While the 2016 reds are some of the best Burgundies we've ever tasted, the vintage has produced some truly brilliant whites, as well. (Photo: John McIlwain)

I Had to Tell You - The Vibrant 2016 White Burgundies

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Now I've certainly gone on at length about my love for the truly transcendant 2016 red Burgundies, but I'd be remiss were I not to recommend the brilliant whites from the vintage. In what could be considered one of the most difficult growing seasons in memory in Burgundy (devastating frost, followed by two months of rain and mildew pressure), has arisen what may be one of the finest vintages we've tasted. And while the memory of the huge crop losses from the catastrophic frost of April 27 and subsequent Herculean efforts in the vines throughout May and June to stave off some of the worst attacks of mildew many vignerons had ever encountered, the weather broke and Burgundy saw perfect growing conditions from July through September. And though yields were down dramatically, the fruit that remained was in excellent condition.

As for the the whites, they offer a cool-toned energy and transparency with floral aromatics, white fruits and nearly kinetic acidity to the finish. 2016 is a vintage where the low yields offer great intensity without weight, (a trick Burgundy performs brilliantly). At the moment most are fairly tightly wound, though they have plenty coiled within and should flesh out with a bit of time in the cellar. These are immensely satisfying, terroir-driven wines and deserve a place at your table and in your cellar. Happy hunting! John McIlwain

Chavy, Philippe 2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay

Fresh and cool-toned aromatically, the 2016 Philippe Chavy Bourgogne Blanc balances charm and  energy at a civilized (for white Burgundy) price point. Meyer lemon, white flower and stone fruit aromas dominate the nose. The briskly fresh palate displays citrus peel, white apricot, and stony flavors on a succulent and zesty finish with good mineral detail. A fine aperitif, but with enough depth to grace the table with shellfish, sea bass, and milder cheeses. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic

Chavy, Philippe 2016 Meursault Narvaux

The 2016 Meursault Les Narvaux is a vibrant and mineral expression of the clay limestone terroir. The nose offers a fine combination of white flowers, citrus peel, and wet stone aromas framed by a touch of oak, while the palate offers a good tension between concentrated yellow fruit flavors and an overt minerality carrying over to the long, detailed finish. This is displaying nascent complexity and should reveal even more layers with a couple of years in the cellar. Superb Narvaux! John McIlwain

  • white
  • 8 in stock
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $104.99

  • Organic

Chevrot 2016 Bourgogne Aligote "Quatre Terroirs"

An Aligoté of startling intensity and freshness. Stone and lemon flavors are given drive and buoyancy by a driving minerality. In an especially trying vintage Pablo Chevrot has delivered a few absolute gems and this is one of the brightest! Highly recommended! John McIlwain

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

De Villaine, A.et P. 2016 Bouzeron Aligoté

If there's a "grand cru" for the Aligoté grape it is probably in the appellation of Bouzeron. And Domaine A & P de Villaine  produces one of best. The  low-yielding, aromatic Aligoté d'Or grapes are farmed organically, pressed gently, and fermented in tank and oak casks.  A bright and briny Bouzeron from Aubert de Villaine displays the chalky, ground oyster shell nerviness of the Aligoté grape. The 2016 offers aromas of sea breeze, Meyer lemon peel, lemon verbena, and white fruits on the nose. Citrus fruit and saline character mark the racy, brisk palate with a long chalky lifted finish. Enjoy with fresh goat cheeses, or a platter of raw oysters. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $40.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Lafouge 2016 Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers

"Les Boutonniers" is contiguous with Meursault "Meix Chavaux" on shallow soils of clay, high in iron, over the limestone bedrock, usually giving a somewhat lean and very "mineral" white Burgundy, but still with a bit more fat and fruit expression than the Lafouge  "Les Hautés."  The 2016 shows very floral aromas with pear, citrus and stone. The palate is crystalline, supple and dense, with nice weight on the palate, with pretty white fruits leading to a long finish with citrus peel, spice and mineral flavors. This is a lovely, very refreshing Burgundy to enjoy with grilled fish, roast chicken and goat cheeses. It's delicious now and will cellar nicely for eight to ten years. DL

  • white
  • 16 in stock
  • $38.99

Lafouge 2016 Auxey-Duresses Les Hautés Blanc

From a north-facing parcel fairly high on the slope next to Meursault Les Vireuils. The Lafouge "Les Hautés" is a beautifully dense and well-structured Burgundy in this low-yielding vintage. The wine shows a bright gold color with aromas of spiced pear and apple, melon, honeysuckle, stone, flint and lemon zest. The palate is dense and well structured with ripe white fruits, toasted almond, citrus and flinty mineral flavors - quite ripe but with firm citrusy acids and fabulous length.  Serve now with sole meunier, turbot and cod - this will be a beautiful wine with 5 to 8 years of cellaring. David Lillie

