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– “at prices well below other Bourgogne wines of comparable quality” (DDS)
– “an essential elegance obtained only when the winemaker has the confidence to use restraint while letting terroir shine front and center” (DDS)
– “exactly the kind of contrast I seek in drinking Bourgogne wines: (DDS)
– “Purity of fruit is another Buffet trademark” (DDS)
– “Lastly, hedonism is an essential trait of Buffet’s wines” (DDS)

2022 Francois Buffet Pommard 1er Cru “Clos Micot
2022 Francois Buffet Pommard AC

The Endlessly Curious Dave DeSimeone
Dave DeSimeone and I are kindred spirits. He is my kind of wine lover and drinker. He is endlessly curious and passionate and understands that wine, food and culture are gifts to the world and his enthusiasm and passion are palpable. He does not appellation discriminate and loves humble Bourgognes as well as the grandest Grand Cru. He has been a loyal and faithful customer since the early days and has earned my respect tenfold. Dave gets it. Residing in Pittsburgh, of which he a is a champion and makes this jaded NY’er want to visit one day. 

Take it away Dave! 

Dave on Buffet
Drink enough wine over the years, and you hear plenty of “conventional wisdom.” You should drink this wine with that food. You must age that wine for years before opening. Then you hear, only wines “rated 90 or above can be any “good.” Or how about, “the Swiss do not make delicious red wines?”

Happily for clients of Fass Selections, Lyle consistently ignores “conventional wisdom” in favor of relying on his own palate and experience. He is what hockey fans fondly call a “grinder,” an energetic player who relentlessly digs in the “corners” of each wine region to serve up tasty, well-priced bottles for drinkers who like to cash in. Lyle even pursues delicious discoveries in familiar, heavily trodden places like Bourgogne. One of Lyle’s terrific Bourgogne discoveries is Domaine François Buffet.

To the folks in Bourgogne, it must seem oxymoronic labelling the Buffet as a “discovery” since the family has been there since 1692. The domaine itself started in the early 19th century. Current vigneron Marc-Olivier Buffet is the eighth generation to operate the family business. That said, few of Domaine François Buffet’s wines arrive on American soil because, other than Lyle, nobody imports them on a regular basis. Of course, this may change as Buffet’s reputation grows.

I’ve been drinking Bourgogne wines since the late 1980s (yes, I’m getting old!), and I’ve visited producers in Volnay almost every year since. I have a pretty good handle on who is who in the village, and I know which wines I enjoy drinking. But Bourgogne always has a way of teaching humility.

Until I saw Lyle’s offerings a few years back, I had never heard of, let alone tried, wines from Domaine François Buffet (which is also based in Volnay). But the quality of Buffet’s vineyard holdings in both Volnay and Pommard immediately caught my eye—there are village wines as well as excellent premier crus, some of which I had not previously tried. The prices jumped out, too. They are significantly lower than wines from my favorite producers such as Pousse D’Or, Jean-Marc Bouley, and Nico Rossignol. I took the plunge and bought Lyle’s offers on Buffet’s wines from both Volnay and Pommard.

I am thrilled I did so. As I write, I am drinking the 2019 Domaine François Buffet, Pommard “Clos Micot” 1er Cru next to the 2020 Domaine François Buffet, Pommard village tout court. When I first opened the bottles, both retained some awkward, youthful exuberant. They needed air to soften up and show their true personalities. I waited overnight and tried them again. Both are now singing, in their distinct fashion, in the glass.

Which raises the first quality that jumps out with Buffet’s wines: transparency. This is especially true for the vintages.

The 2020 Pommard village wine is dark and virtually opaque purple in color. Whereas the 2019 Pommard “Clos Micot” 1er Cru is a lighter, transparent ruby in color. You’d perhaps surmise the opposite would be true given the higher pedigree of the 1er Cru. But the 2020 and 2019 vintages have very different characters which Buffet faithfully expresses in the wines.

Overall the 2019s have remarkable delicacy and complexity while delivering depth of delicious, ripe flavors. They are subtle rather than overwhelming. By contrast, 2020 reds are generally richer and undeniably burly wines. They immediately command your attention with ripe flavors and richness.

Appreciating these vintage differences in a side by side tasting shows Marc-Olivier Buffet doesn’t muck around and intervene too much with the wines. Instead of playing games and manipulating the wines, he lets each vintage shine, however it shakes out. This is exactly the kind of contrast I seek in drinking Bourgogne wines. Every bottle ideally should reflect each vintage’s distinct, recognizable personality even as it evolves in the bottle as the years roll by.

Purity of fruit is another Buffet trademark. Understated, classic Pinot Noir red fruits such as tart cherries, ripe raspberries, and dark plums take center stage while light spiciness, earthiness, and terrific freshness play supporting roles. Each wine has a touch of oak, but again only to provide supporting structure. In short, the wines have an essential elegance obtained only when the winemaker has the confidence to use restraint while letting terroir shine front and center.

Buffet’s approach in the vineyards doubtless contributes to this trademark purity. Marc-Olivier’s intimate knowledge of each vineyard is in his blood. This breeds the confidence to wait and observe the soils and vines closely as each vintage unfolds to determine appropriate interventions, if any. The vines receive neither chemical weed killers nor chemical anti-fungal sprays. Instead of chemical fertilizers, Buffet uses organic compost on the vines. The domaine works with the ways of Nature rather than disturbing them for the sake of eliminating risks

Lastly, hedonism is an essential trait of Buffet’s wines. After unfolding with aeration, the wines offer tremendous pleasure with silky, seamless texture from start to finish. Pure fruit, fresh acidity, and fine tannins meld together in delightful, vibrant balance. Regardless of vintage differences, Buffet’s wines invite one sip after another without forcing the issue.

Why? Again, it starts in the vineyards where harvests occur manually. Meticulous scrutiny eliminates damaged and underripe grapes before fermentation. Typically, the bunches are destemmed, but, depending on the vintage, Buffet may use whole grape clusters to add freshness. A slow, patient fermentation then occurs with indigenous yeasts. Aging takes place in oak barrels typically with only 20% having new wood.

And voilà! Generous, supple, and velvety wines designed to give years of pleasure. Hand-crafted and the antithesis of “production line” wines, they remain available—at least for now—at prices well below other Bourgogne wines of comparable quality.

Now, thanks to Lyle, we can buy Buffet’s 2022 wines from Pommard and Volnay. By all accounts, 2022 was a highly successful vintage in Bourgogne. For example, Adam Brunlett, the Bourgogne buyer at the esteemed British merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd says the following:

“The 2022 vintage proves that Burgundy has a strong and bright future, even in the face of unprecedented extremes of weather. On paper, this was the driest, warmest, and sunniest year on record. However, our five weeks of tasting across the region revealed a consistently excellent vintage with wines of wonderful typicity, purity and freshness. Of the recent climate-change vintages that have now become the norm, 2022 is the most successful yet.”

I certainly will be purchasing Buffet’s 2022 wines for my cellar, and I look forward to enjoying and sharing them with friends and family, the good Lord willing, for years to come. If not, then my kids will thank me when they drink the wines. Cheers!

Lyle’s Corner

Today I have two Buffet wines. The 2022 Pommard 1er Cru “Clos Micot” ($67.99 a bottle on a 3-pack) and the 2022 Pommard AC which is $47.99 a bottle on a 4-pack. Below are the Burghound very nice scores. 

“A ripe nose reveals a subtle dollop of wood on the spicier and earthier aromas of red and black currant that exhibit a hint of the sauvage. There is fine mid-palate density to the relatively powerful flavors that coat the palate with dry extract on the youthfully austere and saline-inflected finish where a touch of rusticity slowly emerges. This is sufficiently structured to repay a decade plus of cellaring.” 90-92 BH (2022 Clos Micot)

“Brilliant ruby. Ripe and very fresh aromas combines notes of poached plum, dark raspberry and newly turned earth. The rich, generously proportioned and succulent medium-bodied flavors display fine power on the impressively long finale. This is a quality Pommard villages.” 89-91 BH (Pommard)

Please visit my new Tasting Notes Blog on all wines that I have sold through Fass Selections. It is constantly updated.

Please call Cheryl at 949 378 5251 with your order if you are a first time customer (we prefer not to receive credit card numbers over E-Mail).

I love drinking and selecting wines – but my passion for teaching people about wine is almost as big. I’m happy to announce a block of time each day where people can call me just to chat about wine in general. These blocks are NOT intended to sell wine (I do that all day). This is to talk to me about wine pairings or great producers or how long to age wines or styles of wine making or the latest wine controversy. My goal is to help people learn more about wine and enjoy it more. Call me at 917-912-4355 from 4-7EST Monday – Friday.

2022 Francois Buffet Pommard 1er Cru “Clos Micot” – $69.99 ($203.97 3-pack) (VERY LIMITED)

2022 Francois Buffet Pommard – $49.99 ($191.96 4-pack)

Mix and Match on 4 bottles or More for Deepest Deal

This Offer is Not Available to Retailers, Wholesalers or Restaurants

Shipping will be charged when wine ships.

These will be shipped in the Fall of 2024


Previous Offers Still Open

A Word about Fass Selections and Social Media

I am big into certain social media and I want people to take pictures of the wines they have received or will receive and tag me in them and share their thoughts. I a am on Instagram. Please tag me there. I also am on Delectable which I love a lot. It is Iphone/Ipad only, but it’s like Instagram meets Facebook for wine. Tag me there and find me there as well. I want to know if you liked the wine, were not moved by the wine, hated the wine or the wine gave you a religious experience. I want to know it all. Feedback is key and I will answer all feedback e-mails as quickly as I can.

For all billing and invoicing inquiries please contact Nick at accounts@fassselections.com or 646-498-6078