Meursault Through the Modern Lens
The stereotype of Meursault – rich, nutty, honeyed – is dead. Modern Meursault is just as nervy, sometimes moreso, as its neighbours in Puligny and Chassagne. Indeed, certain plots of Meursault, coupled with particular producers, show a mineral edge and citrus cut the complete counterpoint to the village’s traditional image, while retaining trademark power. Though plenty of mediocre Meursault remains in circulation, the best wines in the village have also never been better, with newcomers like PYC Morey and Benjamin Leroux combining inherited land with some leased land with fully controlled farming and completely revolutionizing white winemaking, and contemporary micro-negocients establishing a new model for talented winemakers to make their mark without the massive deep pockets required to buy land in the region. On top of this, the lack of a grand cru kept prices down comparatively for some time, while I (and many others) would argue a great Genevrieres or Perrières from a top producer is grand cru quality. This means that though prices are going up, many top bottlings (excepting, of course, Coche-Dury and Roulot), are still cheaper than those from the top terroirs in Puligny or Chassagne.
Modern Meursault also means diversity. Producers like Leroux and Lafarge make open, ready wines, that retain balance. PYC – wines of cut and delineation that benefit from age and seem to survive it. Lafon – in a remarkable vintage like 2014 makes both – the village presenting stunningly today (a fight for best 2014 white Burgundy ready to drink today), and the single vineyards built to last for more than a decade. Antoine Jobard, the former up and comer, now a top tier producer trailing Lafon but pushing towards a similar approach. And the brilliant Mikulski, who makes wines that drink well young in that taught mineral style, but also that also seem put on flesh with each additional month in bottle (the 2016 village Meursault was very good in March, 2019 but stunning in Jan 2020).
With all of these options and excitement in the producer set I find myself buying more Meursault than any other white Burgundy village. That said, prices are starting to creep up significantly and I expect the value days are pretty much over. Given this, as these producers expand into St. Aubin, I expect that village’s wines will continue gain presence and availability in the market and will ultimately overtake Meursault as the village of choice for the perfect QPR in the Cote d’Or.
In the meantime, when looking to splurge on a famous white village wine, do not overlook Meursault’s modern face – explore its diversity and revel in what its producers have come to achieve, particularly with a string of excellent vintages from 2014-2017. There is a lot to love in this village’s wines.
Francois Mikulski Meursault 2016 – Excellent
PYC Morey Meursault “Les Narvaux” 2017 – Excellent+
Benjamin Leroux Meursault Genevrieres-Desssous 2016 – Excellent
Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2014 – Excellent++
Michel Lafarge Meursault 2016 – Very Good+
Antoine Jobard Meursault Poruzots 1er Cru 2015 – Excellent