This is a beautifully expressive young white Burgundy, offering up a gently ripe and complex constellation of pear,apple, fresh almond, chalky soil tones, white lilies and a gentle foundation of vanillin oak. On thepalate the wine is bright, ripe and full-bodied, with a fine core, lovely soil undertow, zesty acidsand fine focus and grip on the long and complex finish. This comes in at 13.5 percent octane this year and is nicely ripe and bouncy. Good juice. 2022-2035. 90+ points.
2020 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er cru “Sous Frétille”
Mark O’Connell’s example of Sous Frétille has to be one of the very best white Burgundy
values out there today, as this wine is consistently excellent. The 2020 version is once again a fine success, offering up a deep and complex bouquet of apple, pear, chalky minerality, hazelnut, orange blossoms, honeysuckle and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with good depth in the mid-palate, excellent mineral drive and grip, bouncy acids and a long, beautifully-balanced finish. This has the ripeness of the vintage, but nicely coupled to the lovely minerality of Sous Frétille and it is a fine, fine bottle for drinking over the next fifteen years or so. 2022-2037. 92 points
2020 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
This has become one of my favorites on the hill of Corton. The 2020 vintage here is exceptional, offering up a deep and youthful nose of apple, pear, raw almond, a hint of crème patissière, a beautiful base of chalky soil tones, apple blossoms and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and pure, with a superb core, great mineral drive and cut, lovely acids and a long, focused and perfectly balanced finish. This comes in listed at 13.5 percent octane and is a fairly ripe example of this bottling, in the style of the vintage, but with impeccable typicité and potential for long-term cellaring. Fine, fine juice. 2022-2055. 94+ points.
This is a very pretty and sappy wine, coming in at 13.5 percent octane and jumping from the glass in a beautiful blend of sweet dark berries, black cherries, dark chocolate, woodsmoke, a fine base of soil, pigeon and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nicely plush on the attack, with a fine core of black fruit, good soil signature, ripe tannins and a long, tangy and nascently complex finish. This is going to be a very good premier cru from Beaune, but it is going to need some bottle age to soften up its backend tannins. 2030-2075+. 91 points.
2020 Beaune 1er cru “Les Teurons”
This is a bit more refined and precise on both the nose and palate than the lovely Champs Pimont. The bouquet is gorgeous, delivering an aromatic constellation of black cherries, plums, raw cocoa, gamebird, dark soil tones, woodsmoke, cedary oak and a topnote of violets. On the palate the wine is vibrant, full-bodied, focused and very elegant in profile, with a superb core of fruit, excellent soil signature, fine-grained tannins, tangy acids and a long, precise and very classy, complex finish. I am sure that this will be accessible a year or two earlier than the Champs Pimont, but I would give it every bit of a decade in the cellar, as though it will be approachable, it would be a crime to drink a bottle of this wine until it has truly begun to blossom and is offering up all of its inherent layers of complexity! Great juice. 2030-2075+.
2020 Volnay “Premier Cru”
The blended Volnay “Premier Cru” bottling is a new one from Domaine Clos de la
Chapelle, currently made solely from the younger vines in their parcel of Taillepieds. Mark
O’Connell mentioned that there are plans to replant small sections of their other two premier crus in Volnay as well in coming years, so he imagines that this bottling will be part of the lineup at the domaine into the foreseeable future. The 2020 version is really very lovely (showing its fine Taillepieds origins!), offering up a deep and sappy nose of cassis, black plum, bitter chocolate, gamebird, dark soil tones, a dollop of fresh thyme, woodsmoke and a discreet framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is vibrant, elegant, full-bodied and beautifully proportioned, with a rock solid core of fruit, great soil inflection and grip, buried tannins, bouncy acids and a long, focused and impeccably balanced finish. This is going to be simply a lovely bottle of Volnay and a great value! 2029-2075+. 92 points.
