Pouilly-Fuissé has come a long way from the over-oaked buttered popcorn of decades ago. Today the appellation is a hotbed of talent, with passionate young winemakers converting old vines to organics and turning out truly excellent wines. With prices for both land and wine in the Côte d’Or headed through the roof, the Maconnais has become one of the most exciting corners of Burgundy.
The Clos du Joncuas is one of the most exciting recent finds in our portfolio. Based in Gigondas in the Southern Rhône, sisters Dany and Carol Chastan learned their craft from their parents and grandparents, and have themselves been farming organically for 40 years.
In the dozen years since he took over his family’s domaine, Romain Collet has elevated its reputation as fast as any new generation we’ve witnessed. We’ve noticed it ourselves, but we’re not alone — writers from Vinous, Burghound and William Kelley have noted a “higher level of refinement” and a “significant upsurge in quality.” Jasper Morris MW writes that Romain Collet “is moving towards joining the pantheon” in Chablis.
Christophe Mestre and his wife are from old Châteauneuf du Pape families. Like many such families, their vines are in plots scattered across the town’s remarkably diverse terroir. Their parcels cover all three of Châteauneuf’s famous terroirs: the famous galets roulés (see photo), sand, and clay-limestone. Mestre makes a single red cuvée from these terroirs, seeking an expression of the appellation as a whole. It’s always delicious, and always well priced.
It’s hard to call any place in Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits “overlooked,” but Morey-Saint-Denis has always been a bit of an underdog. It’s a tiny place — about a mile from end to end, and home to fewer than 700 people — and sits between two larger and more famous neighbors. But it’s an impressive town in its own right, worthy of attention and respect.
In just over a decade, winemaker Romain Collet has turned his family’s reliable if unremarkable domaine into one of the very best sources in Chablis. With a focus on lower sulfur, a transition to organics, and modernized cellar practices, the domaine has begun to realize its full potential. The wine press has taken notice too; William Kelley finds “a lot to admire here,” and Jasper Morris recently opined that Romain Collet “is moving towards joining the pantheon in Chablis.”
Each fall, as we compile the lineup for our October Futures, we search for something other than Michel Gros’s Bourgogne rouge to offer as our early preview. And every year we come up short – for value, price point, and availability, it’s just too hard to beat. So last year, instead of a replacement, we found it some company.
For over a decade the lone Italian holdout in our portfolio has been the Fattoria Poggerino, a Chianti Classico producer beloved of many readers. Today we double our Italian roster by introducing Sassi San Cristoforo, a small estate in Barbaresco. Italy still represents a small corner of the Ansonia portfolio, but we think it’ll continue to be a popular one.
Thomas Morey is a winemaker at the top of his game. After splitting his father’s vines with his brother Vincent in 2007, Thomas has carefully charted his own course, establishing himself as a leading producer in Chassagne-Montrachet. His style is low-oak, precise, and immaculate – each element in perfect harmony, not a leaf out of place. As the seldom effusive critic Burghound writes, “2020 is a stunningly good vintage chez Thomas Morey, in fact I can’t recall ever seeing better quality across the board since he started in 2007.”
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most recognizable brands in wine. Made famous by French popes in the 14th century, and then again by Robert Parker in the 1980s, the appellation’s place on the winemaking map is well established. For decades the wine from Châteauneuf was head and shoulders above the rest of the Southern Rhône – but these days it’s got company.
Pouilly-Fuissé is getting well-deserved respect in the wine world these days, and beginning with the 2020 vintage some vineyards are entitled to the “premier cru” designation. A growing distaste for excess wood and a reluctance to add more softness to already ripe wines makes it rare to find overoaked Pouilly-Fuissé these days: the days of by-the-glass buttered popcorn are over.
Perched on the banks of the Gironde River, in the heart of Bordeaux’s Left Bank, the town of Pauillac (poh-yahk) produces some of Bordeaux’s most famous red wines: Lafite, Latour, Mouton-Rothschild, just to name a few. Its gravel rich soils produce prototypical Bordeaux: intense, ageworthy, regal, and impossibly complex.
Tucked away in the picturesque valley between Meursault and Volnay, the charming village of Auxey-Duresses is home to Michel Prunier and his daughter Estelle. They’re among the brightest names in this humble town, and a favorite of Vinous writer Neal Martin. Martin has visited for over two decades, and characterizes them as an “old-school producer” with “premier crus worth hunting down, as they represent good value.”
With costs rising in nearly every step of the winemaking process – tractors, corks, bottles, labels, boxes, and so on – it’s no wonder the prices from the domaines are rising too. All of this makes the quality of Alsatian wine today even more impressive. Our source here is Charles Frey, an old family winery based in Dambach-la-Ville in central Alsace.
Much of the world’s Merlot is undistinguished. Its default expression is a soft, rounded wine lacking tannin, acidity, and character. “Global” merlot is smooth and easy, but neither distinctive nor particularly interesting. But in Bordeaux, Merlot thrives as an essential component to the region’s most iconic wines.