Domaine Comte Armand, Auxey-Duresses, 2012, $53
Winery: This estate is based in the village of Pommard, in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, and dates back to the 18th century. In recent decades, they have acquired additional vineyard parcels and today they are certified organic. Benjamin Leroux took over the in 1999 when he was 23 (he began studying viticulture at the age of 13!) and was called by Allen Meadows (of The Burghound), a natural heir to the late, great Henri Jayer.
Winemaker: Benjamin Leroux. He made one more vintage with the winery after this one, then turned over the reins to Paul Zanetti in order to create his own business in Beaune.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Les Argillas, situated on a south-facing slope with calcareous/limestone soil.
Flavor Profile: Very pretty, with vibrant flavors of red and blue fruit, cassis, and crushed rock, balanced by excellent food-friendly acidity. With fine tannins, and rich minerality.
Production/availability: 2250 bottles. The distributor is now onto the 2013 vintage.
Drinkability: This wine will be at its best eight to ten years from vintage.
Food Pairing: Lighter meats that have been sautéed or roasted, braised chicken, apricot-stuffed pork roast, osso buco, or mushroom risotto. Or try it with grilled fish.
Château Henri Bonnaud, Palette Quintessence Blanc, 2014, $41.50
Winery: This winery is based in the tiny Provençal appellation of Palette, located in the hills east of Aix-en-Provence. Palette was established in 1948 in recognition of the unique limestone soil there. Stéphane Spitzglous took over his family domaine in 1996 (representing the third generation) and converted the entire estate to organic farming in 2010.
Winemaker: Stéphane Spitzglous
Grapes: 40% White Clairette, 40% Pink Clairette, and 20% Ugni Blanc
Vineyard: The vineyard for this wine has distinctive chalky, gravel soil and an excellent southern exposure.
Flavor Profile: Elegant aromatics with beautiful floral and fruit notes and a touch of brioche. Richly textured, with amazing depth of flavor and a long finish.
Production/availability: There is still a bit left with the distributor.
Drinkability: Great now, but it has good ageing potential and will deepen in color as it develops.
Food Pairing: White poached fish, pastas or risotto. Also, try with fettucini alfredo, quiche (with a bit of bacon in it), or milder meat dishes.