Jeanne-Marie de Champs visited us again on Tuesday night. A stalwart of the Burgundy trade, she has been both ambassador and guide to generations of Burgundy buyers, working with elite (Méo-Camuzet, Clos de Tart, et al.) and humble Domaines alike, her view of Burgundy is all-encompassing, catholic and broad in its purview.
As such, she has often been the champion of small Domaines that offer tremendous value, or deserve better attention. On Tuesday night she featured two such Domaine that remain somewhat under the radar, despite producing smashing good wines.
Domaine Sylvain Langoreau is located in the now-fashionable village of St. Aubin, where many recognized the value potential about a decade ago. Unfortunately, that potential was realized all too soon and superstar Domaines like Lamy and PYCM drove prices to well above what most would consider values.
Thank god for humble Domaines like Langoreau. The wines here are classic - mineral and elegant with great fruit - and the prices haven't skyrocketed as at so many other St. Aubin addresses.
The operations team is small - a husband and wife. The winery is little more than a glorified garage. Practices are simple and definitely veer toward the non-interventionalist: ambient yeast fermentations, small percentages of new oak, minimal lees stirring, bottling without fining or filtration.
This is an excellent source for white Burgundies well below the current tariffs. You would be wise to consider them.
Parent is a legendary name in the village of Pommard, where the family has been important landowners and winemakers for centuries. The current Parent in charge of Domaine Parent is Anne. Pommard’s reputation in Burgundy has definitely diminished in the past few decades. Once a mainstay of the Burgundy trade, the image it cuts today is not in keeping with the predilection for elegance, delicacy and finesse that is so in vogue with the Burgundy trade.
Traditionally, the syllables “Pommard” have conjured images of full bodied, meaty wines that are a bit raffish and can be brutes on the palate. The truth of the matter is that unlike villages like Meursault and Volnay, where there are literally dozens of Domaines producing exceptional wines, Pommard seems less innovative, less engaging and the producers less driven to produce exceptional wines as in other villages.
Whatever the reason, it clearly has not been for lack of great terroir - Rugiens and Epenots are among Burgundy’s best vineyards. Moreover, producers from outside the village - de Montille and Lafarge, for example - regularly produce thrilling wines from the appellation.
Enter Domaine Parent. With Anne’s ascension, she has brought a pioneering spirit and deft touch to her family’s exceptional range of holdings, and, I believe, has finally done the appellation proud. She’s making rich, powerful, and accurate wines that are very much worth paying attention to. Jeanne-Marie has been ahead of the game for about a decade now with this Domaine. And, man was she right!
This was another exceptional evening with one of Burgundy’s most engaging and knowledgeable personalities. It is an honor to offer these very fine wines to you and I recommend them without hesitation.