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Though we’re not permitted to sell Caroline’s Jean Noël Gagnard wine on our website, she reserves a handful of cases every year for our longtime buyers, provided we keep it quiet. We’re sharing the opportunity here with the hope that you will as well.

Caroline wasn’t able to send us the 2020 vintage of  Sous Eguisons (it wasn’t in the bottle by the time the samples started their achingly slow march across the Atlantic), but we have several reviews upon which to base our confident recommendation. Many readers will be familiar with the wine – an Hautes-Côtes de Beaune grown just over the border outside St-Aubin. Caroline bottles it under screwcap, but only in the interest of encouraging its early enjoyment. Don’t let the enclosure scare you away — it’s a better wine than many a bottle with corks in our cellar. 

Jasper Morris tasted the 2020 Sous Eguisons and named it one of his five-star wines of the vintage, something he generally reserves for premier and grand cru cuvées. He writes “this has the most beautiful bouquet,” “just the right degree of ripeness,” and “just the right acidity too.” This wine is consistently excellent, and though we don’t often buy wines we haven’t tasted, we recommend this unreservedly.

Caroline’s offered us two premier crus this year, but at quite different levels. The first, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru “Champs Gain,” is classic Chassagne – a gorgeous floral nose with the signature Gagnard interplay of wood, fruit, and earth. The mouth is beautiful and very fresh, with dollops of sucrocité amid the brisk texture. It’s long and deep, and should age beautifully for the next 3-5 years. With a Futures price under $100, this is a well priced, delicious white Burgundy of the highest degree.

Caroline’s other premier cru is nearly twice the price, but it might be an even better value. The Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru “Caillerets” is the domaine’s iconic cuvée. This wine is always magnificent, but it’s somehow even more so this year. We think it easily shows Grand Cru intensity and depth, and while Caroline isn’t giving it away, we’ve yet to hear of anyone disappointed in this wine.

Burghound awarded 91-94 points, calling it “Outstanding,” and finding it “succulent and highly seductive,” and predicting it will “reward up to a decade of cellaring.” Neal Martin of Vinous awarded 94 points, calling it “a superb showing.” We agree. The bottle we tasted last week was easily the best wine of the tasting, and might be the most impressive in the whole January Futures lineup. The nose is extraordinary, intense and expressive, hitting all notes perfectly – white flower and white pepper grab you to start, followed by a chorus of gorgeous yellow orchard and citrus fruits. The mouth is impossibly long, staying fresh and focused through the finish. Caroline makes so little (i.e. a few hundred bottles) of her Grand Cru Batard-Montrachet that we haven’t been offered any in several years. But it’s hard to imagine it’s better than this Caillerets.

(case prices)

Sous Eguisons 2020: $395
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru “Champs Gains” 2019: $1,095
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru “Caillerets” 2019: $1,995



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