If you spent a day or two in the Côte de Beaune, you would probably start in Meursault and the Montrachets—Chassagne and Puligny—and then turn north to hit Volnay and Pommard. But if you headed back to Beaune for dinner without making it to Santenay, just south of Chassagne-Montrachet, near the Côte de Beaune’s southern tip, your tour of the Côte would be incomplete. This small, quintessentially Burgundian village may not be home to the same number of titans who work in each of the exalted appellations above, but at least one couple there is doing a staggeringly good job of showing that Santenay can go toe to toe with many of the more prestigious sites to the north. Anne-Marie and Jean-Marc Vincent inherited their vines from Jean-Marc’s grandfather in 1997 and excelled so quickly that Kermit first imported their wines just a few years later, with the 2000 Santenay rouge premier cru Les Gravières. In the June 2002 brochure, he noted it as “razzle dazzle with class,” which continues to describe the Vincents’ wines well. Nearly twenty years later, I would add: taut, pure, and precise right out of the gate, with fifteen to twenty years of great aging potential. The Vincents, who farm their six-hectare domaine organically and age their wines in a small, ancient cave beneath their home, have always been traditionalists. That’s not to say, however, that they have not refined their techniques somewhat in the nearly twenty years we have imported their wines. Over the last five years, in particular, Jean-Marc and Anne-Marie have decreased the amount of new oak they use to 10 percent for the whites and 25 percent for the reds. In tandem with this transition, they have minimized how much sulfur they use, which has led, Jean-Marc says, to wines that are even fresher and more charming and transparent with respect to their terroirs. The wines have always been beautiful: a few weeks ago, I opened a stately 2009 Gravières rouge, for example. But they have never been better than they are now, and that is saying a lot. As deep as their Santenay lineup is in both red and white, we couldn’t resist including their premier cru Montagny in this collection. It is the exclamation point—the mic drop—on our case that Jean-Marc and Anne-Marie Vincent weave the most beautiful tapestries from the threads of Burgundy’s underdog appellations.
2016 Montagny 1er Cru $46 Lean and chiseled, with notes of citrus, apple, and sea spray, this is the Vincents’ most charming wine in either color right now. Think of it as a southern Chablis—perfect alongside fresh seafood
2016 Santenay Blanc 1er Cru “Le Beaurepaire” $68 Both this Beaurepaire and the Gravières blanc are also chiseled, but they have a little more weight, grip, and aging potential than the Montagny.
2016 Santenay Blanc 1er Cru “Les Gravières” $68 Whereas the Beaurepaire blanc is defined by mouthwatering acidity—think notes of green apple and citrus—this Gravières, as its name suggests, is stonier.
2016 Santenay Rouge “Vieilles Vignes” $60 Exhibiting high-toned, pretty red fruit on the nose, this red is stony, and almost savory on the finish, with a solid tannin for staying power.
2016 Santenay Rouge 1er Cru “Le Passetemps” $67 Earthy, with pretty notes of red and black fruit, this is possibly the most complete of the Vincents’ reds right now. It is reserved, but shows total class.
2016 Santenay Rouge 1er Cru “Le Beaurepaire” $67 More fragrant on the nose than the coyer Passetemps, this beautiful Beaurepaire is firmer on the palate at the moment. It is begging to be cellared for a few more years, and further down the road it will reward you even more.
SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $282.00
(a 25% discount)
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