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A Living Legend

Aubert de Villaine.

A name that is synonymous with the Holy Grail of wine: Domaine de la Romanee Conti in Burgundy, where the wine is the purest, perhaps most aristocratic celebration of pinot noir.

Indeed, Monsieur de Villaine is the co-director of one of France’s most celebrated vineyards. Yet, to see him, or talk to him, one would never know his noblesse. He is a quiet, shy man who seems reluctant to accept the accolades that are heaped upon him for wine that sells for hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Unwavering in his commitment to his inheritance and responsibility, Monsieur de Villaine somehow also finds the time to dedicate to his personal estate, Domaine A&P de Villaine located in the village of Bouzeron in the Cote Chalonnaise that he owns along with his American-born wife, Pamela.

Some years ago, de Villaine was researching the viticultural history of Bouzeron and stumbled upon the fact that it wasn’t the chardonnay grape that was the mainstay of the village’s wine production, but the aligote. De Villaine began lobbying for an appellation for Bouzeron and in 1998 it was granted. Now, any wine that carries the “AOC Bouzeron” has to be entirely made from aligote.

The A&P de Villaine Bouzeron is a delicious wine. The fruit is citrusy and zesty with some subtle floral notes, balanced with supple acidity and minerality. It is a crisp and captivating wine that is perfect for summer and pairs well with seafood and cheeses.

The reds are generally balanced, earthy, lithe and quite harmonious.

The Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise “La Digoine” is considered one of the standard bearers of the Rully appellation. Graceful and harmonious, it is seductive with its aromas of red fruit and lingering finish. “La Fortune” is the lieu-dit next to “La Digoine.” The vines here are younger, but the resulting wine is fruity and tender, although quite rustic, pairing well with red meats or poultry.

A&P de Villaine, Bouzeron, 2013

A&P de Villaine, Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise, “La Digoine,” 2012

A&P de Villaine, Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise, “La Fortune,” 2012