Ah. The “Wine of the Year”, a topic that is perhaps a most questionable one. It is difficult to give selections in all sincerity… for everyone I expect, and certainly for me, the most memorable wines of the year are probably the trophy bottles (of which there were more than a few). This theme seems to me to be more appropriate: “The Wine that Gave Me the Most Excitement.” But then of course, the most exciting wines are already sold out ;p For example, Fanny Sabre's Clos des Renardes 2017, Cossard Voitte 2018 or Morey Champs de la Vigne 2017, Labille Montmains 17 etc. are out of stock, or moved on to the next vintage. They have been great protagonists in promoting Somm Cellars over the past year. To these wines and to those who purchased them: THANK YOU! And yet the wines I’m about to talk about are great wines that don't fall short of the wines I've mentioned above; I’m confidently recommending them. So now let me introduce…
2017 Thomas Labille Chablis 1er Cru 'Montée de Tonnerre'
Those of you who know me well will know how much I love Chablis. I am confident that I’m one of the most picky people when it comes to drinking Chablis, and I don't even like drinking most young Chablis very much. When drinking younger bottles, I often do a long decant (at least 3 hours), and the unique finish that is Chablis's signature appears in most cases the next day. The shock of when I first tried Labille's Montmains still remains strong, but the MDT, which is perhaps the most prestigious bottling of the domaine, did not disappoint my expectations at all. Of course, the Montmains is more open and the MDT is a little stricter, but it has so much aging potential and is rather superior in quality and complexity. I think this quality is enough to invest in buying a case and opening one bottle every year to see the changes.
2019 Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet
Chateau de la Maltroye is probably the most underrated domaine and I wouldn’t recommend it at all… for people who hate reduction. However, if you are a lover of reduction in white burgundy, this wine will surprise you more than anything else. For me, there are many forms of reduction, and I believe that there are many types from a very shallow reduction to a thickly-flavored reduction. It is difficult to find the most savory and rich reduction among all these types, but this wine shows a really beautiful character of reduction. This has tension, along with wonderful complexity and minerality that comes with it. I'm confident to say that it's a wine that won't go down in a fight against most 1er crus.
2019 Pierre Guillemot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru 'Jarrons'
My favorite winemaker and one of my favorite wines of the Domaine, ‘Jarrons’. Every time I go to Burgundy, this is a must-visit domaine and Guillemot produces some of the most impressive wines in Burgundy. To see evidence of the strong viticultural and winemaking ability at this domaine, just look at the quality that resulted from a vintage that was difficult for lovers of classic Burgundy, 2018. They made wines that are close to perfection. If the wine that represents the domaine is undoubtedly ‘Serpentières’, I want to say that ‘Jarrons’ is a wine that symbolizes the flexibility and ever-upwards direction of the domaine. It is surprising that a wine as young as ths 2019 expresses such transparency and beautiful balance. That being said, please get it while we have it. Please… Don't look for it when it's not there...