***These were first offered earlier this year to great enthusiasm. We have small amounts more of three important cuvees. Don’t miss them this time!***
A & P de Villaine sells for all the wrong reasons, which I cheekily jested about in in my subject line. Yes, this is the personal, family Domaine of Aubert de Villaine, perhaps best known as the director of the holiest of all French wine holies - Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. And, yes, it is this aspect which most piques the interest of the market. And, yet, all of the hype aside: these are soulful wines from one of the most passionate producers in Burgundy. That's why you should buy them, but I know it is not why many will.
Aubert de Villaine is one of Burgundy's most sensitive and history-conscious producers, and his Domaine in Bouzeron is not a pass time. No. Rather, he sees the Côte Chalonaise as equally important in the history of Burgundy as the more noble appellations he works with to the north. In fact, he and his wife Pamela were instrumental in bringing attention to the ancient and superior variety of Aligoté Doré and how this clone makes Bouzeron the best spot for this unjustly unheralded Burgundian grape.
Despite his day job of managing DRC, Aubert has always considered himself a vigneron. After settling in Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise, Aubert and his wife Pamela set about exploring the terroirs of the area – Bouzeron, Rully and Mercurey. Almost singlehandedly, the two helped to resurrect the appellation of Bouzeron, as well as bring more deserved attention to the fascinating wines of these too often overlooked regions.
Bouzeron is most famous for its whites, which, unlike other appellations in Burgundy, is not Chardonnay, but Aligoté. The monks at Cluny had planted vines in Bouzeron as early as the 12th century, and through de Villaine’s tireless efforts, the appellation was finally recognized by the AOC in 1997.
In addition to the whites here, de Villaine planted Pinot Noir in two single vineyard plots – La Digoine and Fortune – which are both bottled proudly as Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise. Supple, fragrant, delicate and sweetly fruited, both are exceptional and both age very, very well.
I have tasted at this Domaine for several vintages now. Not only are these stupendously good wines, but they have improved every year. These really are among the best values in all of Burgundy, and seem to hit every note for every kind of drinker or collector. I cannot recommend them enough.