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2018 Burgundy

2018 Burgundy Offer Bowes Wine

The 2018 Burgundy vintage has produced a quantity of stellar, stunning, scintillating wines that radiate with achingly beautiful fruit and pulse with a sense of identity. However there were, as ever, underperformers and the wines do need picking through with some care, even within individual cellars.

We have selected wines we think combine the qualities of the vintage with that abstract watermark known as terroir. These are wines that will give huge pleasure in the years to come.

The Domaines & Their Wines

You can read about the domaines and their wines either by scrolling through all of them or, if you are interested in a specific domaine, by clicking on a name in the list below to jump straight to that domaine. Each wine name is a live link to the wine in our online shop, each domaine name title is a live link to ALL 2018 wines from that domaine.  

Domaine Nicole Lamarche
Domaine Remi Rollin
Domaine Camus Bruchon 
Domaine Michel Lafarge
Domaine Lafarge-Vial (Beaujolais)
Domaine Bachelet Monnot
Château de Chamilly
Domaine Jean Pascal

Domaine Nicole Lamarche

Wines of Domaine Francois Lamarche

Caspar with Nicole Lamarche in Vosne

Nicole Lamarche was looking very happy as we sat in the welcomingly warm tasting room at her domaine in Vosne-Romanée. And I cannot say I am surprised. I am not sure I’ve ever tasted better wines from here. She has managed to capture the essence of the vintage, whilst retaining the precise expressions of the many fabulous terroirs in which this venerable estate owns vines.

2018 Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Nicole Lamarche
2018 Echézeaux Grand Cru, Domaine Nicole Lamarche
2018 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Domaine Nicole Lamarche

Domaine Remi Rollin

Wines of Domaine Remi Rollin

Caspar with Simon Rollin in Pernand

There are parts of the Côte d’Or that are particularly successful in warmer vintages. The Combe de Lavaux and its associated Gevrey vineyards is one. Pernand Vergelesses and Savigny-lès-Beaune are two others. Here I am speaking of the cooler spots where torrid conditions are tempered; where the vines gain protection from sun and heat from valleys that bring colder airs from the Hautes Côtes above, or where sun hours are truncated by surrounding slopes. Remi Rollin and his son Simon have made stunningly beautiful wines from their Pernand vineyards, as has Guillaume Camus in Savigny (see below). These are wines that perhaps have a little more ripeness than is usual, but that have retained precision and focus. I cannot recommend them more wholeheartedly to those hunting for particularly piquant burgundy bargains.

2018 Pernand Vergelesses Blanc, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Pernand Vergelesses Blanc Les Cloux, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Domaine Remi Rollin
2018 Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses, Remi Rollin

Domaine Camus Bruchon

Wines of Domaine Camus Bruchon

Caspar with Guillaume Camus in Savigny

2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Cuvée Reine Joly, Domaine Camus Bruchon
2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Grands Liards, Domaine Camus Bruchon
2018 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Gravains, Camus Bruchon

Domaine Michel Lafarge

Wines of Domaine Michel Lafarge

Caspar with Frédéric Lafarge in Volnay

How were we to know when we visited Frédéric Lafarge that his father Michel was only weeks away from dying. So passed one of the truly great wine makers of all Burgundy. What must be sure was his satisfaction with what his son had made of the 2018 vintage. As at Lamarche, these are precise renditions of both vintage and vineyard. They are also among the most beautiful wines we tasted during our trip… and, indeed, that I have sampled at the London tastings this year.

2018 Bourgogne Aligoté Raisins Dorés, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Meursault, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Meursault Vendanges Selectionnées, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Beaune Blanc 1er Cru Clos des Aigrots, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains L'Exception, Domaine Michel Lafarge
2018 Volnay Vendanges Sélectionées, Domaine Michel Lafarge

Domaine Lafarge-Vial (Beaujolais)

Beaujolais has experienced a profound renaissance in recent times. Largely behind us are the days of banana-scented alcopops and instead we are presented with altogether more serious red wines of proper depth, complexity and age-worthiness. In part, this is due to growing interest in the region from the wine makers of the Côte d’Or. And one of the very finest of those is Frédéric Lafarge of Domaine Michel Lafarge in Volnay. 

Frédéric and his wife Chantal have been making wine in Beaujolais since 2014 and they are amongst the very best wines of the region. Of course, the grape Gamay reigns supreme here on soils of decomposed granite, rather than the limestone found further to the north. Yet in the hands of a master like M. Lafarge, Beaujolais becomes distinctly Pinot-esque in its elegance and class. Once again in 2018 these wines are a fabulous success. 

2018 Fleurie, Lafarge Vial
2018 Fleurie Joie du Palais, Lafarge Vial
2018 Fleurie Clos Vernay, Lafarge Vial

Domaine Bachelet Monnot

Wines of Domaine Bachelet Monnot

Caspar with Marc Bachelet in Dézizes Lès Maranges

The Bachelet brothers – Marc and Alex – go from strength to strength. Their whites continue to be benchmark white burgundies of immense precision. And their reds improve every vintage and that from a pretty strong starting point. If you want to find out just what good value burgundy can still be found in the region, look no further than their Bourgogne Blanc and Maranges wines.

2018 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru Fussière Blanc, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Puligny Montrachet Village, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière Rouge, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
2018 Maranges 1er Cru Clos de la Boutière Rouge, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot

Château de Chamilly

Wines of Chateau de Chamilly

Caspar with Arnaud Desfontaine at the Château de Chamilly

Here’s a new finding for us: a fabulous property in the Côtes Chalonnaises boasting a stunning old château and two young brothers producing extremely exciting wines. If you want to drink excellent burgundy on a regular basis without breaking the bank at Monte Carlo and aren’t overly concerned about what’s on the label, these puppies are most definitely for you!

2018 Montagny Village Les Reculerons Blanc, Château de Chamilly
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Côte Chalonnaise, Château de Chamilly
2018 Santenay 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau, Château de Chamilly

Domaine Jean Pascal

Caspar Bowes with Alexandre Pasccal

Caspar and Alexandre Pascal

The Pascals run two businesses from their home in Puligny: they produce fabulous wines – red and white – from their Côte de Beaune vineyards and they also produce rootstocks for other local vignerons. I love the style here. The white wines are unique in their expressions: wines of proper terroir, allied to rich and delicious fruit. They are wines we drink frequently at home. And for a serious curve-ball for a blind tasting, how about a red Puligny? It’s a very rare thing and a very delicious one, too!

2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Auxey Duresses Blanc, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Chassagne Montrachet Joseph Pascal, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Enseignères, Domaine Jean Pascal
2018 Puligny Montrachet Rouge, Domaine Jean Pascal

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