Domaine A. et P. de Villaine is owned by Aubert de Villaine, now 81yrs old and a significant figure in the world of wine as well as one of the most admirable. Though he grew up on a cattle farm, his family for many generations had part ownership of Domain Romanée Conti, which in recent decades has become a producer of some of the most expensive wines in the world. When de Villaine first came in to his inheritance in the 50s, however, the domain did not have the prominence it has today. In the 60s as young man de Villaine spent time in the U.S. in the wine trade, working for New York based importer Frederick Wildman and then in California for Almaden, and while there getting to know Robert Mondavi. It was because of his familiarity with American wines that he was invited to be a judge at the famous 1976 ‘Judgement of Paris’, the blind tasting where American wines won the day and elevated American wines to the world stage, acknowledged to be the equal of the French. Villaine is also a champion of the concept of ‘terroir’ and, promoting Burgundy to be the ultimate expression of terroir (as many would agree), campaigned to have the unique vineyards of Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, which was granted in 2015.
In the 1970s, Aubert and his American wife, Pamela, sought less pedigreed land than Romanée Conti to call home . . . to make wine without heightened expectations and which they would wholly own. They settled in the village of Bouzeron in the north Côte Chalonnaise, conveniently near to the southern Cote de Beaune vineyards of Romanée-Conti. However high profile his day job, Aubert still considers himself a vigneron like any other, and Bouzeron’s off-the-beaten-path location left him alone to make his own wines without the demands of upholding the reputation of DRC.
Bouzeron is the home of Burgundy’s other white wine grape, the often, really always, overlooked Aligoté. It is thought of as a wine to drink young, a casual picnic wine, but it actually can be complex and can age. Domaine de Villaine’s importer Kermit Lynch says, “. . . when the soil is good and well selected, then you can make Aligoté on the same level as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.” Domaine de Villaine is biodynamic. Aubert says, “To respect the natural balance and interaction of the soil and vines, we use no pesticides or herbicides, and fertilizer use is restricted to organic vegetal compost . . . for me, biodynamics is not a religion but is more about getting concentration and finesse.” Here are two Youtube clips introducing de Villaine and his winemaker at the domaine, Pierre de Benoist.
We have our very limited one case allocation of three of this year’s releases. Sale prices are good for one week only (until 6/28/2020).
A. et P. De Villaine Bouzeron Aligote 2018
Shelf Price $41.99
Sale Price $ 37.77
The 2018 Bouzeron is pale yellow color with a touch of gold. The nose evokes acacia, white flowers and a handful of hazelnut that we nibble on. The mineral notes, associated with marl, mixed with very fresh notes of citrus fruits and white-fleshed fruits are balancing perfectly with an acidity and bitterness bringing a saline finish and a digest wine. This wine demonstrates perfectly the terroirs of Bouzeron through its grape variety, the aligote dore, and brings out sensations of vivacity, nourishing freshness. A beautiful and happy wine. To drink now to taste its “sharp roundness” of the fruit or wait five to ten years to feel the marl, the “wet stone” of the terroirs of Bouzeron. (Domaine de Villaine’s note)
A. et P. De Villaine Les Saint Jacques Rully Blanc 2018
Shelf Price $59.99
Sale Price $ 53.97
Vinified and matured in wooden barrels, our Rully ‘les Saint jacques’ is a very beautiful wine. Its nose is very elegant and expresses sweet notes of white flowers, flint. The palate is harmonious and balanced. It combines fruit maturity and freshness before ending on a saline and refreshing finish making the wine very digest. Drink now for the fruit or wait 10 years. (Domaine de Villaine’s note)
A. et P. De Villaine 'La Digoine' Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise Rouge 2018
Shelf Price $59.99
Sale Price $ 53.97
Vinified in wooden vats for 14 days and then matured in two to five year old barrels. The nose immediately seduces with the depth of the fruit and its power. The palate is incredibly fine for a pinot noir at this appellation level. The ripe and silky tannins give the wine some weight, depth which augurs a good ageing potential. The aromatic identity of La Digoine is preserved. To drink now for the fruit while taking care to open the bottle few hours before or wait a good ten years to discover its deep aromas and see the wine gain complexity. (Domaine de Villaine’s note)
Past Cellar Selections:
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Castilla Ygay 2010 – at 98 pts a ‘First Growth’ Rioja
Chateau Troplong Mondot St. Emilion 2017 – 98pts!
More Great Brunello from 2015 – 99pts Casanova di Neri
100 Points for Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Ramirez Gran Reserva Rioja 2010 – Budget Addition to the Cellar
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – 95 points
Macan 2014 by Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild
Cornas and Côtes-du-Rhone from Franck Balthazar
Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2017 – #9 WS top 100
Quintessa 2016 – 98pt Bordeaux Blend from Napa
Viña Almaviva 2016 – #10 on Wine Spectator top 100
Maison Leroy Bourgogne 2017 – $90 for a Bourgogne Blanc? . . . Maybe Yes