Jean Marc Millot Echezeaux Grand Cru 2017
I would like to think that assiduous study, detailed thought, constructive negotiation and careful cultivation of relationships brings Waterford Wine some of the best Burgundies in the world.
Alas, that’s not always how it happens. Sometimes it happens like this – I get thrown into a random beach party, at a mansion where I really don’t belong, the owner of said mansion is pouring Burgundy and suggests a glass of Echezeaux to me. Fair enough. The Echezeaux is new to me, but a boast accompanies it: “We go to Burgundy every year, and this was the best that we had ever tasted.”
That was a big enough boast, and a big enough mansion, that I took notice. And indeed, it was an amazing glass of Echezeaux! And so, my work began, and I hunted down the wines. What I found was the small domaine of Jean-Marc Millot.
The domaine transitioned to estate bottling in 1992 with an amazing lineup of Grand Crus under its name (see below for the offer). Where did these Grand Crus come from? Jean-Marc’s wife was the legatee of the now-defunct Domaine Louis Gouroux, now owned by Emmanuel Rouget – the successor to the legendary Henri Jayer.
But it wasn’t until their daughter Alix arrived in 2014 and took over full responsibility that the world took notice – and the world seriously took notice. From what I can tell, from New York to Hong Kong, San Franciscio to the electronic ether, here is a rising star of Burgundy.
Don’t believe me? Well, Jancis Robinson has labeled Jean-Marc Millot an “under-the-radar producer,” Allen “Burghound” Meadows calls the wine “the epitome of elegance,” and Clive Coates states that Millot “is a future star.”
Frankly, the wines hold up to—and even exceed—the praise. Here is the small allocation I was able to score:
Cote de Nuits Villages Aux Faulques is just south of Nuits Saint Georges, 400 meters from the Clos de l’Arlot whose vines are now 50+ years old. Yes, if you just look at the price tag the phrase “Cote de Nuits-Villages for how much” will spring to mind. Yet if you instead think “Nuits Saint George Premier Cru with 50-year-old vines from a rock-star producer” – which is what the wine says in the glass – then it is ridiculously cheap.
The Echezeaux comes from three parcels, Les Poulallières (Northern edge of Echézeaux), Echezeaux-du-dessus –(Upper portion of Echézeaux), Clos-Saint-Denis (Directly adjacent to Les Suchots). It is seriously structured, but like many 2017s, accessible now. Many might say, “if it’s accessible now it can’t age” and I would not concur. Sheer elegance and beauty in youth doesn’t mean that this extremely graceful beauty won’t age – it will. Enjoy now and for the next 30 years.
The Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru “Maupertui” is, as the name says, all from Maupertui, right next to Anne Gros. It is the ultimate in smooth, mineral-driven, graceful and harmonious Burgundy. With 50-year-old vines and in the absolute best parcel of Clos Vougeot, this is simply a gorgeous wine. Like the Echezeaux it drinks now, but not to worry. Thirty years more of pleasure are waiting in this bottle.
I know these wines are expensive – yet I believe, firmly, that they are worth it. For those of you that I’ve tasted with, please just order straightaway. The allocation is extremely limited and the wines live up to the praise.