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Antoine Petitprez | Bourgogne & Savoie

Antoine Petitprez | Bourgogne & Savoie

The wines of Antoine Petitprez defy every categorisation and expectation. In his cramped cellar in Pommard, he nurtures every wine with sagely patience and obsessive attentiveness.

This could well be Antoine’s superpower. Noticeably, it enables him to work without sulphur — an undertaking many consider foolhardy when working with wines as precious as Burgundy — and do it successfully.

Antoine is a biodynamics consultant and counts many famous domaines in Burgundy as his clients. In exchange of his time and expertise, sometimes he opts to keep a part of their harvest in lieu of consulting fees. The exchange gives him an access advantage to the best organic/biodynamic fruits from oft-esoteric plots grown to his specifications.

Nearly all his wines bears the name of their vineyards and their production is minuscule: most cuvées are bottled from two to four barrels of juice. This terroir geek vinifies wholly naturally, with whole clusters and wild yeasts, ageing the wines in old casks, abstaining from fining, filtering and any additives throughout the process.

The covert production is snapped up by cutting-edge trendy restaurants in France and Europe; rarely would any appear in the open market otherwise. All this coupled with his indifferent attitude toward marketing and a deliberate aversion to social media further contribute to the wine’s mystery.

But, wow, what wines! These unassuming beauties are for dedicated connoisseurs and wine geeks. Antoine may not work with top-end crus but his selection is thoughtfully curated. Even his regional Bourgognes are specific to their lieux dits. Little surprise here as he was, after all, a research academician prior to this current vocation.

On first pour, his wines may seem direct, uncomplicated, yet with sufficient oxygenation, the wine transforms drastically, becoming expansive, layered and electric, but also serene, precise and complex. Most importantly, they are sumptuous and alive.

Be it a Burgundian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Aligoté, or a Mondeuse from the steep inclines of Savoie, Antoine Petitprez weaves his magic effortlessly. The proof is in the glass: aromatic, intensely flavoured, mouthwatering stuff with an impeccable balance to age gracefully. They have a rare sense of presence that only the gifted few are capable of producing. In short: real gems well worth searching for.

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