The 2018 vintage in Burgundy produced atypical wines. Record breaking heat and sun resulted in a crop of wines with loads of ripe fruit and sunny characters. Some writers speculate it may herald a “new normal” style in Burgundy.
From our tastings, it’s clear that some winemakers performed better than others in 2018 — those who (understandably) harvested too early to retain freshness ended up with underripe berries and unattractive notes. But for the Domaine des Varoilles, always a relatively late harvester, the year fell right into their wheelhouse.
The Varoilles reds are never the quietest wines in a lineup of Burgundies. And while they’re seldom the most subtle and complex, they’re often the most fun.
Perhaps our favorite Varoilles of the 2018 vintage was the monopole “Clos du Meix des Ouches,” a village level wine we thought had the depth and complexity of a premier cru. The nose is beautiful and enticing, showing dark cassis fruits, pansies, browned butter cookies and dry spice. The palate is very intense and mouthfilling, with explosively rich cherry fruits bolstered by punchy and delightfully chewable tannins.
Jancis Robinson found “real intensity,” and concluded “precocious but satisfying.” Burghound found it “rich and relatively full bodied” with notes of plum, red currant, and raspberry. This has the intensity to age quite a while, and at $75 we think will seriously reward a few years of patience. But as with most 2018s, their juicy bursting fruit make them delightful even today.
“Clos du Meix des Ouches” 2018
bottle price: $75
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