Alsace’s grands crus Pinot Gris, when vinified dry by a great vigneron, are among the few wines that can fill in for fine white Burgundy at table. Indeed, the two share some commonalities: a nose as deep and nuanced as any white wine, layers of flavor expressed with subtlety and finesse, and the ability to improve in bottle over many years. The steep granite slope known as Brand is the perfect home for the grape, and Jean Boxler knows just what to do with it in his cellar. The outcome is a regal white wine of ample weight, its lustrous texture punctuated by the biting minerality conferred by a noble terroir.
Now that the new generation has settled in at Domaine Lavantureux, we can barely keep track of the new developments, each one more exciting than the last. This bottling marks just their third release from Bougros, a grand cru with abundant sun exposure noted for its high proportion of clay. It stands out from their other wines for its lavish richness, pampering your palate with decadent, limestone-tinged fruit without sparing an ounce of mouthwatering Chablisien typicity. You may certainly cellar it, but you’d be missing quite a treat today—it holds nothing back.
The majestic hill of Corton, just north of Beaune, is the only place in Burgundy (besides the exceptionally scarce Musigny blanc) where white and red can both lay claim to grand cru status. Both can be found in the depths of Franck Follin’s cellar in Aloxe-Corton, a dark and mystical place where dreams of old-school Burgundian artisanship come true. His Corton is a reverie of sensual, pure-fruited Pinot Noir, its opulent fragrance of ripe cherry, violets, and sandalwood soaring atop a dense web of lace-like tannins. Made for the cellar, it can also be enjoyed right away to experience the sheer pleasure of a sumptuous, youthful Pinot.
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