Private Collection: Mostly Burgundy

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Perfectly cellared wines, purchased on release.

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Marguet Père and Fils 2014 Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Ambonnay Rosé (disg. 3/19)

While we love biodynamic grower Benoît Marguet's Champagnes for their combination of Ambonnay power and frank minerality, it may be that his most pleasurable wine is his excellent vintage-dated rosé. Chardonnay dominated in a village noted for its Pinot Noir, the wine offer a beautiful nose highlighted by aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry seed, tarragon, and chalk. The palate is brightly mineral and structured, with a deep stoniness at its core within its layers of ripe red fruits and savory notes. The wine balances deftly its grand cru power with a lacy bead, vibrant acidity, and achingly pretty florality. This is natural Champagne and an absolute joy to drink.  John McIlwain

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Chauvenet 2013 Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains

From a .41 HA parcel of old vines next to Chaboeufs on the north side of Vaucrains. The soils are brown, "fat clays make it hard to work the earth" according to vigneron Christophe Drag, with large oolithic stones are the top of the slope. Always the sternest and most majestic of Chauvenet's crus, the 2013 is aromatically dense with layered dark-fruit, game, and spice aromas giving way to pungent soil notes. The palate is similarly complex with pure black cherry, plum, and earthy flavors underlain with distinctively savory, verging on pungent mineral component on a muscular, driving, persistent finish. There are substantial acidity and ripe tannins girding this masculine, but not coarse Vaucrains, which will benefit with time in the cellar. Decant now,  better still in 7-10 years when this should sing. A beautiful Vaucrains! John McIlwain

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Chauvenet 2014 Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains

From a .41 hectare parcel planted in 1940 and 1984. Les Vaucrains is situated upslope of the premier crus Les St. Georges and Les Cailles in the middle portion of Nuits St. Georges. The soils are a blend of brown clay, limestone, sand, and rock producing vigorous, powerful, and elegant wines of great ageablity. Vigneron Christoph Drag says of the climat, “the fat clays make it hard to work the earth.” Domaine Chauvenet’s 2014 Vaucrains has a darker robe than Les Perrières. The nose is effusive, offering a kaleidoscopic mélange of black fruit aromas, cassis, brown spices, game and iron; over time notes of crushed blackberry, grilled meat, and wet stone emerge. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied and supple, offering flavors of ripe blackberry, Italian plum, iodine, game, and wood smoke on a long, layered, and mouth-watering finish. There is plenty of power and intensity here, without a sense of weight; deft acidity offers a sense of lift and freshness. This is a beautiful and complex Vaucrains and exciting wine in the making, with a sensational interplay of pure, ripe fruit and savory minerality. While one could enjoy this now, it has the structure and balance to age harmoniously for years. John McIlwain

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Digioia-Royer 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Groseilles

This is the smallest domaine in Chambolle-Musigny. Chambers Street Wines gets one case of 1er Cru les Groseilles a year, the entire NY State allocation! You owe it to yourself to try these wines; buy some of the Bourgogne Rouge and cellar some of the 1er Crus. His wines have a remarkable purity and the unmistakable perfume of Chambolle. JBT

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Digioia-Royer 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers

This is a third generation Chambolle-Musigny based domaine that Michel Digioia has been running since 1999. When he took over, he quickly stopped using systematic treatments (preferring a lutte raisonnee approach) in his vineyards, with absolutely no herbicides, instead preferring to work the soil through plowing. Michel Digioia's wines are very pure and fine; he tries to grow the best grapes that he can and then do as little as possible in the cellar. He uses minimal new oak.

Gruenchers is a great 1er Cru of Chambolle Musigny located just below Les Fuées. The other producers of Gruenchers are Dujac, Fourrier, and Barthod. Here is a great example of les Gruenchers that you could buy today! JBT

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Felettig, Gilbert et Christine 2014 Vosne Romanée

From the lieux-dits Les Chalendins and Aux Jachées. The 2014 Vosne-Romanée from Domaine Gilbert et Christine Felettig offers great value in a village where affordable is (at best) a relative term. The nose offers an array of attractive floral and dark fruit aromas leaning more towards hedge fruits than orchard fruits. On the palate the wine offers wild blackberry and raspberry flavors on a succulent spicy and tangy finish. A lovely Vosne  for the mid-term cellaring and a tremendous value for the appellation. Quite tasty now, with air; better still in 5-7 years and beyond. A solid choice for Peking duck and certainly a treat with a perfectly cooked hamburger. John McIlwain

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Lignier, Georges 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes

At the beginning of the 2015 I was lucky enough to taste the 2012s from Domaine Georges Lignier and then visit the domaine and taste with winemaker Benoit Stehly, nephew of Georges Lignier, who after working alongside his uncle has recently taken over the estate. The Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru Aux Combottes is a wine wine whose beauty makes me dream of tasting it at its apogee. A lovely blend of perfume, spice, and minerality. Beguiling in its youth, this cries out for a slumber in the cave for 12-15 years. Maybe I'll open it for a Christmas or New Year's years from now and look back fondly on when I first tasted it. So if you're going to insist upon a stocking stuffer, this is a darned pretty option.

Only in Gevrey-Chambertin (or perhaps Vosne-Romanée), can you be surrounded by grand crus and be considered the runt of the litter. Les Combottes is only a premier cru due to a dip in the ground rendering it somewhat cooler than its neighbors. George Lignier's parcel measures .41 hectare and is made up of 50 to 60 year old vines.  Both darker toned on the robe and aromatically than the village. Floral and black-fruited giving way to wood smoke, black tea, and game on the nose. This is ripe, savory, concentrated, poised, and mineral without giving the impression of heaviness. The finish is succulent, complex and very long. I like the energy here; the purity of fruit is framed by serious—though not severe—structure. -John McIlwain

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Magnien, Stephane 2012 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers

This is a superb "Sentiers" showing similarly to the 2010 with a bit more aromatic brightness and acidity. Elegant high-toned aromas of wild-strawberry, violet, cherry, graphite, thyme and stone. Intense palate with bright acidity with velvety, chalky texture. Black cherry, citrus, brown spice and earth with fabulous length and mineral notes lingering long on the palate. A beautiful wine that can be enjoyed immensely now, best in five to twenty years...

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