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[01] Great Value Burgs

posted 3 Jan 2013, 19:37 by William Chong   [ updated 5 May 2013, 08:02 ]
Happy New Year!

December 2012 was a hectic month for us as we moved apartments with 300+ bottles, loads of stemware and way-to-many decanters in tow. We are settled in now and kicking off 2013 with some great value Burgundy wines secured in the autumn. These wines arrive in January and will be ready for collection/delivery ahead of the Lunar New Year. They will come in handy at the reunion dinner and the string of CNY meals that follow. Drinking well doesn't always mean punishing the bank account...

To place an order, please email us at

Fixin and Marsannay with Domaine Derey Frères

In the Cote de Nuits, continuing north from Gevrey-Chambertin we arrive at the communes of Fixin followed by Marsannay. Both communes lay claim to no Grand Cru though Fixin has several famous 1er cru. In days of old, the wines of Fixin fetched the same price as Chambertin but today they are but a fraction of that.

Written texts tell us that the soils of Fixin are deep with lots of clay resulting in plump wines that can be austere in their youth. What these dated texts don’t tell us is that the same wine growing/making improvements of the past decade all across Burgundy applies also to Fixin. Techniques and equipment have improved, and so have the wines.

At Derey Frères, a small family owned/run domaine, we tasted the most elegant Fixin (Vieilles Vigne) we have come across to date. It is a cracker and a tremendous joy to drink now and over the next 5-7 years. The Marsannay “Champs Perdrix” on the other hand offers more masculine “oomph” yet with the same balance found in the Fixin – a very complete wine and a brother to the feminine Fixin. They had some vintage 2010 available - a great vintage - and we happily snapped them up.

Givry with Clos Salomon

We rarely hear about Cote Chalonnaise. When we do, it is more likely about the rustic-bordering-on-rough wines made by careless negociants sold in supermarkets. It is a bit of a minefield hence it was imperative that we did some snooping around ourselves. We were totally glad we worked out a Saturday appointment to visit Clos Salomon in Givry - the smallest commune in the Cote Chalonnaise.

The domaine was established in the 14th century and has remained in the same family for over 3 centuries. Givry 1er Cru <Clos Salomon> is a monopole (single owner) of ~7ha right next to the winery. Historically described as “Volnay of the Chalonnais”, Clos Salomon is also very well regarded by Allen Meadows (BH92 for the 2009). The wines are enticingly perfumed and glides effortlessly on the palate. We tasted through vintages 2009, 2010 and 2011 and found them all to be in the same elegant style but bearing the distinct mark of the vintage.

How Clos Salomon has so far avoided the attention of Burgundy importers and wine lovers here baffle me. Perhaps it is because they sell out quickly at the domaine (2010 was long sold out when we visited). Being at the right place at the right time we made away with an allocation of their superb 2011 due for bottling the following month.

Please see our price list for prices/availability of these wines.