Have you heard of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, reverently referred to in wine circles as DRC? Widely considered to be the greatest Burgundy, if not red wine, in the entire world, it also commands staggeringly high prices (if you can even manage to get your hands on it) with current vintages of its eponymous vineyard's bottling selling for over $20,000 per bottle. That's not a typo, they really go for $20k!
But did you know that Aubert de Villaine, heir to the DRC estate and its most famous manager and director, also owns a small estate in the town of Bouzeron in Burgundy's Cote Chalonnaise?
Aubert and his wife Pamela purchased this run down estate in the early 1970s, seeking somewhere to make wines in his own style without all of the fame and pressure that his international acclaim (and $20k price tags) bring.
The de Villaines farm three appellations within the Côte Chalonaise, namely Bouzeron (Aligoté), Rully (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and Mercurey (Pinot Noir). Their single-vineyard parcels are stunning examples of what this complex and amazing terroir can yield. Though their wines are quite enjoyable young, their ability to age well is what one might expect from a master such as de Villaine. Much of this is due to both the diversity of his vinestock and his organic and biodynamic methodology in the vineyards, both of which Aubert stands by with great conviction. He also ferments his Mercureys and Rully rouge in wood tanks, a style adopted from DRC.
We have received tiny allocations of five of Aubert's amazing wines- three single cru Chardonnays and two Pinot Noirs. Click on any to learn more about the individual wine.
These are some of the most highly sought after, carefully made, unique, and exquisitely delicious wines made in the entire world. Only about 4,000 cases in total are produced annually, and they are in demand from collectors all over the globe. The late, great Giuseppe Quintarelli (known familiarly as Bepi) was one of the most legendary figures to have ever graced the world of Italian wine. His wine and estate have taken on almost mythical qualities- he is known as the 'godfather' of Amarone.Sustainable farming and patient, careful winemaking has always been at the core of the Quintarelli tradition. Multiple passes are made through every vineyard, with grapes picked at different times for every wine they make. They age their wines in large Slavonian oak casks for very long periods of time- more than twice as long as the average producer in the region. There is an obsession over quality in every aspect- from the vineyards, to the cellar, to the bottles and corks used. Although Giuseppe passed away in 2012, his daughter Fiorenza, son-in-law Giampaolo, and grandsons Francesco and Lorenzo are now in charge and committed to carrying on the same legacy.
Domaine Robert Chevillon
The stunning collection of premier cru and old-vine vineyards held by the two Chevillon brothers would make any Pinot Noir grower jealous. Their innate ability to carefully tend the vines and master the difficult Burgundian conditions provides ripe, healthy clusters of grapes year after year. Brothers Bertrand and Denis Chevillon are the fifth generation managers of this property in Nuits- Saint-Georges, which means they work the vines and make the wines. Their father Robert, for whom the domaine is named, is still active as well. Nuits-Saint-Georges does not officially have any grand cru vineyards, but it is an open secret that Cailles, Vaucrains and Les Saint-Georges are firmly grand cru quality. This decision is currently in the hands of the appellation authorities but it is almost better if the status quo doesn’t change–that way we are assured to get grand cru quality at a premier cru price!
Thierry Allemand is one of the most sought after, rock star like producers of the Northern Rhône- these wines have definite cult status and there's never enough to go around, as Thierry only makes 650 cases of wine each year. Everything is sourced from his four hectares (~10 acres) of his estate vineyards, which although small, provide a dazzling array of microterroirs. Stacked onto the hills of the western bank of the Rhône River, the vines of Cornas enjoy maximum sun exposure, facing south by southeast. The slopes are composed of both limestone and granite, though Thierry’s parcels lie predominately upon sturdy, granite subsoil with some clay. The sun exposure of his vineyards are of particular note, as they are inclined to early ripeness. Thierry vinifies each parcel individually, bringing prestige and recognition back to even the smallest lieux-dits of Cornas.