Soirée Française at Atelier

Soirée Française at Atelier

Soirée Française at Atelier
Take a trip down sensory lane and join us for French-fueled gastronomic evening, with a wine-matched five course meal at Atelier K Road.

For one evening only, Atelier have devised a deliciously diverse dégustation that will transport you to a European wonderland, paired with six Dhall & Nash French favourites, from the vineyards of Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace and the Loire Valley. Hosted by the energetically enigmatic Jean-Jacques Bourvis, it's a night, not to be missed.

$140 per person. Visit Atelier to reserve a spot at Soirée Française today.


Domaine Morey-Coffinet: The Allure of the Côte d’Or

February 2, 2022|In Wondermakers, Winery Spotlight, Wines

Domaine Morey-Coffinet: The Allure of the Côte d’Or

An Historic Family Cellar in the Heart of Burgundy

“Incredible producer Thibault Morey has upped his game at Domaine Morey-Coffinet the last 10 years, now approaching the upper-echelon of Côte de Beaune producers.” – Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier

Chardonnay isn’t just the most popular white wine in the world – it’s angelic! And a little bit devilish as well! And no one can express the many facets and potential of Chardonnay quite like the vintner visionaries from Burgundy. Fortunately for us at Dhall & Nash we represent one of the most exciting producers of white Burgundy from the esteemed appellation of Chassagne-Montrachet – this month’s Wondermaker is Domaine Morey-Coffinet. With an almost entirely single-minded devotion to the noble varietal in question, (they do a few divine pinots as well) they continue to push the boundaries of quality, to the joy of their cult-like following of fans worldwide.

Without a doubt, as succinctly espoused by renown Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble, “Morey-Coffinet has become one of the most exciting producers to watch in the last 5 years. Thibault Morey has been working biodynamically for a decade now and has increased the quality here intensely.” What better signal to scoop up wines from this somewhat ‘under the radar’ producer of incredibly well-priced white burgundy.

The wine subregion of Chassagne-Montrachet is synonymous with fine white wine, but definitely less well-known or understood than the other show ponies of white burgundy. Chassagne’s Chardonnay wine style is often defined as lying between Puligny and Meursault because it is perhaps not quite as refined as Puligny but less rich than a Meursault. More mineral and restrained than Meursault, yet not as elegant and profound as Puligny. Summed up as mineral, yet succulent. In fact, some find Chassagne-Montrachet Chardonnay to be the best of both worlds. Time to give it a swirl with some Morey-Coffinet.

The Family Story:

The Morey family’s history in Burgundy dates back to at least the 16th century with evidence of winemaking in nearby Meursault since 1793. Their history in Chassagne-Montrachet dates back to Claude Morey’s arrival from the village of Paris l’Hôpital in 1643. The Coffinet family also has a long and celebrated history in Chassagne with their Domaine being established in 1860.

With the passage of time, as often happens in Burgundy thanks to Napoleonic inheritance laws, there were many incarnations of the family running the Morey and Coffinet land holdings. Domaine Marc Morey was started in 1919. By 1944 it had passed to Marie-Joseph Morey. Interestingly, in 1950, Albert Morey (father of Jean-Marc and Bernard) was one of the first estates in Chassagne-Montrachet to Domaine bottle, that is, all bottling is done on the estate. Between these two salubrious wine dynasties, they have been steeped in a strong sense of family tradition and wine innovation.

Finally, it was in 1978 that the modern Domaine Morey-Coffinet came into being. This was when Michel Morey and his wife Fabienne Coffinet combined vineyard parcels they’d received as wedding gifts. Michel Morey is the son of the late, highly regarded producer Marc Morey, and Fabienne is the daughter of Fernand Coffinet from the equally distinguished Pillot winemaking clan (on the grandmother’s side). Confused yet? Welcome to the intricacies of the tightly woven fabric of landowning in Burgundy!

The Domaine:

So, with this rollcall of Chassagne icons at its core, it remains decidedly Chassagne to this day, with almost all of its Domaine holdings lying within the Chassagne-Montrachet borders, the one exception being its premier cru Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles. Morey-Coffinet also includes grand cru parcels in Batard Montrachet and Corton Charlemagne, as well as many other premier crus.

Right from the beginning, Michel and Fabienne worked their prime 22-acre domain with a strong familial understanding of their terroir – and with vigorous dedication. Michel’s son, Thibault, joined the business in the late 1990s, and the Domaine’s wines have since reached new heights. Every week, father and son taste each cuvee together in an ancient cellar, exchanging opinions and sharing ideas. Thibault continues to push the quality of his Domaine to a whole different level with his expressive, powerful, wonderfully hedonistic wines. Remarkably, in a few short years, this father and son duo have gone on to transform Domaine Morey-Coffinet.

It wasn’t long before the wine community was taking notice! The legendary wine critic Robert Parker Jr. noted that the Morey family name is well regarded in Burgundy for producing “…very good, sometimes excellent white wines.”

The Vineyards:

Inheriting the Coffinet and Morey vineyards ensured the next generations have some of the most hallowed spots in the Chassagne-Montrachet area. Proudly situated on the southern edge of the village of Chassagne, Domaine Morey-Coffinet covers 8.5 hectares (22 acres) of which 30 per cent are planted with Pinot Noir, 70 per cent with Chardonnay.
With a stable foundation of Premier Crus from the southeast-facing hillside which Burgundy specialist, Clive Coates MW, calls ‘the best section for white Chassagne’. Morey-Coffinet whites speak to the very essence of Chassagne, with fragrant aromas framed by powerful minerality. The reds capture the roasted, muscular aromas of Chassagne terroir and display silky texture and balance.

The estate encompasses a treasured collection of vineyards including 0.65 ha of Chassagne-Montrachet En Caillerets and 0.80 ha of Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée. More interestingly, perhaps, is that entrepreneurial Thibault also has small holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet Dents de Chien and a perfectly located plot in Blanchots Dessus and also a nice chunk of Chassagne-Montrachet En Remilly (0.35 ha). Furthermore, small holdings in Batard-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles compliments the Chassagne holdings. And while the plots are rather small in some places, it’s hard to find a more exciting portfolio in Chassagne than Morey-Coffinet – excluding of course the mighty Domaine Ramonet with its generous Grand Cru holdings.

Thibault also makes some truly beautiful reds from Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes, Morgeot and Clos St. Jean – the latter being planted by his father 30 years ago in the area behind the estate.

“The vine is part of us. We feel his strength, his weaknesses, his wisdom, his humility, his richness. This incredible plant continues to surprise us vintage after vintage. We let it express itself and we accompany it as well as possible so that it develops in the best conditions. The balance is then made naturally.” – Domaine Morey-Coffinet website

The Philosophy:

Morey-Coffinet have been certified organic since 2018 and have been following biodynamic principles for almost a decade, which, demonstrates a clear commitment to the long-term health and sustainability of the vineyard and a mindset focused on integrity and respect.

Thibault is a thoughtful winemaker, who talks knowledgeably and insightfully about not just his own holdings, but about Burgundy as a whole. This is not so much revolution but evolution going on here, and the resultant wines show beautiful harmony and transparency.

Yes, says Thibault Morey, there are a lot of small things they have changed since his arrival. Such as, using small cases for the grapes when they harvest. They have bought a sorting table. They are pressing longer than before. Thibault explained that if the pressing is too short you will get a wine with a lot of fruit, best drunk when young. If kept longer it is likely that after a few years, it will develop very quickly. In 2001 they also added sulfites in the press at a very early stage. Since 2004 they let the wine juice oxidise. Thibault’s philosophy is that if you oxidise early, you don’t get any premature oxidation issues. Overall, he prefers his white wines to have young and fresh aromas and bottles them deliberately early, at about 11 months.

We can see and taste Thibault Morey’s white Burgundies are the epitome of elegance, restraint, and sophistication. The concentration of the fruit shows incredible density and intensity. Furthermore, Domaine Morey-Coffinet has become renowned for its luxurious, silky texture. What more could we want!

“When I asked him (Thibault Morey) about the style he is pursuing, he told me that it is important for his wines to age, but also to be approachable.” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

The Terroir:

No stronger argument can be made for the validity of terroir than in Burgundy, where subtle differences of climate, soil composition and aspect identified over the course of centuries by astute vignerons and expressed in individual climats make this region so complex and very beguiling.

