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: Alain Burguet and…Alain Burguet!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_1When it comes to “micro” or “cult” domaines, Alain Burguet is among those vignerons who basically set the trend. Our Burgundy buyer remembers his first visit to Burgundy back in the very early ‘90s, when Burguet was barely known to his neighbors, not to mention the wine world. He met this short, stout, powerful-looking man, standing in front of his one-car garage. While waiting for him to lead the way to his cellar, Burguet pulled up the garage door: they were already there.

For many years Burguet produced some of the most profound Burgundy out of that garage—Village wines that drank like Premier Crus, and eventually a Premier Cru that drank like a Grand Cru. Slowly his wines caught on, and the wine world found Burguet’s Burgundies had become difficult to find, and not because they were being made in a garage! The critics loved Burguet back then, and they do even more so today because he has refined his style. Here is an opportunity to explore two of his darling bottlings.

The 2010 vintage in Burgundy saw many troubles with regards to yield in Burgundy, and this particular estate saw a 45% reduction from 2009. On the whole though, the 2010 wines are stunning, elegant, classic representations of Burgundy. This vintage was the beginning of Alain’s handing over the reins to his sons Eric and Jean-Luc.

Domaine Alain Burguet Bourgogne Rouge Les Pince Vins 2010 $49.99

Located directly opposite Rue National, the Bourgogne Rouge is unique in that the grapes are sourced from a single vineyard: “Les Pince Vins.” It’s a rare occurrence that such care and complexity can be found in a glass of Bourgogne the way it is here.

Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey Mes Favorites VV 2010 $98.99

The Mes Favorites VV is produced from vines between 80 and 100 years old, so concentration is very evident. The wine is incredibly balanced and exudes a cool elegance and purity on both the nose and the palate.