2014 Philippe Livera, Domaine Des Tilleuls, Bourgogne, Vieilles Vignes, $28.00

A box of samples shows up from one of our importers—yawn. But wait, it’s Burgundy! Hmm, a producer named Livera. A bell rings in the back of my mind, and I'm no longer too excited. Didn't we carry a few wines from them some years ago? And weren't they a bit rustic and didn't sell very well? Yes was the answer, and so we tasted through the wines, but with very little enthusiasm. Then it’s whoa! Hold the phone. Within a blink we had Bill, our importer rep, on the line. "What's going on with these wines? We tried to sell them years ago and they weren't very good, but now they're absolutely delicious." Bill's answer was quick and simple: "The son has now taken over the winemaking." Damien is in fact the fourth generation at this estate in Gevrey Chambertin, and it’s a recurring theme that we see in Burgundy: the enlightened younger generation takes over and makes superior (sometimes far superior) wines compared to the previous generation.
So I chose Livera’s entry level Bourgogne rouge for my pick. The fruit is Gevrey, sourced from an estate owned vineyard of just under two acres with 50+ year old vines planted in the 60s. although the entire line-up was impressive, I chose this for its approachability and its affordability. The aroma and palate impression is of black fruit—cassis and dark cherry—juicy and refined, with light notes of earth and incense adding complexity. Three words kept resonating in my
mind: supple, succulent, seamless.