Chassagne-Montrachet is very diverse in its soil types, so that a wide range of styles emerge from the same commune. Here in the prestigious land holdings of Morey-Coffinet is no exception. For example, the Cailleret Premier Cru wines are regularly considered among the best of Chassagne-Montrachet’s Premier Cru wines, although they are a long way from reaching the prices or attention of the commune’s Grand Cru vineyards.

Les Caillerets is located south and above the village of Chassagne-Montrachet. It is a large 1er cru (10.86 ha) that consist of four terroirs: En Caillerets, with 5.11 ha; Chassagne with 1.14 ha; Les Combards has 0.65 ha; and Vigne Derriere consists overall of 3.76 ha. There is also a clos inside Vigne Derriere called Clos du Caillerets.

Cailleret is a reference to the pebbly stones (“cailloux” in French) that are particularly prevalent here. As in Volnay’s or Puligny’s Caillerets, for example, the topsoil here is shallow and chalky, with a little clay. This ‘bony’ soil, along with an enviable south-easterly aspect to the slope, which catches the morning sun but doesn’t bake later in the day, combine to produce a highly favourable terroir. Morey-Coffinet has two parcels here – one of the two is at the top of the hill, where it is very stony. The parcel down below has much deeper soil. Thibault said he has tried to make two separate cuvées, but it didn’t work out. The cuvée from the bottom had a bit too much ‘fat’. The solution was that these two sites are always blended. The quality of the fruit of Cailleret handles around 35% new oak. The rest is one-year old barrels.

“It is not the biggest and not the greatest, but perhaps it is the most refined, delicate, and hedonistic of the Puligny 1ers crus – the filigreed and poetic Les Pucelles.” – Steen Öhman, Wine Writer

The ‘outsider’ in the portfolio of Domaine Morey-Coffinet, the Puligny-Montrachet premier cru Les Pucelles, is a relatively young parcel. It is right next to Clos de la Pucelle of Domaine Jean Chartron. His grandfather, Marc Morey, planted the vines over 25 years ago. Then the parcel was split in two, between them and Domaine Marc Morey. So now here is a chance to taste two wines from two different domaines that come from the same parcel, planted at the same time by the same person. It is grown on fine clay and limestone soil. Then matured in oak barrels, of which 40% is new oak.

Immediately to the south of Les Pucelles is Bâtard-Montrachet. Both Les Pucelles and Bâtard-Montrachet are at the same altitude, and very close to each other. Yet, one is premier cru and the other grand cru. A telling testimony to the significance of their respective terroirs.

“The many and varied wine styles in Chassagne -Montrachet have made it one of the least understood white wine areas in the Côte d’Or.” – Stephen Brook, Wine Writer

An Interesting Aside - The identity Crisis of Chassagne-Montrachet:

The village is also characterised by the fact that a century ago almost all the vineyards, with the exception of the Grands Crus, were devoted to red grapes. However, today only about a third of the vineyards are planted with Pinot Noir. Edouard Delagrange caused a scandal in the 1960s by replanting some parcels of premier cru Morgeot with Chardonnay. That trend has continued, and vineyards once best known for robust reds, such as La Boudriotte and Clos St-Jean, now contain large sections of Chardonnay. Not everyone is happy about it. Bernard Morey points out that some top red wine sites have been replanted – “The whites from some of the heavier soils are often mediocre and end up being sold to négociants.” But the commercial reality has proven to be irresistible – there is stronger demand for Chassagne whites, as these fetch higher prices than the occasionally rustic reds.

“People say you are a great winemaker. But winemaking is 5% – I’m just here to help nature but not more – terroir is exceptional in Burgundy – not the winemakers.” – Thibault Morey, Winemaker, Co-Owner of Domaine Morey-Coffinet

The Wines:

With climate change causing uncertainty and unpredictable weather conditions, each Burgundy harvest is a complex game of luck and tough decisions. Growers strive to find the perfect balance. For white winemaking, Burgundy producers have had to make the sometimes-hard decisions to harvest early and acidify in the cellar. This does mean that terroir expression might sometimes be compromised in favour of a bit more drinkability and restraint. Not so at Domaine Morey-Coffinet who are devoted to heroing their terroir without winemaking artifice.


2019 Morey-Coffinet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles:

“There is a whiff of matchstick character to the aromas of honeysuckle, spiced poached pear and a refreshing lemon-lime nuance. There is once again excellent intensity to the caressing but punchy middle weight flavors that are notably finer if not nearly as muscular or powerful on the lemon-tinged finale that is also impressively persistent. This exhibits all of the natural class of one of Puligny’s best 1ers and a wine that should age gracefully.”93 points, Burghound


Thibault also makes several négociant wines – under the Maison Morey-Coffinet label – here below is the high quality 1er cru from Meursault:


2015 Maison Morey-Coffinet Mersault-Perrieres 1er Cru:

“Here there is no reductive funk with its elegant and well-layered array of citrus peel, acacia blossom, Asian-style tea, and apple scents. There is a lovely sense of energy to the intensely stony medium weight flavors that possess fine length if a bit less complexity on the notably dry but not really austere finale. Drinking window 2031+”91 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound

2018 Domaine Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet “En Cailleret” 1er Cru:

“A softly exotic and citrus-suffused nose exhibits additional aromas of matchstick and white peach. There is a more refined mouthfeel to the sleek mineral-driven medium weight flavors that possess even better depth on the balanced, dry, and appealingly precise finish. Drink: 2025+”91 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound

2019 Domaine Morey-Coffinet Bourgogne Blanc Cote d’Or:

“Prominent notes of matchstick and petrol dominate the underlying fruit at present. There is fine intensity and detail to the middle weight flavors where the clean, dry, and delicious finish displays excellent cut. This is a very good Bourgogne that should reward a few years of cellaring.”87 points, Burghound


Delving into the charms of quiet over-achieving appellation Chassagne-Montrachet, we have been enchanted by the wines of Domaine Morey-Coffinet which strike a lovely balance between power and refinement, between classic Chassagne and more “modern” styled white Burgundies. Complex. Textural. Sensual. Subtle. Burgundy at its best!

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Maison Louis Jadot: An All-Time Classic

November 4, 2021|In Winery Spotlight

Maison Louis Jadot: An All-Time Classic

Thirteen awards for Winery of the Year in the past 25 years and Spirits 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame

In a moment of Covid-lockdown-induced craziness, our fearless leader of all things vinous, Puneet Dhall, has lyrically rolled out rugby analogies to compare our latest stallion in the D&N stable, iconic French winery Maison Louis Jadot, to NZ’s rugby legends of the past. “As iconic as Jonah Lomu or Sir Colin Meads” he extolls excitedly!

Perhaps he has something there… Rugby Union has always been known as a game for all shapes and sizes. Uniquely, each position requires a different set of physical and technical attributes, and it is this diversity which makes the game so accessible to all. And that there’s reliable, unflashy but always dependable rugby legends like Brad Thorn or Kieran Read, who are perfect examples of who you’d always love to have in your team because they just get on with it and do the business. They may not be top-of-mind, but then they were always doing the often-unseen work in the engine room.

Maison Louis Jadot could be seen as one of the Kieran Reads of the French wine business. Solid and dependable, with the ability to surprise but usually quite happy with a “no bugles, no drums” approach to the art of producing fine wine. Time and time again reliably carrying the ball over the line with wines that over-deliver across the board – these are definitely great utility players! But not to be forgotten, Louis Jadot has the numerous Dan Carter and Richie McCaw wines to show off the try-scoring award-winning side to their wine team.


Maison Louis Jadot – Top 100 Wineries for 2012 and 2014 – Wine & Spirits Magazine

The History of Louis Jadot:

Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot. The first of his family arrived in Beaune from Belgium in 1794 and soon began purchasing Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. With grape growing a part of his heritage, Louis Henry set about gaining experience first in the cellars, in the evaluation of wines, and then in the vineyards, in the study of viticulture.

