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Few estates gave all of us at CSW greater pleasure last year than the 2018s from Domaine Tripoz. Despite the intense warmth of the vintage, they made wines that felt fresh, racy and expressive, and that easily outstripped their relatively modest price. We were powerless against them and when I finished my very last bottle of Mâcon-Loché just a few weeks ago, I felt a pang of regret.
So it was with more than a little joy that my colleagues and I received the news that the 2019s were arriving. I have made no bones about the charms of this brilliant vintage in Burgundy—the whites and reds alike are brimming with ripeness and energy. What's more, we have the chance this year to offer them alongside another longtime favorite, Domaine Guillot-Broux. These are two dynamic estates in perhaps the most viticulturally progressive and exciting part of Burgundy today.
Céline and Laurent Tripoz have been producing their own wines since 1990, incorporating organic and biodynamic viticulture into their vineyard practices along the way. Today they are certified biodynamic across the estate, which includes several parcels that they planted themselves that have never been treated with any herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic products. These wines have a nervous quality, almost vibrating.
Guillot-Broux holds a special place in my heart. Years ago, when I lived briefly in Beaune, a friend asked me if I would be willing to take some friends of his out on a day of tasting at some domaines. Unfortunately, it was to be a Sunday and appointments were hard to find. Vigneron Emmanuel Guillot came to the rescue. He was happy to receive us and spent nearly two hours showing us all his wines. My guests loved them, bought bottles and left thrilled.
But even without this experience to color my thoughts, I also love these wines. The farming is among the best anywhere: certified organic since 1991, and Emmanuel's grandfather created the first organic vineyard in Burgundy in 1954. The range of bottlings from around the village of Cruzille is a great lesson in terroir and the wines are invariably precise, individual and delicious.
The Mâcon is a cluster of rolling hills and valleys, very different from the long slope of the Côte d'Or. Each hamlet has a distinct profile, drawn from the different soils and micro-climates. The Tripoz wines are all clustered around the village of Loché, which is distinguished by alluvial soils rich with gravel and loose limestone. The wines are pungent with lemon and tropical notes, salty freshness, and racy texture. The Guillots hang their hats in Cruzille, where the vineyards are dense with marl and limestone. Their wines lean towards stone fruit notes and white flowers and a mineral expression that is more chalky and dense-feeling. They also produce among the most delightful reds south of Santenay. Cruzille rouges are made with Gamay rather than Pinot Noir and are a great alternative to Beaujolais.
This is a great opportunity to really delve into Mâcon wines and explore a corner of Burgundy that remains the last great bastion of value in the region, through an outstanding range of bottles that can be drunk now or in 5-10 years. Sam Ehrlich
***ALL WINES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK-UP THURSDAY 9/9***
A parcel of 25-30-year-old vines planted on a thin layer of clay-limestone over blue clay subsoil. This is extremely pretty, with white fruit on top of quite spicy aromatics. The finish is flinty and bright and there is a generally lovely sense of energy to the wine. The only G-B offering located outside of the Cruzille appellation. Sam Ehrlich
Always a favorite of mine in the Guillot-Broux range, this parcel was abandoned until the family cleared it and replanted it in 1983. The soil is a bit deeper here, anywhere from two to seven meters of limestone and clay. There is more citrus character here than in the other Cruzille bottlings, alongside the hallmark white floral notes that run through all of these wines. The overall sense here is one of intense focus and precision. This is very good wine. Sam Ehrlich
A very old planting of Chardonnay muscaté, which produces quite exotic notes. The vines were all planted between 1936 and 1954, in red marl soils. The aromatics here are very pretty and certainly live up to the variety's reputation—they are rich and musky, a bit like ripe cantaloupe. That said, the feel is quite delicate and there is terrific potential for aging here. Lovely. Sam Ehrlich
From 25-30 year old vines planted in clay and limestone, this is just a terrific village wine. The nose has lovely peach and floral notes, as well as a touch of toasty reduction. The minerality is palpable here and no shortage of acidity for length and energy. Consider a short splashy decant and watch this wine really come to life, with yellow and green citrus notes and more stone fruit. Sam Ehrlich
From vines just outside Pouilly itself, this sees nearly two years in oak. Apparently in 2019, they had to fight to get AOC status for this. The authorities found "oxidative"notes that they felt rendered it unworthy of an appellation designation. After tasting this wine, I am baffled. This is superb, full fruited with tropical and citrus notes and an incredible mineral thread. There is great intensity and beautiful acidity. Honestly, when we at the store tasted this we were all flattened by it. Don't miss out. Sam Ehrlich
Abandoned after phylloxera because the soil was so rocky and difficult to work, the Guillot family replanted this parcel in 1978 and we are glad they did. The limestone is dense here, with very thin topsoil. The resulting wine is marked by super high-toned white fruit and flowers and there is something akin to yogurt in the mid-palate, simultaneously creamy and tart. The mineral component is intense, very exposed and stays with you in the finish long after you are done drinking. Tremendous wine. Sam Ehrlich
Le Clos Blanc is a small parcel within Les Perrières so tight and restrictive that everything must be done by hand. It was thusly planted at much higher density than the other vineyards (18,500 vines per hectare rather than the usual 10,000) and the Chardonnay is all ungrafted. The nose screams opulence, intensely tropical and spicy. On the palate, there is more of that exotic fruit, pineapple and green mango, but all underscored with a bolt of chalky minerality that recalls Corton-Charlemagne. Honestly, this is Grand Cru quality and will reward patience if you can cellar it. Just 1 barrel produced. Sam Ehrlich
The only red in today's offer. Pure Gamay grown on marl and limestone, this is bursting with fresh crunchy raspberry and strawberry fruit and underpinned by great mineral structure. However, what I find most seductive here is an intense note of crushed black pepper. These wines have always displayed this in my experience, and often shows up in Bourgogne Passetoutgrains. I am a sucker for it. This is just delightful. Sam Ehrlich
In 2019 Laurent and Celine bottled a portion of their signature still wine without sulfur and we are so glad. The difference is most noticeable in the first hour, as the wine jumps out of the glass with more exotic fruit notes than the sulfured version, as well as intense floral notes. The bright juicy Meyer lemon-stained palate that made the 2018 so enjoyable is on full display here and the acidity is bright and racy. This is excellent. The evening I spent drinking this side by side with its sibling was not just fun but fascinating as the the two bottles drew closer together the longer they sat in the glass. Sam Ehrlich