Robert Ampeau in 2003 (photo: Greg Moore)
Robert Ampeau was a legendary figure, and an admired colleague of the most important producers in Burgundy, including Aubert de Villaine, Lalou Bize-Leroy, Dominique Lafon, and Hubert de Montille, whose cellars all contain Ampeau wine.
Ruth Reichl, the last Editor-in Chief of Gourmet magazine, recorded the impression that Ampeau made on other producers in her 1998 memoir, Tender at the Bone, in which she recorded her visit to the Volnay producer Hubert de Montille, accompanied by the wine merchant, Kermit Lynch. Kermit had brought along a bottle of one of Ampeau’s wines (label removed) “to see what he really thinks.”
“There is sunlight in the glass,” de Montille said finally, “much sunlight. It is from a very good year…what can it be?”
When Kermit told him what it was, de Montille cried, “But I have this wine in my cellar!” He turned eagerly to Kermit and asked, “Did Ampeau sell it to you?” Kermit nodded smugly. “Consider yourself ho