In 1826 they acquired their famous Clos des Ursules. As Louis Henry travelled, he acquired a faithful clientele, and in 1859 purchased the respected négociant firm of Lemaire-Fouleux and gave the firm his name. After his death, his son, Louis Baptiste Jadot, enthusiastically carried on the work his father had begun. He expanded his export markets as well as his clientele in France, reinvesting his profits in the acquisition of vineyards in some of the finest and most famous Grands Crus and Premiers Crus of the Côte d’Or, Burgundy.

In 1939, Louis Baptiste Jadot died and left control of the firm to his eldest son, Louis Auguste Jadot, who had assisted in the direction of the business under his father since 1931. He opened and greatly developed the new export market of the United States, as well as those of Great Britain, Holland, South America, and New Zealand.

In 1954, André Gagey joined Maison Louis Jadot as assistant to Louis Auguste Jadot. When Louis Auguste died in 1962, survived only by his wife, André Gagey was appointed managing director of the firm, with full responsibility for its operations, under Mme. Jadot’s ownership and direction. For nearly three decades as managing director, Gagey was responsible for the final decisions over selection and purchase of all grapes and wines bottled under the Jadot label, as well as the care and maintenance of the vineyards within the Jadot estate.

In 1970, aware that Maison Louis Jadot’s future growth lay in its increasing role as owner-producer, Gagey engaged Jacques Lardière, a brilliant young oenologist, as his assistant and eventual technical director. Lardière is today acknowledged as one of Burgundy’s finest winemakers, an artist with the reins of nature in one hand and those of technology in the other. By 1984, André Gagey’s son, Pierre-Henry Gagey, joined the firm with a strong background in business administration and management and an inherited knowledge of wines. In February of 1985, the négociant firm of Maison Louis Jadot was purchased by the owners of Kobrand Corporation, the sole U.S. importer of Jadot Burgundies since 1945. Then in 1991, Pierre-Henry Gagey assumed the position of president. After working side-by-side with legendary winemaker Jacques Lardière for three years, Frédéric Barnier was named Technical Director in 2013; Jacques continues as advisor and works on special projects.

The Terroir Takeover:

“Our soul is in the vineyard.” – Pierre-Henry Gagey, President Maison Louis Jadot

Perhaps it’s unrecognised by many that Maison Louis Jadot, is one of Burgundy’s most venerable négociants, and it is also one of the region’s major growers. Maison Jadot now owns 528 acres of vineyards, including 280 acres of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or’s most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots. Further holdings sweep through Chablis to the Macon and into Beaujolais. Due to the understated presence yet high-quality wines of Louis Jadot they have a well-deserved reputation around the world with sommeliers, restaurateurs, and wine lovers alike.

So how did the transformation from négociant to grower occur? Frédéric Barnier, points out that most négociants started as growers because, as entrepreneurs, they realised they needed more than one plot. The grower side of the Jadot business, however, has exploded over the last 35 years with a series of purchases, starting in 1985 with what was likely the most significant transfer of prized vineyards in modern Burgundy history – the acquisition of Clair-Daü.

Right from the beginning, Louis Jadot paid attention to the importance of each appellation, from Grand Cru to regional wines. Burgundy terroir is particularly diverse – a mosaic of areas, each of which has its own individual character that deserves respect, and the challenge for Louis Jadot was to allow the wines to express these subtle differences and convey the true spirit of Burgundy.

With the parcels Jadot acquired, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Chapelle Chambertin, Bonne Mares, Musigny, and Clos Vougeot, the Clair-Daü purchase transformed them from a Côte de Beaune domaine to a major grower spanning the entire Côte d’Or.

Also included in the sale were a host of Premier Cru parcels, including a piece of Les Amoureuses in Chambolle-Musigny, and in Gevrey-Chambertin, a section of Clos St. Jacques. Barnier lights up when describing the significance of the purchase: “It was a key acquisition—a great opportunity.”

In addition to Jadot’s purchases of Maison Champy (1989) and Domaine Prieur-Brunet (2017), they acquired portions of the vineyards of Château de Chorey lès Beaune (2012), and managed to pick up parcels in Echézeaux, Meursault (Perrières and Narvaux) and other locations.

Jadot scored more acquisition coups when they purchased a leading estate in Moulin-à-Vent, Château des Jacques in 1996, and a similar jewel in Pouilly-Fuissé, Domaine J. A. Ferret (2008).

Today, with increased prestige – and prices – of wines from the lieux-dits of Beaujolais and the approval of Premier Cru vineyards in Pouilly-Fuissé, it is clear just how perceptive those purchases were. These vineyards, combined with the talents of Jacques Lardière and now, Frédéric Barnier, put Maison Louis Jadot squarely in the ranks of Burgundy’s great growers.

Gagey points out that owning vineyards assures a steady supply of top grapes. He continues; “you also control the farming, the harvest, and the yield, all factors contributing to quality.” Gagey estimates that 80% of Jadot’s Premier and Grand cru wines come from their vineyards, noting, “our soul is in the vineyard.”

Winemaking Philosophy:

“The genius behind Jadot is winemaker Jacques Lardière, with his profound and holistic understanding of the soul behind Pinot Noir. The range is extensive, the quality impressive…. the results are stylish, terroir-specific, and long lasting.” – Decanter Magazine

Without fanfare, much of Jadot’s vineyards have been farmed organically for years. Just recently, Jadot began the obligatory three-year transition period after which all its Côte d’Or vineyards will be certified organic.

Barnier insists that the primary motive was maintaining the land and employees’ health. Mixing philosophy and practicality, Barnier says “This is the way to live for tomorrow. Of course, if we make better wine, that’s good, but there are many factors in making better wine.”

Barnier’s winemaking philosophy remains minimally interventional, like Lardiere his predecessor’s. With the changes in the vineyards and winery, the wines are more precise and focused. They still are made to evolve with bottle age. Even village and regional wines benefit from bottle age while their Premier and Grand Crus benefit from at least a decade of careful storage.

The opening of a state-of-the-art winery in Beaune in 1996 and the addition of a section dedicated to white wines in 2009, marked new phases for Jadot. The functional but architecturally beautiful, circular winery boasts varying-sized fermenting vats that reflect the size of vineyards, allowing more precise vinification.

Also, in the 1990s, Jadot and Canadell, a top French timber company, established Cadus to make wine barrels, assuring them of the oak’s provenance and controlling the whole process, from drying the staves to toasting the barrels.

Innovative Partnerships with Growers:

In addition to its practice of farming domaine fruit organically and sustainably, Jadot structures its supply agreements for its non-domaine wines as collaborative partnerships between house and grower oriented solely toward quality. Jadot makes its standards clear to its growers and lends advice when necessary. No binding contracts exist; neither is under obligation to transact with the other, for reasons of quality on Jadot’s part or for reasons of price on the growers. Yet Maison Louis Jadot’s policy, if costly, of buying grapes at the price of finished wine, provides the grower a financial advantage with less effort, and ensures Jadot a degree of continuity of supply as well as control over the fruit at the very earliest stage of its transformation into wine. To further elevate the quality, Jadot practices réplis, or ‘declassifying’ some wines of higher appellations, which are added to the final blend. Now that’s a win-win for all particularly for us, the end consumers. ☺

“Among the many recognizable Burgundy labels, few are as reliable, consistent and outstanding as Maison Louis Jadot.” – John Szabo MS, Wine Access

The Label of Distinction:

All wines of Maison Louis Jadot have the same distinctive label – with the image of the head of Bacchus (Bacchus is the Roman god of wine in ancient mythology), a decorative frieze and a special shade of yellow, which makes them easily recognizable. These labels are a sign of commitment to quality, regardless of whether it is simple or grand Burgundy Grand Cru.

Undoubtedly, Louis Jadot is one of the most consistent growers and négociant houses in Burgundy. It has managed to straddle both the entry-level and fine wine market, while retaining respect in both.

At the lower end of the market, they offer tremendous consistency at a price-point rarely found in Burgundy. At the top end, with their Premier Cru and Grand Cru sites, their wines sit comfortably alongside other top producers of these revered sites.

Drinkability is something that Maison Jadot also delivers reliably. And recent vintages have shown that while so many wines have immediate appeal, the best are also capable of delivering in the cellar. Now there’s no excuse not to stock up with a range of exquisite everyday Jadot wines and to stash away some beauties in your cellar to savour in the future. Salut!

