|Bertrand Chevillon looking as content as a man who has fashioned exceptionally beautiful 2015 burgundy|
In the case of Bowes Wine offerings, all wines have been chosen by me; if I don't like them, they simply don't get in. So to ask which I prefer is akin to asking which of one's children one prefers i.e. it's a tricky question to answer.
Having said that, I don't think I undertook two such transcendentally scintillating tastings this year as those at the two addresses that appear below. Between these two producers - one from the Côte de Beaune, one from the Côte de Nuits - one finds all that is best about the 2015 vintage.
2015 Nuits St Georges Vieilles Vignes, Robert Chevillon
£195 in bond per 6 Drink 2019-26
Distinctly floral aromas decorate fruit of red and black small berries on the nose. A sip initially reveals a touch of creamy ripeness. Fruit is again both red and black and offers a spicy piquancy. Tannins are very fine and clay-like. There's great drive and energy to this fabulously long wine. A stunner and thoroughly delicious.
"This is a beautifully crafted village cru." Neal Martin
2015 Bourgogne Aligoté Raisins Dorés, Michel Lafarge
£132 in bond a dozen Drink 2018-21
N.B. This is from a 78-year-old vineyard.
A rich nose and a very scented one. A spicy thing. A dense wine in the mouth and showing excellent tension. There's a mineral core with delicious fruit round about it. This is long and focused with a grippy intent. And there's the most stunningly delicious yellow fruit. Yum.
"More fun than myriad Meursaults!" Jancis Robinson
2015 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains L'Exception, Michel Lafarge
£136 in bond a dozen Drink 2019-23
There's a rosy-floral aspect to the red fruit aromas that are distinguished and domestic. There's a spice carries over from nose to palate. It meets red fruit flavours that have a hint of salinity to them. And this is full of structure, too: tacky-upright tannin and fresh acidity. This is very long, with firm and persistent grip. Lovely, as ever.
"This will be difficult to resist..." Neal Martin
2015 Volnay, Vendanges Sélectionnées, Michel Lafarge
£210 in bond per 6 Drink 2021-32
N.B. This is also available in 12s.
Notable colour. And the nose is fabulously rich, very pure, of red fruit. There's a touch of mint about this, too. A rich, fresh and beautiful thing. Palate is dense but super-elegant. Something just so complete about this. It is loaded with fine, mineral, linear, yet elegant power. Very, very long. Great life and vim at the back. Stunning.
"Lots buried in here...You'll need to wait..." Jancis Robinson
An offering of the cru Beaujolais wines of Lafarge-Vial can be found here