Since 1999, I’ve been making the pilgrimage to Domaine André Bonhomme. But it was on my last visit to the tiny hamlet of Viré that young Aurelien Palthey led Melissa and me to the cellar in which he’d grown up at his grandfather’s side.
Then we proceeded to basically time travel through almost 60 years of vintages drawn off the oldest parcel on the estate – an unassuming bottle simply labeled Vielles Vignes. What was inside the bottle was anything but simple.
After barrel tasting the latest vintages of unfinished wine, he led us back into time, a tasting that lasted three hours, finishing with his grandad’s 1961, a textbook white Burgundy was bright golden in color, perfectly fresh and vibrant, despite its 59 YEARS of bottle age!
These 80 year old Chardonnay vines, rooted in the limestone of southern Burgundy, produce profound white Burgundy. There are very few producers in Meursault and Puligny that can claim their wines can age as long as Bonhomme’s and their wines cost 3-4 times what Aurelien’s do.
The 2019 Domaine André Bonhomme Viré-Clessé Vieilles Vignes, crafted by André’s grandson, Aurelien Palthey, is one for the ages.
Glistening pale yellow-green to the rim, infused with mouth-watering aromas of ripe apple, pear and quince, tinged with anise and bitter honey. Full-bodied and rich in the mid-palate, yet still wonderfully light on its feet, finishing with textbook Meursaultien cut and vibrancy. Drink now if you’re impatient, or lay down for a decade or two. Big dividends will be doled out to the patient!
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