Some Maison Louis Jadot Gems from Dhall & Nash:

2015 Maison Louis Jadot Côte de Beaune-Villages
2017 Maison Louis Jadot Saint Aubin Blanc
2017 Maison Louis Jadot Vosne Romanée
2019 Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir
2019 Maison Louis Jadot Montagny Blanc Premier Cru Les Chaniots
2020 Maison Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages Combe Aux Jacques
2020 Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Aligoté
2020 Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay
2020 Maison Louis Jadot Mâcon Villages
2020 Maison Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé

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Men tasting wine in barrel room

Domaine Hubert Lignier: The Mystique, Seductiveness, Finesse of Burgundy Personified

Domaine Hubert Lignier: The Mystique, Seductiveness, Finesse of Burgundy Personified

A True Dhall & Nash Wondermaker

Men tasting wine in barrel room

Domaine Hubert Lignier. This is a domaine that is held in high esteem by both vignerons & Burgundy lovers alike. With the next generation young gun winemaker, Laurent, creating expressive sensual wines to further solidify the domaine’s place amongst the top tiers of the Burgundian winescape.

The domaine owns 8.3 hectares of some serious Burgundian real estate – principally in the villages of Morey-Saint-Denis (where their home and cellars are located), Gevrey-Chambertin, and Chambolle-Musigny. And recently, the Ligniers have expanded their holdings to include parcels in the appellations of Nuits-St-Georges and Pommard.

How to define Domaine Hubert Lignier’s style?

“Wines that bring pleasure, sometimes emotions, but never taste alike.”

The Tale of Domaine Hubert Lignier

Domaine Hubert Lignier is a five generation family estate established in 1880 – the wine business continuously passed from father to son. The current patriarch, Hubert, now in his 80s, put this domaine on the map with a series of very impressive vintages made in a bold style with both oak and extraction judiciously used to an elegant and structured effect. In 1992 Hubert was joined by his son, Romain, who further fine-tuned their production without making any significant stylistic changes. Tragically, at only 34 years of age, Romain died from a brain tumour in 2004.

By 2010, Hubert’s other son, Laurent, joined the family business after having worked at Albert Bishot in Beaune. Laurent is the next generation of this proud estate to assume the mantle of vigneron.

Laurent summarises the domaine’s aim as:

“aspiring to make authentic and sensual wines that express their own terroir.”

His philosophy also reflects the current context of many young winemakers creating understated and gentle wines with minimal intervention. Blessed with some amazing old vines in legendary terroirs, Laurent is making wines of thrilling purity and elegance.


“I like terroir to be the dominant characteristic so it’s a little less new oak than was once used.” – Laurent Lignier

Laurent Lignier has a changed approach in his winemaking compared to Hubert. Now there are more whole clusters being used (up to 25%) when historically, all were destemmed. He does a little layering of the whole clusters and destemmed grapes, cooling the tanks for 5 – 8 days before the onset of fermentation. Laurent uses this extended cold soak maceration period prior to fermentation to achieve greater extraction. Only natural yeasts are used and no racking is done after the completion of malolactic fermentation. All see carefully restrained barrel elevage of 10 – 33% new oak from the Bourgogne to the Grand Cru, and Laurent uses four different coopers because he likes the variety and diversity – no strong toasts though. There is no fining of the wines to further preserve their freshness and support their ageing potential. Everything in the winery is gravity fed including at bottling and with minimal sulphur used. In summation, there is a methodology and understanding of these incredible terroirs that creates extraordinarily complex and laser-like focused wines of distinction.


“In the cellar, patience is the key”
“Each vintage has its own inner strength”

In Burgundy, perhaps more than elsewhere, the influence of the vintage is essential. Every vintage marks and inspires the wines.

2016 Vintage – Freshness and Depth. “the quality of the fruit gave us rich, deep nectars with incredible freshness! A vintage with outstanding potential for bottle ageing that is sure to stand out in tastings.”

2017 Vintage – Finesse and Discretion. “a vintage that succeeded in conserving the characteristic pinot noir style with smooth elegant tannins. The wines offer exceptional precision …with overt floral aromas. This vintage is ready to be enjoyed much earlier than its predecessor.”

2018 Vintage – Maturity and Smoothness. “the wines have been drinking well and are characterised by rich, smooth black fruit. These wines have an undeniable potential for bottle ageing but also very enjoyable in their youth.”

High Acclaim

From “humble” beginnings, bottling small amounts of two different cuvées of Morey-Saint-Denis as well as the fabled Clos de la Roche, Domaine Hubert Lignier now bottle an impressive range of wines that have received high acclaim from critics all around the globe:

Tim Atkin MW’s article “Top 25 Côte d’Or Red Wine Producers to Watch!” dubs Domaine Hubert Lignier as ”an increasingly impressive domaine…” and John Gillman has been quoted calling their cuvées “Charm personified.” High praise indeed, even for Burgundy.

Domaine Hubert Lignier has a deservedly revered reputation which has put them on Puneet and Brandon’s radar for some time now. Not only was Morey-Saint-Denis a favourite terroir, but also the chance to have a young up-and-coming Burgundian vigneron like Laurent in the Dhall & Nash stable was a ‘fait accompli’. So, 3 years ago, when Laurent invited them to meet and taste they had absolutely no hesitation. It is an honour for Dhall & Nash to have a precious allocation so that our New Zealand clients experience this range of vinous jewels.

Check out our full range of Domaine Hubert Lignier wines below:

2016 Domaine Hubert Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
2016 Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin
2016 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis
2016 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Chenevery
2016 Domaine Hubert Lignier Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Didiers
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Grand Chaliot Pinot Noir
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Chenevery
2017 Domaine Hubert Lignier Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Didiers
2018 Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Grand Chaliot Pinot Noir

Send an email through to if you’re interested in any of these gems.

Celebrating Burgundy Premier Cru

July 23, 2019|In Events

Celebrating Burgundy Premier Cru

We passionately believe in building a bridge by education and experience…

A stunning line up for our Napier event

We held two outstanding dinners on the same evening for our Burgundy Premier Cru events – one at the iconic Pacifica Restaurant in Napier and the other at Augustus Bistro in Ponsonby, Auckland.

The reputation of Dhall and Nash is now reaching new heights globally. We are now securing incredibly fine and rare allocations of the most highly sought after wines in the world. This is an immense privilege and has taken years for these incredible producers to lock away tiny parcels exclusively for the New Zealand market. Our audience truly appreciated the sublime and exceptional quality of the Burgundy producers we put forward at our two events. Premier Cru wines do come with a price tag, but as we all know, if you want the best… and when paired with the right cuisine, their magnificence shines through in their uniqueness, rarity and ability to age to perfection over decades.

That is what you are paying for.

Pacifica Restaurant, Napier

Augustus Bistro, Auckland

To learn more about our upcoming and past events, head to our events page.

The Ins and Outs of Burgundy Crus

June 4, 2019|In News, Brandon's Corner

The Ins and Outs of Burgundy Crus

This month we continue the endless journey that is Burgundy wine! The more one learns, the more one realises how much remains to be learned of this magical place in east-central France. As of 2015, Burgundy was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spearheaded by one of its most famous sons and Domaines, Aubert de Villaine, of Domaine de La Romanee Conti.

Many vintage summaries and detailed commentaries begin in 1845 when discussing Burgundy wine. However, we know from archaeological research that viticulture was established in Burgundy as early as the second century AD; furthermore, evidence suggests that the Celts may have been working with vines in Burgundy earlier than the Roman conquest of Gaul in 51 BC. So we are looking at a history going back about 2,000 years!

Fast forward to the year 1935, this is when Burgundy’s classification system was developed into an AOC. This system is based on terroir so those sites with the best mix of soil, aspect, climate and quality over time, are deemed the highest classification.

The wines of Burgundy are classified as follows, starting at the highest order: Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Village and Regional.

Grand Cru

We begin at the top. Each Grand Cru has its own appellation. These wines are the pinnacle of grandeur – both white and red, they account for less than 1% of the region’s farming. They are the jewels of the Côte d’Or. All of the white Grand Crus are found in the Côte de Beaune. There is a red Grand Cru in Corton of the Côte de Beaune, other than that, all the Grand Cru reds can be found in the Côte de Nuits.

