Dominode Theory

Domaine Pavelot (Jean-Marc et Hugues), Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru, La Dominode, 2010

Pavelot is arguably the best domaine in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Bourgogne Crown carried it in their first catalog. And then stopped. I loved what I bought, but I didn't buy enough, in hindsight. I had high expectations from the 2010 Dominode, the domaine's flagship vineyard, given the quality of the vintage and the great performance of the 2011, a much lesser vintage, two years ago. However, while this bottle is obviously undamaged and untainted, it's frustratingly mute and simple at first. After a couple of hours, earthy notes become more prominent, as do the tart flavors. It gains true Premier Cru weight and substance after almost four hours - also more details - surprising floral notes, fleshy mid palate, greater length - but it still struggles to focus. It may need five-ten more years. (May 7, 2021)

Vincent Pinard, Sancerre, Le Château, 2018

Pinard is one of the reasons that Bourgogne Crown's expansion outside of Burgundy is such a blessing. Le Château was my introduction to the house when Mor Bernstein brought a bottle over last year. Pinard have been producing this cuvee since 2015, from a lieu-dit with south-western exposure planted in the early 70's on Oxfordian caillottes over kimmerigian limestone which is very typical of the vineyards around Bué. The wine is fermented and aged  predominantly in 600 litre barrels, and a small proportion in stainless steel tanks, aged on fine lees for 9 months before bottling.

I've very rarely drunk mature Loire Sauvignon - so take my comment with a grain of salt - but it seems to me that 2-4 years past the vintage is just fine. Here, the fruit is still fresh and vivid, the chalky aromas are explosive, the acidity is electrifying and the finish mixes bold saline flavors with powerful lime flavors . Excellent. (May 8, 2021)

Willi Schaefer, Mosel, Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling Kabinett, 2018

Nectarines, green lime, apples, ice-cold stream water on the nose, pink grapefruit on the palate, perfectly balanced by acidity. A laser-sharp form. (May 9, 2021)

Niepoort, Douro, Redoma Branco, Reserva, 2018

A charming display of the unique character of Portuguese white wines. Aromas of peaches and smoky, alien talc; savory, bold yet nuanced flavors, a saline finish. Chablis watered by the seas of Narnia. (May 10, 2021)

Domaine Hauvete, Baux-de-Provence, Cornlaine, 2013

I don't have a lot of love left for funky, dirty wines. Sometimes, the dirt adds interest, but I prefer it when a wine expresses itself in clear colors rather than muddy ones. This is a wine I enjoy and yet struggle with, at the same time. There's a barnyard element, but cow hide and sweat, rather than dung. Beneath the funk, though, and dominating with time, are aromas reminiscent of Eastern spices. The fruit has a mellow core, framed with really fine acidity and integrated tannins. A lot of love and talent went into this wine, but also, what I assume was a conscious decision to be lenient with the hygiene. The end result is a wine where the quality of the fruit and effort in the vineyard are obvious, yet somehow the quality of the wine is capped by the funk, which I feel is ultimately constrictive. (May 11, 2011).