MEURSAULT’S NEXT BIG THING?

The relatively new importer that brings in this exciting Meursault domaine states that he believes this is the first time the wine has been in the country.  We cannot speak to that but can tell you this is our first go-round with this house and what a find it appears to be!  The domaine is centered in the village of Meursault and current winemaker/grower Francois Buisson represents the fifth generation at the helm of this estate comprised of a mere 8 acres of vines spread across 14 different appellations.

The style of winemaking here is based on what the vintage delivers.  There is no specific ‘stamp’ the winemaker feels must be present stylistically but rather they guide the wine to achieve what Nature has given it through minimal intervention.  Francois is sensitive to the vineyard and the ecosystem.  They plow rather than use herbicides and, while they might use a synthetic product in the case of some specific vineyard issue, are generally organic in treatments and harvest everything by hand. 

These wines have classic Meursault character of high-toned minerality, hazelnut, dried honey and crème brulee in the nose to varying degrees.  To us that is the signature of the appellation.   Stylistically these all come in towards the racier end of the spectrum with plenty of sleek fruit sitting atop refined acidity, plenty of energy and deceptive extract.

The Buisson-Battault Bourgogne Blanc 2016 shows its colors out of the gate.  The fruit is sourced from the Les Clous Perrons and les Magnys lieu-dits. The vine age ranges from 15-65 years of age and the wine is aged 1 year in barrel, 10% of which is new oak.  As Bourgognes actually sourced from Meursault terroir go, you can pay a lot for something from a Coche Dury or Roulot.  This one delivers that identifiably classic profile and, at $29.98, is a relative bargain for the juice inside the bottle.

The Buisson-Battault Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2016 comes from two lieu dits, Les Malpoiriers and Les Pellans, that are on opposite sides of the village of Meursault.  They weren’t kidding about the ‘old vines’ (vieilles vgines) as these were planted in 1930 and 1935.  The nose is a classic tapestry of brioche, honey, buttered toast and toffee, and all of that presents itself on the palate in a rich-but-lifted fruit component of apple and quince, with an elegant cut of salinity to the finish.  We have tasted a lot of Meusaults that, while they have the correct terroir notes and mouthfeel up front, don’t finish with sufficient flourish.  This one absolutely seals the deal in an expressive but harmonious way.

This Premier Cru vineyard has been the source of a number of favorites of ours over the years.  For some reason the Goutte d’Or wines come across as particularly and gloriously ‘Meursault-y’.  The Buisson-Battault Meursault 1er Cru Goutte d’Or 2016 came from a variety of plots within the vineyards, some owned by the domaine and others controlled through metayage for a total of five hectares, a sizeable piece in a vineyard this size.  The plantings range over a period (1955 – 1968 – 1974 – 2005) and everything is, of course, harvested by hand and put in French oak for 12 months, 25% new.  This one has it all and, again, the price is justified given the performance.  We have identified more than a few houses that went on to be a really big deal and, given this impressive first encounter, these guys may well be one of those.

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