To be awarded a Grand Cru, the wine must be grown from grapes of the designated varietal, from a classified plot of land, from vines minimum 3 years of age and below a specific yield measured in hectolitre/hectare.

Then, the wine must be properly stored, aged, then available for sale. A Grand Cru wine should deliver an experience in the glass, showing intense aromatics, power and complexity of the highest order.

Premier Cru

The Premier Cru vineyards are measured by the same grape, yield and sourcing benchmarks as the Grand Crus. The Premier Crus also come from top sites and account for no more than 11% of the total Burgundian production. They are excellent wines, usually on average lesser so than the Grand Crus, however some Premier Cru sites can outperform the more average Grand Crus. These wines in particular, however, will usually command top dollar price tags.

Most Premier Crus are from named vineyards which appear on the wine label. For example, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Pucelles – this wine comes from the Pucelles vineyard in the village of Puligny-Montrachet.


For many of us, Burgundy’s Villages level wines is where the ‘real’ Burgundy begins. This is where we associate certain characteristics and styles that we relate to the wines of specific village, such as meaty/red fruit in Savigny, elegant/floral Volnay, spicy/perfumed Vosne-Romanée, nutty/buttery Meursault, and rose petal/minerally Chambolle Musigny.

There are the same grape restrictions as seen in the first two classifications (including some Aligoté) although in Villages level wines there is a slightly higher yield hl/ha allowance. There is plenty of value to have in these Villages wines, and often these wines contain portions of declassified wine from top sites. For example, in Puligny-Montrachet, any vineyard (be it Grand Cru, Premier Cru or a Village site) can be bottled and labelled with the name Puligny-Montrachet.


Regional level wines can have bottles with various labels such as: Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Blanc, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Bourgogne Chardonnay or Bourgogne Aligoté. There are also hilly areas in the Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune that fall within this classification.

The allowed yields per hectare are higher here than for the other classifications within the Burgundy AOC. There is also a unique opportunity to use the grape of Beaujolais in a wine labelled as Bourgogne Passetoutgrains, which is mainly Gamay Noir blended with a smaller proportion of Pinot Noir. Often the best quality wines are found neighbouring famous appellations such as Meursault or Vosne Romanee.

Spotlight on Burgundy Premier Cru Wines

This month we aim to focus and celebrate the Premier Cru designation in particular. There are over 1,200 wine labels in Burgundy, many of these now well out of the reach of the average wine consumer based on rarity, price and availability. Burgundy price increases have centred on the 700 total wines from AOC designated Grand Cru and Villages wines, plus the Premier Cru climat-labeled wines. Where the most highly coveted and sought after Grand Cru wines are among the worlds most expensive, there is plenty of joy and discovery to be had at the Premier Cru level, which can certainly command a high price tag yet offer a wider range in value and deliver classic, Burgundy terroir.

At Dhall & Nash Fine Wines we have been developing relationships with growers in Burgundy over the last decade and over this period have spent considerable time and investment to build up a list of Burgundy wines we are proud to supply to the NZ marketplace.

Domaine Bertagna

Domaine Bertagna: A Burgundy Gem From our Personal Cellar

Domaine Bertagna

Domaine Bertagna asserts that quality and precision are their warhorses, and such a statement couldn’t be more of a truism. The delicious wines they are producing are true gems in our cellar that we are thrilled to bring to our customers.

Established by Claude Bertagna in 1950s and located in Vougeot, Burgundy, Bertagna has impressive Grand Cru and Premier Cru holdings, including two monopoles. In 1982 it was taken over by the Gunther Reh family, who were already established in other parts of the world and had numerous ventures, and in 1988, Eva Reh-Siddle took the reins and has not since relinquished them. In her time she has worked tirelessly to maintain the quality of her fruit. She has modernized the vineyard without losing sight of the importance of authenticity and tradition.

Producing only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the prestigious vineyards themselves lie on Bathonien limestone with scattered calcareous clay soils, on 21ha situated between Aloxe Corton and Gevrey Chambertin in the shadow of the famous Château de Clos de Vougeot. They are grown without the use of chemical treatments or pesticides and produce exceptional fruit. Eva Reh-Siddle asserts that “the wine is made in the vineyards” - meaning she believes around 80% of the wine quality can be attributed to the work the vignerons do day in, day out in the vineyards.

Domaine Bertagna vineyard
Domaine Bertagna vineyards, Burgundy

Earlier this year, Puneet and Brandon had the pleasure of visiting the domaine:

“Eva Reh Siddle loves her Domaine. Nestled in the heart of Vougeot (next door to our wonderful hotel), her back gate looks at all of the greatest vineyards within touching distance. Amoureuses to the right, Vougeot in front and Echezeaux to the left. Eva Reh is sophisticated and speaks her mind – maybe an element of her German heritage. It is clear that she loves the place, and that running the Domaine is a labour of love. There are 6 full time staff at the Domaine. She tells us the 2015’s are closed now and need another 5-7 years. The 14’s and 16’s can be drunk now.” - Puneet Dhall


We at Dhall & Nash have had Bertagna for a few years and we still maintain it is an absolute must-have in any cellar. The balance in the wines is quite simply spectacular and we’ve not seen a bad vintage yet. We share an excitement for what these wines are bound to offer given a few years of maturation. If there’s nowhere to go but up, then we want to be along for the ride.


2013 Domaine Bertagna Vougeot Premier Cru Les Cras Blanc
(375ml & 750ml)
Aromas of honey, fresh apricots and peaches. Well-balanced on the palate with a mix of purity and minerality. Very elegant.


2013 Domaine Bertagna Vougeot Premier Cru Clos de la Perriere
(375ml & 750ml)
"An appealing hint of banyard graces the black cherry and mineral flavours in this beefy red. The tannins lend a hard edge but the flavours persist through the firm, peppery aftertaste."
Wine Spectator (92 points)


2014 Domaine Bertagna Chambertin Grand Cru
"Spicy and stout with a floral and spicy nose. Bags of red fruits and class on the silky palate. Very good indeed. No rush in the cellar."
Decanter World Wine Awards (95 points & Gold Medal)


2014 Domaine Bertagna Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru
Ample with a great balance and body. Delicate tannins and discrete acidity.


2015 Domaine Bertagna Chambertin Grand Cru
Rich and deep with delicate and racy tannins.


2015 Domaine Bertagna Vougeot Premier Cru Clos de la Perriere
"The wine is still showing its wood aging, although the weight of ripe fruit will surely come through as it matures. It is a rich reflection of this fine vintage, dense and packed with black-plum fruits and with a smoky aftertaste."
Wine Enthusiast (93 points)


2015 Domaine Bertagna Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru
Delicate and clean with black fruit aromas. Delicate tannins and discrete acidity.


2015 Domaine Bertagna Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru
"This powerful, concentrated wine shows both richness and considerable aging potential. It is a powerhouse of ripe damson fruits and impressive tannins. Structured and intense, it needs to age for many years."
Wine Enthusiast (95 points & listed in Top 100 Cellar Wines 2017)


2015 Domaine Bertagna Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Dame Huguette
Gourmet - a delicate and well balanced structure with clean with minty eucalyptus notes on the nose.


2015 Domaine Bertagna Vosne Romanee Premier Cru Les Beaux Monts
"From one of the grandest premiers crus, this wine is dense and rich. With great fruit tones and finely integrated wood, it is complex, beautifully balanced and shows great intensity. The juicy red fruits are shot through by firm tannins that will soften as it matures."
Wine Enthusiast (94 points & Cellar Selection)

Puneet & Brandon in France: Day Five

Thursday 21st June 2018

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Burgundy, Nuits-Saint-Georges with Thibault Liger

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Burgundy
Another beautiful morning and Brandon and I walk into another magnificent Domaine - a beautiful ivy clad house, just perfect for anything. We walk around the back to the cellar. Thibault is pouring samples from down below. He speaks perfect English and comes up to greet us. The Domaine houses some Grand Cru wines, but there is a new site where we will taste. We drive a few minutes to the most modern site we have seen in Burgundy. We then realise that Thibault is an incredible blend of the old and new and a fascinating character, respected by all. He shows us around the facility - proud and knowledgeable, he shows us solar panels, water reclamation and energy efficiency devices everywhere. The Domaine has been organic and biodynamic since 2001.

