Still the One: The Best Values in Burgundy Return

Posted on: 01/29/19 8:31 PM


Bryczek has been a store favorite for a few vintages now, and for good reason. The wines are supple, accurate and outright delicious. With less than 4 hA spread over only four relatively humble Village appellations and a lone, quirky 1er cru, one could easily overlook this miniscule Domaine. But people often miss the mark on just how difficult it is to find a reliable Village wine that truly speaks of Chambolle or Gevrey or Morey. After all, there’s a relative ocean of it, but little that really rewards drinking. In the same vein, few people appreciate just how versatile and delicious Village wine can be. On the one hand, it is approachable in youth, yet, on the other, it can age gracefully for a decade and, not infrequently, much longer.

With so much stacked against him, Christophe Bryczek is often lost in the shuffle. Nonetheless, it redounds to our favor. With no one beating down his door for Richebourg or Musigny or Montrachet, the demand is relatively low. As such, prices are often absurd for wines of this quality and pedigree. After all, though Christophe Bryczeks’s wines may be from humble appellations, his winemaking regime is influenced by one of Burgundy’s most elevated producers: Jean-Marie Fourrier.

Christophe Bryczek’s sister is Jean-Marie Fourrier’s wife; in fact, it is this marriage which brought the tiny Domaine its spectacular slice of Morey-St.-Denis Clos Solon; it is also this union that raised the stakes at this fine, but often modest Domaine. You see, there is something energetic, bristling and outright supple about Bryczek’s wines that recalls some of the magic Jean-Marie conjures from the vine. Seductive, lush and long, yet structured and serious, these humble wines overdeliver and provide us with what Burgundy was meant for: the joy of drinking them.

There are few producers I feel as enthusiastically about as I do about Bryczek. The range is impressive in its clarity: the Chambolle is always supple, sapid, silky and sweet, whereas both the Gevrey and Morey offer plenty of earthy, savory funk paired with ripe, chunky fruit in the former and crunchier, higher toned fruit in the latter. The jewel in the crown is always the lone 1er Cru from Morey: Chenevery. Christened “Cuvée du Pape” by Christophe’s grandfather out of pride in honor of his fellow Pole Jean-Paul II’s ascension to the papacy, the wine has always caused a stir.

I have been doing this for some time now and, frankly, there are no finer values in Burgundy than Bryczek. Vintage in and vintage out, the quality remains ever the same: supple wines that are both elegant and seductive. And at these prices, they are irresistible!

2016 Chambolle-Musigny

40+ year old vines from several sites in the village. Always one of my favorite Chambolles, with a haunting florality and silken mouthfeel that is impressive for its suavity and elegance.

2016 Morey-St.-Denis “Clos Solon”

55+ year old vines. This is the plot inherited from Fourrier after his sister and he married. Clos Solon is an excellent site, just below 1er cru La Riotte in the center of the village. With humid, rich soils, this produces one of the more seductive and succulent Moreys, often tending toward the mossy, earthy and savory end of the flavor spectrum and finishing with classic Morey spiciness.

2016 Gevrey-Chambertin “Aux Echezeaux”

35+ year old vines from one of the finer Gevrey Village Lieux-Dits, tucked under Mazoyères-Chambertin and bordering Morey 1er Aux Chezeaux to the south. With a generous and opulent palate of creamy fruit, this Gevrey is almost irresistible. Add in the earthy Gevrey funk and fine, long tannins and the wines can be hard to keep in the cellar. You may find one too many migrating to your table far earlier than you had anticipated!

2015 Morey-St.-Denis 1er “Cuvee du Pape Jean-Paul II” 

100% 1er Chenevery vines planted in 1920. Sees 30% new wood. Always, rich, smokey and earthy, with plenty of sauvage and wild Morey fruit. One of the most unique bottles produced in Burgundy and the real treasure hidden at this jewel of a Domaine!

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert