Understanding Burgundy is a lifelong and expensive pursuit, and any effort to keep abreast of its constantly shifting developments will drive you mad. Every December it seems like a new “Definitive Volume” arrives, and by November it’s hopelessly out of date. We’ve always found the place to be not unlike pinot noir itself: fickle, introverted and entirely unpredictable. The same wine that drove you on Friday to a degree of ecstasy you didn’t know existed will turn around on Saturday and show you equally unexplored depths of heartbreak. And yet you will try again, because that’s what makes it so fascinating.
But for maybe a half-dozen estates at the top of the Burgundian pecking order, no property there has been free of internecine strife or unexpected calamity over the last two centuries or so (the horrors of war being the most tragic), and Domaine Michelot is no exception. Now into its sixth generation of family production, the domaine perhaps reached its zenith in the 70’s and 80’s under Bernard Michelot, when the wines were often compared favorably to those from Coche-Dury and Comtes Lafon (the Beatles and Stones of Meursault). Things went awry for about 15 years in the early 90’s, for reasons most likely unknown to anyone outside the family, although that didn’t prevent speculation of course. Suffice to say, the pieces have all been put back together and the wines are positively singing. They aren’t cheap but they’re about to get a lot more expensive, so now’s your chance.