François Millet has been a big part of my last 20 years in Burgundy. I have known him since I visited Domaine de Vogüé for the first time in 2000.
Now, however, it’s time for a change: François Millet is retiring from de Vogüé and joining the family business – or should I say creating a family wine business with his wife and two sons.
The wines are being made in de Vogüé’s back yard, in the same street as Domaine Berthaut. Chambolle-Musigny is indeed a small place.
New setting, same style
The Millet family wines are made using the same methods and philosophy François used at de Vogüé; there are no big surprises. The wines perform as expected, but the terroirs are lesser, and the names and appellations are less known and less flashy.
That predictability is a strength, but perhaps also a weakness. In the end, the wines will do the talking. The style is controlled and slightly restrained, giving wines with class and elegance. The quality is there, along with the purity.
The question is, however, does this style have appeal at this (lower) level? These are no longer, after all, famous grands crus.
In 2020, I think the wines succeed, and make an interesting addition for those who like classic Burgundies.
François Millet & Fils Bourgogne Rouge 2020
The Bourgogne Rouge is one of the most captivating wines in the line-up. It’s from the lower end of Chambolle, below the road. It has sweet red fruit, iron minerality, and a fine floral expression. Fifty-year-old vines add fine intensity and texture.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good (87-88p) – tasted from cask 08/06/2021 –
François Millet & Fils Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2020
This got squeezed by the fine Bourgogne Rouge. A nice wine, it has fairly deep fruit, sweet depth, but lacks a bit on the mid-palate. The grapes come from near Villars-Fontaine.
(Drink from 2024) – Very Good (86-87p) – tasted from cask 08/06/2021
François Millet & Fils Volnay Les Grand Poisots 2020
The first of two Volnays, this comes from the border with Pommard in the lower part of the Volnay appellation. Floral, with delicate fruit, it is quite intense and airy, with a bit of old-school reluctance in its youth.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good (87p) – tasted from cask 08/06/2021
François Millet & Fils Volnay Les Angles 2020
A 1er cru located on the way in to Volnay from Pommard, this has a beautiful framboise bouquet, as well as round, delicate fruit, oriental spices and a lovely sweetness. With really good intensity, this revives the old comparison of Volnay with Chambolle.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good (88p) – tasted from cask 08/06/2021 –
François Millet & Fils Beaune Champs Pimont 2020
Still in malolactic fermentation, thus difficult to taste at the moment.
François Millet & Fils Fixin En l’Olivier 2020
The Fixin En l’Olivier is a fine example of the appellation, coming from the area above Arvelet/Hervelets. Rich and intense, it is quite refined, with ripe tannins, although perhaps a bit shorter on the finish than the previous wines. Still, a lovely, perfumed expression.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good (87-88p) – tasted from cask 08/06/2021
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