Simon Bize

The Story

It could be said that we drink more wines from this estate than any in Burgundy. The reason is that their range is so diverse and incredibly well-made that from one night to the next, and for weeks straight, you can drink wines that will fascinate with their diversity and perfect craftsmanship. They are also some of the most profound wines made in what most consider a secondary appellation in the Côte d’Or, Savigny-les-Beaune. I don’t like using the term “overachiever” because one can never overachieve; one can only reach the height of their potential and it seems that Bize does this time and time again. The wines at this domaine find a level of Savigny-les-Beaune that many may think not possible with this appellation.

Domaine Simon Bize was under the direction of Patrick Bize for 20 years or so. Sadly, during the harvest of 2013 Patrick unexpectedly passed away, at age 60. The future of this estate is somewhat unknown, but once you meet his wife, Chisa Bize, you know that the estate is the good hands. She has long been quietly involved with Patrick along the way, encouraging him the direction of organic and biodynamic farming, principals that have been quietly applied to the estate for years. Also, Nicolas Gordo, Patrick’s long-time winemaker, has been overseeing the cellar work for many years and while the wines of the domaine will no longer have Patrick’s finishing touch, they were left in very capable hands. So far, what we’ve seen coming could even, dare I say, eclipse what has been achieved in the past.

Lay of the Land

Savigny-les-Beaune, one of Burgundy’s most overlooked appellations, is one of our favorites. It’s not because it has the best or most famous vineyards, it’s because there are great vineyards and some very special producers that make wine from this village, like four producers that we work with: The resident producers Simon Bize and Jean-Marc & Hughues Pavelot, and the outsiders Nico Rossignol, from Volnay, and Bruno Clair, from Gevrey-Chambertin and Marsannay.

The appellation is cleft in two by a creek that once was a more torrent river.  Between the north and south hills of Savigny-les-Beaune is a great study of what effect different soil types, aspects, valleys, combes, dejection cones, elevations and grade of slopes can have on wines that share close proximity and the same grape. Savigny-les-Beaune is one of Burgundy’s best, most affordable and underrated teachers of terroir.  The difference between Bize and others is that these wines perform at the highest level in Burgundy, despite the appellation.

 

 

Simon Bize - 2014 Savigny les Beaune, “1er Cru Les Fournaux”

Price: $83.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Medium Body, Elegant and Aromatic

Inside the Bottle:  Vintage 2005 was considered brilliant for red wine. Dry, but rarely hot, with its much-needed rainfall splendidly timed, it produced wines which in their youth could be stern and hard, but which no one doubted would render great pleasure and purity in maturity. This 2005 Les Fournaux is at a perfect place right now. In the aroma, you’ll first notice the soothing sweetness of ripe, purple-red fruits like mulberry and cherry. Orange rind and plenty of sweet spice follow, as well as hints of dried green herbs. The wine may be a little tense immediately after opening, so don’t be afraid to give it some time—30 minutes in the bottle maximum; no need to decant this beauty—to loosen or just drink it slowly. You’ll find on the palate that it’s impeccably fine. On the back of the tongue, you can almost taste the space previously occupied by layers of tannin, now given to expanses of succulent red fruit.

Terroir:  The vineyards of Savigny-Les-Beaune are divided by a little river called the Rhoin, dissecting the vines into northern and southern zones. The northern Premiers Crus (there are no Grand Crus) face south, giving them an advantage in warmth over their north-facing counterparts across the river. The northern plots also have a higher content of clay, allowing them to produce fleshier wines, which is why they can be considered superior. Aux Vergelesses is considered Savigny’s mightiest vineyard. Beneath it is another top Premier Cru, Les Lavières. Fournaux—which is named for ancient coal-fired kilns housed there, not because it is especially hot—lies just below those two, nearer to the bottom of the hill. The combination of these factors—southwest exposure, crumbly limestone-clay soil, shallow slope at the taper of the hill—leads to wines that offer a lovely compromise. They are supple and generous, though not without structure. They drink well young, but will reward short to medium aging.

The Wine

Inside the Bottle:  Vintage 2005 was considered brilliant for red wine. Dry, but rarely hot, with its much-needed rainfall splendidly timed, it produced wines which in their youth could be stern and hard, but which no one doubted would render great pleasure and purity in maturity. This 2005 Les Fournaux is at a perfect place right now. In the aroma, you’ll first notice the soothing sweetness of ripe, purple-red fruits like mulberry and cherry. Orange rind and plenty of sweet spice follow, as well as hints of dried green herbs. The wine may be a little tense immediately after opening, so don’t be afraid to give it some time—30 minutes in the bottle maximum; no need to decant this beauty—to loosen or just drink it slowly. You’ll find on the palate that it’s impeccably fine. On the back of the tongue, you can almost taste the space previously occupied by layers of tannin, now given to expanses of succulent red fruit.

Terroir:  The vineyards of Savigny-Les-Beaune are divided by a little river called the Rhoin, dissecting the vines into northern and southern zones. The northern Premiers Crus (there are no Grand Crus) face south, giving them an advantage in warmth over their north-facing counterparts across the river. The northern plots also have a higher content of clay, allowing them to produce fleshier wines, which is why they can be considered superior. Aux Vergelesses is considered Savigny’s mightiest vineyard. Beneath it is another top Premier Cru, Les Lavières. Fournaux—which is named for ancient coal-fired kilns housed there, not because it is especially hot—lies just below those two, nearer to the bottom of the hill. The combination of these factors—southwest exposure, crumbly limestone-clay soil, shallow slope at the taper of the hill—leads to wines that offer a lovely compromise. They are supple and generous, though not without structure. They drink well young, but will reward short to medium aging.

About The Wine

Inside the Bottle:  Vintage 2005 was considered brilliant for red wine. Dry, but rarely hot, with its much-needed rainfall splendidly timed, it produced wines which in their youth could be stern and hard, but which no one doubted would render great pleasure and purity in maturity. This 2005 Les Fournaux is at a perfect place right now. In the aroma, you’ll first notice the soothing sweetness of ripe, purple-red fruits like mulberry and cherry. Orange rind and plenty of sweet spice follow, as well as hints of dried green herbs. The wine may be a little tense immediately after opening, so don’t be afraid to give it some time—30 minutes in the bottle maximum; no need to decant this beauty—to loosen or just drink it slowly. You’ll find on the palate that it’s impeccably fine. On the back of the tongue, you can almost taste the space previously occupied by layers of tannin, now given to expanses of succulent red fruit.

Terroir:  The vineyards of Savigny-Les-Beaune are divided by a little river called the Rhoin, dissecting the vines into northern and southern zones. The northern Premiers Crus (there are no Grand Crus) face south, giving them an advantage in warmth over their north-facing counterparts across the river. The northern plots also have a higher content of clay, allowing them to produce fleshier wines, which is why they can be considered superior. Aux Vergelesses is considered Savigny’s mightiest vineyard. Beneath it is another top Premier Cru, Les Lavières. Fournaux—which is named for ancient coal-fired kilns housed there, not because it is especially hot—lies just below those two, nearer to the bottom of the hill. The combination of these factors—southwest exposure, crumbly limestone-clay soil, shallow slope at the taper of the hill—leads to wines that offer a lovely compromise. They are supple and generous, though not without structure. They drink well young, but will reward short to medium aging.