It’s been a while since we last had a Red Burgundy in the club, mostly because it's exceedingly hard to find good examples that don’t cost more than our baller level, so we are delighted to present this Premier Cru from the Côte Chalonnaise. Premier Crus and Grand Crus represent 8-10% and 1-2%, respectively, of the total production in Burgundy and have had their boundaries demarcated since the Middle Ages by the Cistercian and Benedictine monks. When the Appellation d'Origine Controlee system was introduced in the 1930s the bestowing of more elevated status was based on these time-tested and, because the reputation of certain vineyards had been established by the monks who owned land throughout Burgundy, impartial assessments. One can readily see proof of this by noting the fact that entire sub-regions, such as our present Cote Chalonnaise, do not have a single Grand Cru vineyard. Conversely, when one sees a Premier Cru from a less prestigious sub-region, however, one can take comfort in knowing that the accolade was bestowed when considering the entire region and not in relation to the rest of the sub-region. So, a Premier Cru from the Cote Chalonnaise is every bit as good as a Premier Cru from the Cote de Nuits, etc. This particular 1er Cru comes from a 4th generation winemaker, Laurent Juillot, who is training his son Pierre to become the fifth. Made in the classic Burgundian style of native yeast fermentations in open vats that then age for 18 months in 25% new barrels. This wine shows ripe cherry, slight blueberry, violets to start things off and then soft mushroom and whispers of spices show at the midpoint of the long and rewarding finish. Beautiful with any red meat dish Julia Child would suggest you cook.