Sylvain Rozier, one of our brilliant suppliers, has been working for three years with small, independent vineyards to produce fantastic Burgundys, such as the Viré Clessé and the Domaine Davanture Mercurey. He popped into see us here at LVG HQ so we took the opportunity to quiz him on what makes a great Burgundy, his personal top picks and ask for his take on the ever growing popularity of new world wines.
How would you describe a Burgundy wine?
They’re really traditional wines. Given the Burgundy climate and soil, they take a lot of time and care to produce, but all the best wines do. The fragility of Burgundy wine is something producers must take into account.
How do you select your producers?
I look for smaller, non-commercial vineyards and they’re not always easy to find. Focusing on a specific region helps, and the more you know of the area and the people, the easier it becomes to get in contact with people. Word of mouth plays a big part and at the moment I’m working with around 50 producers.
What’s your favourite wine?
The impossible question! I can’t pick one favourite; I really appreciate a variety. They don’t have to be Burgundy’s though.
Have you noticed changes in peoples tastes over the years?
Absolutely, tastes are constantly changing. Everyone’s unique; taste and preference evolve throughout life and this is particularly true for wine. Generally, I find that younger people prefer juicier, fruitier wines and as their palette develops, start to prefer more complex blends.
Is it possible to convince the French that new world wines are as good as French?
If I knew how to do that, I’d be a very successful man! It’s a question of tradition and French protectionism. Typically, the French believe that you can’t beat French wine. That said, things are changing and there’s more demand for variety in the market. In comparison to ten years ago, there’s so much more interest and demand for new world wines, and we must respond to that. Sommeliers are much harder to convince and still have limited interest in new world wines, but the vast majority of people aren’t affected by that and I think the popularity of new wines will continue to grow.
Thanks Sylvain, now for a glass of that Viré Clessé…
If we’ve managed to tickle your taste buds, Sylvain’s fantastic wines can be found on our (equally fantastic) new website:Viré Clessé Cecile Gondard Domaine des Malandes Chablis Crémant de Bourgogne Domaine de Rochebin Domaine Davanture Mercurey