Wines to Seek Out: Domaine Julien Gros
Before returning to the family business, Julien Gros worked as the estate manager for Domaine Paul Misset in nearby Nuits-Saint-Georges and was then recruited as winemaker by the Perrin family for their iconic Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Château de Beaucastel. ("They needed someone from Bourgogne with the right experience managing barrels," he said, speaking to the light touch that Burgundian winemakers are famous for). Now on his own, and making wines as he sees fit with his family's plots, we can see why he was so intensely sought after.
All four of his wines are lights-out amazing.
Domaine Julien Gros "Clos du Village Monopole" Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc
Most of Savigny-les-Beaune's vines are devoted to Pinot Noir, so this monopole of Chardonnay from the of-the-moment village is really something special on paper. On the nose and on the palate, it more than delivers. It's featherweight aromas of ripe apple, grapefruit zest, herbs, flowers and a touch of roasted almond are supremely elegant, which carries through to the palate and finish. This is a wine that whispers. It's best if we listen.
Domaine Julien Gros Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne
If the "Clos du Village Monopole" whispers, the Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne has pulled up with a speaker stack and is ready to get things started. With its heady aromas of rich golden pear, coconut, crême brulée and violets, there is no mistaking the variety and its highly regarded terroir. Evocative, a little bit unusual, but 100% correct in its delivery, this is a wine for drinkers who prefer a little muscle to their whites.
Domaine Julien Gros "Clos du Village Monopole" Savigny-les-Beaune Rouge
The flipside of the Savigny-les-Beaune coin is this Pinot Noir from the same monopole vineyard as the blanc. It registers with high-toned red fruits (think pomegranate meets raspberry), significant earthy aromas and a bright radiance that shows how complexity can also come in textural forms. I especially loved the long mineral finish and how it registered like an invitation to keep going.
Domaine Julien Gros "Clos du Roi" Grand Cru Corton
This powerhouse wine from a small plot on the Grand Cru Corton is intensely savory and floral, with a wild animal character obscuring the red fruits (like raspberry and ripe plum) underneath. But with air and time, what emerges is a glorious example of Pinot Noir in all contradictory beauty: silky yet momentous, ripe yet umami. Take your time with this one.