Andrew Nielsen is another producer whose road to making wine started with a single sip; in Andrew’s case it was a Dujac Clos De La Roche back in 2006 whilst he was still working in advertising that set these specifically Pinot Noir orientated wheels in motion. This led to him spending a harvest with Kosta Browne in California and from there progressing to Felton Road in New Zealand and Coldstream Hills in Australia. At Coldstream he met James Halliday who then introduced him to Patrick Bize at Simon Bize. This, in a nutshell, is how Andrew and his wife Emma wound up in Burgundy where they have been slowly accruing access to parcels of grapes from around Savigny, Beaune and St. Aubin.
Due to the increasing pressure in terms of finding fruit in the Cote D’Or Le Grappin have expanded to also making a range called Du Grappin that focuses on the Macon and Beaujolais. As something of a self-declared packaging agnostic Andrew puts these into a range of formats including 20L kegs for draught use, bag in box and 1.5L pouches that they call ‘Bagnums’. For both ranges absolute primacy is placed on sourcing great parcels to work with and then putting in the hard work in the vineyard to make sure they deliver the best possible grapes. This is complemented in the winery by a focus on low intervention and traditional techniques such as using ambient carbonic for the Beaujolais. The resulting wines are an exciting and delicious study in the specific nature of the terroirs Andrew works with and some of the best value and most exciting new Burgundies around.
Beaune 1er Cru Boucherottes Rouge
Whilst sadly a lot of Red Burgundy has now become a hunting ground for the super wealthy there are still great, affordable bottles out there and this is a top example. The Boucherottes brilliantly combines the cool fresh fruit character of the 14 vintage with an elegant structure that will reward cellaring.
This is Cru Beaujolais at its very best – fragrant, juicy and delicious with layers of strawberry and raspberry fruit and savoury graphite/black tea notes. The superb growing conditions of the 2015 vintage allowed Andrew to make this following precisely the methods of the godfather of natural wine, Jules Chauvet.
Beaune 1er Cru "Les Greves" Blanc
This is a supremely classy bottle of white Burgundy that deftly highlights why Andrew’s wines are getting some much international acclaim. There’s a great concentration of fruit running from lemon through apple to melon at the heart of the wine brilliantly framed by the sensitive use of oak to enhance rather than overwhelm.
From an absolutely top-tier vintage this Macon has great concentration of apple, pear and stone fruit flavours coupled with really refreshing acidity that leaves the palate wanting another glass. This would be great hidden away in a blind tasting against some more illustrious Chardonnays – we think it will more than hold its own.
Classy, classic Cote D’Or Chardonnay – this Savigny showcases the precise 2014 vintage with masses of tightly interwoven green apple and lemon flavours wrapped in a delicate use of oak that helps to enhance the texture and mouthfeel of the wine. Will cellar beautifully for 3-5 years.