The composition of the fine wine market has taken a swift turn. Once completely dominated by Bordeaux, Burgundy now claims 22 of the top 50 price performers on the Liv-ex fine wine index. This is mainly due to its small size, the diminished supply after a string of small yields, and a burgeoning Chinese market that is discovering the mystic of the Pinot Noir grape and Burgundy as a place. Few would disagree that Burgundy is now the world’s most sought-after wine; both red and white.
There is excellent relative value to be found so today we offer two Wine Cellar favourites from the villages of Marsannay and Gevrey-Chambertin in the north. In many ways Gevrey-Chambertin produces the primordial red Burgundy by marrying true power and structure with elegance and perfume. Harmand-Geoffroy began farming in the late 19th century and Philippe Harmand, the current generation winemaker, continues to produce excellent, traditional wines. Allen Meadows describes them as ‘understated fruit-forward wines but with fine purity of expression and limited to moderate oak’.
‘The Harmand’s touch is clearly masterly. Their wines are all too attractive young, but age well. A fine, confident domaine.’ – Remington Norman, The Great Domaines of Burgundy
Just further north, in the lesser known village of Marsannay, Bruno Clair is one of the village’s leading, more well-known producers. Marsannay can be slightly rustic and tannic, but the Clair style is that of pure fruit, fine tannins and generous flavour.
‘The Marsannays are excellent with depth and finesse… A range of wine unlikely to disappoint.’ – Remington Norman, The Great Domaines of Burgundy
Burgundy offers rewards that are potentially at the pinnacle of wine enjoyment but it remains an extremely complex region that is difficult to access and understand. Feel free to ask for our advice on our Burgundy list, or join us for a Burgundy workshop in Cape Town and Joburg on Wednesday, 28 March.
2013 – Classic vintage, starting to drink well now.
2014 – Very good, classic vintage with standout whites.
2015 – One of the greatest modern vintages, especially for reds.
2016 – Tiny crop, not far off 2015 in quality. Add yourself to our allocation list.
Harmand-Geoffroy, Gevrey-Chambertin 2013 – R 595
Rocky soils, just below the woods in the cooler part of Burgundy, produce a firm wine when young; needing time to mature. This delicious Gevrey is drawn from multiple small parcels across the village. The youngest vines for this cuvée are 25 years of age with the oldest being 60 years old. Crafted from less than generous yields, raised in 20% new oak, Phillipe Harmand has done a terrific job tempering this wine’s natural exuberance with stylish texture and refreshment.
‘This is also exuberantly fresh with its expressive nose that is comprised of black raspberry, plum and soft earth nuances. There is fine intensity to the well detailed medium weight flavours that also possess a saline hint before culminating in a lingering, balanced and solidly complex finale. Drink now to 2025.’ – Allen Meadows, 89-91 points
Bruno Clair, Marsannay Rouge 2014 – R 525
Domaine Bruno Clair owns approximately 11 hectares of vineyards across 9 villages. Marsannay is little-known and often underestimated and is either drunk too young or over-looked. The soils produce rather tannic, well-structured red wines but Bruno Clair’s wines are more refined and pure fruited.
‘Les Roseys, les Boivins, les Étalles and some small plots are vinified together to produce the domaine’s red Marsannay. Light in body with showing excellent concentration and depth, this is more elegant than the appellation suggests. Aromatic, red fruit, lots of savoury personality and along, fine tale. This Marsannay is simply delicious and ethereal Red Burgundy that will age well for 5-8 years.’ – Winemaker