2017 Moulin à Vent Les Ruchots Beaujolais:  Lovely fruit and spice, rounded body, medium concentration, fleshy.
Sand and granite soil, 40% whole cluster. 2m of soil.

2017 Moulin à Vent Vieille Vignes Beaujolais: Slate, dusty, bright, energetic. Violets, vibrant, plush and soft with plenty of years more in this one. - Puneet

2017 Moulin à Vent la Roche Beaujolais: Dust and mineral, textural and sophisticated with superb length. - Puneet
No soil, just rock.

2017 Bourgogne Les Grands Chaillots: Spice, red fruits, fresh and strong. - Puneet
1ha Chambolle musigny 1er cru. 2ha Chambolle Musigny.

2017 Haute Côtes de Nuits Clos de Prix: More fruit and softer tannin, limestone, pebbles. - Puneet

2017 Chambolle Musigny Village: Red fruit, lighter spice, bright and fleshy. - Puneet
Blend of 5 Lieux Dits. 40% whole cluster.

2017 Nuits St Georges Les Charmots: Mushroom, fresh, energy, funky. - Puneet
Big clay with a mix of limestone soils.

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Croix Deschamps: Toasty, grilled meat, blue fruit, earthy. - Puneet

2017 Vosne Romanee Aux Reales: Lots of limestone in this soil. Very aromatic, stony, mineral, lovely tannins.

2017 Chambolle Musigny Les Griotte: Spice, red fruit, lovely body and structure, more velvet. - Puneet
Just below Bonnes Mares.

2017 Charmes Chambertin Aux Charmes: An explosion of perfume and aroma, red and blue fruit, texture and body. - Puneet
Very high vineyards. 70% whole cluster (cut at the stem).

2017 Clos de Vougeot: More spice, earthy, more secondary characters. - Puneet

2017 Nuits St Georges, Les St Georges: Forest floor, truffle, calcite. - Puneet

2017 Richebourg Grand Cru: Very complex soil. Deeper, great complexity, incredible length. So so young. - Puneet

2017 Bourgogne Aligote Des Combes: Fruit driven, bitter aromatic, fleshy. Very nice and refreshrefreshing. - Puneet

Domaine Dujac, Burgundy, Chambolle Musigny with Alec Seysses

Brandon wine tasting in the Domaine Dujac cellar
Brandon tasting in the Domaine Dujac cellar

We walk down into the cellar to a group tasting with some Americans, Italians and Chinese. Alec has taken over the Domaine from his father. He is incredibly confident and respectful of his Domaine, and very knowledgeable of its history.

2017 Les Folatieres Blanc: Nutty aromas, beautiful integration of oak. Cream and stone fruit. - Puneet

2016 Morey Village: Cardamom, mineral and fruit. - Puneet
90% whole cluster.

2016 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Combottes: Toastier, earthier, open, red fruits towards blue, generous. - Puneet

2016 Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Malcansort: Aromatic, fragrant, powerful, gorgeous texture, spicy tannin, elegant, length. - Puneet

2016 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru: Bigger and spicier. Coffee, licorice, powerful, limestone, mineral, clean. - Puneet

1996 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru: Red/brown colour. Gentler spice, toffee notes. Blending of flavours, gentle spice, silky graininess - delicious.

Domaine Bertagna, Burgundy, Vougeot with Eva Reh Siddle

Domaine Bertagna vineyards, Burgundy
Domaine Bertagna vineyards, Burgundy

Eva Reh Siddle loves her Domaine. Nestled in the heart of Vougeot (next door to our wonderful hotel), her back gate looks at all of the greatest vineyards within touching distance. Amourouses to the right, Vougeot in front and Echezeaux to the left. Eva Reh is sophisticated and speaks her mind - maybe an element of her German heritage. It is clear that she loves the place, and that running the Domaine is a labour of love. There are 6 full time staff at the Domaine. She tells us the 2015’s are closed now and need another 5-7 years. The 14’s and 16’s can be drunk now.

Domaine Bertagna, Burgundy
2016 Bourgogne Hautes Cotes du Nuits: 
Versatile, medium body, light spice, gentle. Mineral and limestone. - Puneet
50% oak, 50% stainless, 20% whole bunch.

2016 Vougeot Clos de la Perrieres 1er Cru (Monoplole): Fragrant, brown earth, lots of spice, lovely texture. Accessible now. - Puneet

2016 Vosne Romanee Les Beaumonts: Fragrant, soft, black fruit, hint of licorice, stony, pebbly.
 45 yr old vines.

2016 Nuits St Georges Les Murgers 1er Cru: Forest-like, powerful, black fruit, spice, little closed, tannin, purple fruit. - Puneet

2016 Clos St Denis Grand Cru: Hints of coffee. Elegant and graceful. - Puneet

2016 Le Corton Grand Cru Ls Grand Loliers: Truffle, gravy, violets, purple fruit, length. - Puneet

2016 Vougeot le Cras (White): Yellow stone fruit, ripe, honey suckle, white chocolate. Stony and creamy. - Puneet
Used to be Pinot Noir until 1984. In the early days of the Monastry in Vougeot the land was equal and blanc and noir. First harvest was 1988.

Domaine Guffens-Heynen and Domain Verget, Burgundy, Maconnais

Brandon and I drive South from the Cote D’or. It is a fairly long distance to the Maconnais and in fact feels like a whole new region, even though it is still Burgundy. The hills are larger and more steep, the climate feels that touch warmer. Vineyard elevations are 200-400m. We visit two Domaines in the Macon, housed in the same winery. Guffens-Heynen is all their own vineyards and their own fruit. A total of 6ha: 1ha Pouily Fuisse, 1ha St Veran and 4ha Macon. All the fruit in Verget is bought in long term contracts with growers from the best sites. The Domaines are inspirational, technology is embraced, innovative wine methods are practiced - possibly the first in the world to use horizontal cylindrical stainless steel tanks for whites with a special lees stirring rod. The tanks increase the surface area of wine in contact with lees. There are many, many more innovations like this. We are shown around the facility by Julian who is intelligent, insightful and humble. All white wines.

2017 Verget Vins de Sud Macon: Fresh texture, zest, hint of bitterness. Nice. - Puneet

2016 Verget Vins de France: Prune juice, fresh, ripe. - Puneet
Only lees.

2017 Macon Village Grand Elevation: Ripe with huge body and lees. Nutty and creamy. - Puneet
A blend of different plots in the village.

2017 Bourgogne Grand Elevage: Ripe, large body, more length. - Puneet

2017 Macon Charnay Clos St Perriere: Good density and fruit, some spice. Lovely and integrated. - Puneet

2017 Macon Bussieres Vignes de Montbrisson: Subtle, mineral, lime, fresh. Very approachable and tasty. - Puneet
High elevation, full eastern exposure. Limestone. 70 year old vines. 20% new oak - free run juice, low yields.

2017 Vire Clesse: Pineapple, honeydew, melon. Very fruity. - Puneet

2017 St Veran Lieux Dit: Toasty, nutty, open and generous, creamy. Very good. - Puneet

2017 Pouilly Fuisse Terroirs de V: Intense, spicy nose, mineral. - Puneet

2017 Pouilly Fuisse Terroirs de F: Stony, pebbly, mineral, pleasant, open. - Puneet
From Vergison vineyards - high altitude.

2017 Pouilly Fuisse Les Combes Vieille Vignes: Mineral and toasted, generous. - Puneet
In a valley, North and South exposure.

2016 St Veran Terroirs de Davaye: Fruit driven. Less dense than the 2017 St Veran. - Puneet

2013 Guffens-Heynen Trie de Chavigne: Spicy, soft, concentrated. Very good. - Puneet
The Trie de Chavigne is the result of long harvests and the individual berries being picked at night over several weeks as each berry attains a specific ripeness.

