalfi lemon and vanilla on the nose and hints, too, of toasty brioche, cream, lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg. With wonderfully ripe — almost exotic — fruit in the mouth, it lasts for ages before closing with a keen, mineral finish. Only 20 six-bottle boxes (wood) are available. £69.
I’ve drunk more than my fair share of the 2020 Bourgogne Pinot Noir (4) in St John, that great temple to nose-to-tail eating in London’s Smithfield, where it’s the house red burgundy. I just love it. It’s juicy and spicy, with ripe blackberries/blueberries and cream on both nose and palate. Basic BPN can often be stalky, green and thin, but this is just so alluring and reminds me of a fine Cru Beaujolais, so succulent and so come-hither is it. £18.95.
The 2017 Beaune Teurons 1er Cru (5) is a class act and no mistake and it’s full of precocious promise. From the vineyard of Les Teurons, it has elusive, zephyr-like hints of violets on the nose and luscious ripe damsons and plums on the palate. The tannins are feather-light and the finish is grin--makingly complex, being one moment sweet, one moment savoury, with spice and vanilla somewhere in the mix. It will age beautifully, although I find it almost impossible to resist as it is. £44.
The 2017 Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru (6) is in magnificent nick. After Maison Joseph Drouhin, Chanson is the largest holder of vines in the fabled Clos des Mouches 1er Cru vineyard, and their meticulous husbandry there is famous. With silky soft, concentrated bramble fruit and a wild, gamey, meaty finish, this is what red burgundy is all about. There are only ten six-bottle boxes available, and whether you drink it now, cellar it for decades or flip it as an investment, you’ll be making a very shrewd purchase. £75.
The above wines are all offered in unmixed half-dozens and delivery, as ever, is free.