Meeting the Young Talents of Burgundy

The wine trade descended on Burgundy this week for its bi-annual, weeklong Grands Jours de Bourgogne. I joined the gatherings on Friday, eager to attend one tasting in particular: Le Salon des Jeunes Talents. This group, technically known as La Groupe des Jeunes Professionnels de la Vigne, is composed of winemakers under the age of 40. (It appeared to me this cap is a bit flexible, but I decided it would be indiscrete to ask.)  The association aims to unite the region’s young winemakers and to support their development with seminars on subjects as diverse as how to present their wines in English and how to operate and maintain high clearance tractors.

I tasted a broad array of wines – white, rosé, red and bubbly from Chablis to Mâcon - and chattted with many of their producers. I walked out impressed. Every producer I visited seemed to embrace three themes: responsible and sustainable vineyard management, purity of fruit expression and limited use of new oak. As one established winemaker commented to me later that day, I probably would have found loads of profound color, significantly ripe fruit and generous viscosity ten years ago…all characteristics these producers eschewed. I wonder what I’ll find in another ten years time?

I was not able to taste wines from every producer as another tasting beckoned. However, of those I did taste and did not know or know well, here are the producers I’ll be watching over the next five years and, hopefully, beyond.

Julie Belland – Domaine Belland

Nicolas Perrault – Château de la Cree

Patrice Ollivier – Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair

Arnaud Germain – Domaine Germain Père et Fils

Stéphane Magnien – Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Sébastien Magnien – Domaine Sébastien Magnien

Raphaël Masson – Domaine de Marsoif

Sylvain Pataille – Domaine Sylvain Pataille

Nicolas Ragot – Domaine Ragot

Simon Rollin – Rollin Père et Fils

Florent Masson – Domaine du Val Grevin

Cédric Vincent – Domaine Cédric Vincent