Becky with the good wine.
We’ve mentioned her before and we’ll mention her again because Becky Wasserman is incredible. An American wine broker who has lived in Burgundy since 1968, she has worked with and exported some of our favorite Burgundy producers. And, she runs a predominantly female team. We respect that and know a little about having a woman-run team too. And, we just had the fortune of getting in a decent amount of Burgundy from producers that Wasserman represents.
Burgundy is a wine-making region about 200 miles southeast of Paris. Burgundy produces some of the most highly sought after white and red wines in the world and other wine-producing regions often try to emulate the Burgundian style. For such a heralded region, Burgundy is quite small in area and represents only about 3% of vines planted in France. Apart from Chablis, which is geographically set apart from the rest of Burgundy, from the northern part of the Côte de Nuits to the southern tip of Mâcon is only about 75 miles. In some ways it is an easy region to understand because there are two main grapes: Chardonnay for white wine and Pinot Noir for reds. But, one important lesson that is very clear in Burgundy is that the producer matters, or as Becky Wasserman has said, “know thy producer.”
Here’s a brief run down of the producers we brought in from the Wasserman portfolio.
Benjamin Leroux: Located in Beaune in the Côte de Beaune, Leroux has consistently produced wines we love. Benjamin is a gifted young winemaker who was formerly at the prestigious Domaine Clos des Epeneaux (Comte Armand). He now makes wine from his own vineyards as well as purchasing fruit from selected growers producing top quality fruit. He is a master at delivering purity of fruit alongside a seamless texture in his wines which have only the subtlest influence of oak.
Domaine Jean-Marc et Thomas Bouley: to be honest, we were less familiar with this producer and only ordered a sample bottle to start with, but we were so blown away by the oomph of the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune that we brought as much of it in as we could and we also brought in the Volnay and Volnay Vieilles Vignes. The domaine is located in Volnay in the Côte de Beaune and the red wines have intense and vibrant ruby or garnet color. From the first glance, these wines make you want to taste them! The notes of fresh red or black berries in these very expressive wines are also an invitation to indulge. Balanced on the palate, with silky tannins, creating harmonious wines. And, the 2017’s are a great example of Burgundian elegance.
Domaine des Croix: David Croix made a name for himself as winemaker for the negociant Camille Giroud. In 2005, David, with investors, started Domaine des Croix with vineyard holdings focused around Beaune. His mission since has been to dedicate himself to showing off the character of these Beaune terroirs, which for too long have been under appreciated.
Berthaut-Gerbet: Amélie Berthaut is lucky enough to have inherited vineyards from both her mother and father, who owned and managed their own separate family domaines, thus founding Berthaut-Gerbet. Based in Fixin in the Côte de Nuits, Amélie Berthaut makes some of the most beautiful, refined and elegant Pinot Noirs we’ve had, all while using organic and sustainable practices in the vineyards and the winery. Amélie is a rising star winemaker with a work ethic to match; she’s hard-working, thoughtful, talented, and humble. Her aim is to get the sometimes forgotten wines of Fixin to be taken seriously again, and we think she’s just the person to do it.
Bonus Loire Producer from the Wasserman portfolio:
Nicolas Joly: Nicolas Joly is one of the pioneers of the biodynamic movement in wine; he’s sometimes referred to as the Godfather of biodynamic wine and his estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since the 1980s. Based in Savennières which is known for its high quality Chenin Blanc. The Clos de Coulee de Serrant, Joly’s top wine, is a rare monopole (an appellation or designated area of vines controlled by a single producer). His wines are special; they are mineral driven and complex Chenin Blancs. Joly harvests grapes only when ripe, often leading to multiple passes and a long picking period, in order to get the most expressive and complex Chenin possible.