There are Burgundies you want to taste and Burgundies you want to drink. Sébastien Gay's are of the latter group. His reds - Chorey, Beaune, Savigny, Aloxe - present with a nonplussed expressiveness, an irresistible drinkability, a one-glass-is-never-enough kind of appeal. They are simple pleasures but not simple wines. Their appeal is not aimed at our analytical selves but instead ask us only to submit, willingly following the wines where they want to take us. They are easygoing and eminently enjoyable, balms for a crazy world that doesn't slow down often enough.
When I'm tired of tasting, tired of viewing Burgundy from above the microscope, I reach for just this kind of wine.
Sébastien's neighbors refer to him as a uniquely perfectionist farmer, among the more tireless in this part of the Côte. During harvest, there are 2 sorting tables and a full dozen sorters for a domaine totaling barely 10 hectares, further evidencing the fruit-first philosophy of the domaine. The result is unusually soft-textured, pliant reds typified by a certain succulence of fruit streaked with suggestions of earth and spice.
Recent vintages have seem to clearly benefit from greater textural finesse, presumably on account of careful farming along with the already-mentioned phobic avoidance of compromised berries. The 2017s as a group are the completest wines I can remember tasting here, adding to the range's usual flavory charms 2017's vintage-typical lift and prettiness.
The 2017 Aloxe-Corton 'Vieilles Vignes' comes from 4 parcels of old vines, all southeast-facing, and all just below the grands crus. In the glass, the wine offers up lovely suggestions of earthy red fruit, game, and freshly turned soil. You are in Burgundy, and you know it. The palate is supple and contoured, with that generosity and textural openness that is the domaine's calling card. A 6-pack won't be enough, but it's a good place to start.