In a nutshell: Top quality, minerally Saint-Romain from one of the best producers in the appellation.
The lowdown: Saint-Romain is often overlooked by more famous neighbouring Côte de Beaune villages of Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and even Saint-Aubin, but Saint-Roman has so much to offer, especially in the hands of Alain Gras and his son Arthur. Regarded as one of the best producers in Saint-Romain their wines currently adorn the wine lists in nearly every single Michelin 3 star restaurant in France (21 of 26 at last count!). The vines for his white average 40 years old, come from several small parcels, are hand harvested, and with only 20% matured in new oak barrels. Rich aromas of ripe white stone fruits, citrus, and hints of nuts, toast and vanilla beans. The palate is expressive and bursting with finesse, there's a great minerally streak and tingling acidity. The finish is long and clean. A very well made, very elegant wine.
When to drink: Made to be drunk 3 to 6 years after harvest. Works really well with sea bass, but also with and saltwater fish, or shellfish.
Alain Gras has long been acknowledged as the pre-eminent vigneron in Saint-Romain, a village of wonderfully sited vineyards and a greater proportion of limestone than any other commune in Burgundy. Although overshadowed a bit by illustrious neighbouring villages such as Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, Saint-Romain is capable of producing equally good quality wines especially when in the hands of producers such as Alain Gras. It has also benefited greatly from recent climate change meaning that previously overly cool sites, due to their high altitude, are now routinely achieving full ripeness and physiological maturity. The stunningly situated domaine comprises 12 hectares in Saint-Romain (8ha planted to Chardonnay and 4ha to Pinot Noir). He has 42 separate parcels in all, but prefers blending the grapes from the individual sites to ensure complexity and consistency. Alain is now in the process of handing on the baton of running the domaine to his son Arthur.