Michel Gros is best known for his brilliant red Burgundies from towns like Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle Musigny, and Nuits-St-Georges. But he also holds quite a bit of land in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, a patchwork of rolling hills to the west of the Côte d’Or.
His Hautes-Côtes reds here are excellent, but it’s also the source for Gros’s only white, a little-known and terrific white Burgundy called “Fontaine-St-Martin.” We held off bringing in our allocation of many 2017s in the hopes of avoiding import tariffs. The gamble paid off, and the delay has given the wine an extra year to find its footing — today it’s readier to drink, and friendlier on the wallet.
The Fontaine-Saint-Martin vineyard is a particularly well-located plot in the Hautes-Côtes. The soil is the same mix of marl, clay, and limestone found not far away on the Hill of Corton, and its smooth floral quality readily calls to mind the famous Grand Cru. Indeed Vinous’s Neal Martin cited the “gras-like texture found in Corton-Charlemagne” describing the 2017, finding it “delightful,” “well balanced,” and “nicely controlled.”
The 2017 Fontaine-St-Martin blanc is smooth and ripe but with a lovely freshness. The nose is floral, showing gardenia, white pepper, pears, toasted lemon. The mouth is intense and smooth, at once mouthfilling and fresh. Burghound called it “round, succulent and lightly stony” with “unusually good volume.”
We certainly don’t miss the tariffs, but this wine’s maturity and price was a happy side effect. Good things come to those who wait.
Gros Fontaine-St-Martin blanc 2017
bottle price: $38
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