Ballot-Millot & Fils Bourgogne Blanc 2019

$32.97 on sale – $29.97 on six or more!

To me there is simply no expression of the chardonnay grape that is as complex, layered, and delicious as the wines made from this grape grown in and around the famed Burgundian villages of Puligny, Chassagne and Meursalt. Here the moderate continental climate and clay, marl and limestone soils conspire to create these inimitable wines.

But with that superb quality comes a steep price, $50-$80 is typically the price of admission for village level wines, into the hundreds per bottle for top Premier Crus, and thousands for a few producer’s rare and exquisite Grand Crus. But if you want true Meursault character at a fraction of the price today’s offer is for you!

I find the best values are found in the Bourgogne Blanc cuvees from the region’s top producers, and that is what I am typically drinking around the house. While Bourgogne Blanc can technically come from anywhere in Burgundy; the top producers, like Charles Ballot’s Bourgogne Blanc, are sourced from vines in or on the border of these famed villages – with the grapes for this wine sourced from 20-30 year old vines in Puligny and Meursault. Farming and winemaking is very similar to their wines selling for 2-3 times the price, the vines are of a respectable age, and soils and climate are very similar as well.

What you get is an incredible bargain! As far as the wine, Ballot Millots style suits me very well, more in the Roulot style – racy, mineral, rich but very focused with incredible tension from start to finish. And that is quite a compliment given that Roulot’s Bourgogne Blanc is over $80, his Meursault starts at around $175 per bottle, and the 1er Crus can go $400-500 per bottle. Today’s offer is a true bargain by comparison! Experience the shimmering beauty of a great white Burgundy for just around $30. Not bad! Cheers – Chris

$32.97

Description

Country: France
Region: Burgundy, Bourgogne
Variety: Chardonnay
Terroir: Clay-limestone
Winemaking: Hand-picked from 20-30 year old vines in Meursault and Puligny; fermented in barrel; 12 months ageing in neutral barrels followed by 4 months in tank before bottling

The story at this fine domaine is one you encounter more often now in Burgundy. In 2001, a young and motivated vigneron named Charles Ballot took over for his father. Like many talented young winemakers, he wanted to raise the bar and leave his mark. The domaine already had a good reputation from his father’s day, and had been around quite a long time as the family had started to amass vineyards in Meursault starting at the end of the 17th century. They were also privileged to possess holdings in five Premier Crus in Meursault, including the famed Perrières and Charmes, plus Genevrières, Bouchères and Poruzots, not to mention small 1er Cru holdings in the villages of Chassagne, Volnay, Pommard and Beaune. His first tasks were to reduce yields and move away from chemical/systemic treatments to more natural ones. He soon added a sorting table in the vineyards, upgraded the press, and in general found ways to work more precisely in the cellar.

The resulting wines tend toward the so-called “Roulot-school” of Meursault, more tensile and racy, as opposed to the fatter, honeyed and nutty style of wines that dominated the landscape 20-30 years ago. There is excellent terroir-delineation, which is exciting given the exceptional range of 1er Crus and lieux-dits that Ballot has in his arsenal. On the red side, it is nice to discover slightly more graceful expressions of these often more “four square” appellations, without compromising the expression of the underlying sites.

Given the now exalted price tags that accompany top Côte de Beaune whites (and reds too), Ballot-Millot provides an exceptional opportunity to access top level quality and pedigree for a relative value compared to the price one finds at the most coveted estates. Alas, the “herd mentality” that greatly skews the supply-demand ratio in Burgundy toward stratospheric prices, can sometimes lead to fruitful opportunities if one goes just off the beaten track.

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