“Nothing is more difficult than simplicity”: 2016 Domaine A. & P. Villaine

Posted on: 05/3/18 7:56 PM


Like Prudhon, Domaine A. & P. de Villaine offers incredible value. However, nothing Aubert de Villaine has ever done as been “under-the-radar.” It turns out that when you run Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, people tend to take notice of any other activities in the wine world you may undertake.

After all, other luminaries who are affiliated with DRC have gone to found some of Burgundy’s most prestigious Domaines: Madame Lalou Bize Leroy set up shop with Domaines Leroy and d’Auvenay, while Henri Roch founded the iconoclastic Domaine Prieuré-Roch. All three of these Domaines have passionate adherents the world over. Their wines are produced in minuscule quantities and sell for obscene sums of money. Grand Cru and noble 1ers Crus from DRC-affiliated producers? Yeah, it’s going to hurt.

Thankfully, when Aubert looked to make his own mark, he decided to try his hand at being humble.He began assembling small parcels in his home village of Bouzeron, as well as other under-appreciated terroirs in the Chalonnaise, especially in Rully.

A thoughtful, contemplative man of the earth, de Villaine saw his efforts here not as a step away from his work at DRC, but rather an expansion of the vision he worked so hard to implement and maintain there. Simply put: to produce and represent the best of Burgundy.


He realized early on that the project he had set himself was far more difficult than what he was doing at DRC. After all, it isn’t that difficult to make a stunning Montrachet, La Tâche or Romanée-Conti. These are the greatest vineyards in the world for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producing legendary wines that can age for decades and yield wines of great complexity.

Rully, Bouzeron and the other humble appellations Aubert was taking his hand to, however, do not produce such blockbusting wines. Aubert feels deeply that these are terroirs very much worthy of our attention, yet the wines they produce are not incredibly complex, but rather tend toward the simple. Wise man that he is, Aubert summarized his conundrum well noting that “nothing is more difficult than simplicity.”

And yet, unsurprisingly, the project has been a smashing success. The whites and reds from this humble Domaine regularly outclass wines of much greater repute. Of course, as with anything with any – even tangential – connection to DRC, demand far exceeds supply. So, alas, there is rarely much of these wines to go around. That said, they are ALWAYS worth your time and effort to secure. And I am proud to offer them to you.

2016 Domaine A. & P. de Villaine
2016 Bourgogne Blanc Les Clous
2016 Rully Blanc Les St. Jacques 
2016 Bourgogne Rouge La Fortune
2016 Bourgogne Rouge La Digoine
2016 Mercurey Les Montots

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert