2014 White Burgundy. In a word, the wines are sensational! The vintage had its challenges, there was millerandage, and some hail hit the Côtes de Beaune, yet the harvested fruit was superb. In general terms, the wines are pure, lively, elegant, and harmonious. TOB subscribers need little introduction to Paul Pernot. He continues to crank out the quality from his various Puligny-Montrachet vineyards. His vines in Premier Cru Chalumaux are 61 years old, and the complexity derived from such old vines is evident. The aromas are fresh and pure: apples, lemon custard, and vanilla with an underlying stony mineral core. The palate is zippy and fresh with a sleek, mineral-driven mouth feel. Its finish is complex and persistent. Similar to Pernot’s Premier Cru Champ Canet, the Chalumaux exhibits all the charm, albeit with a tad more nerve. All in all, it’s a great wine from a great vintage made by a great producer. That’s a win-win-win! It can be drunk in the near term (decanting recommended), or should hit its peak from 2018-2028.
The father and son team of Jean and Gilles Lafouge represent the 4th and 5th generations to run this 9 ha domaine which can trace its roots back to 1850. They farm sustainably and neither fine nor filter their red wines. The 2013 vintage for red Burgundy started out a bit rough with cold and damp conditions. There was hail in places, so again production was lower than the norm. Conditions greatly improved in July and August trimming one week from the projected three week delay to harvest. After some serious sorting, what was left was of fine quality. There just wasn’t much wine. For their Premier Cru Les Duresses, the Lafouges only made 7 barrels in 2013, two being new. That’s 175 cases for the world. It is impressive. Made from 100% de-stemmed fruit, its nose is full of berry fruit with a hint of earth and Old World charm. The palate has a degree of intensity with structure and length. The finish is balanced and complex with the soft tannins gently caressing the palate. Charming now, this will be best from 2019-2030. –Peter Zavialoff