One would be hard pressed to find a better white wine maker in all of Burgundy than Olivier Lamy. Most of his holdings are located in the so-called “secondary” appellation of Saint-Aubin, with only a few wines outside of the appellation. What Olivier is able to accomplish in Saint-Aubin makes you wonder what he could do with prime spots in Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne, the Montrachets or even Chablis. Olivier is intense, and his wines are the same. It used to be said that his wines are expensive for Saint-Aubin, but for wines this great, I say they are the best deal in Burgundy. For us, he is as special as it gets. Sadly, the quantities of his wines that we get are minuscule as high demand for the wines worldwide make it difficult for anyone to acquire much.
Lay of the Land
Saint-Aubin is a great white Burgundy appellation to watch. Aside from the fact that Olivier Lamy makes a lot of wine from there, what was once a liability for this village is now its asset. In an ever-changing world the cooler climate of Saint Aubin, with its large combe and valley which bring in cool air from the western forested hills keeps this place more fresh compared to the great appellations that house most of the famous Grand Crus, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet.
Saint-Aubin is also home to slopes that are more steep than a good portion of premier cru white Burgundy sites, which gives these wines the advantage of clarity, tension and less fat, all things that are currently en vogue. A good portion of the premier cru vineyards sit on ground that is more dominated with rock rather than deep clay, which also encourages wines on the more straight and narrow. If you love Burgundy or Chardonnay and are looking for something a little more elegant, this could be a good place to look.