Breathtaking Precision and Quality in a Bourgogne Blanc

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 domaine 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.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Bourgogne Blanc

100% Chardonnay; 12.5% ABV

The 2018 Bourgogne Blanc is a beautiful, transparent, pale gold in color turning water white near the edges of the glass. Now before the infanticide police come after me, I do have more of this which I am already laying down for at least 3-5 years and I did decant this wine for 2 hours. My inability to have patience is both reprimandable but rewarded. The nose steals the show at this stage, blossoming into aromas of peach, juicy pear, charred pineapple, cotton candy, freshly picked white florals, flint rock, gunpowder, smoke, toasted hazelnut, and lees. While the palate is a bit tougher to pull apart (I attribute it to youth), I can still decipher beautiful notes of golden apple, white peach, grapefruit zest, tropical citrus, limestone, freshly struck flint, dill, smoke, and dried vanilla. This is medium- to full-bodied with gorgeous high acidity, a fully-rounded and opulent mouthfeel, and a long, long finish that lasts for over a minute.

Price: $49 (about $10 cheaper in France). This is one of the greatest values I’ve had all year, and I truly do not think it will remain this price for long. I’ve read a lot of hype around Vincent Dancer and I can confidently say after tasting this young bottle (not easy for me to find anything older and I spent enough time tracking down 2018s) that what I read is true. Do not pass up an opportunity to buy Dancer’s wines.