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2017 Red Burgundy: Chandon de Briailles and Domaine des Chezeaux

2017 Red Burgundy: Chandon de Briailles and Domaine des Chezeaux

As the majestic 2017 red Burgundies start to arrive, we will be announcing them no matter what the format or illogic nature. Such as today. Here are two producers with nothing in common except for the fact that they are both 2017 and both happen to be awesome.

Chandon de Briailles is one of my all time faves. Come with me to my personal cellar and you will find loads of the Ils des Vergelesses from as far back as 2005 that are still youn and will age until 2025. In fact, for my 2017 born child, I plan to stock a lot of these for bar mitzvah, graduation, wedding and maybe grandparenting––maybe! These are sensational and pure styles of Burgundy that continue to dazzle me year after year.

Domaine des Chezeaux is a new one for me that I discovered only about 2 years ago when I heard that the legendary Laurent Ponsot was the winemaker for most of these. What more can you ask for. It's like discovering a classic rock band which had Hendrix as the rhythm guitarist.   
  • 10% off 6, 15% off 12
  • Wines to Arrive in 4-6 Weeks
From Neal Martin on the Chandon de Briailles 2017's, Vinous, Oct. 2018: 
Keep it under your hat, but this Savigny-lès-Beaune property is one of the most overlooked and underrated in the Côte d'Or. Maybe that is because of its address in what some misguidedly regard as an “untrendy” appellation. Maybe it is because Chandon de Briailles is a traditional grower without airs and graces. The bottom line is that they are making damn good wine, perhaps the best ever under congenial co-proprietor François de Nicolay, who runs the estate with his sister. For me, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing estates in Burgundy, an idyllic family home not only designed in the manner of Versailles, but designed by the same architect as Versailles at the end of the 1600s. At the rear of the maison, hidden by a high, ancient stone wall, lies the large family garden that cuts off the outside world, imbuing the domaine with a sense of tranquillity. The interior décor is steeped in history, the tasting room lined with 19th-century books, a sideboard decked with black and white photos of ancestors. It is a little timeworn yet brims with character and charm.
That is all a moot point if the wine does not measure up. However, after visiting here for many years, I can say that the 2017s rank amongst their finest. The freshness and terroir expression is the best I have ever seen, their use of 100% whole cluster fruit deft in application insofar as the presence of stems is sensed but never imparts overt “stemmy” traits. “We started harvesting on September 1 and finished on September 26,” de Nicolay explained. “The fruit was quite healthy and so there was not much selection to do. We achieved around 13° alcohol and there is no chaptalisation. The malolactic fermentation went through the same time as the alcoholic, which is why I bottled some of the cuvées sooner. In fact, the white malolactic went through after the reds. The malolactic acidity was quite low and so the conversion started earlier. I used no sulphur until just before bottling.”
There is so much to recommend here. Those looking for quality without busting wallets should make a beeline for the superb Pernand-Vergelesses Île de Vergelesses. An appellation and indeed, a Premier Cru that is often overlooked, it produced wonderful whites and reds in 2017 – perfect drinking over the next seven to 10 years. Even better is their killer Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Fournaux, one of the finest vineyards in the appellation. This punches well above its weight and would give many expensive Premier Crus a run for their money. To be honest, these Premier Crus are so good that they nip at the heels of their own Grand Crus. That said, the domaine’s Corton Blanc and Corton Clos-du-Roi are both well worth seeking out and may offer more longevity.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Savigny les Beaune
Special Newsletter Price: $45.99
Located in the northern vineyard of Savigny-lès-Beaune, the vineyards are found between the villages of Savigny and Aloxe-Corton. Limestone soil for the parcel at
Les Saucours; clayey soil, yellow marls and deep ground in the parcel at the foot of the slope of Les Fourneaux.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er cru Les Lavières
Special Newsletter Price: $69.99
Mid-slope and predominantly limestone (Lavières comes from the word “lave” which here has nothing volcanic about it but was the term used in the past to describe the floor at limestone slabs used to cover the roofs). In fact, these famous stones are found here in the sub-soil. The vines are more than 50 years old and are situated
in the fi nest part of the appellation. No sulfur.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru les Valozières
Special Newsletter Price: $94.99
This Premier Cru lies beneath the Corton Bressandes and next to the Corton Paulands, both Grands Crus. The soil here is a bit out of the ordinary: clayey at the surface and pebbly limestone deeper down, and quite uneven. The parcel faces east, just below mid-slope, providing early ripening conditions.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses
Special Newsletter Price: $81.99
In Remington Norman and Charles Taylor’s book The Great Domaines of Burgundy, Les Vergelesses and Ile des Vergelesses are described as top sites in the village of Pernand-Vergelesses, with “wines of weight and structure, capable of aging for 20 years or more.” These vines are found mid-slope on a slight incline facing east and
their soil is shared between clay and limestone in medium deep ground, making this an exceptional terroir. The vines were planted in several phases, with an average
age of 42 years.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Corton Les Marechaudes Grand Cru
Special Newsletter Price: $174.99
Very close to Corton-Charlemagne, this is a terroir high on the hillside, very steep and made up of clay-limestone marls containing a little sand. It is a late ripening terroir which, through its ability to drain, allows the grapes to avoid rot during the last phase of ripening. Planted in 1961 and 1985 at an elevation of 300m and east-facing.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru (sans soufre)
Special Newsletter Price: $214.99
This cuvée comes from 4 parcels situated mid-slope and spread in homogenous fashion over the whole appellation. The soils are deep and made up in equal parts of limestone and clay, giving the wine lovely balance and great length on the palate. It is a terroir that is very representative of the appellation Corton. The vines average
35 years old and face east. Made without any sulfur during the winemaking, aging, or bottling.

2017 Chandon de Briailles Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru
Special Newsletter Price: $245.99
On the lower mid-slope, under the Corton Bressandes and beside the Corton Vergennes, this is shallow limestone terroir facing due east and offers early ripening.
Planted in 1974 and 1979. This vineyard has been worked by horse since 2012.

(500ml) NV Chandon de Briailles Vin de Liqueur Pousse au Crime
Special Newsletter Price: $89.99
A sweet Lavières from the 2013 vintage, fortified with marc de Bourgogne made by the winery.

Domaine des Chezeaux
From Burgundy Report: 
Whilst not a name on the tip of most peoples tongues, Chezeaux is the largest owner of Griotte-Chambertin – almost 60% of the vineyard. In fact they have a few other choice parcels too: Clos St Denis (100 year old vines – though due to the replanting of some empty spaces this average may slowly come down), Chambertin and some parcels of Gevrey 1er Cru’s. So why might you not know the name? That’s because you probably know the wines already, but under different labels – Laurent Ponsot for the three Grand Cru’s, René Leclerc also for the Griotte and Domaine Berthaut for the other Gevrey wines.

The domaine was formed in 1982 from the holdings of the Mercier family who still run the company (SNV des Chézeaux), the name Chézeaux refers to the original Mercier family home close the Chateau of Gevrey within the walls of which are about half a hectare of vines – Clos de Chézeaux. The basis of the holdings date from 1928, but today there are no winemakers in the family, hence, their holdings are all ‘en metayage’ i.e. they are ‘farmed’ by others (Ponsot, Leclerc & Berthaut) who take two thirds of the crop as payment, the balance going to ‘des Chézeaux’. In the case of Chézeaux the ‘metayers’ also do the elevage and bottling – herein used to lie a bit of a problem – for both Chézeaux and the consumer – historically and specifically for the Griotte; when you placed your order, you don’t know whether you would be getting the Ponsot or the Leclerc produced wine! 

2017 Domaine des Chezeaux Clos des Chezeaux Monopole
Special Newsletter Price: $62.99

2017 Domaine des Chezeaux Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Charmes

Special Newsletter Price: $143.99

2017 Domaine des Chezeaux Grand Cru Griotte Chambertin
Special Newsletter Price: $324.99
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