“Savigny-lès-Beaune is another one to keep an eye on. Like Pommard it suffers acutely during seasons with late spring frosts as cool, heavy air funnels down the valley. But it contains some very fine terroirs, and the difference is that here there’s a momentum of new growers enhancing its reputation. Alongside established producers like Domaine Bize and the resurgent Chandon de Briailles, there is Guillaume Camus at Camus-Bruchon and négociant operations like Maison Harbour.” Neal Martin
Guillaume Camus now runs this superb domaine on the outskirts of Savigny and from his cellars emerge some of the finest value fine wines of Burgundy. He is without doubt one of the stars of his commune, working vineyards that in many cases are over one hundred years of age.
N.B. It often pays, in very warm vintages, to have a foray into the wines of the cooler vineyards of Burgundy, sites that include Pernand Vergelesses, the vineyards in the combes where cooler air descends from the Hautes Côtes (like Lavaut in Gevrey, where one finds Lavaux St Jacques, Estournelles St Jacques, Poissenot and others) and, yes, Savigny-lès-Beaune.
Alas, I have not tasted these wines, but have offered them each vintage for many years. And the estate has been discovered this year by Neal Martin of vinous.com, who tasted some of the range with great enthusiasm.
N.B.x2 It’s always a good sign when the agent buys wines for their own cellars and I know these are purchased each year by the UK distributor for their own drinking. I also buy them every vintage; we’ve recently finished the ‘08s and have also been revelling in the ‘09s, whilst popping the cork on some younger wines to see how they’re progressing.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc Les Goudelettes, Camus-Bruchon
£246 in bond a dozen
I always think Guillaume’s white Savigny resembles a mini-Corton-Charlemagne. It certainly bats far higher in the order than one would suppose from its modest price. We are drinking our case of the 2014 vintage here in Wiltshire and it comes across as really senior white burgundy.
Not tasted by Neal Martin (indeed, one has to ask to taste this wine at the domaine. Being such a small-volume cuvée it is not routinely opened for visiting tasters).
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Reine Joly, Camus-Bruchon
£111 in bond per 6
“The 2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune "Cuvée Reine Joly," named for Guillaume Camus’s great-great-grandmother and matured in 500-liter barrels (20% new wood), is a mélange of various terroirs within the appellation. It presents a very pure, elegant bouquet of vibrant crushed strawberry and candied orange peel aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit…” Neal Martin
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Aux Grands Liards, Camus-Bruchon
£132 in bond per 6
Not tasted by Neal Martin, this is nevertheless one of the sweet spots in the range. It comes from a parcel of vines over 100 years old and is quintessential Savigny of the highest order, ageing into complex and profound maturity.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Gravains, Camus-Bruchon
£144 in bond per 6
Again, not tasted by Neal Martin, despite the fact that he gave the 2018 vintage a huge 92-94 points. This is always a step up, displaying proper 1er cru depth and interest. Gravains faces due south with vines planted on calcareous clay loaded with sand and gravel. The wine always shows a spicy, mineral classiness.
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavières Joly, Camus-Bruchon
£144 in bond per 6
Neal’s note says it all here: “The 2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Lavières 1er Cru, grown on 30–50cm of alluvial soil over stratified hard limestone subsoil and matured in around 35% new oak, is blessed with an engaging, pure bouquet of red currant and cranberry jus, a palpable sense of minerality coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and vibrant red berry fruit, the 60-year-old vines imparting wonderful complexity on the finish. An outstanding Les Lavières that comes highly recommended. 92-94/100.”
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