At the end of a recent tasting in the cellars of Vosne-Romanée royalty Comte Liger-Belair with owner/vigneron Louis-Michel and another knowledgeable guest, conversation turned to Burgundy’s best new winemakers. “There’s a young domaine producing extraordinary wines in the Côte de Beaune, but they make so little to go around that you’d have to buy me quite a few drinks for me to say who,” said the c0-taster to Noble Rot/ Shrine to the Vine co-founder Dan Keeling.
“Are they in Chassagne-Montrachet?”, asked Dan. The man tried to maintain his poker face. “Yes”. “Is it Lamy-Caillat?”. “What?!” the taster spluttered, “How d’you know?”. “Because we’re fortunate to import Lamy-Caillat into the UK and their old-fashioned style Chassagne-Montrachets are exceptionally good.” So much for secrets.
Sébastien Caillat and Florence Lamy’s micro-domaine began with only 1.2ha of vines, yet it already produces wines to rival any in Chassagne-Montrachet. Honing their craft at Florence’s family estate, Lamy-Pillot, the couple got the opportunity to rent a small number of vines from an elderly neighbour in 2008. They produce just 500 cases of wine annually, from Bourgogne Blanc through village vineyards to some of the best 1er Crus, including ‘Les Champs Gains’, ‘La Romanée’ and ‘Les Caillerets’ – the jewels of the appellation.
Sébastien and Florence describe their ethos as “minimalist and essential”, taking as much time with all aspects of production as they deem appropriate. Meticulously farmed, organic fruit goes into an old Vaslin mechanical press (that the highly skilled Sébastien has renovated himself) before a two-year élevage in particularly cold, damp cellars. Hand-bottled without filtration, each wine receives a layer of wax on top of long corks (using a machine designed by Sébastien) to reduce oxidation.
With richness and breadth balanced by an intricate mineral and reductive tension – a fiendishly difficult trick to get right – the 2018s from Lamy-Caillat are A-grade white Burgundies to enjoy young, or to lay down and age.
We are asked about allocations of Lamy-Caillat more than any other producer and their wines are becoming almost impossible to find – availability is extremely limited. As such, only one bottle of each wine is available to purchase per customer.
Bourgogne Blanc 2018 Sold out
From ‘Les Grandes Corvée’ at the foot of Chassagne-Montrachet. Vibrant with precise citrus fruit and a richness that surpasses its classification.
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru ‘En L’Ebaupin’ 2018 Sold out
The first vintage from young vines on a cool, steep site replanted in 2015. Juicy and intense, balanced by fine structural tension.
Chassagne-Montrachet 2018 Sold out
From 60-year-old vines situated above 1er Cru ‘Les Caillerets’. Elegant floral and fruit notes – a firm and focused style.
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘La Grande Montagne’ 2018 Sold out
A cool, south-west facing vineyard at the top of the slope. Vivid with a little matchstick reduction and racy acidity.
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Caillerets’ 2018 Sold out
From 40-to-60-year-old vines in the middle of the appellation. Textural and precise, with notes of wet stones and smoky reduction.
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘La Romanée’ 2018 Sold out
A windy 0.2ha plot with vines planted in the 1960s. Expansive, spicy fruit tempered by chiselled minerality.
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