Domaine Boris Champy, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune (Burgundy, France) “Bignon 421” 2022

($55):  Boris Champy, one of the Burgundy’s most talented winemakers is, paradoxically, one of the least recognized. Although he deserves it, Champy lacks the rock-star profile of a Dominque Lafon, Benjamin Leroux, and others.  Thankfully, for us consumers, the prices of his wines reflect that.  Champy, an enologist by training, worked at Dominus in Napa Valley for a decade, was the technical director for years at Maison Louis Latour, one of Burgundy’s top negociants, and was the estate manager at Clos des Lambrays, a grand cru property in Morey-Saint Denis.  Then in 2019 opportunity struck. Didier Montchovet, a grower located in Nantoux, a village just above Pommard in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, was set to retire, but had no heirs.  One of Montchovet’s claims to fame was that his domaine was the first in Burgundy to be certified by Demeter as Biodynamic.  Champy acquired the estate and, judging from his early wines, the rest will be history.  The Hautes Côtes — both Beaune and Nuits — as they are called, are the up-and-coming areas for Burgundy thanks to climate change.  In the past, these rugged areas produced rustic wines from often under-ripe grapes.  Now, that’s all changed, as evidenced by Champy’s Bignon 421.  Bignon is the name of the plot while 421 indicates the elevation of the vineyard in meters.  The elevation provides cool night which allows grapes to hold on to acidity, which translates into lively freshness in the wines.  Champy’s deft hand explains the incredible elegance.  The striking 2022 Bignon 421 delivers fresh red fruit notes impeccably balanced by savory spice and herbal ones.  It fits my definition of Burgundy — flavor without weight.  And given the prices of Burgundy today, it represents a fine value for Pinot Noir-based wines from that part of the world.
94 Michael Apstein Apr 30, 2024