The cellar in which Eric Jeanneteau raises his single wine, a beautiful red Saint-Émilion grand cru, is an unadorned building on the family estate in Saint-Étienne de Lisse. Jeanneteau varies his vinification quite a bit depending on each vintage’s conditions, and the results can be fascinating, even startling, like hearing the same symphony interpreted by different conductors. His 2015 is supple, vibrant, and alive. The cellar may be plain, but there’s a true chef d’orchestre inside.
Despite our detailed knowledge of the science and processes of winemaking, the magic that happens in the dark cellars of Burgundy still holds us in thrall. At Domaine Boillot in Gevrey-Chambertin, their cold, damp cellar is extremely conducive to this special Burgundian wizardry. Of all Boillot’s cuvées, the ones from Gevrey-Chambertin are the most brooding, the most earthbound. Only with time do they reveal their full range of sweet and savory delights.
It takes a special kind of man to look at an ancient, overgrown, neglected collection of buildings and say to himself, “Yeah, this is where I want to raise my kids,” but that’s exactly what Giuseppe Sesti did more than forty years ago when he first saw Castello di Argiano. Apparently one challenge wasn’t enough, because after Giuseppe cleared and restored the thirteenth-century hilltop estate, he turned his focus to wine! His 2009 Brunello di Montalcino has already spent several years in Sesti’s cellars—located just behind the ancient tower pictured on the label—and is starting to show the leathery, savory balsamic notes I love in mature Sangiovese. There’s no rush here.