Dujac Clos de la Roche
Benjamin Leroux Charmes Chambertin
Domaine Leroy Vosne Romanee Les Genaivrieres
Welcome to The Somm Set. Each month we’ll be sitting down with a guest sommelier and uncovering their guilty pleasures, cellar staples, and everything in between! Follow as they hand-select their favorites from our warehouse, giving you the inside scoop on cellar must-haves!
This month on The Somm Set, we’re excited to feature Jonah Beer, importer, winemaker, and entrepreneur.
This week from Jonah Beer:
Last week we talked about Diego Morra from Verduno and Azelia from Castiglione Falletto. Both are pillars of organic and farming excellence in Barolo. And across the Alps in Burgundy, a man is on a mission to eradicate herbicide and pesticide from Bourgogne, full stop. He is Thiébault Huber of Domaine Huber-Verdereau, and he has taken his passion for farming to a whole new level. Biodynamic. Plowing by horse and walking barefoot in the vineyard. But he’s no “natty winemaker” who flies without a net, just hoping the wines come out ok. No, he’s the Burgundy Grower’s Association president, a former Sommelier, and star of the documentary film, “Three Days of Glory” (check out that documentary, BTW, it is fabulous). Thiébault is a powerhouse of a man, but his wines are as elegant, focused, and a mirror to the climats and lieux-dits from which they emanate. Without question, his farming brings a tremendous amount of life and biodiversity to his vineyards. But it does more than enhance the mycorrhizal fungi and heighten the vine’s sap flow—it brings joy to the vineyards. A joy that can be seen in the bright, taut, freshness of the wines. His counterpart in Piedmont just might be Marina Marcarino at Punset in Barbaresco. She’s equally fierce in her farming fervor, and her wines twinkle with the same sense of joy. But I digress.
Thiébault is, of course, not alone in his pursuit of farming excellence in Burgundy. The list of household names that are pursuing similar viticultural higher ground is a long one in their own way and on their own paths. Leroy, Rion, Lafarge, Dujac…and Sauzet. SAUZET; six letters and four generations that get the tastebuds tingling of anyone who loves Puligny-Montrachet. Founded in the early 20th century and having endured some family splits (Jean-Marc Boillot, for instance, took his inheritance out of the Domaine holdings), the vineyards became organic in 2006 and broadly biodynamic in 2010. The result of this farming (and winemaking excellence) is a Puligny-Montrachet that almost vibrates with life. A little verve, as it were.
With all due confidence and firsthand experience, I can say that the farming choices of Domaine Huber-Verdereau and Etienne Sauzet play a key and central role in the wines’ reflection of terroir, completeness, and ability to age. Don’t believe me? Snag a few bottles and see for yourself!
Check out the wines below!