2015 Guffens-Heynen Premier Jus de Chivigne: Beautiful palate, sweet fruit, dense, creamy, mineral. - Puneet

2013 Guffens-Heynen Pouilly Fuisse Trie des Hauts des Vignes: Big fruit, concentrated and fleshy. - Puneet

Domaine de Pothiers, Loire, Cote Roannaise, with Romain

Brandon Nash in the Domaine de Pothiers vineyard, France
Brandon in the Domaine de Pothiers vineyard

Brandon and I go off piste slightly. A long and winding drive up the hills, passing pretty villages, into practically the centre of France. We drive over the Loire river and realise that this region is actually a very far eastern point of the Loire Valley. It is intensely beautiful in a lonely far away kind of way. We feel like we can see the whole of France - North, South, East and West. The Côte Roannaise has been for wines for over a thousand years. We find the Domaine de Pothiers and the house at the end of a long driveway. An elderly gentleman stares frustratingly into the abyss of a tractor engine. We say Bonjour but he does not even know that we are there. Only the tractor matters.

A few minutes later, the owner Romain drives up the lane with another tractor. He gets straight to business and shows us around his house which is at least one thousand years old and has housed his family for as far back as records go. We jump in the car and take a tour of his land. He takes us higher and higher to his Clos. An old monastery towers over this walled vineyard. We feel as far away from civilisation as is possible but the view is amazing - just beautiful.

We go and see the rest of Romain’s property where we meet his horse that he plows with - they are best friends. Romain is truly a man of the country, up at dawn working till dusk, doing more projects in a year than I will do in a lifetime. He is truly inspirational and as we taste his wines we realise that we have found an absolute gem. Over an incredible meal with his family of the best beef in the world (home killed and cooked) we find out that when Roamain makes a rare visit to a 3 star Michelin restaurant he is treated like royalty, such are the quality of his wines and the respect he earns. I ask Romain what we should remember about his vineyards. He tells me the Gamay St Romain (this is not the Gamay of Beaujolais - but a different variety altogether which is more pretty and feminine), freshness from altitude and cool climate characteristics. “Gamay forever" he says.

Puneet & Brandon in France: Day Four

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Domaine Laurent Roumier, Burgundy, Chambolle Musigny with Laurent Roumier

In the morning Brandon and I travel back to the legendary village of Chambolle Musigny. We now understand why this is such an exceptional commune and are excited to visit. Laurent Roumier’s father, Jean Marie, is the brother of the legendary George Roumier. This is a small Domaine, completely cult and always sold out.

2015 Chambolle Musigny Haute Cotes de Nuits: Red fruits, mineral, spice, rocks. Drink 3-4 years after bottling. - Puneet

2015 Chambolle Musigny Village: More spice and red fruit, more length and fresher. - Puneet

2015 Clos de Vougeot: More colour, cloves and spice, a swirl of flavour and fruit. Very dense, dark bitter chocolate character. - Puneet

Domaine Berthaut Gerbet, Burgundy, Fixin with Madame Berthet

Fixin is one of the Northern communes of the Cotes de Nuits. It is small and sometimes forgotten, but not after this class. Emmanuelle explains how the mother’s side and father’s side of their family combined their assets across Cotes de Nuits to create Berthaut Gerbet. Like Alex Millot, she is young, intelligent, respectful and determined - in other words bound to succeed.

The Fixin wine lineup
The Fixin wine lineup

2016 Haute Cote de Nuits: Floral, light red, fresh, balanced. - Puneet
2ha. 1 year barrel, no new oak.

2016 Fixin Village: Spice, red fruit, fresh and good length. - Puneet
Blend of 3 vineyards, 1 year in barrel, no new oak.

2016 Fixin Les Crais: Stones/shingles, bright, fresh and round. Lovely body. - Puneet
Single vineyard - 1.3ha.

2016 Gevrey Chambertin: Violets, floral perfume, ripe tannin, fatty, good mouth feel. - Puneet
2ha. Cuvee blend.

2016 Vosne Romanee: Gentle spice, red fruit and blue fruit, good body. - Puneet
2 plots.

2016 Fixin 1er Cru Arvulet: Savoury, brooding, toasted, grilled meat, long length. - Puneet

2016 Vosne Romanee Petits Monts 1er Cru: Fragrant red fruit, plush, balanced, lovely. - Puneet
Just above Richebourg, very steep.

2016 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Clove, spice, mossy, linear, straight, hint of dark chocolate. - Puneet

Domaine Michel Magnien and Domaine Frédéric Magnien, Burgundy, Morey St Denis with Carole Nappy

Frédéric is the father and Michel is the son. Michel is running the Domaine now. Organic, bio-dynamic and innovative. We felt like we were visiting old friends as we have been working with these guys for a few years now - I love their Clos de Beze and Clos de la Roche. We walk through the cellar and are amazed to see 100’s of terracotta amphora jars about 100 litres each. As Michel moves further and further to trying to let the terroir speak out in their wines, he is moving away from oak influence and using the more inert jars to age his wines.

2014 Morey St Denis Tres Girard Michel Magnien: Spice, savoury, hint of mushroom. - Puneet
Bottom vineyard near the restaurant Tres Girard. Deeper soils.

2014 Morey St Denis Luisat Michel Magnien: More perfume, fresh, clean, mineral at back of palate. - Puneet

2015 Morey St Denis Tres Girard Michel Magnien: Aged in jars. Younger, but ripe tannin, mushroom and spice. - Puneet

2013 Chambolle Musigny Vieille Vignes Frédéric Magnien: Spice, red fruit, vibrant, energetic, lively. - Puneet

2015 Chambolle Musigny Vieille Vignes Frédéric Magnien: Nice perfume, fragrant, mineral, elegant, length, earthy. - Puneet

2013 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Charmes Vieilles Vignes Frédéric Magnien: Beautiful bouquet, rock, mineral, garam masala. - Puneet

2014 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers Michel Magnien: Much more sweet red fruit, spice, fresh and vibrant energy. - Puneet

2014 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Bourniques Michel Magnien: (Next to Musigny should be a grand gru) Perfume, spice and grilled meat, incredible integration of flavour and tannin. - Puneet

2014 Morey St Denis 1er Cru Millandes Michel Magnien: Truffle, rock, earth. Deeper and broody. - Puneet

2013 Charles Chambertin Grand Cru Aux Mazeyeres Frédéric Magnien: Red and black fruit, port-like nose, broody again. Black earth, still young. 2013’s are still difficult to assess. - Puneet

2016 Morey St Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchottes: 50% JAR. Pure, red fruit, amazing minerality. Ripe silky tannin. - Puneet

2016 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru Aux Mazeyeres: 40% JAR. Fragrant, elegant, generous, powerful, silky. - Puneet

2016 Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru: Big, open ,juicy, fresh, fantastic. - Puneet

Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Burgundy, Marsanne with Sylvain Pataille

Brandon and Sylvain Pataille
Brandon and Sylvain Pataille

What an experience. Sylvain has an electrifying mob of blonde hair, horn rimmed spectacles and as much energy and vibrancy as his wines, He lives and breathes the village he was born in and lives in, Marsannay, and is seen by many as the outstanding viticulturist and vigneron of his generation in Burgundy. Amongst all this, such is his demand that he also consults for many top estates across the Cotes D’Or.

On his road is his father’s cellar and grandfather’s cellar, along with his own cellar. We walk down into a small, damp room filled with barrels and barely any room to move around. The front of the cellar is his office - one huge barrel length ways with a multitude of clean skin bottles. He closes the door. “No phones, no time - I love it here” Sylvain smiles. He begins with his love Aligote - “the forgotten grape of Burgundy”. Many years ago top sites across Burgundy were planted with Aligote. He notes tasting the 1964 Bonneau du Martray Aligote “exquisite” - this is no longer the case. He still has Premier Cru sites across Marsannay dating back 100 years. Over the early evening we taste 30 or 40 barrel samples. I remember every single one although I stopped taking notes as I was absorbed in the whole experience.

Aligote is a small berry - bitter and fresh. It needs oxygen and oak (not stainless). It offers an aromatic nose and a bitter sweet full and fresh palate.

We run through every Aligote sample, and then Chardonnay and then his magnificent and vibrant Pinot Noir. This is a man that everyone should know of and listen to. He is playful, happy, extremely intelligent and immersed in his passion.

