Michelin-Starred Favorite Winemaker’s Bourgogne Blanc
I convened our tasting panel after getting a call from a supplier, who told me that the rest of her 2014 Patrice Rion Bourgogne Blanc — a gorgeous white Burgundy from the vintage rated 97 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate — was up for grabs. We tasted the wine, which was absolutely singing. I took it all. A few weeks later she called back, asking whether we were going to be needing every last case. Apparently just after we took delivery, the 2014 Bourgogne Blanc had made Wine Spectator’s Smart Buy list of 90+-point wines under $30, and her other accounts suddenly had a keen interest in scoring more. We knew that our Chardonnay-loving clients would fall in love with this citrusy and focused white Burgundy from the region’s most-celebrated vintage since 2010, so we kept it. 2014 was one of Burgundy’s best vintages this decade, and the supply of this overachieving wine is dwindling down to nothing. Because we were in the right place at the right time, we have the last of it, at $24.99 per bottle — the best price in the U.S.
Patrice Rion has been making top-flight wine in the Burgundian village of Prémeaux-Prissey for over three decades: First at his family’s Domaine Daniel Rion, and now at Domaine Michèle and Patrice Rion, which he and his wife founded in 2000. While he may be best known in Burgundy’s Michelin-starred restaurants for his Clos St. Marc Monopole Premier Cru Pinot Noir and stellar range of Premier Cru reds from the Côtes de Nuits, Rion is celebrated stateside for crafting a Bourgogne blanc of impressive focus and complexity.
Rion’s classic 2014 Bourgogne Blanc comes from a vintage that the magazines tripped over one another to out-praise. Decanter said it was unimprovable: 5 out of 5. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate deemed it an “excellent” 97, and Wine Spectator praised as “excellent,” rich, and ripe, with density and concentration” — the best white Burgundy vintage ever. This plays into what is practically our mantra at Wine Access: To find the most overachieving wines, look to the “humble” appellations in the best vintages. The 2014 Patrice Rion Bourgogne Blanc delivers fruit, focus, and complexity that left me and the rest of our tasting panel pondering Puligny as much as the broad Bourgogne appellation. In short, this is exactly what we’re looking for when we scour the scene for wines that outdo themselves. I am thrilled that this one found us, and that we made a move right when it did.
Vanessa Conlin DipWSET
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma
Stage 2 Master of Wine Student