On the Trail

Burgundy's 2015 Selections Begin to Trickle In

David Driscoll

Those of you who were following our OTL updates from Burgundy will be pleased to know that a number of the 2015 expressions from some of these producers have arrived on a recent shipment, and more will continue to trickle in over the next few weeks. Today we were able to receive in and retaste the bargain chardonnays from Domaine Renaud, one of our most popular value-priced imports, and the simply incredible new bargain reds from Les Frères Perroud, our last stop in Burgundy a few weeks back. We'll start with the Renaud wines, some of which came from the vineyard pictured above.

Ranging from fifteen to twenty dollars in price, the white wines from Renaud are proof that while 2015 brought more ripeness across the board, that extra weight didn't come at the expense of acidity. California central coast fans will want to take note: these are medium-bodied chardonnays without oak aging and clean, mild-mannered fruit buoyed by faint mineral notes and just enough zip. The 2015 Mâcon-Villages is the cleanest and leanest of the bunch with the crispest fruit and the most minerality on the finish. That'll run you a cool $13.99. The 2015 Mâcon-Solutré and Mâcon-Charnay expressions are a bit riper with more stone fruit on the palate and a creamier texture, but both are only a dollar more at $14.99. The 2015 St.-Veran comes from the slopes underneath the Rock of Solutré (pictured in this post from a few weeks back) and has more depth. There's a better concentration of fruit and minerality and wine finishes with more length. The richest of the bunch, of course, is the 2015 Pouilly-Fuissé that does see some barrel aging and adds the spice of that oak maturation into the richness. It's a serious crowdpleaser for the price. 

One visit I unfortunately didn't find time to write about during our trip included Robert and Michel Perroud from Les Frères Perroud in the village of Brouilly. We started working directly with the brothers back with the 2014 vintage and now that the fantastic 2015s have arrived, I'm expecting non-stop positive feedback from customers who opt to try this year's latest batch. Simply put: the wines are incredible. They're ripe and fleshy, but with style and sophistication. They're pretty, joyous, and brimming with a juicy and pure red fruit character. Robert is the head of the Beaujolais consortium of growers and I'm guessing it's out of sheer respect for his abilities that they elected him as the leader. With the pricing we've worked out via our direct relationship, I can't think of a more impressive selection of red wines in the store from anywhere! 

The Perrouds have gamay vineyards in Brouilly from which they make their cru level Beaujolais wines, but they also have a few plots of pinot noir from which they make a Bourgogne rouge. Don't mistake their Brouilly selections for carbonically-macerated nouveau, either. They vinify their gamay and pinot noir selections just like any other winemaker in Burgundy and the results for the money are truly unbeatable. The 2015 Bourgogne Rouge is nothing short of a revelation at $16.99 because it easily beats out other village-level and 1er cru selections in the store priced between $25-$30 (especially as it's all farmed organically, to boot). The wine is a plush symphony of pure cherry and raspberry splendor with classic Burgundian accents of earth and forest floor. I could probably drink this every night and never get tired of it. The only thing I might trade it out for would be the 2015 "Vieilles Vines" Brouilly, a dark and ridiculously-concentrated mouthful of pure Beaujolais magic. The 2015 "Amethyste" Brouilly adds a bit more finesse and elegance to the same equation, but seeing that both are well under twenty bucks it's really hard to go wrong. 

The fun is just getting started, but already there's a lot to be excited about. We came back from this trip grinning from ear to ear and these wines played a big role in that initial enthusiasm. Expect more K&L-direct Burgundy selections in short notice!

-David Driscoll