Back to Basis: White Burgundy
By Will Curley
What it is: Excellent Chardonnay from one of the most consistently delicious producers in the Cote de Beaune.
Why you need it: Combining the powerful fruit of the 2015 vintage with the freshness of 2014, this vintage, though challenging, provides a wine that is an absolute pleasure to drink now, but will continue to improve with age. We were able to secure a special deal for the Guild that brings this wine to members for under $20/btl.
While Paul has been exploring the fringes of European wine, I've been inspired by Evan's turn back to the classics, and wanted to share a benchmark bottle with the Guild. Evan's on holiday, cruising around the Gulf, but I'll give this my best shot.
Today's find is Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc 2016, and it is gorgeous.
Producing wine since the 1930's, Domaine Matrot is into the 4th generation of family winemaking. The Domaine is based out of Meursault and offers a range of Village and Premier Cru labels, but this is their entry level - the fruit is coming from vineyards in and around Meursault, and in any given year will be comprised of some percentage of declassified fruit.
Briefly touching on the vintage difficulties above, but important to reiterate: 2016 was tough. Burgundy dealt with some of the worst frost in decades. Le Montrachet lost 50% of Grand Cru fruit, the first frost damage in 100 years. Similarly, the Savigny-Les-Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses appellations lost over 90% of their fruit. For those regions and producers who were left with fruit, the rest of the growing season was almost mockingly perfect -- a small crop and a long ripening season allowed the grapes to develop slowly and in great balance. The wines that made it, made it!
This wine encapsulates what there is to love about white Burgundy -- a killer balance of fruit, acid, minerality and a touch of oak. Green apple skins, white peach fuzz and honeycomb dominate the nose, and grapefruit pith, magnolia flowers, lanolin, and a distinct limestone mineralitypresent on the palate. This wine is raised and rested in oak, though it's such a small percentage of new oak that it simply provides balance to the intense fruit and mineral notes.
This is one of my favorite producers for white Burgundy, they may be the most consistent, consistently delicious and consistently affordable winery in the Cote de Beaune. Everything they make punches way above their weight class, and it's not hyperbole to say that I've had village-level Meursault that wasn't this delicious and well made!
The Guild was able to secure just 10 cases of this wine, and we'll sell it on a first-come, first-served basis.