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The white Burgundies of the heralded 2020 vintage continue to trickle in. If you are curious why there has been so much chatter and praise surrounding them then you couldn't do much better than starting here with the brilliant Saint Romains of Henri and Gilles Buisson. These are just electric wines and not to be missed.
The Buissons have been ensconced in St. Romain for hundreds of years but the domaine dates back to just after the Second World War. Farmed organically by their father starting in the 1970s, today they hold EcoCert certification - no small feat in a hamlet as cold and tucked away as this. They have just shy of twenty hectares today and produce a range of St. Romains as definitive as one is likely to find.
St. Romain itself sits high in the hills just to the west of Meursault. When I lived in Beaune, I used to ride my bike there quite regularly. Heading south, I would turn right toward Auxey-Duresses and I could always feel a slight change in the temperature as the road wound slowly upward - even in the height of summer. St. Romain has traditionally been considered second-tier terroir due to both its isolation and the fact that the cooler clime meant later ripening vines and wines that could feel thin or austere. But like some other appellations with the same reputation, in the era of climate change St. Romain is experiencing a renaissance. In recent vintages, Buisson has produced some truly outstanding wines, both red and white, in vintages that have been considered tricky at best.
Today we are offering three single-vineyard wines and tasted in tandem they are a model lesson in terroir. These are intensely mineral, and with terrific acidity and structure that should allow for 5-10 years of improvement in the cellar. You may find it difficult not drinking them now though - these are truly delicious wines.
****This is a pre-arrival offer. Wines will be in stock and available for pick-up and/or delivery early next week.*****
From a parcel of forty-year old vines, roughly 325 meters above the valley and village of Saint Romain. The soils here are intensely chalky and this comes across immediately. This is extremely fine, with touches of citrus, white flowers and toasted bread giving dimension around the incisive mineral flavors. The acidity in all three wines today is quite astonishing - this is racy and snappy and very precise. Probably the lightest of the range today, this feels very much in conversation with first-rate Chablis. Sam Ehrlich
'Sous Le Chateau' comes from vines averaging thirty years, but high on the slope (nearly 400 meters above sea level) and facing south-southeast. This is the fullest feeling of the Buisson St. Romains, with ripe lime and orange citrus, white peach and apricot notes and some sweet spice up front. There is excellent length on the palate and plenty of stoniness at the back end. The feeling of balance here is impressive, as well as an overall drinkability that creeps up until the bottle is empty and one is left wondering what happened. Sam Ehrlich
'Sous la Velle' faces due east and is another parcel high above the valley. The vines average sixty years old though some are as old as ninety. This is a show-stopping wine. The nose and palate show lemon curd, white flowers, and limeade, with accents of buttery croissant and spice. It's unbelievably tasty. But the mineral spine of this wine is what leaves the lasting impression. The limestone here adds power and presence, aided by incredible acidity. It is as bracing as a plunge in a swimming hole. This is absolutely top class white Burgundy and not to be missed. Sam Ehrlich