Many times in your life you will come across an incredible bottle of Burgundy from an unfamiliar estate, and you will ask yourself, “How have I never heard of this?” The fact is that many estates simply do not have enough property to make enough wine to find world-wide distribution. This obscurity can be a blessing, of course, because once you identify the wine and where you can find it, then you have located a hidden treasure. Take Chandon de Briailles, for example. Located four kilometers north of Beaune, Chandon de Briailles has been around since 1834, and this domaine makes some of my absolute favorite wines from Savigny, Pernand Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton. However, you’ve probably never heard of Chandon de Briailles. It can be difficult getting your name on the international stage when you make little more than 4,000 cases among 13 different appellations. I am pleased to offer you two selections from this exceptional, under-the-radar estate.
Deriving from vines dating back to the 1950s, the fruit produced on this tiny two-acre parcel is chock full of intensity. With the crop level down 40% in 2010, almost every wine Chandon de Briailles made exhibits amazing concentration. Showing a deep ruby color, this ’10 Vergelesses offers a rich, palate-coating mouth-feel, though it never goes too far–all the while it maintains fresh fruit and a racy, spicy profile. Drink now 2015-2025.
0.4 ha, or about 1 acre, is the size of the tiny Les Marechaudes plot this winemaker owns, but I assure you that Chandon de Briailles does quite a lot with very, very little. Unlike some monster Grand Crus from the Cote de Nuits, this ’10 Corton Les Marechaudes invites Burgundy lovers to enjoy some fairly young drinking. Extraordinary elegance shows as this wine swirls across your palate like a ballet dancer. Delicate in style and velvety in texture, this is a wine to fall in love with. Drink 2017-2030.