Les Lavières is a Premier Cru of Savigny-Lès Beaune. The wine is quite earthy but because of the high amount of limestone in the soil, as well as the high elevation, it maintains a very elegant structure. Ampeau’s wine has seen little new wood (only 10-20%) and short élevage to retain the fresh, bright character of the fruit - and allow for a very slow maturing process that keeps the wine at its wholesome peak for a very long time. This is perfectly mature wine, shipped under perfect temperature-controlled conditions.
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.