2017 Bitouzet-Prieur Bourgogne Passetoutgrains “Grange le Duc”
Francois Bitouzet’s refined, masterful touch is apparent even in this most humble of appellations. From organically farmed vines entirely within Volnay proper, Bitouzet’s Passetoutgrains is comprised of two-thirds Pinot Noir planted in 1974 and one-third Gamay planted in 1953, and raised entirely in used barrels. Its savory, mineral-driven profile screams Volnay, and the lip-smacking generosity of the ’17 vintage makes for a dazzling Burgundy at a very modest tariff.
Georges Lignier’s next-level 2015s
2015 represents an exciting step up for this estate, with Benoit Stehly’s fastidious improvements in vineyard management and cellar regimen brought to bear on a blockbuster vintage—culminating in a set of wines which still emphasize lithe delicacy and spice over overt richness, yet with more concentration and presence than ever before.
San Fereolo: the return of Nebbiolo “Il Provinciale” and Dogliani “1593”
We remain astonished at Nicoletta Bocca’s ability to render wines of such immense depth and visceral power. Though she tirelessly champions the underdog varieties of her region, she also produces Nebbiolo of astounding purity and complexity, as the 2015 “Il Provinciale” shows authoritatively. And her singular “1593” returns with the 2007 vintage, which underwent nine years of aging—first in 500-liter barrels, then in massive tini, then in steel. It represents the outer limits of Dolcetto’s expressive power, rivaling nearly anything from Barolo in terms of density and longevity.
Noah: Introducing “RossoNoah” and their first Lessona
Andrea Mosca continues to elevate his fledgling winery to greater heights. 2017 marks the first vintage for his “RossoNoah,” a blend of super-old-vines Croatina and Nebbiolo given a briefer élévage than the Bramaterra in order to emphasize freshness and accessibility. We are also eager to receive the inaugural 2014 vintage of his Lessona, a zone whose sandy soils yield a wine of silkier tannins and more polished fruit than the more punchily mineral, scrappier Bramaterra.
Gravner’s monumental 2010s, plus ’03 Rosso “Rujno” and ’07 Pinot Grigio “Riserva”
Each new release from this iconic estate is a cause for celebration. The 2010 vintage here displays mind-bending aromatic complexity, with more lift and high-toned elements than ’09 or ’08, and a slightly more kinetic, linear presentation on the palate. The Rosso “Rujno”—given an astonishing 12 years of aging in large barrels—illustrates the local Pignolo’s ability to rival reds from anywhere in Italy in terms of complexity and distinctiveness when treated in an appropriately serious fashion. And the legendary Pinot Grigio “Riserva” is oceanic in scope, its extended period of maceration and long élévage revealing the depths of which this variety is capable but so rarely given rein to express.