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Guillemard Clerc Bourgogne Blanc “Les Parties” 2018

 

$39.99 $26.99

Since I drink white Burgundy like it’s Lite beer, I would love to claim that this bottle of wine will cause parties, hence its name.

But alas, that is my own personal fantasy. What is not a fantasy, however, is how good this wine is and just exactly what that name means. Like many things in Burgundy, the devil is in the details, and these are some darn tasty details:

Corinne Guillemard-Clerc is a third-generation farmer in Burgundy. Her long name comes from her grandparents’ marriage and Burgundy’s inheritance laws. Corinne is a farmer first, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents.

You see, in Burgundy, the traditional way to make wine was for one person to grow vines and harvest fruit, and another person to vinify the grapes into wine, and then sell the wine. The former is known as a grower, the latter a négociant. And for much of Burgundy’s history, well into 1970s, this was the common way of doing things. It really wasn’t until the mid-1990s that grower-producers, or domaines, became somewhat more commonplace.

When Corinne took over the farm she continued to do what was traditionally done: farm grapes and then sell them. But eventually, that wasn’t enough for her. She wanted to grow and literally enjoy the fruit of her labors – by turning them into wine. So over the course of the last several years, she has been taking back fruit contracts and bottling her own wine. She owns a very modest 25 acres in total, and right now only 30% of her production is her own.

Which leads us to this wine. It’s a big name “Bourgogne Blanc Les Parties” backed up by some darn big flavors. Alas, “Les Parties” doesn’t mean it’s time to get down and party (although drink enough and that may happen), but rather is a vineyard located within the village of Puligny-Montrachet. As such, it’s not within the wine appellation and can only carry the name “Bourgogne” (yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous, but blame the French). While technically this means it’s a “lesser” vineyard, Corinne treats it as lovingly as the rest of her Puligny-Montrachets and it shows:

The wine is through-and-through classic Puligny-Montrachet: Warm spices, Earl Grey tea, touches of baked goods and a mulled fruit character are exceptionally pronounced on the nose. The palate is powerful, yet also focused, precise, graceful and totally balanced across its multifacted fruit and mineral elements. Its gorgeous midpalate weight is supported by a vibrancy that will keep you coming back for more. Fresh now, and from the outstanding 2018 vintage, it’s great to enjoy on its own or, since morel season should be around the corner, a roast chicken with morels would be a smash hit.

As with most of our Burgundy offers, there is a very small amount of wine. We took all that we could, yet I am sure it won’t be enough. Don’t hesitate – get what you can. Cheers!

 

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