Tense and Precise White Burgundy Built for the Cellar

Today’s Story: Domaine Vincent Dancer

Domaine Vincent Dancer is a small, rising star estate located in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet in Burgundy, France. Established by Vincent Dancer, the domain consists of about 5-6 hectares under vine and was the first certified organic producer in Chassagne-Montrachet. Vincent is originally from Alsace, and though he studied engineering in school he picked up a passion for wine along the way. After some urging from his father, Vincent spent time in Burgundy to learn viticulture and oenology before taking over small acreage of family vines in 1996. Known as a quiet and humble winemaker, Vincent quietly expanded his vineyards and today has holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Pommard, and Beaune. A staunch proponent of hands-off winemaking, Vincent hand-harvests his fruit from fairly low yielding vineyards and refrains from adding any commercial yeasts, enzymes, or acid adjustments during natural fermentation. He also resists bâtonnage, the practice of stirring the lees which is practiced by many producers in Chassagne-Montrachet to add flavors, aromas, and texture to the wine. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, with common descriptors of “tense,” “precise,” and “graceful.” Total production is I believe still under 2,000 cases annually, and not a lot of Vincent’s wines make their way to the US.

I previously wrote about Vincent Dancer when I reviewed the 2018 Bourgogne Blanc, which is a wonderful entry-level wine for the domain.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Vincent Dancer Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos

100% Chardonnay; 13% ABV

The 2018 Tête du Clos is pale yellow/gold in color. This needs about an hour and a half to two hours to really open up at this young stage, but the nose blossoms into aromas of pronounced intensity. The nose showcases aromas of lemon, crisp golden apple, white floral blossom, flint, wet river stone, a touch of smoke, freshly-baked bread, and saline mineral. Meanwhile the palate is also of pronounced intensity, showcasing notes of crisp pear, lemon zest, yellow apple, honeysuckle, almond, mild dried green herbs, wet stone, and crushed rock mineral. This dry white is full-bodied with high acidity, medium alcohol, and a very long finish. This is outstanding already, but I’ll wait probably five years before opening my next bottle. Very tense and precise.

Price: $175 (I paid $160). By no means an inexpensive white Burgundy, however I think this is absolutely worth the price and I would wager these prices rise further in the years to come. Vincent Dancer is making some of the greatest white Burgundy right now from the wines I’ve tasted, and these should be a must-try for any white Burgundy lover.

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