September Newsletter: The Humble Artisan of Givry, Provençal Style, Albert Boxler, & more

The September Newsletter is now available.

Click here to download the pdf.

Highlights from this month’s newsletter…

Lumpp

THE HUMBLE ARTISAN OF GIVRY

by Dixon Brooke

François Lumpp (pronounced “lamp”) may not be on the list of Burgundy’s most recognized growers yet, but I expect this to change. Lumpp has been quietly toiling his vineyards in the southern Burgundian town of Givry for the past twenty-five years, knowing his moment on the world stage would come eventually. He realized that recognition in his métier would arrive only after a series of difficult but important long-term decisions were made in the name of quality. Virtually all of his vineyards were replanted using old budwood selections (massale), and now they are entering their prime period of production. Lumpp has been responsible for pushing this old-fashioned Côte Chalonnaise appellation forward with the type of approach you find more often farther north in the Côte de Beaune: extensive manual work in the vineyards, low yields, patient élevage. We are excited to add this talented and humble grower to the KLWM family of Burgundies.francois12-1024x683

2014 GIVRY BLANC “CLOS DES VIGNES RONDES” >

Though you may search far and wide, you won’t find another Givry blanc with this much class! From a stony, late-ripening hillside parcel 350 meters above sea level, this incredibly elegant and delicious Chardonnay expertly balances fat and minerality. The long, fine, saline finish is exquisitely refreshing and will keep you coming back until the bottle is empty.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case

2014 GIVRY ROUGE 1ER CRU “LA BRÛLÉE” >

Remember Henri Jayer’s Vosne-Romanée Brûlées? Lumpp has his own Brûlée at Givry. This terroir is composed of the red clay that is very typical in Givry, with plenty of limestone underneath. A textbook example of velvety, finessed Pinot Noir, it glides and dances across the palate effortlessly. Take this one home and drink it tonight—it is as versatile at table as great cru Beaujolais but with the type of sophistication that only Burgundian Pinot Noir can be expected to deliver.

$50.00 per bottle $540.00 per case

2014 GIVRY ROUGE 1ER CRU “CLOS DU CRAS LONG” >

François has spent his career seeking out the top premier cru vineyards atop Givry’s gently rolling slopes, and the results speak for themselves. Clos du Cras Long takes a significant step up in structure from its little brother above. However, this wine is all about fruit and purity: pure pleasure, that is. This gorgeous Pinot Noir will seduce you initially, yet it has just the right bite on the finish to keep you from getting too complacent. Drink or hold.

$56.00 per bottle $604.80 per case

PROVENÇAL style

by Dixon Brooke

When we are talking Provençal, we are typically talking Bandol. Are these the best wines of Provence? They are our favorites, I’ll say that much. We find that the best examples capture the essence of Provence in the most complete way: its flavors, its flair, its joie de vivre, its style, and its character.

2015 BANDOL BLANC
DOMAINE DE TERREBRUNE >

Reynald Delille’s magical blanc does a lot of things well. Let’s start with the aroma: Imagine yourself strolling down a dirt path alongside one of his vineyards on a beautiful sunny day. Inhale deeply, and you might notice whispers of wild fennel, fresh pine, or salty sea air. It is all there in the bouquet of this charming wine, and if you pay close attention you’ll find even more. In its various shades of color, Terrebrune is first and foremost a wine of refreshment, and a wine of great elegance. The white is, of course, no exception.

Even better, if you lay it down for five to ten years, it will ripen until it smells of golden mirabelle plums, and the flavors of Triassic limestone will become ever more pronounced in its distinctive finish. The Clairette grape should get a lot more attention than it does. It brings freshness and acidity to southern blends, it drinks up its surroundings and imparts them with beautiful clarity, and its anti-oxidative qualities lend themselves to long life in bottle.

$34.00 per bottle $367.20 per case

2014 BANDOL ROUGE
DOMAINE DU GROS ’NORÉ >

Our friend and vigneron Alain Pascal produces a wine that is made to work wonders at table with the best of Provençal cooking: garlic, rosemary, thyme, ripe black olives, slow-roasted lamb shoulder, octopus daube, fennel-studded grilled fish, herb-roasted tomatoes, aïoli . . .

