Meursault and Chassagne from Darviot-Perrin: A rare opportunity to access mature white Burgundy

If you are going to buy white Burgundy with bottle age, you want to be assured of the condition of the wines. When we had the chance to plunder the reserves of one of our favourite white Burgundy estates, we couldn’t believe our luck. You may recall that Domaine Darviot-Perrin has leased out their vineyards for the next couple of vintages so there will not be any Domaine Darviot-Perrin 2018s or 2019s, and who knows what happens after that. The decision was taken after Didier and his wife Geneviève essentially retired from winemaking duties, handing responsibility for the estate over to their daughter. However, their daughter, Alix, decided against pursuing a career in wine. The future of Darviot-Perrin therefore resides with their son who is completing his oenology studies in Dijon. Such scenarios are not uncommon, but we sincerely hope it won’t be too long until we see Domaine wines once more.
This all means there is a small, finite number of cases of various back vintages stored at the domaine. After tasting through a range of samples, we concluded that the absolute standouts were a duo of 2013s of which we have now cleared the domaine’s cellars – 2013 Meursault 1er Cru, Les Perrières and 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, les Blanchots-Dessus 2013, each offered here at £525 per six bottle case in bond.
Let’s be clear, 2013 is an overlooked vintage; if you scanned point scores from critics who tasted from barrel, you would miss out on a number of very good buys. Many of those reviews are for unfinished wines in barrel; we tasted bottles sent from the Darviot cellar last week. Over the last seven years Burgundy release prices have escalated, so picking up seven-year-old white Burgundy from what is regarded as one of the coldest cellars in the region in immaculate condition, represents a rare opportunity. The cold cellars ensure the wines’ slow evolution. As Allen Meadows of Burghound commented at the time, the Darviot 2013s ‘are built on their fruit yet they're not simple as there is excellent underlying material plus they're wonderfully refreshing’.
Domaine Darviot-Perrin is situated in the heart of the Côte de Beaune and has been producing wines from prime vineyards in Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Volnay since 1989 when Didier Darviot established the domaine with his wife Geneviève Perrin. While they have numerous premier cru holdings, it is perhaps these two Premiers Crus that are consistently in a class of their own. No great surprise really, when Les Perrières is so widely regarded as the first among equals of Meursault Premiers Crus and Les Blanchots-Dessus was historically part of the Grand Cru of Le Montrachet, which it adjoins and with which it is capable of competing qualitatively. Perhaps one of the keys to the quality of these wines is the fact that the vines on their vineyards average 60 years of age; deep rooted old vines which regulate their own yield and deliver a small, complex fruit.  
These wines are all about purity, precision and an underlying sense of energy. They age magnificently and are, quite simply, spellbinding; they are true expressions of their terroir. While we are delighted to have accessed these two wines in modest volumes we are aware that this may be our last chance to buy wines of this calibre directly from the estate.
2013 Meursault 1er Cru, Les Perrières, Domaine Darviot-Perrin
£525 per six bottle case in bond

Initial hints of classic Meursault smoky bacon aromas on the nose give way to notes of pure white flower and restrained citrus as well as a touch of nectarine. The palate is clean, vibrant and tautly mineral, really capturing the white stone tension of Les Perrières. This tension and energy of the palate is scintillating and gives incredible persistence to the mineral and citrus finish. This is just now starting to show its class but should continue to drink beautifully for at least another five years. Absolutely captivating. (ROM) Drink 2020-2030
2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Blanchots-Dessus, Domaine Darviot-Perrin
£525 per six bottle case in bond

Clean, coolly ripe citrus, peach and melon fruit on the nose here. Such clarity and appeal. The palate opens with a natural, flowing, graceful weight of fruit that is supported by a fine, juicy freshness. There is mineral energy here too but the overriding sense is of a wine of incredible harmony of fruit and freshness which has the broader palate structure of Chassagne as well as some of the profound intensity due to the vines’ age and situation. This reverberates on the palate with subtle mineral length and vibrant fruit intensity. (ROM) Drink 2020-2030
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