January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

No name enlivens and ignites a discussion of Burgundy as quickly as Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy. She is unrelenting in every way, from her personality to how she runs her business to the quality of the wine in the bottle. The Leroy family’s 50% ownership of Domaine Romanée-Conti gave Lalou ample ability to amass the deepest and most revered cellar in Burgundy during the past six decades. Speculation is rampant about its size and holdings; only one person knows for sure. Today, Lalou is the force behind three domaines: Maison Leroy, Domaine Leroy and Domaine d’Auvenay. Domaine d’Auvenay is an old…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Firmly in the shadow of its next-door neighbor, the world-renowned appellation of Chablis, Côtes D’Auxerre has been known mostly for high-yield, inexpensive wines. But a small cadre of young wine-producers are changing that. Edouard Lepesme built his career in marketing for negociants in Burgundy and Champagne. In 2011, he decided to follow his dream and immersed himself in winemaking and viticulture, studying with some of the great names in France and abroad. In 2014, he purchased 33 acres from Andre Donat, whose father was a pioneer vigneron in the area when he planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Aligote and Gamay Noir…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

A supremely talented vigneron, Arnaud Mortet is routinely praised for his work in the vineyards, even by his peers. Machines are no longer used in any sites; everything is done by hand here, and horses are now employed to plough all 1er and Grand Cru vineyards in order to minimize soil compaction. After the tragic death in 2006 of his legendary father, Denis, Arnaud took full control of the domaine, ably carrying on Denis’ dream of making refined, elegant wines. Arnaud’s wines are reaching new levels, as the winemaker looks back to more traditional viniculture techniques. He keeps the yield…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Cyril Audoin is part of the next generation from renowned winemaking families, and his energetic, outgoing personality is a refreshing counterpoint to wines that are among the most serious in their appellation. Cyril’s father, Charles, was a visionary in the Burgundy region, as he’d already selected and vinified the best parcels in the 1970s, before Marsannay was even an appellation. He and his wife, Marie-Françoise, an oenologist, began their domaine in Marsannay-la-Cote, in 1972. Cyril is the fifth generation to join the family business. He continues his parents’ commitment to producing fine red, white and rosé Marsannays, primarily from single…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Michel Buisson was the third-generation vigneron at this domaine in Meursault. Despite being officially retired, the highly respected winemaker still finds much to do at the estate, which is now run by his daughter, Catherine, and son-in-law, Patrick Essa. Patrick, who came to wine late in his career, has made up for lost time and is a very influential wine blogger (degustateurs.pro). As the domaine’s winemaker since 2009, Patrick has taken the house to new heights, producing wines that show great balance; they are concentrated and rich, yet pure and expressive, featuring both the crystalline purity and opulence of Meursault….

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Reserved, private and soft-spoken, Bruno Clavelier prefers to let his wines speak for him. And they do, telling a story of great elegance, purity and depth. Bruno succeeded his grandfather at the family’s 16-acre domaine at the entrance of Vosne-Romanée. A pioneer in organic farming before the term was part of everyday vernacular, his grandfather never used chemicals or potassium fertilizers, preferring to use manure from his cattle. Some 95% of the vineyards are planted in traditional Pinot Noir Fin, using an old practice of hand-selecting cuttings from the very best vineyards. The average vine age is 55–70 years, earning…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Since 1998, Domaine Bernard-Bonin has been run in impeccable fashion by Nicolas Bernard and Veronique Bonin, a daughter of the well-known Michelot family. Together, they own and cultivate 17.5 acres, including vineyards in Meursault, Meursault 1er Cru and Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru. Nicolas Bernard’s approach is reflected more in his wonderful Burgundy accent than in his hip appearance. He follows time-honored wine growing traditions, respecting the phases of the moon and employing minimal intervention in the cellar. Each wine expresses a personality derived from its terroir, its character fashioned by the climatic variances of the year. The wines are aged in…