The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: François Gay and…François Gay!

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15In honor of today’s offer of François Gay’s newly arrived 2014 Aloxe-Corton, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on two more outstanding wines from this cult-inspiring estate. It’s not hyperbole to say that François Gay’s wines are among the most difficult to procure in all of Burgundy. The estate sells most of its wine directly to the greatest restaurants in France as well as a few friends, and he makes fewer than 3,500 cases in each vintage. Quick math will tell you that just 150-200 cases are left for the entire rest of the world; IWM has been lucky enough to forge a close relationship with the estate that allows us not only the country’s best pricing, but also first dibs on some of Gay’s most sought-after bottlings.

Gay’s wines are balanced and fresh, both approachable in the near term and capable of spending more than a decade in the cellar. François Gay’s philosophy is to let his terroir speak, and his wines are all about detail, complexity, and a luxurious, delicate mouth-feel. Every wine from François Gay is unbelievable: his Chorey has the complexity of a Chambolle; his Ladoix sings like a Gevrey; his Aloxe-Corton rivals the complexity of Vosne-Romanée; and his Corton-Renardes Vieilles Vignes will hold its own against the greatest grand cru Pinots on the market. Try these wines for yourself, and you’ll immediately understand how special they are.

François Gay 2014 Chorey-Les-Beaune $34.99

Bright, fresh, aromatic and pure, Gay’s ‘14 Chorey Les Beaune is a soft, pretty and elegant expression of this subzone of the Côte de Beaune. Bright red berries and cherries mingle with fresh-cut roses and violets, minerals, and a hint of spice in this sprightly, energetic Pinot. Delicious and food-friendly right upon release, it will continue to provide exquisite drinking pleasure over the next 6-8 years.

François Gay 2013 Corton-Renardes $104.99

If Gay’s village-level wines sing like an angelic choir, the estate’s old-vine Corton-Renardes Grand Cru roars like an operatic symphony. This is a big, powerful Pinot, and it’s not afraid to show you its flare. While muscular and somewhat tight upon release, it opens beautifully with some decanting to show layers of enchanting red and blue fruits, crushed flowers, a savory component reminiscent of cured olives, and a mineral core that holds it all together. Silky smooth tannins caress the palate as it builds to a long yet delicate and nuanced finish. Drink through 2030.

Expert Picks: François Gay and…François Gay!

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15Today I’m focusing on two outstanding red Burgundies sourced from the storied hill of Corton and produced by a longtime favorite estate, Domaine François Gay. A relatively small estate, François Gay produces around 3,400 cases per year, and most of the wine goes to restaurants and loyal customers within France. However, a small amount is allocated for export and IWM is lucky enough to be one of the very few retailers in the States who can offer these wines vintage after vintage. In terms of quality-to-price ratio, Burgundy doesn’t get much better than this! I’ve chosen two Corton wines for today, but the estate also produces some outstanding Savigny-les-Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune and Ladoix, both village-level and premier cru. Burgheads who love perfectly balanced, transparent wines of great depth and aromatic complexity need look no further than Domaine François Gay!

François Gay 2010 Aloxe-Corton $57.99

This beautiful 2010 Aloxe-Corton is entering its drinking window and will continue to thrill Burgheads for years to come. A structured, aromatic Pinot, Gay’s ‘10 Aloxe-Corton offers pretty aromas of red and blue fruit, crushed stone, wildflowers and soft spice, and it’s a perfect complement for hearty winter meals. It achieves the elusive goal of providing both power and finesse, tannins and fruit, and acid and structure, and it will not disappoint. In the realm of sub-$60 red Burgundies, you’d be hard pressed to find a wine that’s more representative of its appellation. Drink up!

François Gay 2012 Corton-Renardes Grand Cru $109.99

The 2012 François Gay Corton-Renardes is downright impressive, though it will certainly benefit from a few more years in the cellar. Still quite a young wine, it shows gorgeous notes of dark cherry and berry fruit, saline minerals and a savory umami note that defies definition. The estate’s flagship wine, it represents the pinnacle of Gay’s achievement and it’s a fitting testament to the wonderful work this estate has been doing of late. This is a wine to buy by the case and watch as it grows more beautiful by the week.