Domaine Jessiaume, Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravières”
Domaine Jessiaume, Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravières”

Domaine Jessiaume, Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravières”

Burgundy / Côte de Beaune, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$60.00
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Domaine Jessiaume, Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravières”

There’s no other way to put it: Today we offer you one of the best bottles of white Burgundy we’ve tasted all year. But if you’re thinking it must be some marquée estate’s top collectible with a triple-digit price tag (a fair assumption), we say “think again!” Domaine Jessiaume’s Premier Cru “Les Gravières” is the sort of bombshell Burgundy we live for at SommSelect—an elite-tier bottle whose impeccable poise, shimmering polish, and sheer profundity match that of any $150 blue chip. 

This is an orchard-fruited, mineral-laden triumph and a masterful balancing act of ripeness and freshness; the sort of royal drinking experience Burgundy collectors live for. I know more than a few somms who’d call Jessiaume’s 2020 “Gravières” elite Puligny were they to taste it blind, so here’s the rare chance to experience the soaring heights only great Côte d’Or Chardonnay can achieve. Just act fast. The stock of Santenay is on the rise, with Domaine Jessiaume leading the charge, and it won’t be long before a bottle like this joins Burgundy’s A-list in price! Up to six bottles per person.

Santenay, at the far southern edge of the Côte de Beaune, has long lived in the shadow of the more famous appellations just above it like Chassagne and Meursault. The raw materials to produce head-spinning bottles—oolitic limestone, choice south-southeast vineyard exposures, old Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines—are all there. Still, the village has never quite achieved the fame of its neighbors. Some say it’s too far from the négociants in Beaune, others will claim that Santenay producers were too focused on bulk production. Whatever the reason, there’s been something of a revolution underway here for the past few years and it’s now a village on the upswing. Immensely talented young producers, priced out of the glitzy appellations to the immediate north, have realized the incredible potential of Santenay and been quick to revitalize its reputation. At the very head of the pack is Domaine Jessiaume.

The Jessiaume family founded their domaine in 1850. It was always a solid address, crafting pleasant Santenays in line with the village’s reputation. But in 2014, under new ownership and with a new winemaking team installed, the domaine really began to up the ante. They transitioned all of their vineyards to organic farming, renovated the cellar, and began working in a hands-off manner with wild yeasts to produce elegant, transparent wines. Their “Les Gravières” holdings are their most prized, from which they produce both red and white versions. Premier Cru Gravières is regarded as the best in the village—underlain with the same clay/limestone combo found in Puligny—but with, as the name suggests, a fine mix of gravel.

Jessiaume’s 2020 “Les Gravières” was whole-cluster pressed and naturally fermented before maturation in approximately 15% new French oak. Treat it as you would any next-level Chardonnay, at a cool 55 degrees in large Burgundy stems. It pours a luminous yellow-gold with hints of silver, and the nose just screams class. Smoky pear skin, yellow apple flesh, struck flint, white peach pit, white flowers, citrus blossom, button mushroom, fresh hazelnuts, pulverized chalk, and a wick of vanilla bean all combine for soul-stirring, pitch-perfect white Burg aromatics. The palate is broad and powerful, leaning into more stone fruit cut through with scintillating minerality, before being lifted away by a fine jolt of acidity. There’s a lot to unpack here already, but the sheer volume, depth, and tightly-coiled tension at the core of the wine indicate to me that this has a very long way to go yet. A genuinely collectible, bankable Burgundy rarely cost as little as today’s wine. Stock up because that won’t be the case for much longer.

Domaine Jessiaume, Santenay Premier Cru “Les Gravières”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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