2013 Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Volnay Mitans, Premier Cru Red Burgundy, France.
The delightfully nuanced, graceful and pure in Pinot fruit Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay Mitans 2013 was a standout out in a recent Burgundy panel tasting, its pale ruby hue in the glass belying the depth and treasures it possesses. Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, one of my favorite Cote de Beaune producers, is a historical Domaine that was the union of two old vigneron families from Volnay and Meursault. Their wines are all hand crafted efforts from some of the best “Crus” in the region, coming from their fabulous 1er Crus vineyards in Volnay and Meursault, with serious and seductive qualities that tend to be better with some age like this 2013 Volnay Les Mitans, which is showing lovely form right now. As noted by Bitouzet-Prieur’s importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant, the Bitouzet family’s ancestral roots in Burgundy has covered the better part of two centuries. Francois Bitouzet, who is now running the Domaine, having taken over from his father Vincent, who’s great-great grandfather, M. Gillotte, arrived in Auxey Duresses back in around 1800 and even was mayor of the village, before they soon settled in Volnay, where the cellars are today. According to Rosenthal, the Bitouzets were one of the first small family wineries in Volnay to bottle their wines. Vincent’s grandfather had already garnered medals for his winemaking talents back in 1860, putting their efforts on the world stage. Vincent’s wife, Annie Prieur, and Francois’ mom has equally distinguished ancestors, with her family (both Prieurs and Perronnets) were well regarded in Meursault and Ladoix. The resulting “merger” of the Bitouzet and Prieur family holdings has created a domaine of distinction and breadth, added Rosenthal, and my personal experience with their wines since the 2005 vintage has been very fruitful with some stunning wines, both red and white, impressing me greatly.
Known for being a classicist or traditional minded house, the Bitouzet offerings always show a delicate touch in the cellar and deliver age worthy structures, in particular the Volnay(s) Taillepieds Premier Cru and this Mitans Premier Cru, Red Burgundies as well as the usually tightly reduced Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres White Burgundy. Interestingly enough, 2005 was the first vintage of Bitouzet-Prieur Les Mitans, from vines that date back to 1991, but it has proven to be a great source of fine Pinot and the 2013 is incredibly charming and elegant. While if given the choice, I might opt for their Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds, Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chenes and or the Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets for longer term cellaring, but for drinking now, this Les Mitans is an awesome Burgundy value, pedigreed and with a backbone, and amazingly enough only about three barrels are made. The bouquet is inviting with equal parts rose petal and feral earthiness with a palate that has finesse, pretty fruit, but with energy, tension and a savory dimension all within a medium weight palate that shows wild strawberry, red plum, beat root and cranberry wrapped around a core of black cherry fruit as well as mineral, leather, tangy herbal notes, chalky stones and a touch of baking spice. Like a baby Pommard, the 2013 Bitouzet-Prieur Les Mtans hits all the right cords and puts in a solid performance in an uneven vintage, drink over the next 5 to 10 years. Sometimes you crave the old world, and for me this scratched the inch to near perfection at a reasonable price, it’s a well made under the radar Burg, one that I will go back to a few times I’m sure.
($52 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive