Burgundy can be an intimidating place. Its classification rules are complicated, and its wines often require precise and careful cellaring. Even for experienced collectors it can tricky to time the optimum drinking window, and getting it wrong can be disappointing and expensive.
But not all of Burgundy’s wines are complicated. In Santenay, a town at the southern end of the Côte d’Or, Roger Belland and his daughter Julie make wines that are neither pretentious nor pricey. The Bellands use a cool, slow fermentation to preserve the fruit in their wines, and the results and friendly, attractive, delicious red Burgundies that need no patience.
In fact Belland’s wines age quite well, but they’re so drinkable young that most don’t make it past a year or two in our inventory. Today’s we’re suggesting the Santenay 1er cru “Gravières” 2016 — it’s lovely and elegant today, but should continue to improve for another 5 years if you can keep your hands off it.
The nose is classic Belland, with bright red fruits, spring flowers, and intense berries. The mouth is punchy and dense, with attractive, juicy tannins and a silky palate bursting with raspberry and wild cherries. Burghound awarded 91 points, calling it “outstanding” and finding it “generous and vibrant,” and “beautifully persistent.
In a world of red Burgundies that need time and investment, here’s a less fussy but no less complex premier cru for under $50.
Belland Santenay 1er “Gravières” 2016
bottle price: $42
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