Puneet & Brandon in France: Day Three

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Domaine Fabien Coche, Burgundy, Meursault with Fabien Coche

Brandon and Puneet visit the Domaine Fabien Coche winery
Brandon and Puneet visit the Domaine Fabien Coche winery

A lovely summer’s morning and a drive to Meursault, a medium sized village, extremely lovely, a lot of yellow and cream buildings with the multi coloured thatched roofs. Fabien Coche is son of Alain Coche who is the cousin of the famed Jean-Francois Coche-Drury. It seems that when it comes to the new generation, Fabien is the one making waves in the Coche family. The side of the Coche family were barrel makers in the 1930's and moved into selling bottles in the 1940’s, at which point Fabien’s Grandfather got into the game.

We tried:

2015 Cotes de Bourginon: Gentle, lovely fruit expression, balanced and fresh. - Puneet
100% Chardonnay from Auxey Duresses.

2015 Bourgogne Blanc: Finesse, gentle and powerful, washes over with lovely freshness and balance. Textures woven into one. - Puneet
A blend of 3 parcels from Meursault. 20% new oak.

2015 St Romain Sous la Veille (Liex Dit): More aromatic, more toast, delicious, fruit mixed with cream and again woven so seamlessly as if one flavour all the way. - Puneet
18 Months oak barrel.

2015 Meursault Goute D'or 1er Cru: Amazing, nutty, toasty, but so elegant. Viscosity, cream, length that goes on. - Puneet

2015 Auxey Duresses Rouge: Open, red, mineral, stony, red fruit, big mid palate, happy wine, light toast, some moss. - Puneet

2015 Meursault Rouge: Mossy, earthy, full body, some evident tannins, raspberry, ripe.

2016 Bourgogne Blanc: Just bottled - good aroma, sweet fruit and gentle toast. Good mineral, fresh, not bold, elegant, good acid. - Puneet

2016 Auxey Duresses: Linear, mineral, hint of spice, less toast. - Puneet

2016 Meursault le Chevaliers: Lovely nose, damp oak, white chocolate, fresh, pure, elegant, so integrated, finesse. Very good. - Puneet

2016 Meursault Villages: Toasted, more obvious and nutty, fruity body, generous open and fresh.

Domaine Jean Marc Millot, Burgundy, Nuits St Georges with Alex Millot

We walk down a long alley in a back road of Nuits St George to a newer wooden building. We meet the rotund and happy father Jean Marc Millot, and his daughter, Alex, who is now in charge of the Domaine. Brandon spends a while telling everyone how Alex looks like his sister in law and a bunch of pictures are taken. As usual we descend to the cellar, Alex armed with wine knife, portable spitoon and local regional map.

2017 Bourgogne Rouge: Gravely, dusty, earthy, vibrant, good energy. - Puneet
From Comblachiets.

2017 Savigny Les Beaune: Aromatic, open, lots of red fruit, smooth and pleasant tannin. - Puneet
3 plots 0.88ha, 12 barrels.

2017 Cotes de Nuits: Mushroom, moss, red fruit, wide open palate leading to savoury and herbal finish. - Puneet
4 plots old vines.

2017 Cotes de Nuits Aux Faugeres: Truffle, meat, elegant, bright, rounded, fresh. - Puneet

2017 Vosne Romanee Villages: Stone, slate, mineral, fresh, moreish. - Puneet
2 plots 5 barrels.

2017 Vosne Romanee Les Suchots 1er Cru: Young, slate, toast, layered. - Puneet

2017 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Roasted, light grill to charcoal, rosemary, lovely palate. - Puneet

2017 Echezeaux Grand Cru: Rocky, integrated red and black fruit, textured and tannins. - Puneet
3 parcels.

2017 Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru: Large nose of red and black fruits, toasted, very balanced. - Puneet

Domaine JJ Confuron, Burgundy, Nuits St Georges with Laurie Confuron

Another changing of the guard as we meet Laurie who has taken on the honour of running the Domaine from his mother and father. With the younger guys, we find that most of them have visited New Zealand, and we often have friends in common. I also notice how they take the responsibility of running the Domaine with seriousness, intellect and with a youthful touch. We listen to Laurie as intently as anyone - after all these guys have been running around these barrel halls and vineyards since the day they found their feet. It is without a doubt in their blood.

Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue, Burgundy, Chambolle Musigny with Francois Millet

Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue vineyard, Burgundy
Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue vineyard, Burgundy

We drive to Chambolle Musigny. Several times over the past few days we have had to pinch ourselves that we have actually arranged this appointment. New Zealand legend Alan Brady (founder of Gibbston Valley, Felton Road) was so kind to arrange an introduction with winemaker and legend Francois Millet of Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue (one of the greatest ever Burgundy Domaines). We park on the narrow lane towards the top of the village with the hills above us. The sun is shining. We walk through the arch into the courtyard. We feel the silence - not deathly, but hallowed - monastic. Birds still flutter through the courtyard, but in silence. A girl walks silently through the courtyard. Life definitely abounds, the air smells super fresh. Brandon and I make our way to a glass door behind which is the office of Francois Millet. We knock and enter.

“Je m’appelle Brandon et Je m’appelle Puneet et Nous travaillons pour Dhall and Nash en Nouvelle Zealand… We would like to deepen our understanding of Burgundy and go to the next level.”

After a moment of silence, Francois draws a measured breath and replies,

“...Well you have come to the right place.”

Francois gathers a small wicker basket, just large enough for four wine glasses and his wine thief. We walk through the courtyard, into the Cellar. Not many barrels, but Brandon and I know we are standing by some of the most rare and sought after wine on the planet. Tastings like this are extremely rare, and you have to earn it. We taste 5 of the best red wines on Earth in a row from barrel. Francois talks and we listen. This is not a masterclass, it is something else. It is a Guru with his disciples. Francois with his decades of experience, built on centuries of experience of previous cellar masters, does not communicate in a way we are used to. He moves beyond technical into the metaphysical. The few hectares of hills upon which his Grand cru vineyards sit are more than land and sun and vines, they are spiritual embodiments, and he has the ability to listen and bond with his terroir. It is all alive and the wines themselves are alive, and he is together with them. We finish the tasting and walk out of the Cellar into the bright warm sunlight, as if we have just stepped off of Venus back onto Earth. Brandon and I shared an experience with Francois that we will never forget, and we will be forever grateful. That day we moved up onto a higher plane of wine appreciation and general intellect - our souls were moved by the simplicity and the greatness. We did not talk for quite some time.

2017 Chambolle Musigny Village: Incredible, bright, some coffee, plenty of red fruits. - Puneet
Francois explains that the Cote de Nuits follow a geographically linear line from North to South. Sites further up the hill show more ethereal qualities and less depth. At the bottom of the hill soils are deep and the limestone is further down. The Grand Cru and Permier Cru are all mid slope.

2017 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru: Deep, savoury, brooding, sensational, balanced, long length. - Puneet
Age for 10-25 years.

2017 Chambolle Musigny les Amourouses 1er Cru: Bursting with violets, deep plum and fruit, mineral with incredible length, finesse and elegance. Remarkable. - Puneet
0.5ha at the top of the site (Grand Cru in everything by name).

2017 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: We are deep in the forest, big volume and density, blueberries and fresh moss, brightness. Sensational.

2017 Musigny Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru: A blast of aroma and minerality, spice, red fruits. Still so much more to give over decades. - Puneet

Domaine Chevillon-Chezeaux, Burgundy, Nuits St George with Phillipe Chevilllon

After Comte de Vogue in the late afternoon sun, we are greeted by Phillipe Chevillon at his cellar in Nuits St George. We like him instantly - a large, strong chap with a hearty smile and virtually no English. He proceeds to talk to us in rapid french. By the time we leave we know everything about Nuits St George. The vineyards to the South being more spicy and earthy and the vineyards to the North picking up the more elegant bright, red fruit characters of Vosne Romanee. We all also agree the Nuits St George Les St George is definitely another 1er Cru that should/could be a Grand Cru.

Dinner Castel de Tres Girard, Morey St Denis

We sit down in the evening sun on the patio of Morey St Denis in Morey St Denis. In hommage to the village and our first memorable visit, we buy a 2008 Hubert Lignier Morey St Denis 1er Cru (I forget which one now!) We decanted, the first glass was closed and then after half an hour or so, the wine started opening up to its florals and spice and red fruit that we know so well - still young.

We have an exceptional meal and soak in village life in France - although as far as villages go, this is more on the sophisticated end of the spectrum.