First, don’t overchill the wine. And use a good large Burgundy glass if you can, not only to contain the fascinating aromas, but also to show off the deep, saturated, bright green-gold color. Then, accept that there are no descriptors that can accurately describe the experience of a wine like this.
Ripe Braeburn apples, baked meringue, dried honey, Meyer lemon, and clean fresh hay move in and out of the foreground as the wine evolves over time.
But more than that, on the palate, the attack is assertive at first, and then the wine becomes languid, as the ripe minerl-laced flavors grow more voluminous with time, adding lime blossom and smoke, and always remaining firm, fresh and vibrant, like a perfect skipping stone (even the empty glass smells great the next day). Drink now – 2025. But no need to wait; this one is ready today.
About this wine producer: Clive Coates, MW, writing of his first visit to Domaine Ampeau in 1986, called Robert Ampeau “a French vigneron determined to live up to the archetype: surly, suspicious, chauvinistic, doing his best to make us feel uncomfortable, to make us realize we were wasting his time.” But we’d heard from better sources, stories of the five incredible cellars under the rue du Cromin, and that Robert’s son Michel was funny and smart. So I couldn’t resist asking if we’d be welcome when we were in Burgundy in 1991. And I needn’t have worried; we found Robert Ampeau to be as good-natured and generous as I’d heard he was ornery and cold. Our 1991 visit, it turned out, was only the first of many. And for us it was an epiphany. What we’d heard about Robert and Michel Ampeau “holding back wine until it was ready to drink” wasn’t the whole story at all. They simply didn’t care as much about whether or not anyone bought them, as they cared about the weather, and the vines, and their annual struggle with nature to produce them.