2020 Volnay 1er cru “En Carelle”
The 2020 Volnay “En Carelle” from Mark O’Connell is another simply beautiful example
of the vintage, coupling perfectly ripe fruit, great transparency and grip and a refined, soil-centric personality that is the epitome of great red Burgundy. The bouquet is precise and marvelously sappy, offering up scents of black cherries, red plums, a hint of cocoa powder, dark soil tones, woodsmoke, pigeon and just a touch of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and focused and youthfully structured, with ripe, firm tannins, a great core of black fruit, excellent soil signature and grip and a long, tangy and nascently complex finish. This is a more backward wine out of the blocks than the Volnay “Premier Cru” bottling and will need a good dozen years to start to stir. However, it is going to be an excellent wine. 2032-2075+.
2020 Volnay 1er cru “Clos de la Chapelle” monopole
The Clos de la Chapelle bottling has become one of my absolute favorite premier crus in
Volnay since Mark O’Connell purchased this fine estate. The 2020 vintage is once again a
beautifully refined, complex young bottle of Volnay, wafting from the glass in a perfumed blend
of red plums, red and black cherries, raw cocoa, a complex base of dark soil tones, woodsmoke,
gamebird and a deft framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and ripe, with a lovely core of fruit, excellent soil signature, ripe, integrated tannins and a long, tangy and
complex finish. This is a very young wine, with slightly broader shoulders than most previous
vintages of this bottling, but with its signature elegance and promise of great drinking ahead! 2032- 2075+. 93 points
2020 Volnay 1er cru“Taillepieds” vieilles vignes
The 2020 Taillepieds from Domaine Clos de la Chapelle is another beautifully sappy, soildriven
example of the vintage. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a complex blend of black
cherries, sweet cassis, dark soil tones, violets, pigeon, coffee bean, a deft touch of oak and plenty of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full, with a beautiful core of black fruit, great transparency and grip, buried tannins and a long, tangy and beautifully balanced finish. Usually this is neck and neck with the Clos de la Chapelle bottling, but in 2020, I have to give a slight nod to the Taillepieds for its utterly seamless beauty. 2035-2085. 94 points.
2020 Pommard 1er cru “Les Chanlins” vieilles vignes
Old vines are so important in this era of radical global warming, as they tend to mitigate
some of the adverse effects we find in these very hot summers. The Domaine Clos de la Chapelle’s vines in Chanlins are very old and it is quite evident in this beautifully refined 2020, which delivers a refined aromatic constellation of pomegranate, red plums, raw cocoa, peonies, a refined base of soil, roasted gamebird, just a whisper of mustard seed and a very discreet foundation of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, red fruity and full, with beautiful soil signature and grip, a lovely core of fruit, bright, bouncy acids, fine-grained tannins and a very long, very lovey finish. This will need plenty of time to start to blossom, but it is going to be a stunningly elegant example of Pommard once it is ready to drink. Great juice. 2035-2085.
2020 Pommard 1er cru “Les Grands Epenots”
This Grands Epenots is another impressively precise and refined
example of the vintage. The wine is very pure on the nose, jumping from the glass in a black fruity blend of cassis, black cherries, raw cocoa, gamebird, dark soil tones, woodsmoke, cedary oak and a topnote of espresso. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and very pure and tangy, with a rock solid core of sappy fruit, great mineral undertow, ripe, buried tannins and a long, vibrant and complex finish. This is a slightly bigger wine than the Chanlins, but every bit as precise and promising. One can really sense the concentrating effect of sugars and acids in this lovely young wine, which is going to be nearly timeless, but probably take a very leisurely approach to blossoming! 2035-2100. 93+ points
2020 Corton “Bressandes” Grand Cru
The 2020 Corton “Bressandes” from Domaine Clos de la Chapelle is yet another utterly
refined example of the vintage. Like all of the red wines from the domaine this year, the Bressandes comes in listed at 13.5 percent octane and delivers superb nascent complexity in its bouquet of redand black cherries, spit-roasted venison, a great base of soil, bonfire, mustard seed, coffee bean and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and soil-driven, with lovely focus andgrip, a great core of fruit, superb mineral drive and grip and a long, ripely tannic and very promising finish. This is a classic Bressandes in the making, which will take plenty of cellaring to start to stir, but will be very long-lived and drink great at its apogee. 2035-2100. 94+ points