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Burgundy 2019: under-the-radar gems

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Each of these wines stood out in our tastings this year – coming with an unusual back story, or from an appellation you wouldn’t expect for the producer. All of them have somehow managed to stay out of the limelight, but are, in our view, more than worthy of your attention

2019 VOUGEOT, PREMIER CRU, LES PETITS VOUGEOTS, DOMAINE HUDELOT-NOËLLAT

Charles van Canneyt has 0.5 hectares of this Premier Cru, sandwiched between Clos de la Perrière and Le Clos Blanc. It’s one to watch – and a site that Charles thinks is benefiting from global warming, thanks to its limestone soils. In 2019 the wine is dark, rich and intense but with bright, sweet berry fruit that also has a vibrant crunch to it. Refreshing acidity balances the plush, dark cherry fruit on the palate, while delicate notes of violet florals and black tea fill the finish.

2019 CHEMIN DES MOINES DE VERGY, DOMAINE GROS FRÈRE & SOEUR, VIN DE FRANCE

This is only the third vintage of this delicious curiosity from Gros Frère & Soeur. Planted in 2014 and 2015, this plot sits at the top of the Côte, beyond the borders of the Burgundy appellation (hence its Vin de France status) and at high altitude. Overlooking the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanée, the vines are trained high – with a full 2.5 metres’ worth of canopy to capture as much sunshine as possible at these cool and dizzy heights. The resulting wine is supple, soft and bright, with crunchy sour cherry and redcurrant fruit. Light and fresh, with a long finish of vibrant acidity, it’s a fun addition to the range – and one that will be interesting to follow in the coming years as temperatures continue to rise.

2019 VOLNAY, PREMIER CRU, DOMAINE GEORGES LIGNIER

The Lignier family line runs through Benoît Stelhy’s mother’s side, but his father’s side also as vines, with 46 acres in Volnay and 12 in Pommard. They’re old vines and he buys the grapes in, although works closely to manage the vineyards in the same way as his own, with grass cover all year. He picks the fruit himself though with family and friends helping – “It’s a little bit like we go on holiday,” he tells us, travelling down to the Côte de Beaune to harvest, normally on a Sunday morning. His Premier Cru Volnay was a treat to taste – pretty and perfumed, it’s laden with bright, crunchy red berries, but there’s a mineral line that lends finesse. Dainty, fine and truly delicious.

2019 MOREY-SAINT-DENIS, PREMIER CRU, CLOS SORBÉ, DOMAINE HENRI & PHILLIPE JOUAN

Philippe Jouan’s wines certainly fly under the radar – and with the current quantities produced, this is unlikely to change anytime soon (with just three hectares in total). However, the little wine produced here is an honest rendition of some exceptional terroir in the Côte de Nuits – and, with the 2019 vintage, the wines have never tasted better. Our pick of the range was his MoreySaint-Denis Premier Cru Clos Sorbé, one of the top Premier Cru sites in Morey. The wine is wonderfully intense with an expressive, complex nose of lavender, rosebush and incense, while the palate is ripe and juicy with sun-kissed wild blackberry and blueberry fruit.

2019 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY, PREMIER CRU, LES CHABIOTS, ALBERT BICHOT

Les Chabiots sits above Les Amoureuses – pedigree that seems to escape most people. It’s singing again in 2019, a delicate and fine-boned wine with a nose full of violets. But don’t let its prettiness deceive you, there’s plenty of power to back it up – with a core of raspberry and bright red cherry fruit, supported by a backbone of minerality. The tannins are seamless, the acidity fine and long. Tight and taut, this is outstanding.

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