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New Releases from Domaine Prudhon: The Rising Star of White Burgundy & The Sensational 2016s from Domaine Rollin: Burgundy's Finest Kept Secret!
It never ceases to amaze me how a 26 mile stretch of land can not only show such wealth but continue to contain so many great producers which seem to come out of nowhere. For today, we have two favorites both from Neal Rosenthal. Both Henri Prudhon and Domaine Rollin are highly interesting, well priced and insanely ageable wines that should be household names. Well....they kind of are already, which is why some of them are so limited.
  • 10% off 6, 15% off 12
  • Wines Arrive End of April  

Quick Note about Scores: Readers of this newsletter will notice that I often tout the scores of Burghound's Allen Meadows, who is considered the world's greatest authority on Burgundy. One might notice that a lot of the wines I offer don't always have high scores from him in comparison to some others from Wine Advocate, Vinous, etc. Here's the thing: Burghound doesn't give great scores. A 90 for Burghound is considered exceptional, especially when it is something unknown like Saint Aubin. He just doesn't do it. Even some $500 bottles from grade A producers often get in the low 90s.  That's his schtick! 

I discovered the wines of Henri Prudhon about a decade ago and while it was great that they were so cheap, they seemed a little Meh. Over the years, the quality has increased and within recent vintages, I would put them in the same tier as some of the better known Saint Aubin producers.

What is Saint Aubin? A hidden treasure of the Cotes de Beaune. Everyone has heard of the famous Puligny and Chassage Montrachets and Meursault, but tucked in between these 3 is the underdog Saint Aubin. These are fantastic wines that are half to 1/3 of the price of the bigger boys near them. Good news for us. Here you can enjoy a grade A white Burgundy with ageing power for under $50. And yes, he also makes a phenomenal Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet as well. 
All wines below are in short supply, with each under 1 hectare in production and some even less than 1/4.  They are unique, distinct and have serious ageing power. 
2016 Domaine Prudhon Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly (Extremely Limited)
Newsletter Price: $49.99
Burghound 92 Points: A more restrained yet softly exotic nose combines pretty notes of citrus, white peach, acacia blossom and a whiff of spice. The more evidently mineral-inflected flavors possess a caressing mouth feel while managing to retain excellent delineation on the beautifully complex, lengthy and well-balanced finale. This is excellent and recommended.
2016 Domaine Prudhon Saint Aubin 1er Cru Chateniere
Newsletter Price: $44.99
Burghound 90 Points: The fresh and expressive nose is notably more floral in character with its aromas of Granny Smith apples, lemon-lime and matchstick hints. There is really good punch to the well-delineated medium-bodied flavors that conclude in a compact, stony and youthfully austere citrus-inflected finish that is quite dry. This is pretty tightly wound at present but my sense is that it should open up relatively quickly.
 
2016 Domaine Prudhon Saint Aubin 1er Cru Sur Gamay
Newsletter Price: $44.99
Burghound 90 Points: A nicely complex combination offers up notes of apple and pear compote that is laced with hints of grapefruit and spiced tea. The middle weight flavors possess even better mid-palate concentration if not the same minerality or complexity on the fleshy, very dry and focused finale.
2016 Domaine Prudhon Saint Aubin 1er Cru Sur Sentier du Clou
Newsletter Price: $42.99
Burghound 91 Points: There is a whiff of the exotic present on the mandarin orange, white peach and hint of lychee-suffused aromas. There is a bit more volume, particularly on the mid-palate, to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a highly seductive texture on the markedly more complex and persistent finish. Good stuff..
2016 Domaine Prudhon Saint Aubin Les Castets
Newsletter Price: $42.99
Burghound 89 Points: Notes of green apples, matchstick and plenty of citrus elements introduce the round, caressing and utterly delicious medium weight flavors that possess good sap for such young vines, all wrapped in a sneaky long finish. This too should be enjoyable on the younger side.
2016 Domaine Prudhon Puligny Montrachet "Les Enseigneres"
Newsletter Price: $68.99
Burghound 90-92 Points: A typical Puligny nose combines notes of white flower and white-fleshed fruit with those of spice and soft citrus nuances. There is a more sophisticated mouth feel if not the same complexity to the delicious and solidly concentrated flavors that are also generously proportioned before concluding in a sappy and persistent finish. It's possible that this will ultimately catch the Houillères but for the moment its Chassagne cousin has the edge. Note that this should be approachable young if that's your fruit preference.
 
Domaine Rollin is such an underdog in every way, shape and form which is good news for us as these are killer wines with incredible aging power that are not an arm and a leg. 

Most will recognize the famed Corton Charlemagne site, but fewer are familiar with Pernand Vergelesses in both red and white. The latter is a small fraction of the village, turning out clear, crisp and focused wines that are sort of a cross between the acacia driven style of Puligny Montrachet and the apple freshness of Meursault. The reds are even more impressive; wines with exceptional complexity that are unique in style and texture. My own cellar has tons of Pernand from Rollin and Chandon des Briallies which can be kept for several decades. They are easily the best QPR wines in Burgundy for both their durability and price point. 
 
Note from Alan Meadows of Burghound: The always understated Rémi Rollin called 2016 a "weird vintage in the sense that there was no pattern to the frost damage that hit us in late April. On average we lost <70% of our potential production yet the range was from 100% in some parcels to none at all in Corton-Charlemagne. Even stranger, my grandfather planted our parcel of Ile de Vergelesses in the 1930s and in all the ensuing years we never once had any frost damage. Yet in 2016 it was wiped out and there will not be an Ile in 2016 or, for that matter, a Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes. The mildew cost us a bit of yield as well though that solving that problem is one of doing what is necessary whereas frost is one of those things that it's pretty difficult to fight against, at least on a domaine-wide basis. The good news is that the wines themselves are really quite good and for those who enjoy classically styled burgundies, 2016 should definitely please them." As the scores and commentaries suggest, I was impressed with what I found here though that is usually true at this address. Rollin noted that his 2016 reds were bottled in January and February 2018. 
2016 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses Blanc
Newsletter Price: $42.99
Burghound 88 Points: Hints of matchstick and petrol can be found on the pretty pear aromas that are laced with plenty of lemon zest that continues onto the vibrant, stony and impressively precise flavors that are dry in the best sense and quite refreshing. Lovely for what it is.
 
2016 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses Les Cloux
Newsletter Price: $50.99
Burghound 90 Points: Here the cool and airy nose is compositionally similar but offers a bit more elegance and complexity. Once again there is a lovely sense of vibrancy to the mineral-driven and beautifully delineated flavors that possess a beguiling texture before culminating in a chiseled finish where the complexity displayed by the nose returns. This too is really lovely.
2015 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Fretille
Newsletter Price: $65.99
Burghound 89 Points: Notes of matchstick, petrol and citrus zest precede rich and relatively full-bodied flavors that exude a subtle minerality onto the caressing medium weight flavors that are certainly delicious but a bit less complex and persistent. To be sure, this is certainly good but the Les Cloux is a more complete effort.
2016 Domaine Rollin Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Newsletter Price: $149.99
Burghound 92 Points:  An airy and cool nose is composed by notes of admirably fresh Granny Smith apples, floral and soft citrus and spice wisps. There is excellent vibrancy to the notably intense middle weight plus flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the powerful, complex and persistent finish. Note that while this will certainly be capable of rewarding mid-term cellaring, it is less backward and tightly wound than usual.
2016 Domaine Rollin Savigny les Beaune Aux Grands Liards
Newsletter Price: $44.99
Burghound 89 Points:  Here the expressive nose is compositionally similar to the Pernand villages but with notably more pronounced earth elements. There is an attractive mouth feel to the middle weight and vibrant flavors that are shaped by more refined tannins than are usually present, all wrapped in a solidly concentrated if mildly rustic finale. A quality Savigny.
2016 Domaine Rollin Aloxe Corton: $52.99
Newsletter Price: $51.99
Burghound 89 Points:  Here the fresh and ripe if more restrained nose is earthier still with more sauvage and autumn leaf characters adding breadth to the various dark berry fruit aromas. There is excellent density to the rich and full-bodied flavors that evidence plenty of Aloxe-style muscle while displaying fine length on the serious and built-to-age finish. A quality villages and this too is worth checking out though be aware that it will not be for immediately drinking.
2016 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru "Les Vergelesses (Extremely Limited)
Newsletter Price: $54.99
Burghound 91 Points: A discreet application of wood frames the ripe and equally restrained aromas of plum, black cherry and slightly less earth influence. The notably finer medium-bodied flavors possess a sleekly muscular mouth feel before concluding in a velvety and super-saline finish. I would note that while this is not impressively complex the underlying material appears to be sufficiently good that my score assumes that quality depth will eventually develop.
2016 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru "Les Fichots" (Extremely Limited)
Newsletter Price: $54.99
Burghound 91 Points: Here too there is enough wood to comment on enveloping the aromas that are quite similar to those of the Vergelesses and it carries over to the denser and more concentrated middle weight plus flavors that are robust and less refined and particularly so on the more complex if slightly rustic finale. Patience required as this youthfully austere effort is quite tightly wound today.

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