Full-flavored and full-throttle, loaded with warmth, joviality, and down-home familiarity, this juicy Bandol is like a big Provençal bear hug from Alain himself. You won’t find a more honest wine. The inky purple juice staining your tongue as you wash down a garlicky morsel of rosemary-studded lamb tastes not unlike it did shortly after the grapes were crushed and racked into Alain’s large oak casks. Gros ’Noré Bandol truly is the definition of Provence in a bottle. Serve it slightly chilled in the warm months to bring out its best.

$40.00 per bottle $432.00 per case

CORSICA

by Chris Santini

2014 PATRIMONIO BLANC “CARCO”
ANTOINE ARENA >

Antoine really needs no further introduction in these pages. He’s made his bones and then some, becoming by far the most celebrated and recognizable name in Corsican wine the world over. I find that his flagship, most consistently delicious, and enjoyable wine is his Carco blanc. It has plenty of the sea salt and minerality common in the best Corsican whites, with the added bonus of a rare Burgundy-like richness and complexity. You just can’t go wrong with this.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case

2015 CORSE FIGARI ROSÉ
CLOS CANARELLI >

Speaking of not going wrong . . . Ever since we convinced Canarelli to let us introduce his wine to the United States, it’s been a runaway success. He actually makes a good amount of rosé compared to his other tiny micro-cuvées, yet we get so little of it! The rest is jealously guarded and consumed in Corsica. I have an image of Corsica as a man with an angry Heston-like glare, Canarelli rosé magnum raised above his head, declaring, “From my cold, dead hands!”

$36.00 per bottle $388.80 per case

2014 CORSE FIGARI ROUGE
CLOS CANARELLI >

A special dinner guest once told me that he liked his red wine so rich and thick you could put a fork in the glass and it would stand up. While he told me that, I discreetly pushed away the bottle of Lapierre Morgon I was planning to open. And then I wondered what on earth I could offer that would please this guy, as nothing in my cellar comes remotely close to this horrid category of richness. But I got his message: he likes his wine strong and powerful. Why not tune him into something dark and full bodied yet with plenty of finesse? Canarelli’s Figari rouge did the trick. There’s a wallop of fruit, chewy tannins, and that fresh, vibrant biodynamic thing going on in the background. We killed the bottle in record time and he asked for more. Figari may not hold a fork but hopefully has set a new standard.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case

BOXLER

by Dixon Brooke

Boxler

2014 EDELZWICKER “RÉSERVE” >

Jean Boxler’s fanatical attention to detail and master blending prowess combine forces to produce this rigorously selected entry into the world of Boxler. Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer fuse into a sleek, exotic package with depth, complexity, a whole lot of aromatic interest, and a mighty high registe

ring on the deliciousness scale. Think of it as a snapshot of Alsace that includes most of its grape varieties and many of its terroirs.

$25.00 per bottle $270.00 per case

2014 RIESLING “RÉSERVE” >

You have to go back to the 2010 vintage to find a year as exciting for Riesling in Alsace, and even then you wouldn’t find the same style as 2014. These are powerful, focused Rieslings, drier and more transparent than 2010 even if a bit less flamboyant. Both will be fantastic agers. Boxler’s Riesling Réserve is a way to experience his grands crus at a fraction of their true worth. This year’s incarnation is sourced primarily from the Sommerberg vineyard, a steep granite amphitheater that you almost need a rope to climb. Drink now or hold for ten years.

$56.00 per bottle $604.80 per case

2014 PINOT BLANC “RÉSERVE” >

Here is ample proof that in the right terroir, Pinot Blanc is capable of producing grand cru wine in Alsace. Planted in the granite of the great Brand vineyard, this parcel is always bottled separately from the rest of the Boxler Pinot Blanc holdings. It produces a wine with the type of consistency from year to year that is a hallmark of grand cru sites: seasonal excesses are smoothed. The result is an intensely stony, dry, regal Pinot Blanc that can age and improve alongside the domaine’s Sylvaner, Muscat, Riesling, and Pinot Gris bottlings.

$40.00 per bottle $432.00 per case

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