  • white
  • 13 in stock
  • $38.99

Lafouge 2016 Meursault Les Casses-Têtes

The Meursault  lieu-dit Les Casses Têtes is located on the hillside above the premier cru Les Gouttes d'Or and next to Le Tesson. The soils are thin and rocky producing wines of great energy and lift.Green-gold robe. White flowers, honeysuckle, lemon blossom, faint creaminess on the nose with aromas of wet stone, citrus peel and pith following. This is bright and cool-toned aromatically, and not just a bit reticent on opening. The palate is nervy and electric on the attack with a salty mineral cast, followed by flavors of orchard fruit, lemon curd, and hints of green tea on a lean, albeit concentrated mid-palate with a pleasing bit of bitterness on the succulent, rising finish. This is mouth-watering and has a coiled tension that hints at greater complexity to accompany the vibrant, juicy character at the moment. I like the energy and suspect this will put on weight and benefit from short to mid-term aging and beyond. On day 2 the wine has picked up weight and gras with more stone fruit flavors and still more mineral spice notes and layered complexity. The aromatics have taken on more dimension as well with richer fruit, a touch of toast, and a hint of sea spray. There is far more here than meets the eye, so I'd decant if enjoying now or age for a few years to allow the elements to knit. Perhaps not cut from the same cloth as the excellent 2014, but fantastic energy and surprising depth the longer it's open. Paired with pan-roasted scallops, braised leeks, and Sea Island grits. Would likely be a splendid pairing with sautéed flounder and brown butter or poulet à la creme. For lovers of well-priced, pure Burgundies, Lafouge is always worth investigating. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $55.99

  • white
  • 10 in stock
  • $72.99

  • Organic

Lamy, Hubert 2016 St Aubin 1er Cru Les Frionnes 375ml

The 2016 Hubet Lamy St Aubin Les Frionnes 1er cru is a stellar expression of the vintage. Again there's the kaleidoscopic array of white fruit and citrus aromas giving way to almost briny sea spray notes. The palate displays a galloping drive that has one struggling for synonyms for energy. This has pure white fruit flavors and a geologist's textbook worth of stoniness and with a few years in the cellar this ought to flesh out into a truly lovely wine. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 24 in stock
  • $40.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $41.99

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $99.99

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $139.99

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $279.99

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Collet, Romain 2016 Chablis Les Pargues

The road of minerality is (often) paved with Kimmeridgian limestone. White flowers, sea spray, wet stone, quinine, lemon pith on nose. Salt, citrus, green tea, and nearly kinetic stoniness on the palate. Vibrant, energetic, incandescent, and lifted on the finish. Just the thing for a platter of oysters, sautéed flounder, or fresh goat cheeses. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic

Ente, Benoit 2016 Bourgogne Blanc

A little backwards out of the gate with a touch of reduction which recedes to reveal aromas of lemon pith, flint, chlorophyll (think of shucking fresh peas), just a bit of oak. White fruit and pungent minerality on a deftly stony palate, which is layered and complex, if not overly dense. Finish is savory, mouthwatering, and succulent rather than overtly fruit-driven. Plenty here, but decant first or maybe cellar for another couple of years to let all the elements integrate. This is delicious, racy, and cool-toned, rather than plush. This nerviness would make it a fine match with mild white fish, scallops, goat cheeses, and milder cheeses. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

Ente, Benoit 2016 Puligny-Montrachet Nexe Flore

A blend of 57% Puligny villages with 43% Puligny 1er Truffière. Nexe Flore is a play on words, per Allen Meadows, of "next floor," implying a step up from the Puligny villages tout court. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $104.99

Lamy, Hubert 2016 St Aubin 1er Cru Les Frionnes

The 2016 Hubet Lamy St Aubin Les Frionnes 1er cru is a stellar expression of the vintage. Again there's the kaleidoscopic array of white fruit and citrus aromas giving way to almost briny sea spray notes. The palate displays a galloping drive that has one struggling for synonyms for energy. This has pure white fruit flavors and a geologist's textbook worth of stoniness and with a few years in the cellar this ought to flesh out into a truly lovely wine. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $72.99

  • Organic

Pernot 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Garenne

White flowers, honeysuckle, lemon blossom, sweet pea, wet stone on the nose. Bright, punchy, mineral, and precise on the palate with white stone fruit flavors and a racy, briny core of stone. Great balance and deft framing of oak lends a suave character to the long, nascently complex finish. Young, but tasty with some air, though it will become more compelling with a few years in the cellar. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $64.99