2020 Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru, Clos de la Mouchère, Domaine Henri Boillot
Boillot’s four-hectare monopole Clos de la Mouchère is always a favourite, and it’s no different in 2020. This sub-section of Perrières produces a particularly honeyed expression of the site. After Pucelles, it is instantly richer, more expressive and fuller with layers of stone-fruit and honey complementing a backbone of vibrant citrus pith. There’s a lovely line to it, with delicate sweet spice and honeysuckle florals – but what really stands out is the unbelievable concentration of fruit at its core. Powerful yet balanced, this is sleek with a long, scented finish.
2020 Chevalier-Montrachet, Grand Cru, Bouchard Père & Fils
The Grand Cru whites from Bouchard are all brilliant. It is hard to choose a favourite but the Chevalier’s complexity, balance and minerality is impossible to resist. Bouchard owns 2.3 hectares of this seven-hectare Grand Cru and are the only domaine to have vines on the four varying terraces of the vineyard, offering the most complete rendition of this famous site. The nose is deep and mineral, with restrained citrus oil aromas. The palate has a wonderfully taut structure with dried apricot, mandarin and yellow apple fruit notes. The palate has incredible depth, rich and creamy in texture but never losing that mineral grip. The finish is silky, saline, zesty and exceptionally long.
2020 Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, Grand Cru, Maison Roche de Bellene
It’s fascinating tasting through a full flight of Montrachets with Nicolas Potel, and the Criots was one of our favourites. Criots is the rarest of the Montrachets, at just 1.57 hectares. The soil here is stonier, producing an elegant and refined style of Chardonnay. In 2020, the wine is enticing with aromas of delicate lemon and almost orange citrus, fine sweet spice, toast and richer tones of white nectarine and flat peach. The palate is refined and vibrant with mouth-watering acidity that drives a long, citrus-peel-edged finish.
2020 Chambolle-Musigny, Premier Cru, Les Charmes, Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat
Charles van Canneyt has 0.21 hectares of this desirable Premier Cru. It is singing in 2020 – gorgeously expressive, with all the prettiness of great Chambolle, combined with the luxuriousness of this site. The nose is littered with delicate florals – rose and violet pot pourri – with dainty berry fruit and a hint of white pepper. On the palate it’s incredibly pure, with incredibly fine, lace-textured tannins that only Pinot Noir can offer. Elusive, ethereal, this is beautiful red Burgundy.
Charles van Canneyt in the cellar at Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat
2020 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Premier Cru, Les Pruliers, Domaine David Duband
This was one of many stand-out wines in Duband’s impressive set of 2020s. All the Nuits-Saint-Georges Premiers Crus in particular were full of energy and character, but Les Pruliers tipped it with its endorphin-rushing finish. The wine is both juicy in its fruit concentration and vinous-like with its herbal-edged tones. There is a lovely interplay here between these two complementing flavours. The tannins are very fine, almost imperceptible, and the acidity brings so much vibrancy to the palate, awash with fresh black cherry fruit. The fantail finish has a great energy to it and the appellation’s trademark minerality comes through delicately on the long finish. Wow!
2020 Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Malconsorts, Domaine du Clos Frantin, Albert Bichot
Albert Bichot is the largest owner of Malconsorts, with 1.76 of the 2.5-hectare Premier Cru neighbouring La Tâche. In 2020, it is exceptional. The nose opens with rich, concentrated plum and cherry fruit, with floral and spice notes. The powerful tannins are well balanced, the wood bringing enough to balance the wine’s incredible fruit profile. There is a great density and tension on the mid-palate, with more spice and cedar notes, the clean acidity driving a fresh, long, crunchy finish which reveals more plum. This is worth all the effort, an absolutely brilliant wine.
2020 Vosne-Romanée, Premier Cru, Les Petits Monts, Domaine Georges Noëllat
Georges Noëllat’s Les Petits Monts is absolutely stunning and one of many highlights from the domaine in 2020. It manages the rare feat of being incredibly dense and concentrated on the palate, while remaining ethereally light at the same time. There is plenty of crunchy blackberry and black cherry fruit flavours, of which the clarity and richness is perfectly pitched. The tannins bring a beguiling textural finesse, so fine and impeccably balanced. The wine is moreish in the best possible sense, with a very long, mouth-watering finish. Outstanding.
2020 Clos des Lambrays, Grand Cru, Domaine des Lambrays
Having the opportunity to taste five different plots separately, and then in the final blend of Clos des Lambrays, is an extraordinary experience and a masterclass in blending. Each distinct characteristic from the varying plots comes through effortlessly in the final blend, laying out the wonderous complexity of this special site. The floral, herbal, earthy, vegetal notes from the lower part of the slope provide a stunning, complex, perfumed nose which balances the richer red cherry fruit of La Plante vines beautifully, while there’s a mineral crunch to the finish from Cerisier (the lower left part of the slope). The delicate push and pull of the tannins, integrated with vibrant acidity, is wonderful. The wine is full of finesse but has no shortage of depth, with an amazing mid-palate roundness. This is hard to fault.
2020 Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru, Domaine Georges Lignier
The aromatic complexity of this wine is captivating, with lovely, lifted, heightened, dried floral aromatics, interspersed with cranberry and crunchy redcurrant notes and a smoky minerality – almost flinty with a touch of burnt earth. On the palate the concentration of fruit is rich, ripe and fleshy, which is a lovely contrast to the mineral, herbal, scented nose. There is no shortage of acidity either bringing a great raciness to the palate and a lovely savoury bitterness too. Despite the fleshy mid-palate, the wine tightens up with wonderful linearity, ending with lovely focus and energy on the long finish.
2020 La Grande Rue, Grand Cru, Domaine Lamarche
Lamarche’s iconic monopole is a narrow 1.65-hectare plot across the road from the Romanées. Nicole Lamarche has a magical touch in the winery, and this was unsurprisingly extraordinary in 2020. It’s a wine one could smell forever, so pretty that it stops you in your tracks. It offers remarkable delicacy with a texture like the finest silk. Remarkable minerality is woven between dainty red-berry fruit and fine florals, with remarkably finessed, barely-there tannins. There is, as Nicole says, “un côté mystique” to the wine. It shifts in the glass endlessly – ethereal and with an eternal finish. Extraordinary.