From £16, €18.90, 395 rand, $31.99, 34.50 Swiss francs, 4,410 Japanese yen, SG$72, AU$929.28 a dozen
Here’s a conundrum. This fine, approachable, keenly priced red burgundy is exceptionally well distributed around the world. According to wine-searcher.com, it is available from multiple retailers in the UK, US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore and Australia. Purple Pager James Browne reports that it is also available in South Africa from Great Domaines.
But I am currently putting the itinerary together for Julia’s and my tasting trip to Burgundy at the end of next month. And who is the producer from whom I can get no response? The curly-haired, engaging Sylvain Pataille himself. Perhaps he has a brilliant sales team (he is one of the many great burgundy producers represented by Becky Wasserman of Le Serbet) but non-existent office staff?
There’s another anomaly here. Most unusually, the lowest price in the world at which this wine is offered seems to be in heavily taxed Britain. Thanks to the blessed Wine Society, Brits can get their hands on a bottle of this lovely liquid for just £16 – provided they have bought a liftetime share in the Wine Society for £40.
Pataille is based in Marsannay, the village at the far north of the Côte d’Or, practically in the suburbs of Dijon. (I associate it with starting to panic about whether I’m going to catch my train to Paris.) His distinctively blue-labelled wines have done much to put this village, home of Domaine Bruno Clair with its much grander array of Premier and Grand Crus, on the map for burgundy lovers – although the prices are still nothing like as high as those for Gevreys made just south of here.
I love the friendliness of Pataille’s wines. They can be drunk relatively young. I thought all his red single-vineyard 2014s (he makes several accomplished whites too; look out for Dom Sylvain Pataille 2015 Marsannay Blanc) could be drunk from 2017 when I tasted them in 2015, and reckon this village wine, tasted last month and made from fruit of which 30-40% was not destemmed (très à la mode), is just right for drinking now. My suggested drinking window is 2016 to 2020 and it’s a 16.5 pointer.
My tasting note on Dom Sylvain Pataille 2014 Marsannay Rouge:
Mid ruby. Great funky-but-fruity nose that really hits the spot. Grainy tamarind notes. So convincing! Freshness and at a perfect point in its evolution. VGV
I thoroughly recommend this wine as one of those rare red burgundy bargains. You can read more about the vintage via this guide to our coverage of 2014 burgundy.
The good news is that 2017 has at last produced a Burgundy vintage in reasonable quantity – an exception to the general rule of the shrunken French 2017 vintage. See this report.
The picture above (© Michel Joly) is of Sylvain and his daughters.