2017 Labet Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes Blanc
Tucked behind the Cistercian manor owned by the Chevalier du Tastevin in Clos Vougeot is Chateau de La Tour, realm of the largest landowner in town. The wines of Chateau de la Tour are from Clos Vougeot’s legendary upper slopes. They are the only wines grown, vinified and bottled exclusively within this Grand Cru. To whom does this Elysium belong? François Labet, whose family has owned the chateau and its vineyards since the 1800s.
But François and his family don’t just own the largest parcel of Clos Vougeot: They also own a domaine under their grandfather’s name, Pierre Labet. Since taking over that domaine in 1984, François has worked on refining and elevating the wines, the most recent step being a complete conversion to biodynamics in 2011.
Although this wine may come from “humble” terroir—nee Clos Vougeot except legally you can’t make white wine in Vougeot—it’s absolutely exceptional. But maybe because of their relationship with Clos Vougeot, the wines of Domaine Pierre Labet are almost completely overlooked, especially in America. Our case in point here, today, is the old vines Bourgogne.
The Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes is no simple Burgundy. Aromas of mango, lemon curd, and exotic notes of lemongrass and coconut are vividly displayed right from the cork pull. These are backed up by a complex and intense minerality and structure built around a core of ripe citrus and tropical fruits. This “mere” Bourgogne is ready to play right now and is perfectly harmonious. From 65-year-old vines, the wine is stacked and packed, drinking perfectly now. But take your time if you’d like, this wine has more than a decade left for the cellar.
Ready to drink Burgundy from an elite estate at a move-along price. What Burgundy lover could ask for more? Here it is: