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Spectrum Wine Retail, 02/14/24: "...Perhaps the most impressive wine I have ever had from this Domaine, which I have been visiting since 1989"


"This is shaping up to be perhaps the most impressive wine I have ever had from this Domaine which I have been visiting since 1989."
Josh Raynolds, Vinous

"Domaine Burgaud defies easy categorisation. Perhaps this is why the estate remains somewhat under the radar. Though this could simply be down to their size; with 4.5ha, they are a small Domaine, but one that crafts reliable, authentic wines that are worth knowing about.

It all started thanks to Roger Burgaud in the 1950s. In the mornings he worked in the biscuit factory in Ampuis. In the afternoons, however, like so many local men he’d return to the family smallholding to tend to his crops. He was a vigneron at heart, and he bought and replanted vineyards on some of the finest slopes, at a time when much of the appellation had been abandoned.

It was Roger’s son, Bernard, that converted the entire family Domaine to viticulture. He took over in 1980 and gradually expanded the Domaine to its current size. They now have vines in the lieux-dits of Côte Blonde, Champin, Leyat, Fongeant, Les Moutonnes, and Brosse. Bernard’s son Pierre recently rejoined the estate, and 2020 is his first vintage. Of their various vineyards, only the vines planted in Côte Blonde are on ‘blonde’ gneiss soils, the rest are on ‘brune’ schist.

It’s long been traditional to grow a little Viognier among the Syrah in Côte Blonde, but not here. 'When my father planted in Côte Blonde, he included some Viognier, but eventually he came to realise that it brought nothing to the finished wine, so he pulled it out,' says Pierre. So their holdings are now 100% Syrah ....

They use barriques, but only 20% new, and maturation time is fairly short for the region at 15 months, which Bernard says helps ensure the wines have a long life. When it comes to their range, they’ve resisted the trend for bottling individual lieux-dits. Here they prefer the old-fashioned way – producing just one cuvée, their Côte-Rôtie.

For wines that are relatively small in stature, almost Burgundian in style, they do have impressive longevity; they’ll develop for 20 years or more in a good vintage. Stylistically this isn’t an oaky style of Côte-Rôtie, the aromas and flavours are fruit-derived, from grapes that are ripe, but not overripe. They are typically harmonious and balanced with a certain old-fashioned charm. These aren’t showy wines; they have a quiet elegance ..."
Matt Walls, Decanter Magazine

100% Syrah; fromCôte Blonde, Champin, Leyat, Fongeant, Les Moutonnes and Brosse

?"Deep, vivid ruby. Highly perfumed, incisive aromas of cherry and raspberry, incense, exotic spices and licorice, plus a bright mineral overtone that builds in the glass. Youthful, palate-staining red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors show superb depth as well as urgency, and a core of juicy acidity adds support and a bracing cut. Finishes with reverberating floral and spice notes, subtle tannic grip and lingering minerality. This is shaping up to be perhaps the most impressive wine I have ever had from this Domaine which I have been visiting since 1989."

Josh Raynolds, Vinous